This post has been edited by Big Dave's Gusset: 17 December 2011 - 09:58
Project Icebox Europe 2011/12
Posted 17 December 2011 - 18:53
Posted 17 December 2011 - 20:17
Nice one! If we had the temps of last year in your new format i wonder how the UK would of faired? Especially as much of northern and eastern Europe was very cold too. GO U.K!
Posted 19 December 2011 - 18:51
Posted 19 December 2011 - 23:24
Yes was thinking the same recently, He has obviously not been able to log on since the new forum take-over i guess
Posted 20 December 2011 - 18:45
Just the daily scores for today.
Grenchen (French: Granges) is a municipality in the district of Lebern in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. It is located at the foot of the Jura mountains between Solothurn and Biel. With over 16,000 inhabitants, it is one of the larger towns of the canton of Solothurn. The city is well known for its watch industry, that has been present for more than 150 years.
The municipality is the capital of the Lebern District. It is the second largest city in the Canton of Solothurn. The municipality stretches from the hamlet of Staad along the Aare river, (at an elevation of 430 m (1,410 ft)) to the first mountain range of the Jura Mountains (the Oberer Grenchenberg is 1,348 m (4,423 ft)).
Grenchen is the 2008 winner of the Wakker Prize for architectural heritage. The entire village of Grenchen is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. Jura-Sternwarte Grenchen astronomical observatory is located at Grenchen and is open to the public.
Around 1000 AD, the local barons built a castle on the local cliff that was inhabited for three centuries. The name Grenchen was first documented in 1131 as Granechun. The name comes from the gallo-romanic graneca, meaning by the grainery. The watch and clockmaking industry started in 1851.
Grenchen has an area, as of 2009, of 26.01 square kilometers (10.04 sq mi). Of this area, 9.85 km2 (3.80 sq mi) or 37.9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 10.42 km2 (4.02 sq mi) or 40.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 5.39 km2 (2.08 sq mi) or 20.7% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.34 km2 (0.13 sq mi) or 1.3% is either rivers or lakes and 0.05 km2 (12 acres) or 0.2% is unproductive land.
Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 2.2% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 9.7% and transportation infrastructure made up 6.8%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 1.4%. Out of the forested land, 38.5% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.5% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 25.8% is used for growing crops and 6.0% is pastures and 5.3% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.
Grenchen has a population (as of December 2010) of 16,054. As of 2008, 28.7% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years (1999–2009 ) the population has changed at a rate of -1.3%. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (13,033 or 81.8%), with Italian being second most common (1,022 or 6.4%) and French being third (460 or 2.9%). There are 16 people who speak Romantsch.
Although Grenchen is a small city, it has its own airport with facilities for the transport of goods. It is mostly used by private pilots and parachutists, but also for business travel. The freeway A5 and a connection to Grenchen lie in the vicinity of the airport.
Two railway stations (Grenchen North on the Basel-Biel line and Grenchen South on the Geneva-Zurich line) provide for an excellent connection of the city on the rail network. The Grenchen Tunnel, an 8.5 km long railroad tunnel that was built between 1911 and 1915, offers a connection between the Swiss plateau and Delémont/Basel. Construction of the tunnel attracted many foreign workers to Grenchen, coming mostly from Italy.
Grenchen has an own bus company "BGU". The bus lines connect Grenchen with Bettlach, Lengnau, Büren, Rüti and Selzach.
Grenchen has a large traditional watch industry and several famous manufacturers are based in the city:
Atlantic Watch Production Ltd
Posted 21 December 2011 - 19:00
Posted 22 December 2011 - 18:37
Lublin (Ukrainian: Люблін, Liublin, Yiddish: לובלין Lublin) is the ninth largest city in Poland. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship (province) with a population of 350,392 (June 2009). Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river. Lublin was a candidate for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2016.
The first permanent settlements on the Lublin site were established in the early Middle Ages, though archeological finds indicate a long, earlier presence of various cultures in the general area. The earliest, most significant settlement began in the 6th century, on a hill located in the suburb of Czwartek (in Polish Thursday, most likely in reference to the market day of the settlement). It is likely that the surrounding hills, notably the site of the present day Old Town, were also settled at around this time. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Czwartek settlement developed into an important trade centre. The location of Lublin at the eastern borders of the Polish lands gave it a military significance. The first fortification on the site may have been built as early as the 8th century, possibly on the Castle Hill. Certainly at the end of the 10th century a significant fortification existed there. As the castle grew, the Old Town hill adjacent to it became the main focus of settlement, and the Czwartek settlement declined in relative importance. The castle became the seat of a Castellan, first mentioned in historical sources from 1224, but quite possibly present from the start of the 12th, or even 10th century. The oldest historical document mentioning Lublin dates from 1198, so the name must have come into general use some time earlier. The city was a target of attacks by Tatars, Ruthenes, Yotvingians and Lithuanians and was destroyed a number of times. It received a city charter in 1317. Casimir the Great, appreciating the strategic importance of the site, built a masonry castle in 1341 and encircled the city with defensive walls.
In 1392, the city received an important trade privilege from king Władysław Jagiełło, and with the coming of the peace between Poland and Lithuania developed into a great trade centre carrying a large portion of commerce between the two countries. In 1474 the area around Lublin was combined to form the Lublin Voivodeship. In the 15th century and 16th century the town grew rapidly. The largest trade fairs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were held in Lublin. During the 16th century the noble parliaments (sejm) were held in Lublin a number of times. On June 26, 1569, one of the most important ones proclaimed the Union of Lublin, which united Poland and Lithuania. The Lithuanian name for the city is Liublinas.
Some of the artists and writers of the Polish renaissance lived and worked in Lublin, including Sebastian Klonowic and Jan Kochanowski, who died in the city in 1584. In 1578 the Crown Tribunal was established in the city, this being the highest court of the Lesser Poland region.
Since the second half of the 16th century, Reformation movements developed in Lublin, and a large congregation of Polish Brethren was present in the city. One of Poland's most important Jewish communities was also established in Lublin around this time. It continued to be a vital part of the city's life until the community ceased to exist during the Nazi Holocaust. Between 1580 and 1764 the Jewish Council of Four Lands Arba Aracot (Sejm of 4 countries) was held in Lublin. 70 delegates of Jewish local kahals met to discuss issue of taxations and other important for Jewish communities issues.
Students came to Lublin from all over Europe to study at the yeshiva there. The yeshiva became a centre of learning of both Talmud and Kabbalah. The great scholarship of those who studied there led to the city being named the "Jewish Oxford"; the Rosh yeshiva received the title of rector and equal rights to those in Polish universities with the permission of the King in 1567.
In the 17th century, the town suffered a decline due to a Russo-Ukrainian invasion in 1655 and a Swedish invasion during the Northern Wars. After the Third of the Partitions of Poland in 1795 Lublin was located in the Austrian empire, then since 1809 in the Duchy of Warsaw, and then since 1815 in the Congress Poland under Russian rule. At the beginning of the 19th century a number of modern urban developments took place, with new squares, streets, and public buildings coming into existence. In 1877 a railway connection to Warsaw and Kovel was built, together with Lublin Station, which spurred industrial development in the city. Lublin's population grew from 28,900 in 1873 to 50,150 in 1897 (including 24,000 Jews).
The Russian rule ended in 1915, when the city was occupied by German and Austro-Hungarian armies. After the defeat of the Central Powers in 1918, the first government of independent Poland operated in Lublin for a short time. In the inter war years, the city continued to develop, its population grew, and important industrial enterprises were established, including the first aviation factory in Poland, the Plage i Laśkiewicz works, later nationalized as the LWS factory. The Catholic University of Lublin was founded in 1918. The city contained a vibrant Jewish community which formed around 40% of Lublin's population.
The Lublin region had the lowest per capita GDP in the European Union until Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007 (it was 32% of EU average in 2002). It is a part of eastern Poland, which has benefited less from the economic transformation after 1989 than other regions of Poland located closer to Western Europe. While the standard of living in the city of Lublin is considerably higher than in the surrounding countryside, the city's relatively poor economic performance is tied to the poverty of its surrounding region.
Lublin is not only the biggest city in eastern Poland, but an important culture core city also. Since accession of Poland into the EU, Lublin has been called "Gate to the East." Since then, many important international events have taken place here, involving Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Russian and Belorussian artists, researchers and politicians. Lublin connects the West with the East. Even frescos at the Holy Trinity Chapel in Lublin are a mixture of Catholic motifs with eastern Russian-Byzantine styles.
Posted 23 December 2011 - 18:30
Posted 25 December 2011 - 21:53
Posted 27 December 2011 - 09:51
Demir Kapija (Macedonian: Демир Капија) is a town in the Republic of Macedonia, located near the ominous limestone gates of the same name. It has 3,725 inhabitants. The town is the seat of Demir Kapija Municipality.
The name of the town comes from Turkish Demir Kapı (Iron Gate) when the settlement was part of the Ottoman Empire, and is still called Demir Kapı in Turkish.
The Vardar river makes a wonderful gorge close to Demir Kapija, while the "Bela Voda" cave is very interesting to see at 955 m long. When passing "The Iron Gates", the road leads to the Valandovo and Gevgelija valley. It is the most picturesque region in Macedonia, as well as the most varied with its agricultural products. This valley is under the influence of the Aegean climate. Demir Kapija has recorded the highest temperature in whole Macedonia. 45,7 degrees Celsius was recorded here the 24 of July 2007. It is also a national monument of nature and an ornithological reserve, home to many rare species of birds and endemic plants.
Macedonia has unique climate explained by its location and topography. The climate of the plains is extraordinary - Mediterranean climate combined with the influence of the Black Sea. The country also holds continental characteristics, which are accentuated by the mountains in the south which prevent hot air from the south moving to the north. Conversely, the Šar Mountains, which are located in the northwestern part, block cold northern winds. On the whole, the northern and western parts of the country are relatively close to Continental climate and the southern and eastern to Mediterranean climate.
Demir-Kapija is a place already mentioned in Classical times under the name of Stenae (Greek for gorge). Even earlier dates to the Paeonian era, a fortress for which remains on the mountain Ramniste on the foothills of the Demir Kapija settlement. The ruins are one of only 3 known Paeonian structures in Macedonia unearthed, and dating some 3000 years. In the Middle Ages Demir Kapija was known as a Slav settlement, under the name of Prosek, while today's name originates from the Turkish reign, meaning "The Iron Gate".
The town of Prosek was used as a fortress due to its good strategic position; history and artifacts suggest this fortress was built in the era of the Macedonian dynasty around 450 BC as a look out to the canyon beyond for troop movements to the north. In the thirteenth century AD, Prosek had become the seat of Dobromir Hriz, and Strez was its well-known commander.
The former settlement was fortified by walls, and it is considered that it was used to exist in the Neolithic Age. Demir Kapija is hiding numerous localities and invincible remains. The research up to the present has proved that all the pass periods have left their traces: the Paeonian, Ancient Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, the period of Samuil the Turkish as well as the early Christian period.
The former Yugoslavic King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic had his summer home and winery built here. The winery is the oldest on the Balkans and still produces quality wines under the privately owned Agropin name. Newer wineries, like Popova Kula, have opened up additionally and paves the way for exports and economic stimulus of the region. Demir Kapija is also home to the flour mill Dekamel and has a modern farm for production of eggs known as Salmak.
Demir Kapija is an outdoors haven for sports and recreational activities. Mountaineers often enjoy hiking the area for their favorite tea plants. Formerly, the national and regional Kayak competitions were held here because of the natural rapids formed by the river into the canyon. Alpinists climb the rock towers to see the most impressive view of the canyon beyond. Trails are also made to hike to these points, as well as to the remains of the aforementioned ruins of the fortress Prosek. Possibly the most interesting hike, noted in The Brandt Guide to Macedonia, is the stopping point between the 2 tunnels on the highway. Parking exists, and it is very interesting walking along the small river between 2 rock faces, like an open-ended cave to some unique Turkish Villages.
Demir Kapija is also home to the largest mental institute in the state, The Specijalen Zavod. The Special Olympics team from this institute is well noted in football and track and field events. The continued support of foreign aid such as UNICEF and the British Embassy continues to educate families and the community in general to the contribution and awareness of special needs.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 18:29
Posted 28 December 2011 - 18:36
Posted 28 December 2011 - 19:00
Well it might need a particular weather setup with a mild airflow for Iceland, Scandinavia and SE Europe; with really cold continental air flooding into western Europe but I'm not sure I want that! If France is going to get in the points then E/NE France is the best bet for it though, perhaps the area near Mouthe if there is a synoptic station somewhere near.
This post has been edited by Big Dave's Gusset: 28 December 2011 - 19:01
Posted 30 December 2011 - 18:35
Posted 31 December 2011 - 19:13
Next full update will probably be on Monday with a recap of the data for December only.
And since it is that time of year, the seasonal greetings for our leading competing nations ( and France )
С Новым Годом!
Gott nytt år!
Onnellista uutta vuotta!
Gleðilegt nýtt ár!
Щасливого Нового Року!
La mulţi ani!
Szczęśliwego nowego roku!
Boldog új évet!