Contest #777 – Gaddafi Canal, Timbuktu, Mali

Muammar Gaddafi, near the end of his Libyan dictatorship in 2006, visited the city of Timbuktu in Mali as part of the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. While there, he inaugated a project to build a canal from Kabala to Timbuktu, a distance of slightly less than 10 km. $8 billion later, the canal opened, and it had major problems from the start.

The canal crossed grazing areas where the locals would shepherd their animals. Before the canal, when it rained, this involved leading the animals across shallow pools, a quite easy task. Two bridges had been built, but they were far enough apart to make the trek to them onerous to the locals. Now, with the steep, concreted (aka, slippery when wet) walls of the canal, and the fact that the canals went from dry to rushing whitewater rapids with the smallest amount of rain, a great many people and animals lost thier lives.

Those who found it before the hint:

  • Lighthouse
  • Eloy Cano
  • Martin de Bock
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Graham Hedley

and after the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal

Contest #776: Treetops Lodge, Nyeri, Kenya

Treetops Hotel (2006)
By Pradiptaray

In February of 1952, the Crown Princess of England, George VI’s daughter Elizabeth, and her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were touring the British colony of Kenya as a stop on the way to a tour of Australia and New Zealand. On the 5th, they took a expedition into the countryside and after a long day of sights, stopped for the night at Treetops. Sometime that evening, King George VI passed away in his sleep, and at that moment, even though she was unaware, Elizabeth became Queen. She would not find out for almost a day, until her party arrived back at thier base in the country, Sagana Lodge.

Plot twist… This is NOT that Treetops Lodge. That establishment burned to the ground in 1957, and was quickly rebuilt across the road. You are looking at the replacement hotel.

One of our contestants, CuriousJM, mentioned that they highlighted the location in their blog, and I found it quite informative and well written — I highly suggest a peek.

Those who only thought they found this site:

  • Lighthouse
  • John-john Ken
  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Gillian B
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Phil Ower
  • Eloy Cano
  • CuriousJM
  • Graham Hedley

And after the hint:

  • Andy McConnell
  • David Kozina
  • Ashwini Agrawal

Contest #772 – Chişinău State Circus, Chişinău, Moldova

In 1981, when the Soviet Union was near it’s peak, they built this location, a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art venue for holding circuses. A capacity of 1900 seats, with a nearly 15 m ring, plus space for rehersal, animal storage, veterinarian offices, and, of course, clown makeup stations.

The place was extremely popular — circus troups from all over the world, especially the eastern bloc countries, flocked to Chişinău.

Then the Soviet Union collapsed, Moldova became an independent nation and adopted a market economy. Ridiculous hyper-inflation ensued and this little slice of circus heaven was abandoned.

Those who found our first ever trip to Moldova, all before the hint, were:

  • hhgygy
  • Graham Hedley
  • John-john Ken
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Andy McConnell
  • Eloy Cano
  • Garfield
  • Bas van Limpt
  • Phil Ower
  • Lighthouse
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Heidi Ibrahim

Contest #771 – Parque El Principito (Little Prince Park), Merliot, El Salvador

It seems quite unusual to find a park based on Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in South America — but less so when you learn that Saint-Exupéry’s wife, Consuelo, was from El Salvador.

The layout of the park is focused on the seven planets (including The Earth) that the Little Prince visted in the book. There is also the plane that the boy uses to move between the planets.

Oddly enough, this is WOGE’s first foray into El Salvador.

Those who located the park before the hint:

  • hhgygy
  • John-john Ken
  • Lighthouse
  • Martin de Bock
  • Garfield
  • Paul Voestermans

And after the hint:

  • LawnBoy
  • Bas van Limpt
  • Heidi Ibrahim
  • Phil Ower
  • Graham Hedley
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • David Kozina
  • Eloy Cano

Contest #770 – Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA

Fallingwater3.jpg
By lachrimae72

Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to design something amazing for the weekend getaway for the owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store in Pittsburgh. Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann were nature lovers had a plot of land a couple of hours outside Pittsburgh that they felt was beautiful. Their son was an apprentice at Wright’s Tallesin Fellowship and had introduced the couple to Wright. When the cabin on thier property near the waterfall began to deteriorate, they saw an opportunity and approached Wright to design a house overlooking the falls.

After visiting the site, he gave took a slightly different approach. He designed a cantilevered house built OVER the falls. Each room in the house would not only be afforded a view of some of the falls, but the whole house would ring with the sound of the falling water (hence the name) and carry the energy that motion conveyed. The Kaufmanns HATED the idea at first, but eventually relented and allowed construction to begin in early 1936. That didn’t mean the drama was over — there were many, many differences of opinion between Wright, the main contractor, and the Kauffmans (and the engineers they hired when they weren’t sure the design was safe). The original $35,000 cost estimate blew up to $155,000 (about $3.5 Million dollars in today’s value) by the time the project was done in 1941.

Those who found the house before the hint:

  • Martin de Bock
  • John-john Ken
  • hhgygy
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Phil Ower
  • Garfield
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Andy McConnell
  • Eloy Cano
  • Bas van Limpt
  • Graham Hedley
  • Lighthouse

and after the hint:

  • Robin
  • Heidi Ibrahim
  • LawnBoy
  • David Kozina
  • Andreas Meister
  • Tamas Ny

Complements of contest #766, we have a single perfect score for this series. Congratulations to Lighthouse for a superbly played series. Close on her heels is Phil Ower with 19 points, and Martin de Bock, Paul Voestermans, Garfield, and Graham Hedley with 18 each.

Contest #769 – Frauenchiemsee, Bavaria, Germany

Frauenchiemsee 1

Site of Frauenwörth, a Benedictine convent from the 8th century, this picturesque island is one of the prime tourist spots in Chiemsee. Visitors are particularly fond of the liquor made by the nuns. No cars or even bikes are allowed on the island.

Your fellow contestant Garfield lives not too far away and has been to the island many times before. She also mentions the Christmas market, which sounds quite wonderful, and labels the place “a gem of Bavarian culture and way of life”. Thank you for that wonderful description!

Those who found the site before the hint:

  • Lighthouse
  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Martin de Bock
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Graham Hedley
  • Andy McConnell
  • Eloy Cano
  • Glenmorren
  • John-john Ken
  • Heidi Ibrahim

And after the hint:

  • Bas van Limpt
  • Tamas Ny

Contest #768: Col de Galibier, France

This week’s contest location was Col de Galibier, France visited twice in the past 10 days by the Tour de France riders.

This location first appeared on the roster in 1911, just a year after the Tourmalet had first ushered high mountains into the race. As you may remember, those forced to do battle with the Pyrenees in 1910 accused the race’s mastermind, Henri Desgrange, of being ‘murderers’, but this clearly didn’t deter him.

More info on this climb in the Tour de France here: https://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/7701/col-du-galibier-tour-de-france

Found before the hint:

  • Graham Hedley
  • Lighthouse
  • Glenmorren
  • Martin de Bock
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Garfield
  • Eloy Cano
  • John-john Ken
  • Bad van Limpt
  • Phil Ower

After the hint:

  • hhgygy
  • Andreas Meister

Contest #766: northeast of Gillam, Manitoba, Canada

This week’s contest was a circle around a tower in the middle of nowhere just northeast of the community of Gillam, Manitoba, Canada.

While Belarus, the US, Malawi, Algeria, Venezuela and Burundi also celebrated their birthdays, July 1 was Canada Day, celebrating 155 years of independence.

And what the heck is it? Well, we picked it because of the odd look, but here’s what we’ve found so far. By checking the land ownership on Manitoba’s property assessor website, it belongs to the local hydro (power) company. It’s listed as “Electrode Station”. So, we believe it is a HUGE hybrid tower/ring grounding electrode station for the power plant. By HUGE, we mean nearly 800M diameter to the ring. It appears to be a component of the Nelson River HVDC Long Distance Transmission System. Nelson River uses a bipole HVDC transmission scheme, which requires large ground electrodes to provide return current should one side break. Since we are talking about megawatts of power, an electrode station of this size is required.

Found (just) before the hint:

  • Lighthouse

And after:

  • Phil Ower

Contest #765: Prambaran Temple compound near Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The Prambaran temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and the second-largest in Southeast Asia after Angkor Wat. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu architecture, and by the towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples. Prambanan temple compounds originally consists of 240 temple structures; which represents the grandeur of ancient Java’s Hindu art and architecture, also considered as a masterpiece of the classical period in Indonesia. Prambanan attracts many visitors from around the world.

Found the spot before the hint:

  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Graham Hedley
  • hhgygy
  • Lighthouse
  • Phil Ower
  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Bas van Limpt
  • Garfield
  • Eloy Cano
  • Heidi Ibrahim
  • Tamas Ny

After the hint:

  • Jeather

Contest #764: the Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon, Myanmar

The Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon, Myanmar is operated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for British casualties in what was then called Burna during World War 2.

Before the hint:

  • hhgygy
  • Lighthouse
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Andy McConnell
  • Heidi Ibrahim
  • Graham Hedley
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Bas van Limpt
  • Eloy Cano
  • Glenmorren

After the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Andreas Meister
  • Tamas Ny