A letter was delivered to the farmers at Hólar in Hvammsveit, West Iceland, at the end of March, although it included neither the recipients’ names nor their address, according to the West Iceland news service Skessuhornið. Instead, the sender had drawn a map on the envelope, showing the rough location of the unnamed farm, along with a brief description of the family living there.
Hampton Court Palace contains over 1,000 rooms. And though State Apartment Warden Christian Lax — who recently showed us around — has worked there for years, he has yet to visit them all.
This sprawling complex is about to celebrate its 500th anniversary, 1515 being the year when Cardinal Wolsey commissioned workers to construct a mighty home on the banks of the Thames. The stately pile was soon confiscated by Henry VIII, to become Hampton Court Palace.
The complex of buildings has been much-altered over the years, particularly by monarchs William and Mary, who decided to knock down the smelly old Tudor palace and replace it with their own Baroque apartments. Fortunately, they ran out of money and much of Henry’s palace survives.
A building of such history contains many surprises. Christian showed us a few areas normally off limits to the public, including a wine cellar, Jane Seymour’s bedroom, the glorious rooftops and the scene where a famous apparition has been spotted. Watch our video and take a look at the photos below to learn some of the secrets of Hampton Court Palace.
RAM is one of Haiti’s most successful music bands and Richard Morse is its frontman. Here Morse is our guide, sharing his perspective on his homeland with the camera. He shows us the fading glamour of his Oloffson hotel, once the haunt of celebrities, and the rickety shacks which crowd the roadsides as he drives through slum after slum.
The Hotel Oloffson was the inspiration for the fictional hotel owned by the protagonist in Graham Greene’s The Comedians and is one of the few hotels left standing in Port au Prince after last year’s earthquake.
The Hotel Oloffson is an inn in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The main structure of the hotel is a 19th century Gothic gingerbread mansion set in a lush tropical garden. The mansion was built as a residence for the powerful Sam family, including two former presidents of Haiti. The hotel was the real-life inspiration for the fictional Hotel Trianon in Graham Greene’s famous 1966 novel The Comedians. Since 1990, the hotel has been the regular performance venue of the mizik rasin band, RAM, famous for their protest music during the Raoul Cédras military dictatorship from 1991 to 1994.
I started following Richard Morse’s twitter feed right after the quake and found his tweets were giving a clearer picture of what was going on over there even better than all of the media reports. His tweets still continue to paint a picture of Haiti’s political and social situations.
And here’s a video of him telling the history of his hotel and Haiti.