Why is it that where ever you travel around the UK you will see plenty of Christmas decorations, but rarely will there be anything to celebrate Easter, certainly nothing like these that we found in Cyprus a couple of years ago, with similar decorations in every town or village!
I am conscious that once again I am about to travel to another country, this time Germany, with little or no knowledge of the local language beyond ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ and ‘Do you speak English?’
What is it about the British that arrogantly assumes that we can always speak to others and be understood by them in our own language, and expect them to respond to us in English as well? It amazes me as I have travelled around Europe (to date I have only left Europe briefly, and that was to the USA), that everywhere I go; most people speak or at least understand English. It makes us British lazy, in that we do not attempt to learn other languages, (and I include myself in this), and it embarrasses me when I deal with our European customers that I do not have the knowledge, or even if I do, the confidence to speak to them in their own language, even when they are struggling to communicate with me in English.
For now, I apologise in advance to all the German people I will meet in Berlin in a couple of weeks for my lack of knowledge of the German language, and I will try to do better, before I go abroad again!
The impressive Giant’s Causeway has been on my ‘bucket list’ of places I want to visit for some time now. Set on the coast of County Antrim, legend has it that the causeway was built by a local giant, Finn MacCool as he tried to reach Scottish giant, Benandonner, who had challenged him to a fight! I know that science has shown that the interlocking basalt columns are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, but I think I prefer the legend!
In 2012 the area gained a near ‘invisible’ vistor’s centre, thanks to some innovative thinking and architecture, it is good to see forward thinking that allows visitors to find out about the area, without some concrete monstrosity overpowering the view. I only hope the Stonehenge Visitors Centre has a similar effect when it opens.
- VIDEO: Stirling Prize: Inside Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre (bbc.co.uk)
- Watch out there’s a GIANT about… (elliebearbabi.wordpress.com)
At the weekend, Mapsareus was able to combine three of his greatest pleasures in one afternoon. Walking, real ale and steam trains! I am not sure which came first, but I suspect the lure of real ale was the main purpose of the afternoon! The ale was supplied by Box Steam Brewery, a local micro-brewery which produces beers with fabulous names like “Tunnel Vision” “Piston Broke”, “Ghost Train” and “Whistle Blower” (I like the names even though I am not a beer drinker!). The brewery is linked with two pubs in the area, The Inn at Freshford and the Cross Guns at Avoncliff, with the walk taking a circular route between the two through two valleys. Though a simple map of the route is available from the pubs, this is not up to OS standard. Unfortunately this route falls right on the join of three OS Explorer Maps, so the best way to get a decent map for this area is to look at a site centred OS map. Luckily for Mapsareus, we can download and print these in the office!
And the steam trains? Well surely that is obvious from the names of the beers!
K and I are really excited! When we booked out trip to Berlin a few months ago, we chose the date mainly for convenience and of course because it coincided with his birthday! We have now discovered that our trip will be during the Festival of Lights! I have got to be honest, until a couple of days ago, I had never heard of this festival, and since then I have been enchanted with all the images I have discovered on the internet! If I can do the lights justice, I will be adding my own images after our trip. If anyone could tell me some of the best places to view the lights, it would be very helpful.
Do you remember “Round the Twist” the Australian children’s television series about three children and their father who live in a lighthouse, and had various magical adventures. I know my children loved it!
My niece who is currently in Australia, recent took a trip along the the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, and came across the Split Point Lighthouse used in the series. I guess she must have been a fan of the show as well, as this caused great excitement! So which places from TV have you visited recently?
- What’s So Great About The Great Ocean Road? (acraftytraveler.com)