The Dramatic Heights Of Lake Leitisvatn

Lake Leitisvatn Faroe Islands

If you were in Norway and decided that you wanted to take a boat to the halfway point between Norway and Iceland, chances are you’d run into the Faroe Islands. If you decided to shore your boat and explore the individual islands within this frigid archipelago, you’d eventually discover Leitisvatn (featured above), the islands’ largest lake. The lake’s surface rests some 98 feet above sea level, and is enclosed by a higher cliff which prevents the lake’s waters from emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Sintra, The Portuguese City Of Architectural Delights

Sintra Portugal Pena Palace

The splendid Pena National Palace overlooking the town of Sintra, Portgual. Source: Flickr

Sintra is a three-dimensional anthology of architectural pleasure. Located on the Atlantic coast and only a half-hour’s drive from the capital city of Lisbon, the Portuguese city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Sintra’s abundant architectural and historical attractions include a municipal building completed in 1154, the royal palace whose conical kitchen chimneys rise into the sky like twin birthday hats, and the Quinta da Regaleira with its enigmatic sculpture and mossy, fairy-tale well.

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Sick Of The 40-Hour Work Week? Try Life In Germany And France

Hours Worked USA France Germany

As the United States continues to cling to the 40-hour work week, German and French work weeks offer an apt example of how less really can be more. While Germany called for austerity for most of the Euro zone, it continued to offer unparalleled worker protections and shorter working hours than most of their counterparts.

During the global economic crisis, Germany pushed for employers to reduce hours instead of laying off workers. The policy, known as Kurzarbeit, also stipulated that the German government would partially reimburse workers for wages lost. In Germany, for example, employees work an average of 35 hours per week, with an average of 24 paid vacation days.

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