Change of course: Why Erdogan suddenly flatters the EU

Et were words that hissed like arrows across the Atlantic towards Ankara: “I think we have to take a look at the effects of the existing sanctions and then decide if more needs to be done,” said Antony Blinken, the US favorite President Joe Biden for Secretary of State on Wednesday night in front of MPs in Washington.

Then Blinken also called the NATO country Turkey a “so-called strategic partner”. That was an affront to ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over whom the former US President Donald Trump had held his protective hand for years.

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So it should be fitting that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu is flying to Brussels this Thursday to meet the chief diplomat of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell, and one day later NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In the coming weeks, even the heads of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen (head of the Commission) and Charles Michel (Council President), will visit Turkey.

The new visit diplomacy has a history. About ten weeks ago Erdogan performed a pirouette: “We won’t see each other anywhere else, but in Europe, and we imagine building our future together with Europe,” he purred. Erdogan has been talking about the “European friends” ever since and recently declared: “We are ready to get our relations with the EU back on track.”

Suddenly “friends”

The same man had previously defamed leading EU politicians as “links in a Nazi chain”. In the fall, the Turkish President even recommended his French colleague Emmanuel Macron to seek “psychiatric treatment”. Lately the two gentlemen have been writing each other letters calling themselves “friends”.

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Why is Erdogan suddenly flattering the EU? He is not an ideologist, but a well-rounded pragmatist and a flawless power politician. After the change of power in the White House, the country on the Bosporus is increasingly isolated internationally, and the government is facing massive domestic political problems. “Turkey has never lost so much trust as in previous years,” says Hüseyin Bagci, professor for international relations at the renowned ODTÜ University in Ankara.

That is why Ankara wants to move closer to the EU again – with giant strides. Erdogan’s most important advocate is Chancellor Angela Merkel. With Cavusoglu’s visit to Brussels, the turnaround initiated by Erdogan and Merkel is now to be officially initiated. “Let’s hope that my meeting with Minister Cavusoglu will last longer than our last meeting in Malta in August, which took no more than an hour,” Borrell quipped two days ago in the EU Parliament.

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Control by German soldiers

In the final declaration of their summit meeting in December, the EU heads of state and government not only threatened Turkey with further sanctions because of unauthorized gas explorations off Cyprus, but also – under pressure from Merkel – offered the country a “positive agenda” and a better neighborhood . “But like tango, you need both sides to be good neighbors,” said Borrell. The Spaniard will report to the 27 EU foreign ministers about his meeting with Cavusoglu on Monday. The Turkish policy of “rapprochement” (rapprochement) should then have finally arrived in the Brussels engine room.

Should Europe get involved?

But why should the Europeans get involved in Erdogan’s cuddle course after years of tension? As a neighbor of the EU, the country is of great geostrategic importance. Ankara is also an important player in violent conflicts on the Europeans’ doorstep – such as in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition, by securing the border in his own country and through his role in Libya, Erdogan can play a key role in controlling the migration movements towards Greece and Italy.

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From the EU’s point of view, Turkey has recently made an advance payment: On January 25, the Turks and Greeks want to resume the “exploratory talks” in order to find a diplomatic solution to their disputes over gas, sea borders and the airspace in the Mediterranean. The talks have been going on since 2002 and were suspended a good four years ago. What the government in Athens announced this week should also come up: the expansion of the Greek territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to twelve nautical miles.

Actually a provocation for Ankara. What is more important, however, is that these “exploratory talks” clarify the long-standing disputes over gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The EU members Greece and Cyprus lay claim to these sea areas. Last autumn, the dispute almost escalated when NATO partners Ankara and Athens sent warships.

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Now he is threatened with punitive measures from two sides: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan is under pressure. He needs allies. In 2017, the new US President Joe Biden called him an “autocrat” who “has to pay a price” for his policies. Washington also wants to expand military cooperation with Greece and establish a naval base on the border with Turkey. Biden also threatens further sanctions that Congress has already decided because Turkey – contrary to NATO rules – bought the Russian S-400 Mitte air defense system in mid-2019.

That could hit the Turkish arms industry and economy hard. On the other hand, Erdogan can no longer rely on the unpredictable Russian President Putin, for whom the Turkish President seems to be nothing more than a pawn – but who, as in Libya, is becoming increasingly unruly.

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FILE - A file photo dated 22 February 2011 showing a man in a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey, drinking a glass of the Turkish national drink Yeni Raki. Foto EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU (zu dpa 0460 vom 09.09.2013) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++ |

At the same time, the Turkish economy urgently needs investments that can only come from the EU. The unofficial inflation rate is 37 percent and almost one in four people of work age in Turkey is unemployed. Ankara is now pushing to further expand the customs union with the EU that has existed for decades so that the economy can grow better.

At the same time, Erdogan is demanding new billions from Brussels to supply the nearly four million refugees in the country. Finally, Turkey is pushing for visa-free travel to the EU for its citizens. That would be a tremendous success for Erdogan. To do this, however, he would have to change his so-called anti-terror laws. That is no longer impossible.


Sea, sex and only … How sailors experience their sexuality in the Vendée Globe

INVESTIGATION – Libido, abstinence, experiences … Le Figaro asked, not without humor, the sailors, who travel the world alone, on this taboo subject.

Sailors have a woman in each port, it is well known. And between the ports, what happens? How do browsers manage their desire for three months? Does their libido flow to the rhythm of the oceans? The subject, taboo, surprised the skippers when we questioned them. “It’s my privacy, I’m not Brigitte Lahaye”, began by answering Nicolas Troussel, a few weeks before the start of Les Sables d’Olonne, then adding: “Yes, at sea, we have thoughts and dreams” … End of the (short) confidence.

Forced to give up on the eighth day at sea, his monohull Corum the Savings having dismasted, the double winner of La Solitaire du Figaro and neophyte of the Vendée Globe therefore did not have time to “test himself” over the duration of a round the world race. Unlike Romain Attanasio, in a relationship with the English Samantha Davies (out of the race after her retirement off the Cape of Good Hope), and current 13e of this edition after completing the previous one after 109 days

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Falkland Islands: Typically Great Britain – except for the penguins

IIn the harbor there is a red telephone booth, row houses made of dark brick stand side by side. A few steps further a pub and a small tea house. The wind whips the rain through the streets, tea and scones await inside.

Folk music echoes subtly from a loudspeaker, photos of the sea, green hills, fences and sheep hang on the walls. Great Britain as it could hardly be more British. But the small coastal town of Stanley is on the other side of the world.

The almost 2000 inhabitants do everything to maintain the spirit of the Empire. But at the latest when you look into the souvenir shops, where stuffed penguins cuddle up on the shelves, it becomes clear: The gray sea that laps its waves on the pier is not the North Sea, but the South Atlantic. And the island not Britain, but East Falkland.

Source: WORLD infographic

It is easy to explain why the Falcon countries demonstrate their solidarity with the United Kingdom so clearly: The trauma of 1982, when the Argentines surprisingly occupied the islands and started a war with bombs, skirmishes, mines and raids, is still deep today.

The South American country had taken possession of the islands, which were uninhabited before the first European settlers arrived from France, in 1820. Great Britain followed suit in 1833, stationed a fleet on the islands and forced the Argentine administration to withdraw.

Argentina calls for “end of colonialism”

Since 1837, the Falkland Islands have belonged to Great Britain as a British overseas territory, which still has around 1,700 soldiers stationed there as a deterrent. In the Historic Dockyard Museum, fishermen, shepherds, housewives and soldiers tell of the 72 days of the war in an interactive exhibition.

All exhibits are labeled in English only. Which is entirely in the interests of the islanders: They voted in a referendum in 2013 to 98.8 percent to remain with Great Britain. Argentina rejected the referendum as “illegal” and is demanding an “end to colonialism” from the British.

In Argentina, the islands are still called Malvinas and continue to claim them officially. Which is also due to the rich fishing grounds and the suspected oil deposits in the South Atlantic.

No cruises to Antarctica due to Corona

But not only the ownership claims between Argentina and Great Britain have shaped life on the 200 islands. Antarctic expeditions such as that of the seafarer James Weddell and the bloody business of whale and seal hunters have also experienced the Falklanders up close.

Hard work under harsh conditions defined everyday life for centuries. Tim Miller, for example, comes from a family of sheep farmers; he moved from West Falkland to Stanley. He’s not like sheep, he says and grins.

Stanley is the only town in the Falkland Islands.  It is located in East Falkland

Stanley is the only town in the Falkland Islands. It is located on East Falkland

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

With a hunched back he walks through the long rows of his greenhouses in the hinterland, caressing the skin of the eggplant, plucking a leaf from the tomato. He proudly demonstrates the aquaponic facility, thanks to which he grows more than 50 different types of lettuce, herbs and vegetables – completely without soil.

“Everything is eco,” he says, beaming with one eye that the Falklands War left him with. “We don’t use pesticides either, we fight pests purely biologically.” An organic farmer in the middle of the Atlantic.

For 20 years, he says, he has been heating his greenhouses exclusively with waste oil from fishing boats and cruise ships – that is not entirely clean, but at least it is recycled. In general, the crusaders: Before Corona, many ships sent their cooks ashore in Stanley.

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Tim Miller was her last chance to take fresh vegetables and lettuce on board for the way to Antarctica – a business that the farmer broke away because of the pandemic. The shipping companies will probably not set course for the Antarctic again until winter 2021/22.

The mines in the Falkland Islands have now been cleared

Back in solitude, the view sweeps over the beach. White sand, blue sea – the sun has burned a hole in the clouds. The sea has calmed down. A ship rotates picturesquely in the shallow water, two whales swim along the coast and fountains of fumes puff into the air.

Wreck on New Island Beach, Falkland Islands

An abandoned ship is rotting away on the beach on New Island

Quelle: Getty Images/Darrell Gulin

Thick ropes limit the hiking trail, signs warn: “Danger – mines!” It is estimated that 20,000 landmines were buried on the islands during the war. At least the last mines were cleared at the beginning of November, three years earlier than planned, and the signs will soon disappear. But the memories, the thoughts of the war will stay alive in the Falkland Islands for a long time.

Fortunately, at this moment a rustling in the bushes distracts from the dark past. A Magellanic penguin peeps curiously out of its nesting cavity. He is not alone. The colony huddles on the beach, throaty roars can be heard when the waves carry a newcomer ashore.

Warning of landmines in the Falkland Islands

Signs still warn of the land mines that were buried on the islands during the war. But soon they should be gone

Quelle: Getty Images/Paul Grace Photography Somersham

The islands have been a favorite place for breeding and migratory birds since the Falkland Fox was extinct in the 19th century. A million penguins gather here, 63 different bird species build their nests. Not just common birds, as ornithologists assure you: with the Falkland steamboat duck and the Falkland wren, the islands have also produced endemic species – those that only occur there.

Penguins stir up the birds

A special paradise for bird lovers is New Island, a small island in the far west where the storm blows waves into the brown grass. He has shrunk the few trees into gnarled bushes. Kelp geese crouch in the bushes.

The King Penguins of the Falkland Archipelago also live under the Queen's Crown

The King Penguins of the Falkland Archipelago also live under the Queen’s Crown

Quelle: Getty Images/Paul Grace Photography Somersham

A black-browed albatross enjoys the stiff breeze. It can be carried by the thermal 80 meters up to the edge of the cliff and then floats on the spot as if it had been pinned to the sky. The giant bird, with a wingspan of a good two meters, looks to the left, to the right – and then performs a clumsy landing maneuver.

He waddles two or three steps and he is already beaking a large gray cotton ball: his chick. For hours it waited for its mother to return, isolated by thick fluff, now and then stretching out one leg or scare away an intrusive rockhopper penguin with its beak.

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King penguins in the Falkland Islands

The penguins can do that. They busily hop back and forth, annoy a cormorant here, an albatross there – and stir up the bird colony. If the hunger becomes too great, they hop over the steep slopes down to the sea.

Constant coming and going on the steep face, including minor falls. For the rockhopper penguins, the laborious renewed ascent pays off: birds of prey such as the caracara and giant petrels, which could be dangerous to the penguins, do not dare to venture into the kingdom of the albatross.

At some point the mother albatross has had enough of the screeching penguins, spreads her wings and throws herself off the cliff into the wind. Without beating its wings, it glides away, beneath it the small boat boats, the fountains of the whales – and the gray waves of the South Atlantic.

A million penguins cavort on the Falkland Islands - there is a need for communication

A million penguins cavort on the Falkland Islands – there is a need for communication

Source: Getty Images / Enrique Aguirre Aves

Tips and information

Getting there: The Falkland Islands are visited by many cruise lines, mostly as part of an Antarctic trip, such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ( and Hurtigruten (, but due to the pandemic, they will not be offering expeditions again until winter 2021/22. If you arrive by plane, you can usually get to East Falkland via Santiago de Chile or São Paulo; however, the connections with Latam are suspended until at least March 31st ( Alternatively, travelers can book flights from the UK Department of Defense to Mount Pleasant Airport (, but this connection is currently not open to tourists either.

Accommodation: The tourism website ( provides an overview of self-catering accommodation, bed and breakfast providers and the few hotels. Guests are usually picked up at the airport, but there are also rental cars, public transport and ferries between the islands.

Crown-Info: Anyone planning a trip should find out more about entry and quarantine regulations on the islands government website, currently a 14-day quarantine is required after arrival (

Participation in the trip was supported by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Welt am Sonntag E-Tag January 03, 2021 Packshot half page

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Boris Herrmann on survival tricks at the Vendée Globe regatta

Balancing on deck makes him feel easy: Boris Herrmann on a comparatively leisurely training trip in September before the start of the Vendée Globe
Image: Jean-Marie LIOT / Malizia

Boris Herrmann is the only German participant in the Vendée Globe. Here he describes the tricks of survival, constant fatigue and overcoming his fear of heights when climbing masts in a storm.

When I had to find a motto for my journey so far, it would be: The pain goes, but the pride remains. Of course, I never had the intention to sail around the world just for fun and enjoyment and to make the Vendée Globe a pleasure trip, it is and remains a race. But I never thought it would be so hard. A few more moments when things are going really well and I can enjoy the regatta would have been nice. The fact that it didn’t turn out this way is partly due to the extreme weather conditions. We have seen some severe storms in the southern Indian Ocean in particular. But it is also due to the modern yachts, which are much more demanding to sail, faster and more vulnerable than they were ten years ago.

I also usually feel lighter when I’m on board and at sea. I’ve had difficulties in the past and struggled with problems in races. During a regatta, for example, my mast rail broke. But that’s something completely different when you are “only” 700 or 1000 nautical miles away from the coast with your boat – and that in a race that hardly interests anyone.


In the United States, the mystery of “the lost colony of Roanoke” continues

ARCHEOLOGY – A veil of uncertainty still hangs over the demise of one of the first English colonies in North America, despite some encouraging findings.

August 1590. Governor John White hastily leaves the English boats which have just brought him to Roanoke Island, a spit of land cradled by the waters of Pamlico Bay, at the easternmost point of present day North Carolina. In the harbor, behind him, three Elizabethan warships gorged with provisions and loot amassed after months of looting along the Spanish Americas. Before him, alas, nothingness. No trace of the burgeoning colony he had founded three years before, nor of the 115 souls – entire families – he had left there. Single clue, one word – Croatianan – engraved on a post.

What happened to the colony founded by John White? In his absence, has it withered like the neighboring colony founded by his compatriot Ralph Lane? Has an epidemic devastated the population? And what to do with this inscription evoking the neighboring island of Croatoan, present-day Hatteras Island?

«The Lost Colony», dessin de William Ludwell Sheppard, gravure de William James Linton. Wikimedia Commons

Two different tracks

The outlines, to say the least, of the disappearance of this small colony fascinate some American historians. It also occupies a number of local archaeologists whose findings fuel hypotheses, often contrary …

This is the case with Nick Luccketti’s team who, with the volunteers of the First Colony Foundation, have been trying for several years to understand what may have happened on Roanoke Island between 1587 and 1590. The The survey, relaunched in 2012 when two forts were discovered crossed out on a map of the same period kept at the British Museum, gave rise to a long research and prospecting work in the field. Eight years and two sites excavated later near the former indigenous village of Mettaquem, in what is now Bertie County (North Carolina), Nick Luccketti believes he found the place where the Roanok colonists would have fallen back. . According to him, the remains of English pottery from the end of the 16th century found in large numbers seem to confirm the establishment of a long-term habitat on this site located 80 km from Roanoke, and which would have seen cohabiting English settlers and indigenous people. The absence of the slightest pipe has even been put forward to prove the antecedence of the site compared to the colony of Jamestown, founded in 1607 a few kilometers further north.

So many elements that are far from unanimous. “I am skeptical. They seek to prove rather than disprove their theory, which is the scientific method», Commented for National Geographic Charles Ewen, archaeologist at East Carolina University. Same story for Henry Wright, researcher at the University of Michigan, who notes that no formal trace of an Elizabethan period habitat has so far been found during these excavations.

Much closer to Roanok, it is on Hatteras Island – the ancient Croatoan mentioned by John White – that another team is active. Led by British archaeologist Mark Horton, with the support of volunteers from the Croatoan Archaeological Society, it found some 16th century weapons – a rapier and the fragment of a spinning pistol – at the site of a former Indian village, according to him the hypothesis of a migration close to the settlers. A proposal undermined by Nick Luccketti for whom unfavorable environmental conditions make such a stand improbable. Arguments in turn refuted, in the light of historical evidence such as the engraved post mentioned by White. “The colony literally wrote that they moved to Croatoan», Summarizes in Virginian Pilot Scott Dawson, one of the founders of the Croatoan Archaeological Society.

First Colony Foundation volunteers during digs in Bertie County. First Colony Foundation.

Skeptical historians

But what does it matter: for Mark Horton, none of the hypotheses allows for the moment to completely sweep the other, especially as the thesis of an outright dispersion of the colonists remains entirely possible.

A track finally already favored by a good number of historians. “People don’t get lost. They are murdered, they are kidnapped, they are welcomed. They live and die as members of other communities, recalls in the New York Times , Malinda Maynor Lowery, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Indians of Roanoke, Croatoan, Secotan and other villages had no reason to make enemies of the settlers. Instead, they probably incorporated them».

Secotan Warriors Ceremony in North Carolina. Watercolor painted by John White in 1585. Wikimedia Commons

The fate of the hundreds of English settlers on Roanoke Island is therefore probably not close to being elucidated. The mystery, and all the tourist and associative craze associated with it, still has a bright future ahead.

By the way, what happened to Governor John White? He did not stay in America. So few details of his life are known, it is at least certain that he returned to England where he died, never seeing the New World again.


Hamster purchase: toilet paper supplies would have reached across the Atlantic – Coronavirus Vienna

The sold toilet paper rolls lined up give a distance of over 10,000 kilometers.

The sold toilet paper rolls lined up give a distance of over 10,000 kilometers.
© (Subject)

From the first lockdown in early March to the second in early November 2020, the trading group was able to sell a particularly large amount of toilet paper.

The retail group Rewe (Billa, Penny, Adeg, Bipa, Merkur) has recalculated the corona year from the first lockdown in early March to the second shutdown in early November 2020: The toilet rolls sold lined up result in a distance of over 10,000 kilometers, which is roughly the distance from Vienna to Los Angeles (USA). The second hamster product of 2020 was Germ, the amount purchased would have been enough for almost four million Striezel.

Immune defense foods are more in demand than ever

A city like Graz can get by with the amount of soap for a whole year. “Food for immune defense was also more in demand than ever, with customers eating almost a quarter more citrus fruits compared to the previous year,” said Rewe.

Compared to 2019, the Billa online shop has recorded an increase of around 80 percent since the first lockdown – and demand continues.

>> Current news about the corona crisis


Scrapbook 1960: This is how one imagined traveling in the future

From Hamburg to Sydney in eleven days? No problem with this ship

Source: B. Birkel Sons, Endersbach b. Stgt.

We do not know exactly how we will travel in the near future. Trend researchers and futurologists pretend to see more clearly. Professionals who try to paint a picture of the future based on data.

Such experts have always existed. Two generations ago they described the world we live in today. In their imagination, our life today was “the world of tomorrow”. That was the name of a scrapbook in which knowledge about the future was collected and illustrated around 1960.

It was a favorite project of pasta patron Karl Christian Birkel. The attached pictures were supposed to stimulate sales of his “Hörnchen” and “Zöpfli”. With Stollwerck’s chocolate, Kölln’s oatmeal and Reemtsma’s cigarettes, the collectible picture had worked for a long time. So now with egg noodles. Birkel chose topics that corresponded to “adventurous hearts”: Indians, pirates, distant countries – and the future.

The future of the world at Birkel

The future then was a land of unlimited promises. Birkel had the predictions of technical specialists collated and committed imaginative draftsmen who had already visionarily enriched magazines such as “Hobby” and “Das Neue Universum”.

The optimism that came together with it in text and image has seldom been found between two cardboard covers. Cities and countries are bright, healthy and beautiful and, thanks to technical wonders, are invitingly open to curious travelers.

Let’s try it out! We are the lucky ones to whom this world was foretold. Let’s go, ideally as the experts have promised. So there is no gasoline car parked in front of our house, not even an electric car.

According to the predictions of yore, it would have to be a car with a gas turbine, 25,000 revolutions per minute, as powerful as a jet. “Its high speeds make traveling like a float.” However: “There is a high-pitched whistling noise when starting.” Only when starting?

A bicycle-powered airplane and flying cars

For the sake of our neighbors, we do without. We prefer to pedal sustainably – and will still float! For the little Sunday excursion, we get from the garage what the scientists have guaranteed everyone: the pedal plane.

“Here the mechanism of a bicycle drive is transferred to an airplane. You can fly with this air bike alone or take a pillion passenger with you. Even in a headwind, going thirty meters above sea level doesn’t require much effort. The speed only depends on the consistent performance of the occupants. “

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Aha. So it could lead to a marital dispute. Also to surprising encounters. Because the air corridors are well attended. If we believe the faded experts, it’s not just air bikes that are on the move, fast flying cars also animate the sky. Maybe we will take one of these for the short trip right away? “The undercarriage remains retracted during the flight. A control handle works well in gusty cross winds. ”We should be able to do that.

When landing at the edge of the forest, we would only have to watch out for the purple sheep that cross the path. Sheep have been bred colorfully since the turn of the millennium, with burgundy, cinnamon, pine-green wool, “always in the latest fashion colors”.

Nuclear power provides energy when traveling

At our picnic area, we set up the sun mirror frying pan. This is a swiveling concave mirror one meter in diameter with the hotplate at its focal point. The bundled rays of sunshine should grill our steak medium-well within a few minutes.

We brought the vegetables from our own atomic garden. Hi there? Yes. “In the middle of the garden there is a steel pipe with a piece of cobalt 60.” In the morning, this radiant part is cranked from the cellar to the tip of the rod on a pull rope. A few hours are enough: “Then potatoes are the size of cabbages, cherries are like tomatoes, apples are like pumpkins.”

Ideal for short trips and camping holidays: the sun mirror frying pan to plug together

Ideal for short trips and camping trips: the sun mirror frying pan to plug together

Source: B. Birkel Sons, Endersbach b. Stgt.

Were the experts too euphoric? Possibly. In the 1960s, the peaceful use of nuclear power was an unclouded promise of happiness. For the time after the turn of the millennium, for us, the futurologists prophesied: “Heating and air conditioning systems will be just as nuclear-powered as fly and mosquito killers.”

Goodbye to fly swatter. And bring on the “small nuclear power generator”, the “useful energy dispenser for every occasion”! We have it with us on longer trips or when we sail out to sea with our floating saucer.

Cruise on a gigantic hydrofoil

One sees this saucer – or if the scholars would have been right if it had seen it – in swarms on lakes and bays. Everyone has one. We put them easily in the trunk. It is inflatable, circular and equipped with a powerful motor and two swivel chairs. If you have to go to the toilet on the go, please crouch on the edge, preferably so that there is no imbalance.

The private submarine is available to us for bolder adventures. “You will buy the submarine for your own pleasure off the peg in a department store,” the hobby researchers once said. With the “Pegasus” or “Minisub” models, only beginners go diving in coastal waters. “The passionate weekend drivers buy the fast two-seater ‘Sea Pup’. It can dive two thousand meters deep and stay under water for eight hours. “

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Elon Musk in conversation with Mathias Döpfner

We are less brave. We prefer to take cruises, preferably with the gigantic hydrofoils on stilts that are now common. Or we can cross the Atlantic in two hours in a nuclear plane at three times the speed of sound. “A small nuclear reactor in the rear section generates the hot air. Mixed with uranium dust, it flows through the gas turbine, is freed from the uranium dust, rushes out through the nozzle and pushes the plane forward with tremendous force. “Well, please.

Plastic igloos and thawed floors in Siberia

Using a similar technique, we whiz on rails through the finally developed Alaska. A 7000 hp locomotive pulls the panorama car. “The heart of the machine is a reactor with stratified uranium rods that rest in the central lead chamber.” Traveling can be so easy!

Even the most distant countries can be reached within a day – if the present were as the past envisioned it. We pay a visit to the Inuit for afternoon tea. Turning to progress, they no longer laboriously piling up their houses from blocks of ice. Each family now lives in their own plastic igloo. “It consists of lightweight foam plastic panels, the seams of which are covered with a special putty.”

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In summer Greenland shines in lush green

Our Arctic trip may have lost a little of the rustic exoticism. But the Arctic itself has also changed. By cleverly diverting the Gulf Stream, “Greenland has finally awakened from its frozen ice”. We stroll through orchards and vegetable fields. Greenland is green again!

Just like Siberia, where formerly frozen soils have turned into fertile farmland. The future planners of yore found freedom from ice to be desirable. The Birkel booklet is of course silent about the rising sea level caused by the large amount of meltwater.

The Amazon rainforest? Overrated

And how is it there, where it has always been a bit too warm, on the Amazon? Relaxing! We don’t need a yellow fever vaccination or anti-malarial drugs for our trip. “The primeval forest hell of yore has lost its horror.” Here, too, we stroll through bright fields and orchards. “Eight hundred million hectares of forest have been conquered by helicopters, huge road machines, special watercraft and an army of engineers, technicians and foresters.”

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Author Stefan Beutelsbacher with Jorge Ney

Now we follow as excursionists on our study trip, happily welcomed by the indigenous population. “The Amazon Indians, formerly equipped with poison arrows and extremely shy of people, now live in the most modern settlements as skilful and hardworking loggers.” Rainforest? Overrated.

Is at least the desert still desert? Or does it gradually look the same everywhere in the world as it does here? We will travel to the Sahara for the test. Surprise! Real camel caravans still make a pilgrimage through blowing sand! What for? Presumably so that we can take photos.

With the suspension railway it can easily be done in one day: 2100 kilometers across the Sahara, from Algeria to Timbuktu

With the suspension railway it can easily be done in one day: 2100 kilometers across the Sahara, from Algeria to Timbuktu

Source: B. Birkel Sons, Endersbach b. Stgt.

We film them dust-free from the suspension railway. While the camel drivers struggle through the dunes like in an oriental fairy tale, we glide from oasis to oasis in an air-conditioned and reclining chair. Each offers a hop-on-hop-off option, “a total of 14 stations on the route from Oran to Timbuktu”.

Vacation on the moon or mars

We’re going through today. Because at Timbuktu is one of the meanwhile numerous space stations. Mars is currently being colonized. It’s been the moon for a long time. Our friends recently moved to one of the vibrant cities that bloomed under glass domes.

We can spend the weekend with them. It will be something different, culinary too, as the plants there grow more luxuriantly thanks to lower gravity: “A radish reaches the height of a date palm, and an onion bush stretches nine-meter-long tubular leaves into the moon sky.”

Destination moon: Here the new cities stand under mighty glass domes

Moon crater travel destination: Here the new cities stand under mighty domes made of tempered glass

Source: B. Birkel Sons, Endersbach b. Stgt.

May we be curious? Yes. At least on the predictions that today’s experts make wrong. “The futurologists of the past did not have the data and error corrections that we have,” Hermann Kahn taught in 1972. As a superstar of futurology, Kahn was one of Richard Nixon’s highest paid consultants. He predicted victory over cancer by 1980 and colonization of the moon by 1990. Doesn’t matter.

His pessimistic colleagues from the “Club of Rome” were also wrong. At the same time, they calculated the end of all resources for the mid-1980s. “There will be years of severe economic crises.” These were years of boom. “The results of future research look like a pearl necklace of errors,” criticizes the sociologist Richard Sennet.

Since today’s forecasts are currently quite bleak, we can look forward to the opposite. Not only will it be different, but with a high probability it will be much better than it is now predicted. We are encouraged to plan trips that still seem impossible. If Mars seems too banal for you, you can simply spend your next vacation on Saturn.

Dietmar Bittrich published the book “Do we have to go there too? Short stories of travel ”.

Lunar tourism – a race in the hot phase

A dream for many – to set your own foot on the surface of the moon. Fifty years ago, the “Apollo 11” mission laid the foundation for a race, the hot phase of which continues to this day.

Source: WELT / Thomas Vedder

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

World on Sunday from January 3, 2021

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Vendée Globe: the newspaper of January 08, 2021 – TVvendee

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Madeira: where fans grab Cristiano Ronaldo’s crotch

Madeira island

Portugal close to Africa: Madeira – which, together with the neighboring country Porto Santo and a few uninhabited mini-islands, belongs to the autonomous region of Madeira – is known for its year-round spring-like climate and its rich flora, to which it owes the nickname Flower Island. Around 700 kilometers off the Moroccan coast in the Atlantic, you will find green parks and gardens full of hydrangeas, strelitzia and caplilies, rugged cliffs and extensive laurel forests all over Madeira.

Because Madeira was created through volcanic activity and was never connected to the mainland, some special species developed here, such as the Madeira cabbage white butterfly or the Madeira lizard, which can only be found here. It is believed that the island of Atlantis, which the Roman historian and writer Pliny the Elder mentions in his “Natural History” around 77 AD, is Madeira.

The name of the island’s capital, Funchal, means something like “a lot of fennel” – that is what the Portuguese saw when they landed on the island in 1419: a thick vegetation with wild fennel.

Source: Infographic Die Welt

The most promising way to get around on the 741 square kilometer island is to use one of the eleven cable cars that connect interesting places, such as the botanical garden with the village of Monte above the island’s capital. The most idiosyncratic means of transport is a basket sledge, with which the return journey through the narrow and steeply sloping streets can be covered in record time – pushed by the carreiros, men dressed entirely in white with straw hats and leather boots.

Awarded as the world’s leading island destination for the sixth time in a row at the “World Travel Awards” in 2020, Madeira is currently one of the few areas in Europe for which there is no travel warning from the German Foreign Office.

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A negative PCR test must be presented for entry. Alternatively, you can have yourself tested at the airport, but then you have to be in isolation for around twelve hours before the result is available.

A statue in honor of the world footballer Cristiano Ronaldo

Madeira’s most famous son is without a doubt Cristiano Ronaldo. Born in Funchal in 1985, the five-time world footballer opened his own hotel with the “Pestana CR7 Funchal”. There is also a museum and a statue dedicated to him on the island.

“The statue is more beautiful than me,” said Ronaldo in 2014 at the unveiling of the three-meter-high, bronze monument near the harbor – more beautiful than the abundantly unsuccessful and now revised bust that was on view for a long time at the airport named after Ronaldo it at most.

The step, which visitors love to touch, is particularly striking that it now shines golden. The “Museu CR7”, in front of which the monument stands, is dedicated solely to the numerous prizes and awards that the athlete has won so far.

Funchal, Madeira: Fans are so fond of touching the crotch of the statue of Cristiano Ronaldo that it now shines golden

Fans touch the crotch of the statue of Cristiano Ronaldo so much that it now shines golden

Source: pa / empics / Adam Davy

The black scabbard fish is a delicacy

Definitely try: the island specialties Espetada (a meat skewer) and Espada (an eel-like fish found in the North Atlantic). The black scabbard fish, as it is called in German, is one and a half meters long when fully grown, lives at depths of up to 1700 meters and only rises to higher water layers at night, where it is sometimes used by fishermen.

Due to the pressure difference, it changes its color from a copper tone to black in the air. He is the most popular with banana, so served with the Madeira native banana.

Espada: The black scabbard fish lives at depths of up to 1700 meters

The black scabbard fish lives at depths of up to 1700 meters

Source: WORLD infographic

Sisi made the luxury hotel “Reid’s Palace” famous

“Reid’s Palace” is Madeira’s most famous hotel – and one of the most expensive. Built in 1891, the luxury house quickly attracted wealthy Europeans fleeing the cold and damp winter – especially after the Austrian Empress Sisi spent a month and a half here two years after opening and made Madeira a trendy destination. The Irish playwright and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw took dance lessons here in order to be able to take part in the Saturday (and still held) dinner dance.

When business was down in the post-war period, the idea of ​​inviting former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill came up. He came in the 1950s, wrote his memoirs here, regularly strolled through the terraced gardens with its mimosa and bougainvillea, and in the following years attracted British tourists to the island. The “Reid’s Palace”, now part of the luxury brand Belmond, is celebrating its 130th birthday this year.

The luxury hotel “Reid’s Palace” was built in 1891

Quelle: mauritius images / eye35 stock / Alamy

The laurel forest is a Unesco World Heritage Site

Madeira’s laurel forest, the largest in the world, measures 150 square kilometers. It covers about a fifth of the island. The forest, also known as Laurisilva, which thrives on the island from an altitude of 300 meters, consists of subtropical plants that were native to large parts of the Mediterranean region in the warm Tertiary age 66 to 2.6 million years ago and disappeared there during the ice ages.

In the Atlantic, laurel forests can also be found in the Azores and some Canary Islands. Because of its size and uniqueness, Madeira’s laurel forest, which in remote locations still has the character of a primeval forest, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Madeira has wonderful hiking trails - they also lead through old laurel forests

Madeira has wonderful hiking trails – they also lead through old laurel forests

Source: pa / imageBROKER / Michael Weber

Seafarers brought Madeira wine from Portugal to the United States

Madeira’s most important export is a wine that bears the island’s name. It is made from four grape varieties called Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia and then stored in wooden barrels for at least three years. But there are also wines in the “Over Forty Years Old” class, which have matured for more than 40 years.

The grape harvest takes place in August and September, when the smell of must penetrates the around 4,000 wine cellars and many private houses. Due to its high alcohol content (up to 22 percent) and its large residual sweetness, which makes it the perfect aperitif or digestif, it has a long shelf life even in opened bottles.

Madeira wine was popular with seafarers centuries ago and was often taken to America – in 1776, George Washington toasted with it to celebrate the US Declaration of Independence. In 1903, Madeira sauce was invented on the occasion of a banquet for the Belgian Prince Albert, which includes Madeira wine in addition to white wine and veal stock.

Wine with a sea view: In Madeira, vines only thrive near the coast, here in the south near the town of Estreito de Camara de Lobos

In Madeira, vines only thrive near the coast, here in the south near the town of Estreito de Camara de Lobos

Source: mauritius images / Alois Radler Woess / Alamy

The quote

“Between two huge beauties, this city smiles like a sleeping little child, safe and warm, between its parents”

With these words the mainland Portuguese Júlio Dinis, a 19th century writer who is widely read to this day, praised Madeira’s capital Funchal and its location between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains. In fact, parts of the city are located on cliffs by the sea – such as the airport, which is therefore a difficult destination to fly to and which can only be approached by pilots with the appropriate experience. Dinis, whose real name was Joaquim Guilherme Gomes Coelho, visited Madeira three times from 1869. He lived in Rua da Careira 90, where a statue reminds of him today.

Quirky, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

World on Sunday from January 3, 2021

Source: Welt am Sonntag


From the Bahamas to Florida: boat with 20 people on board disappeared without a trace

RRescue workers have suspended the search for a boat with around 20 occupants that has disappeared in the Atlantic not far from the Florida coast. The almost nine-meter-long motorboat left on Monday on the Bimini archipelago belonging to the Bahamas and was no longer sighted afterwards, the US Coast Guard announced on Friday (local time).

Actually, it should have arrived in the port of Lake Worth on the east coast of the US state Florida long ago – but the boat never showed up there. According to the information, the rescue workers searched a sea area of ​​44,000 square kilometers with ships and airplanes, but gave up after 84 hours.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the missing,” said the Coast Guard message. The search would then continue when the authorities received new information on the fate of the boat. The route between Bimini and Lake Worth is approximately 120 kilometers.