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Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and has a long and fascinating history. A lot of it very bloody (and I'm not just talking Superman). One of its most famous attributes is its architecture of which it has a lot of very unique and interesting buildings. It's also popular in Europe as a cheap place to go and get drunk, especially for stag nights and the like! To read more, Go here
One of the pleasures of walking around London is that you can be surprised at any moment. Yesterday (28/05/06) I was walking through Leicester Square and saw Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn for example. If you want to know why they were there, check out my England page.
In Suffolk, almost every town/village seems to have a sign which details what the town has that is interesting. Thorpeness has one with a windmill and a house that looks like it is doing an impression of a space shuttle. The "tall" house wasn't a house at first, but now it is! Any ideas what it was? If you're curious then read on to find out! As a clue, the windmill is next door to it, but then so is the golf course (but that never had anything to do with this house!)
Unless you have a fairly detailed local guidebook, most people will drive past Cervatos in Cantabria, Spain without a second glance. OK, so there is a sign showing that there is a church from the 12th Century. The church looks to be in a pretty good state, but what's the big deal? You're driving along the "Camino de Santiago" (the Way of St James - pilgrims used to walk to Santiago de Compostela where there are apparently relics of St James [St James in Spanish is Santiago]). There are old churches dotted all over it.
Well this church has something that no other church I am aware of has, as will become clear as you read on! It's not the sort of thing you expect when you visit a church at all!
Alternatively, if you are wondering why a Space Alien tried to eat my car, then check Amaya. This part of Spain is so out of the way, by rights the whole village should qualify for Off the Beaten Path. So quite what this homage to a Space Alien (as well as homage to Franco) is doing there, I have no idea.
Greater London is a description for London and a large area around the outside. Initially this page has pageantry such as the London Town Crier, Chelsea Pensioners and the Pearly Kings Harvest Festival. It also has a beach and a rubbish collecting boat! Want to see more? The go here....
Royal Leamington Spa (or just plain Leamington to the British) has some rather unusual sights. England is not a very warm place, and tropical plants do not grow here. So what is a Hibiscus doing here? Probably the most interesting unique item here though is a fountain that looks like a parachute. It commemorates 8 Czechs who all died in 1942 in a series of events that started with a parachute drop and an assassination of a top ranking Nazi and ended with a couple of villages being wiped off the face of the earth. To find out more, go here...
If on the other hand you prefer to visit somewhere with a more unusual name, Pussy is a beautiful little village in the Swiss Alps (Mountains) that is very close to the Swiss border. It's not a lively place, but it is very tranquil, and well worth a visit. To find out more, go to here
Or alternatively there's Lickey End in the UK. Britain certainly does have its share of strangely named towns.
French Polynesia is a series of small islands located in the pacific Ocean not too far away from New Zealand (approx 5 hours flying). It consists of many small South Pacific islands. The best known of these is Tahiti. Most people arrive in Faaa International Airport just outside Papeete (capital of Tahiti) and leave almost immediately for one of the surroundling islands such as Moorea or Bora Bora. If all you see of Tahiti is Papeete, then it is not surprising as it is not the Polynesia you were dreaming of. If you have a fat wallet and don't mind emptying it quickly, then some parts of French Polynesia are actually very nice, but you will pay for it! Moorea certainly falls into this category.
Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to a 2000 year old Roman Aquaduct, that is still in perfect condition. It also has an old cathedral covered in mini spires, and it has an Alcazar (a castle, the word literally means fortification) that you can see here. If this castle looks familiar it's because it was used as the model for the Disneyland castle. Check this page out here
According to a VT friend of mine In China, it appears that the Chinese in London celebrate the Chinese New Year in a bigger and better way than do the Chinese in mainland China!
Certainly there were many thousands of people out for the celebrations of all ethnic backgrounds (although a good propertion of them were Chinese). This year the main part of the celebration was focused in Trafalgar Square. A large procession of dragons and other animals (including roosters) came down Charing Cross road into the Square. If you want to see more pictures, check out the Travelogue on my London page.
I took this picture just as the procession turned into Trafalgar Square, I'd like to claim that I know her, but sadly I don't...
A Round the World Trip in Summer 2004 started from London and stopped at Hong Kong, New Zealand, French Polynesia (Tahiti and Moorea), Easter Island, Santiago de Chile and Madrid.
Easter Island was definitely the highlight of the trip. The picture here shows Ahu Tongariki. This is the largest Ahu (alter) on the island with 15 complete Moai on display. One of the Moai is even wearing its red hat. The Moai were quarried in a volcanic mountain very close to Tongariki and then dragged all over the island and erected on stone alters. It was thought that the Moai looked over the villagers and brought them luck and protection. Other notable highlights were Anakena, Poike and the White Virgins Cave, Orongo and Ranu Kau (where the ceremonial birdman competition took place on an annual basis) and Rano Raraku (the quarry where the stone heads were all carved).
Other places visited and now written are:
France: Paris, Pussy)
Cyprus: (Nicosia, Kyrenia, Ayia Sophia, Bellapais)
Portugal: (Monsanto, Lisbon)
Spain: (Madrid, Barcelona, Cuenca, Isla de Tenerife, Teide National Park, Valladolid, Segovia, Cordoba, Granada (of Alhambra fame), Amaya, Cervatos, Ronda and Caceres)
China: (Beijing, Xian [or Xi'an] and Guilin)
Hong Kong, Kowloon
French Polynesia: (Tahiti and Moorea)
and last, but most definitely not least ;-)
Great Britain: (England, London,
Royal Leamington Spa,
Lickey End, Thorpeness
and in Berkshire: Windsor, Reading, Wokingham, Finchampstead, Crowthorne, Bracknell,
Dorney, and Welford)
Please click on the relevant link for any of these pages (no link probably means I haven't built the page yet so please check back again soon if this is of interest!).
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