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We are an online specialist map retailer based in the United Kingdom, supplying maps, travel guides & nautical charts worldwide.

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Kings Lynn Hanse Festival


Now despite growing up in Norfolk, I have to admit I had not heard of the Hanse Festival last weekend!


The festival celebrates Kings Lynn history with ‘Die Hanse’ a mediaeval league of towns around the Baltic and North Sea with trading links, formed when German merchants from the Baltic and Hamburg secured trading privileges with Kings Lynn in 1271.


We did not get to see all of the Hanse festival at the weekend, but I was fascinated with the actors celebrating the medieval traders, their knowledge of their trades and their enthusiasm in telling their stories was brilliant.  I learnt a great deal from them, and could have listened a lot longer if it were not for the tired nieces!


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Commemorating World War One

ww1 mapI had a customer call the other day who wished to commemorate the first world war, by cycling the route of the front from Pfetterhouse to Nieuport.  He was looking into purchasing the 1:25 000 scale Bleue Series French IGN maps, until I pointed out that it would take at least 40-50 maps to cover the route, more possibly depending on which line of the front he followed.  However, he might have preferred to view the new IGN map Grande Guerre 1914-1918 which shows in detail the various front lines together with the sites of memorials etc.


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Nelson Mandela


Today the world is commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who went to prison as a freedom fighter, and some would say a terrorist, but who emerged demonstrating Christ-like grace and humanity.  We still have much to learn from this man.

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Gorillas in the Mist

MountainGorillaI am trying not to be too jealous of my cousin who recently travelled to Rwanda, and was fortunate not only to go on a Gorilla safari, but also got fairly close to the group.

He also visited some of the memorials relating to the genocide, which he described as harrowing.  Rwanda and neighbouring Burundi sound a fascinating and memorable place to visit, not sure I shall be getting there any time soon though.

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Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust (2)Well, we finally made it to Berlin last week, and had a fascinating if exhausting time exploring the city, mostly on foot, although we did use some buses and the subway when we were too tired to walk any further!

holocaust1We started our trip at the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, near to the Brandenburg Gate.  This Memorial was built on land that use to form part of the ‘No mans area’ of the Berlin Wall.

Holocaust4Walking amongst the vast field of stellae deliberately built on uneven ground and of varying heights, it an un-nerving and thought provoking experience and despite the straight lines and clear view of a way out at any point,  I found that I quickly lost sight of K even though he was not far away.

Holocaust5Beneath the field of stellae is the Information Centre, where you need to allow ample time to explore all the documents and information on show.  Particularly moving was the Room of Dimensions where in backlit panels on the floor that reflect the stellae above, extracts of letters, diaries and last notes written by many who knew they were about to die were displayed.

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Is the USA closed today?

Statue_of_Liberty_7A few years ago I made my only visit to the USA to date, and spent a few fascinating and tiring days in New York, where we made the most of all the iconic sites, especially the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building and Times Square.  However, anyone who is holidaying in New York today, (or anywhere else in America) will not be so lucky as all the Federal buildings and National Parks are closed following the failure to agree a budget last night!  I guess for those currently on holiday, the next few days will need them to find locations to visit that are not effected by the shutdown, or perhaps they should just enjoy some people watching from a neighbourhood diner!