Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Travel the World - Week 2

This is the second week in my Travel the World personal challenge. Each week I am randomly choosing one country (there are 195 countries in the world) and doing a little research on that country. I then select one tidbit of information about the country as inspiration for the card I make.

This week's country is...


I will admit I was a wee bit nervous, wondering if I would find anything at all in my research on Mauritius, since this is a fairly small country. It ranks #155 in size, which means there are only 40 countries in the world that are smaller than Mauritius.

Not to despair; my research found some interesting things about Mauritius.

Mauritius — an island nation world-renown for its lush, tropical vegetation, sugar cane plantations, dramatic mountains, sugar-white beaches, aquamarine lagoons and exotic mix of Indian, African, British, French, and Chinese cultural influence — is located in the Indian Ocean 500 miles east of Madagascar.

It includes the island of Mauritius, Rodrigues and the outer islands (Agalega, St. Brandon, two disputed territories, and a number of smaller islands.)

There are 93 miles(150 km) of white sandy beaches on Mauritius. Water sports such as scuba and snorkeling, water skiing and sailing, are popular activities.

The main island of Mauritius (called Mauritius) is only 28 miles wide and 40 miles long. It is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs.

Mauritius’ cuisine is a combination of Creole, French, Chinese and Indian influences. Spices are an important part of all dishes.

Port Louis, both the capital and the largest city of Mauritius, was set up in 1736 by the French East India Company. The capital city is home to 40% of the national population.

Known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch, the French and the British in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries respectively. It finally gained independence in 1968.

Mauritius is one of a small number of countries named after a person. It was named by the Dutch in honor of Prince Maurits van Nassau in the 17th century.

The life expectancy in Mauritius – 70 years for men and 75 years for women – is higher than the world average and is well above the average for African countries.

In 2017, Mauritius was named one of only four countries in the world which had no involvement in ongoing international or domestic conflict and no tensions with neighbouring countries. The others were Botswana, Chile and Uruguay.

Mauritius is a religiously diverse nation, with freedom of religion given as a constitutional right. Hinduism is the major religion claimed by 48.5 percent of residents, followed by Roman Catholic (26.3%),Muslim (17.3%), other Christian (6.4%).

Sugarcane is grown on about 90 percent of the cultivated land area in Mauritius, and accounts for 15 percent of the country’s export earnings. Tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, beans, cattle, goats and fish are other significant agricultural commodities produced in Mauritius.

Mauritius was the only known habitat of the now-extinct dodo bird, a type of pigeon which settled on the island more than 4 million years ago. With no predators to attack them, dodos lost their need and ability to fly, and weighed up to 50 pounds.

After Portuguese sailors stopped in Mauritius in 1507, the island quickly became a stopover for ships engaged in the spice trade. The dodo was a welcome source of fresh meat for sailors, and a large number were killed for food. The Dutch introduced rats, pigs and monkeys to the island, all of which ate dodo eggs in the ground nests. Within 100 years of the arrival of humans on Mauritius, the once abundant dodo became a rare bird. The last one was killed in 1681.

It’s said that author Lewis Carroll was inspired to write his famous book Alice in Wonderland in part by a stuffed dodo at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The Seven Colored Earths is a well-known tourist attraction at Chamarel in the southwest part of Mauritius. Visitors are enthralled by this geological formation of seven colors of sand that spontaneously settle in different layers, giving the dunes a surrealistic, striped appearance. These colorful sand dunes seemingly never erode, in spite of Mauritius’ torrential, tropical rains.

I've decided to let this Mauritius fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Trou aux Biches in Mauritius was named the world’s best beach destination in 2011. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: Cornish Heritage Farms Sun Watching stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers; Recollections Black and White and SU Pacific Point CS and DP from the Paper Studio Beach House Paper Pad

Embellishments: Eyelet Outlet Seashell Brad and Oriental Trading Ribbon

1 comment:

Lynn McAuley said...

That's a new one for me! Sounds like a beach we should all visit!! Sweet, sweet card!