R. Durtnell and Sons – Oldest european construction company

R. Durtnell and Sons

R. Durtnell and Sons

Poundsbridge Manor - 1995

R. Durtnell and Sons – Oldest european construction company

R. Durtnell and Sons – Oldest european construction company. Founded in England in 1593. The carpentry brothers John and Brian Durtnell built an impressive house from oak wood for their father. The object named Poundsbridge Manor destroyed during World War II. It was rebuilt by the same company that built it. Centuries ago, he aroused such interest that later the builders were immediately overwhelmed with orders.
The company has grown, but despite the changing architectural fashions, it remained faithful to wood. Although it has now fallen out of the market and has focused on paying off its debt, it still remains in the hands of the Durtnell family.

Staffelter Hof – The oldest winery in Europe

Staffelter Hof

Staffelter Hof – The oldest winery in Europe

Staffelter Hof – The oldest winery in Europe. Established when the king of Lorraine gave the Cistercians earth on the Moselle. That’s how it rolled history a company from the German town of Kröv, which in 2012 celebrated its 1150 anniversary. Its origins date back to 862, when a Cistercian estate founded a vineyard on their estate. They dealt with it for almost a thousand years – until 1804. When Napoleon’s decision deprived them of earth. The confiscated vineyard was bought by the French court clerk Peter Schneiders.
Heirloom after him was taken over by children and grandchildren. When the male line expired, great-granddaughter Maria Schneiders married the winemaker Kilian Klein in 1894 – their descendants run the company to this day. They stopped at a modest family business, skillfully responding to the challenges of the times. In 1960, they built a small guest house at a 10-hectare vineyard, in 2014 they obtained an ecological certificate for their wines.
Staffelter Hof is one of the most typical companies with longevity. Brilliant inventors or fashion creators did not set up businesses that survived several centuries. Almost exclusively ventures that met the basic needs of customers had a chance to do so.

Zum Roten Bären – Hotel The Red Bear

Zum Roten Bären

The Red Bear - Freiburg, Germany - postcard (01-01-1893)

Zum Roten Bären – Hotel The Red Bear

Zum Roten Bären – Hotel The Red Bear in Freiburg. Is the oldest hotel in Germany and in Europe. During the very turbulent history of European inns, which is well illustrated by history of the oldest of them.
Built in 1120, it survived the plague pandemic, which certainly decimated Western Europe. Several wars, rebellions and revolutions, and border changes. The city was occupied by the Spaniards, Swedes, French and Austrians. Over 900 years, the owners of Red Bear changed about 50 times. Who stood up to save him from destruction. They served everyone: during the peasant uprising in 1727, they first made it available to rebel leaders, then hosted army commanders suppressing rebellion.
Tactics proved to be so effective that the modernized hotel stands today, and guests can see the basement and a fragment of the floor from nine centuries ago through the glass window.

Sweet Potato – Alerts other plants

Sweet PotatoSweet PotatoSweet PotatoSweet PotatoSweet PotatoBatata L-shaped - (08-11-2017)L-shaped - (08-11-2017)National Cancer Institutes - (16-04-2004)

Sweet Potato – Alerts other plants

Sweet potato – This is a popular plant cultivated in the tropical zone, and came to Europe thanks to Christopher Columbus. Has no spikes or produces poison. It would seem that is defenseless against herbivorous insects. However, these appearances. New research shows that after its leaf is bitten, the batata produces a chemical substance. Which not only warns the rest of the plant, but also those adjacent to it. As a result of this alarm, plants produce chemicals that make them inedible for insects. Scientists say the discovery is the first step towards producing a natural, batata-derived pesticide.

Venice Simplon Orient-Express – Most luxurious trains

Venice Simplon Orient-ExpressVenice Simplon Orient ExpressVenice Simplon Orient ExpressIstanbul Grand SuiteOrient-taurus Express - Map-3 continents (1930)Orient-taurus Express - Map (1930)

Venice Simplon Orient-Express – Most luxurious trains

  • Place: Europe
  • Route: London – Paris – Milan – Venice and back
  • Number of seats: 100
  • Cost: from 10 000 PLN per person

Venice Simplon Orient-Express – It belongs to the most famous trains in the world. He also became a hero in the crime story of Agatha Christie. Entrepreneur James Sherwood took care of his current look. Which from 1977 began collecting wagons from the original Orient Express and renovating them. The next few years, Sherwood bought equipment worth a total of $ 16 million. The new composition first set off from London to Venice in May 1982.

Interior:

Inside, the train looks like the 1920s. The original art déco. style has been preserved
Each compartment is air-conditioned and equipped with a small bathroom with a sink. The room transformation is very interesting. During an excellent dinner served in a shared dining room, which is prepared by French chefs. The service turns guests into classic compartments into comfortable bedrooms. An unforgettable experience is a visit to the Art Nouveau bar car. In which passengers soak up a good atmosphere, complemented by
playing the piano .

Curiosity:

Annually, this train transports around 18,000 people.

Mount Etna – Italy, Sicily

Etna - Panorama 2012Mount Etna - Crater (2)Sailors aboard USNS Carson City - watching Mt.Etna during arrival in CataniaMt.Etna from ISS - 2013Mt.Etna in Sicily
 
 
 
Mount Etna - CraterVolcanic Plumes Tower over Mt.EtnaVolcanic ash from the April 2013 eruption of Mt.EtnaEtna in winterLava flows from Mt.Etna - View from Adrano

 
 
 

Mount Etna – Italy, Sicily

 

  • Location: Italy, east coast of Sicily
  • Peak: 3350 m a. s. l.

 
Mount Etna – Is the highest active and the second most powerful volcano in Europe. It lies on the east coast of the island of Sicily, near the cities of Messina and Catania. The age of the volcano is estimated at 700,000 years. The mountain changed with subsequent eruptions, its present appearance was formed about 5000 years ago. Its height is not constant – in 1981 Etna measured 21 meters more. The reduction was caused by eruption and lava flow.

Etna’s volcanic activity is the longest documented of all volcanoes. The oldest eruptions took place in antiquity (135 A.D.). The ancient Greeks called the volcano Mount of Fire and were convinced that one of the Titans was buried beneath. The explosions were meant to mean that he was trying to escape. The most powerful explosion occurred in 1669. When the lava got to Catania, which it partially destroyed. The potential danger lies in the fact that the volcano is located in a densely populated area.

From the beginnings of written historical sources, we know in total about 140 Etna explosions. The most devastating eruption in 1669 was preceded by a three-week earthquake. The volcanic eruption lasted four months.

The Etna volcano explodes on average once every 1.7 years.

Poisonous birds – Not venomous discovered so far

Poisonous birds - Pitohui dichrousPoisonous birds - Plectropterus gambensisPoisonous birds - Common quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Poisonous birds – Not venomous discovered so far

Poisonous birds – No venomous bird has been discovered so far. That is, one whose body would produce a poisonous substance. That would then be transmitted by pecking or wounding with a claw. There are several groups of poisonous birds, that is, poisoning us when we touch or eat them. Their organisms are also probably not producing toxins, but they are able to obtain them from poisonous insects or plants.

Most of them live in New Guinea. Where are several species of Pitohui. Also representatives of the families, store the strong neurotoxin (batrachotoxin) in the skin.

The Gambian Goose from the Anatidae family living in Africa. It accumulates in its tissues another poison, a kantaridine (it gets it from the eaten beetles). Plectropterus gambensis, however, are poisonous only after their consumption. So they gain little thanks to this weapon (except revenge from beyond the grave). On the other hand, other animals of this species benefit from this – a predator who once encountered goose meat will avoid it.

A similar phenomenon applies to the European Common Quail, whose meat is also poisonous, although only for part of the year. Probably quails get their toxin from being eaten plants, and poisoning them are known for a long time and referred to as a coturnism (from the Latin name of the quail Coturnix coturnix).

Conium maculatum – Related to carrots, parsley, caraway

Conium maculatum (1)Conium maculatum (2)Conium maculatum - Germany, 1910

Conium maculatum – Related to carrots, parsley, caraway

Conium maculatum – Plant related with carrots, parsley and caraway seeds. Its main weapon is the violent poison of the coniine, which causes the man to suffocate with full consciousness.

  • Deadly dose: 0,15 g (contained in 20g of the plant)
  • Death: within 2 – 3 days
  • Poison: coniine
  • Aftermath: strangulation through muscle paralysis
  • Where it grows: Europe, Africa and Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

Coniine easily penetrates the skin and respiratory system. However, the biggest danger is an easy mistake with the vegetable. At first, the poison has a stimulating effect and then starts blocking the spinal cord’s commands. In this way, muscle paralysis and strangulation occur.

History of the plant:
In ancient Greece and Rome often used during the execution. It enjoyed great popularity among the poisoners (allegedly, Socrates was executed with its help). In Europe, it appeared in the Middle Ages, and gradually disappeared during the 20th century. In the meadows and along roads, it began to grow massively in the 80’s.

Cicuta virosa – It is 150 centimeters high

Cicuta virosa - Oulu, Finland (18.07.2013)Cicuta virosa (1)Cicuta virosa (2)

Cicuta virosa – It is 150 centimeters high

The highest concentration of toxic substances is found in its rhizome.

  • Deadly dose: 2g root
  • Death: within 24 hours
  • Poison: cicutoxin
  • Aftermath: degeneration of skeletal muscles
  • Where it grows: North and South America, Europe, Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

In North America it has hundreds of poisoned sheep per year on its conscience. People can mistake its root with the parsley root, and the most common victims of harmful substances are children. Cicutoxin works very quickly, after just a few minutes you can observe irritations of mucous membranes and abdominal pain. If a man survives poisoning, it is very likely that he will struggle with damage to the central nervous system for the rest of his life. Unlike other animals, mice can without fear of poisoning eat plant seeds.

Datura stramonium – Weed appearing on fertile soils

Datura stramonium (1)Datura stramonium (2)Datura stramonium (3)Datura stramonium (4)

Datura stramonium – Weed appearing on fertile soils

Datura stramonium – It is a weed appearing on fertile soils. It is an instant poison.

  • Deadly dose: 10 – 12 leaves
  • Death: 1 – 2 days
  • Poison: atropine, scopolamine
  • Aftermath: heart failure, fever, muscle paralysis
  • Where it grows: all over the world
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

Used both in Europe and in the New World because of the hallucinogenic and medicinal action. It was an important ingredient in the charlatanists mixtures. In India, it is considered a strong aphrodisiac – it was claimed that deprived women of shame. Alkaloids, especially in veins and petioles, tend to increase motility, arousal and cause anxiety. Then there is weakness, narcotic sleep and exhaustion. In some Indian tribes, datura is one of saint hallucinogens and is of great importance in the rituals of initiation. It also serves as anesthesia during surgery.