TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Latvian Tobago

“Latvian Tobago” sounds as ridiculous as Czechoslovak Togo, but this was an actual attempt by the Duchy of Courland (modern day Latvia) to colonize Tobago. They got to the point of a fort and a town, with growing population, international trade, and unfortunately, slavery and violence against Indigenous peoples.

So why was there never a Latvian Caribbean? The Dutch outplayed them for control of Tobago, and Courland itself was caught up in European wars between the larger Baltic powers around it. Tobago would continue to be fought over by European powers for centuries. The Latvian attempt at an empire evaporated, and all that’s left today is an oddly brutalist monument with some very dated language, plus some place names.

Here’s a slightly irreverent look at the odd bit of history that was New Courland:

There’s still a bay on Tobago called “Great Courland Bay” – check out this drone footage, it’s beautiful:

European colonialism is not really something to laugh at; there was so much violence inherent to the whole process – which still has effects on our everyday lives. However, I am totally losing it at the absolutely ridiculous flag of New Courland.

There is only one step to building an empire, and it is crab.

ALGERIA: Sidi M’Cid Bridge

So the Sidi M’Cid bridge in Constantine – looks like a normal bridge over a valley, right?

But take a look from a distance:

The bridge straddles a half-kilometre deep gorge that cuts through the city of Constantine. The city is understandably famous for its bridges, as well as buildings built right up to the cliff edges.

What an incredible city – I’d love to visit some day! Please enjoy some dizzyingly beautiful drone footage of the bridges of Constantine:

ALGERIA: Djemila Museum

My jaw hit the floor at this video – this museum, located near the Algerian city of Setif, is literally wall to wall (to ceiling?) with exquisite roman mosaics and other treasures. Absolutely stunning.

It’s located on the site of the Roman city of Cuicul, now called Djemila (meaning, very appropriately, “beautiful” in Arabic). Here’s a short video by UNESCO to give some context on the site itself:

You can poke around the ruins on streetview as well – the town is located in the highlands that make up part of the Atlas Mountains, so the landscape is additionally beautiful.

NAURU: Landscapes

A few nice little landscapes from Nauru to poke around, starting with Buada Lagoon in the middle of the island. The lagoon is a bit brackish, as it’s only fed by rainfall, and doesn’t actually have any outlet to the sea:

A view from the beach with abandoned cantilevers for loading phosphate:

Some that are in better shape, though I don’t know if they’re still active for what mining still happens on Nauru:

And coral pinnacles coming out of the beach (which is why they need the above cantilevers – getting big boats past the coral is challenging: