Turnberry is a golf resort on the coast of the outer Firth of Clyde in southwestern Scotland. Located in South Ayrshire on the rugged coast, it comprises three links golf courses, a golf academy, a five-star hotel, designed by James Miller and completed in 1906, as well as lodge and cottage accommodations. The prominent rock island Ailsa Craig is readily visible to the west.
The property was used as an airbase during World War I, and a landing strip built for this purpose still exists, now disused. During this period, the Royal Flying Corps trained pilots in the arts of aerial gunnery and combat, and the Turnberry Hotel was used as a hospital for the wounded. After the war, courses 1 and 2 were rebuilt and renamed "Ailsa" and "Arran". A memorial to honour lost airmen was erected on the hill overlooking the 12th green of Ailsa and still remains.
The cycle was repeated for World War II. The hotel was commissioned as a hospital, and the golf courses were seconded for air training for the RAF; it is thought that as many as 200 died at the base.
Designer Mackenzie Ross is credited with restoring the courses to their high quality, and the Ailsa course was re-opened in 1951, a seaside links with stunning views of Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran.
The hotel was bought by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. in 1997, and until October 2008 was operated under the Westin brand. In October 2008, Leisurecorp, Dubai World's sport and leisure subsidiary, purchased the resort, with Starwood Hotels & Resorts continuing to manage operations under the The Luxury Collection brand.
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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.