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Entries about history

Cymru A Mwy

all seasons in one day 20 °C
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Hello everyone..hope you're all well! Once again I've been off travelling...but shockingly enough it was actually in the UK still! Last week I travelled up with my brother to Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he has a student house, and we then made many excursions to many locations across the area.

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle

On the Monday, we made the trip to North Wales, where we stopped at the small town of Conwy, visiting the remains of the Castle, the city walls, and the port side (where the smallest house in Great Britain is located), giving us some traditional Welsh heritage. Afterwards we carried on further into the country, crossing the Menai Straits onto Anglesey, where there were some stunning views of not only the strait and the bridges crossing it, but also of Snowdonia.

Llanfair PG

Llanfair PG

We then arrived at the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (the place with the second longest name in the world), where we had some photos taken outside the signs, and visited the gift shop, before driving to the other end of the island to Holyhead, where the ferries leave to Dublin. Shockingly enough, it was even necessary to use sunglasses!

Chester

Chester

The following day we visited the historic town of Chester, walking around the city walls and looking at the beautiful buildings. We then made the trip up the Wirral to Birkenhead, where we got a view over Liverpool - staying just a few minutes before quickly exiting Merseyside

Mersey

Mersey

The following day was our last full day in the area, and was also the nicest, reaching 24˚C, spending it at Alton Towers. Despite arriving at park opening time, the queues for the largest rides were still over an hour long, however we did manage to ride most of the biggest rides at the park that day, topping off what had been a thoroughly enjoyable few days in the area.

Next stop, Malta!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged culture history castle wales themepark Comments (0)

Palimpsestical Romania

Bucharest

sunny 30 °C
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After having wanted to visit the city for many years, I paid a visit to the Romanian capital, Bucharest. Being the capital of a communist satellite state, the city retains many strange features not present in other places, making it a unique tourist attraction.

Palace of the Parliament

Palace of the Parliament

The city is famous mostly for the Palace of Parliament, the second largest, most expensive, and heaviest building in the world - containing several different functions of the running of the state. It is also open for tourists to visit, and on the second day of my trip I took a tour, visiting many rooms (including state meeting rooms and a theatre), the basement and the rooftop terrace.

Inside the Palace

Inside the Palace

The building is almost completely made out of marble with huge chandeliers, and has some impressive views. The balcony overlooking the 2 mile long boulevard was particularly impressive, and just standing on it even made me feel very powerful! I imagine that anyone with real power must feel incredible! Despite the tour lasting almost an hour and a half, we still only saw 8% of the building.

Bulevardul Unirii

Bulevardul Unirii

The whole area was redeveloped after 12% of the city was demolished, and it now looks absolutely stunning. With many fountains and beautifully landscaped boulevards. However one thing was immediately clear...it was very grubby. With a good clean it would be absolutely beautiful and could really increase tourism to the city.

Arcul de Triumf

Arcul de Triumf

Also visited were some of the many churches and monasteries, parks and gardens, theatres, and famous sites in the history of Bucharest - such as Revolution Square, and Arcul de Triumf.

Village Museum

Village Museum

Interesting too was the Village Museum, where traditional houses and other buildings had been moved from all over Romania to show urban dwellers what the countryside is like. This gave me the opportunity to see what traditional houses were like without actually having to go - and with the entrance fee being just 50p, this was well worth the visit.

Bucharest on the whole was pretty cheap, and gave me a packed three days of sightseeing, and there was beautiful weather to go with it! Even at 18:30 it was 27˚C, as well as being sunny all day long!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Romania Tagged architecture history Comments (0)

"Mountains & Beach?! What am I going to wear?"

Espain - Sierra Nevada

sunny 17 °C
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On our third day we attempted to visit the ski resort in the morning, and be on the beach in the afternoon. Despite calls from other members that this cold-then-hot day would play havoc with their clothing arrangements, I was not worried due to my ingenious trousers with zips that can easily become shorts!

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

We first visited Sierra Nevada National Park, where we found a significant amount of snow had already fallen, leaving the area with a very Alpine feel - including much black ice that almost everyone slipped on.

Salobreña

Salobreña

After a few hours we then took the coach back down the mountain and towards the coast, which we arrived at a few hours later, giving us our typical view of Spain for the first time.

We then spent a couple of hours on the beach relaxing, before walking back towards the centre of Salobreña, and taking the coach back to Granada for the evening. It was this evening that I met up with my Spanish Erasmus friends for the first time, all of whom live in Granada, and we went for Tapas. Although it was only a couple of hours I spent with them, it would not be the last I would see of them this week.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Spain Tagged history city friends erasmus espain Comments (0)

Granada

Espain - Granada


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Our second day was spent exploring the city of Granada further, with a small lie in given to us following our busy day the day before.

Us at Sacromonte

Us at Sacromonte

We started off the day by walking into the centre, and then taking the route into Albayzín and Sacromonte, two of the oldest parts of the city, where great views of the Alhambra (the Islamic Palace that overlooks the city) and cave homes can be seen.

Us at the Alhambra

Us at the Alhambra

In the afternoon we were then going into the Alhambra itself, where spectacular Arabic designs can be seen, somewhat similar to the Topkapı Palace in İstanbul. It was here we were spectacularly photobombed by a Chinese man! We then finished our tour of the day by visiting the summer gardens - the Generalife.

Alhambra

Alhambra

With everyone else wishing to go back to the hotel before going for dinner I decided to leave the group and visit parts of the city by myself, as I knew going back to the hotel with the levels of tiredness I was experience would end up with me not wanting to leave again, and so I visited the Elvira Gate, the Gardens of Triumph and the Royal Cathedral, before grabbing some food and going back to the hotel via the supermarket. As I has still not fully recovered from the previous nights sleep, I then took an early night in the hope I could then enjoy the rest of the trip.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Spain Tagged history uni espain Comments (0)

Turkish Delight

Istanbul

sunny 21 °C
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As you all know, last week I went to visit Onur in Istanbul, the furthest place away from home I have been (although Athens was further south, and Kyiv further east). Although a short trip of just 3½ days, it was jam packed with things to do and see.

After visiting Athens in March and from what I had seen and heard before, I was expecting Istanbul to be full of old buildings, but also rather dirty and feel very foreign...but actually I was completely wrong, the city was very clean and welcoming and felt very European (bar the Mosques scattered everywhere). It was rather shocking to find that in a Muslim country, there were much less people in Burkas than can be found in Bury Park in Luton.

View of the Bosphorus

View of the Bosphorus

On the first day, I got up at 3:45am to get to the airport for my 6:30am flight - unfortunately making me very tired all day, but on the good side, it did mean I had the whole afternoon and evening to see Istanbul, after arriving in the city centre at 2:30pm. The first place we visited was Taksim square, the centre of Istanbul, where they have a monument to Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, and the biggest flag I have ever seen. After that we walked down the main shopping street to Galata tower, where views of the whole city can be seen. After this we went down to the Bosphorus and boarded a boat that travels up and down both sides of the strait for an hour.

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

On the second day, we went to Dolmabahçe Palace, the newer Sultan's palace in the city, wherein the deathbed of Atatürk and the biggest chandelier in Turkey are located. Later on we went to the oldest part of the city of Istanbul, and visited the Blue Mosque followed by the Spice Bazaar, a real touch of the east. In the evening I tried a Döner, and then at home we called Camilla on Skype and spent more than an hour catching up.

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace

On my final full day, we went to visit Topkapı Palace - the old home of the Sultans, where hair and teeth of the Prophet Mohammed are stored (if you ask me, that was quite stalkerish) followed by a visit to the most famous sight of the city, the Hagia Sofia, formally a church and then mosque, and now a museum.

Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

In the evening we went to watch the football game of Galatasaray and Manchester United - although not being much of a football fan, it was hard to support a Turkish team against an winning English one, even when surrounded by Turks and wearing a football scarf. Meeting one of Onur's friends at the match we went back to Onur's flat, where I met his other housemate - all of whom were very welcoming and friendly, and even the mosquitoes wanted to say hello!

The next morning I took the coach at 9:00am to take me to the Asian side's airport, which would take me back home after flying over Eastern Europe. All in all I can say that Istanbul is a very exciting city, with a lot to see. The fact that it has so much eastern culture whilst being a very modern city makes it ideal for those who don't wish to be without too many home comforts.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Turkey Tagged culture history city friends Comments (0)

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