Geneva, Switzerland

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Geneva is surrounded on three sides by France and its Lake Geneva is shared with France.  The primary language is French but Geneva is a very international city with approximately 46% of the population being foreign born.  This is mostly due to the raft of international organizations that either make their home here or have a substantial presence, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the headquarters for the International Red Cross which was founded here in 1863.

Jet d'Eau

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Birmingham, AL

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From the time of its founding in 1871 until the end of the 1960’s, Birmingham was the primary industrial center of the South.  Its leading industries were the production of iron and steel, making it known as the Pittsburgh of the South.  In addition, both rails and railroad cars were produced in Birmingham, making it a significant hub of railroading.  Between 1902 and 1912 four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street and 1st Avenue leading to the nickname of “The Heaviest Corner on Earth”.

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Loire Valley Châteaux

If you had been a king or someone with noble standing in 15th century France, you would have wanted to have a nice home in the Loire Valley (pics).  This part of France was very fertile and yielded some of the best grapes in the world as well as a variety of vegetables.  The valley has a moderate climate, there was ample game for hunting and the Loire River was there to provide transportation for whatever could not be had locally.  The result is a concentration of lovely châteaux, the vast majority of which are still privately owned while, fortunately for us, others are open to the public to gawk at.

Château de Cheverny

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Château de Chenonceau

The Loire Valley is located along the middle stretch of the Loire River in central and western France.  It is a fertile area that is home to many of France’s most well known wine regions.  It is also home to a staggering collection of mostly 15th and 16th century châteaux, depending upon which source you consult, there are some 300 of these beauties located here.

Chateau de Chenonceau

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