Engravers Gerd and Patrick Dreher are famous the world over for their masterly animal figures cut from a single gemstone. In the early twentieth century, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather all cut gemstones for Fabergé - mostly agate but also ruby, obsidian, aquamarine, citrine and rock crystal. Today they are still being meticulously made by hand using traditional techniques. The realistic miniature forms of mice, snails, toads, monkeys and hippos are designed by the two artists in multilayered and coloured gemstones so that, for example, the faces, palms of the hand or soles of the feet shine in an iridescent red-brown agate while the bodies are worked in the glossy deep black part of the stone. These unique engravings are today some of the rarest examples of the highest quality in craftsmanship and represent fascination of the highest cultural degree in a world of increasing globalisation.
Canoeing the Congo narrates the journey of Phil Harwood, who undertook an epic five-month solo attempt to canoe the Congo River in war-torn Central Africa. It was a historic first descent from the true source in the highlands of Zambia. Just short of 3,000 miles long, the Congo River is the eighth longest in the world and the deepest river in the world, with a flow rate second only to the Amazon. Along the way, Phil encountered numerous waterfalls, huge rapids, man-eating crocodiles, hippos, aggressive snakes and spiders´ webs the size of houses. He faced endemic corruption, was arrested, intimidated, bullied, chased and he received numerous death threats. He also collapsed from malaria. The people were mostly friendly, however, and Phil received tremendous hospitality from a proud and brave people, especially from the riverside fishermen who helped him wherever they could. On one stretch of river known as The Abattoir due to its past history of cannibalism and current reputation for criminal activity, he hired four brothers with a shotgun to accompany him as bodyguards. They paddled and floated for five days and nights on the river. Common questions from locals were, ‘why haven´t you cut his throat yet?’ and ‘if you don´t want to do it, tell us where your camping and we´ll come and do it for you ...We´ll share his money.’ It was an exhilarating, terrifying and wonderful journey but Phil managed to survive, despite the odds, to tell his story. Canoeing the Congo will appeal to fans of adventurous travel writing and people who love the nature and wilderness. Phil, who is a fan of adventure stories himself, enjoys the work of Ranulph Fiennes and Bill Bryson. Phil has worked all over the world as an ex-Royal Marine Commando, ski-guide, expedition leader, outdoor instructor and development trainer. He is qualified as mountain leader, a level 4 canoe coach, a level 3 kayak coach, a rock climbing instructor, a wilderness emergency med... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gareth Armstrong. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/011892/bk_adbl_011892_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.