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A magnificent place to visit in Edinburgh that won't cost you a penny?
The High Kirk of Edinburgh, also known as St Giles Cathedral, is one of Scotland's most important religious landmarks. The church is situated on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's Old Town, and its distinctive spire dominates the cityscape. For over 900 years, St Giles has played a central role in Scottish religious and political life, and its history is inextricably linked to that of the city and the nation. King David I of Scotland founded the first church on the St Giles site in the 12th century, dedicating it to St Giles, the patron saint of lepers. The church began as a small chapel, but it grew in size and importance over time. The church became the official place of worship for the city council and the Scottish parliament, which met in the church's Chapter House in the 14th century. St Giles has undergone many changes and renovations over the centuries, reflecting Scotland's changing religious and political landscape. The church's most recognisable feature is its striking crown spire, which was added in the 15th century and is now one of Edinburgh's most recognisable landmarks. The Thistle Chapel, which was added in the 17th century and is the home of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest order of chivalry, is another notable feature. St Giles' interior is equally impressive, with a variety of architectural styles and artistic treasures. The massive Thistle Altar, which features a beautiful wood-carved triptych depicting scenes from Christ's life, dominates the church's nave. The stained-glass windows in the church are also noteworthy, with many dating back to the nineteenth century and depicting scenes from Scottish history and mythology. The Scottish Reformation, which began in the 16th century and resulted in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, was one of the most significant historical events to occur at St Giles. With its minister, John Knox, one of the most prominent figures in the Scottish Reformation, St Giles played a central role in this movement. Knox's sermons at St Giles were famous for their fiery rhetoric and unwavering anti-Catholicism, and he was instrumental in establishing the Presbyterian Church as Scotland's dominant religion. St Giles is still an active place of worship today, as well as a popular tourist destination and cultural landmark. Visitors can explore the church's many historical and artistic treasures and attend regular services and concerts. St Giles is also important in Edinburgh's civic life, hosting events like the annual St Giles' Cathedral Music Festival and the Kirking of the Council, a traditional ceremony in which the city's elected officials are blessed by the church. St Giles Cathedral is a symbol of Scotland's history and identity, in addition to its religious and cultural significance. From the Scottish Reformation to King James VI's coronation in 1567, the church has been the site of many significant events in Scottish history. Its striking spire and elegant architecture demonstrate the skill and artistry of Scotland's craftsmen and builders, while its stained-glass windows and artworks reflect the country's rich cultural heritage. Finally, St Giles Cathedral is a notable and significant historical landmark in Scotland, as well as a testament to the country's religious and cultural heritage. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Scottish history and culture, with its beautiful architecture, stunning artworks, and rich history. Whether you are a visitor to Edinburgh or a resident of Scotland, St Giles is a place of inspiration and reflection, as well as a symbol of the Scottish people's enduring spirit. I am not sponsored by the Scottish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Essential items you need to pack when Travelling
Travelling can be an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful if you don't have everything you need. Whether you're going on a short weekend trip or a longer vacation, it's important to pack wisely. Here are some of the top things to pack for travelling. Passport and travel documents. Your passport is the most important document when travelling abroad, so make sure you pack it in a safe and easily accessible place. Don't forget to also bring any other travel documents you may need, such as visas, travel insurance, and flight tickets. The nice thing about the modern world your travel tickets, insurance documents and hotel bookings can now all be stored on your smartphone. Necessitating the need for carrying around a folder full of documents and tickets. Although to avoid your passport being damaged with all that travel I do reccomend you get a passport holder - many border agents don't take kindly to worn out passports. Money and credit cards. It's a good idea to bring a mix of cash and credit cards when travelling. Make sure to check the currency of the country you're visiting and have enough local currency on hand for small purchases. Personally, I’m a big fan of WISE - with this card I get to pay for all my transactions at the spot price with no fees. I highly recommend it! Electronics and chargers. If you're bringing any electronics, such as a phone, camera, or laptop, don't forget to pack their chargers. You may also want to bring a universal adapter if you're travelling to a country with different outlets. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to buy an adapter while at an airport because I forgot to pack one for the eighth time this year! In recent years plug adapters have got smarter. There is less of a need for 1 for the UK and 1 for Europe and 1 for Asia when all in 1's have it all covered. Medications and first aid kit. If you take any prescription medication, make sure you bring enough for your entire trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small first-aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and antihistamines. Personally, I always travel with a selection of vitamins. Taking multiple flights or long-haul flights can really run down the body. Boosting your immune system with all the essential vitamins can literally be a lifesaver. Do not leave home without them and if you forget - every country in the world has their own variants so don't be averse to picking them up when needed. The Correct Clothing and shoes. The clothing and shoes you pack will depend on the weather and activities you have planned. It's always a good idea to bring comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight jacket or sweater, even if you're travelling to a warm destination. A real travel hack I've come to learn over the years is to generally pack neutral colours that can be combined so you don't have to think of outfits. I tend to dress in black in the winter, that way everything goes together. In the summer - white t-shirts and comfortable shorts with secure pockets. Keep everything in one bag - laundry services are available all over the world so there is never a need to overpack. It's not fun lugging heavy bags around. Toiletries. As Chris Evans used to say “Don't forget your toothbrush!” - on top of that bring your Fluoride-free Toothpaste, Shampoo (if you have hair), and any other personal hygiene products you need. If you're flying, make sure they comply with airline regulations for liquids and gels. Although the maximum millilitre insanity will soon be coming to an end as countries do away with their liquids maximum for flights. Travel pillow and eye mask. Long flights or train rides can be uncomfortable, so consider bringing a travel pillow and eye mask to help you sleep better. Now there are multiple types of pillows you could bring with you when travelling. Personally, I'm not a fan of lugging extra things around with me, but everyone is different. I did, however, get a lot of use out of an inflatable neck pillow. The benefit of this is it can be put back into your bag (taking up almost no space) when it's deflated. Whereas a soft neck pillow usually takes up a lot of space and is often seen tied to backpacks or stuffed into hand luggage taking up valuable space. However, for travel and to keep your neck in good order, these things are essential when travelling long and far. For those of you needing to look less puffy in the morning after a day of travelling - a Patrick Bateman eye mask can't go wrong! Portable charger. A portable charger can be a lifesaver if you're travelling and your phone or other devices run out of battery. Personally, I travel with at least 2 of these at all times. If I’m going to sunny climates I bring a solar-powered power bank. If I’m having a city break and I know I’ll be doing lots of walking - I bring smaller portable chargers. The worst thing would be to be boarding your flight last and then your phone dies because it's out of juice. You could possibly be denied boarding without that digital air ticket. Don't allow your phone to ever run out of battery. Water bottle. Bringing a reusable water bottle can save you money and reduce waste while travelling. Just make sure to empty it before going through security if you're flying. Although fill up from filtered and fresh spring sources only. Avoid London tap water at all costs! Studies have proven Alex Jones was right about the Frogs. Entertainment. Bring a book, magazine, or tablet to keep yourself entertained during downtime while travelling. Long journeys are the best places to digest some of the greatest books of our world. Those classics you have always wanted to read in my mind are best read while on the road. The words of the greatest authors can often inspire us more when we are travelling. The advantage of a book it won't disturb your fellow travellers. Be mindful if you are listening to loud music with crappy headphones. The rest of the plane or train does not want to hear your beats no matter how good they are! By packing these essentials, you'll be prepared for any situation that may arise while travelling. If you feel I've forgotten something from the list - leave a comment below and let me know what you would bring on that next trip. Thank you for reading, don't forget to double-check your packing list before leaving, and have a safe and enjoyable trip! I have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both, as sadly, YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Loved by Saints and Pilgrims - Glendalough is now frequented by Tourists
Glendalough, meaning “Valley of the Two Lakes”, is a glacial valley located in County Wicklow, Ireland. It is home to an ancient monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. The monastic site has been well-preserved and remains one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year. The monastic settlement at Glendalough consisted of several buildings, including a church, a round tower, and several other structures. The round tower, which still stands today, was used as a lookout post and a place of refuge during attacks. Visitors can also see the remains of St. Kevin’s Church, which was built in the 11th century and is one of the best examples of early Irish church architecture. The valley of Glendalough is also home to a number of trails, including the popular Spink Loop Walk, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Visitors can also hike to the top of Camaderry Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding area. In addition to its historical significance, Glendalough is also known for its natural beauty. The valley is home to a number of streams, waterfalls, and two glacial lakes, Upper Lake and Lower Lake, which are surrounded by stunning mountains and forests. The area is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities including hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Visitors to Glendalough can also take a guided tour of the monastic site and learn about the history and culture of Ireland. There is also a visitor centre on-site, which offers information on the area and its history, as well as a gift shop and a cafe. Glendalough is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Irish history, culture, and nature. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, Glendalough has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and head to Glendalough for an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. Glendalough has a number of hotels and Bed and Breakfast options scattered throughout it. Choose to stay in and around Glendalough no matter where you stay. I can guarantee, thanks to the Irish hospitality and the desire to always be accommodating, any option you choose in the area will be excellent value and worthy of your time and money. Use the Booking search tool to explore accomodation options. I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
In a Knot about where to stay on the Ring of Kerry?
Nestled in the west coast of Ireland, is town, that at least from above, looks like a bow tie or a knot. A town that in the 21st century is frequented by many tourists who want to take in the picturesque Ring of Kerry. The famous Ring encapsulates some of the best scenery Ireland has to offer and a must visit for anyone trying to fully understand the Emerald Isle.
Sneem, is nestled between Irelands tallest mountains (Carrauntoohil) and the wild and rugged coasts that Ireland does so exceptionally well. When the tourists are away – one can imagine this being a very sleepy little village and yet when the tourists are here, the dynamics of this village/town change dramatically, as one contends for a place in one of the many locals with legions of American tourists trying to understand where their ancestors may have come from. Sneem is a perfect place to begin or end the exploration of the ring of Kerry. Ideally with a car or a coach, you will need at least a day to fully take in the Ring of Kerry. Although if you are thinking of cycling the Ring you will need more than a few days to really appreciate all the stops in all its glory. Although it is very possible to cycle the entire ring in a day (many have done) you won’t have the time to stop and admire all the sights that really need to be taken in. I’ll talk about the Ring of Kerry in another post, but for today – I think it should be noted that Sneem is a village, split into two, by the Sneem River. With the respective sides being known as North Square and South Square. Each part of the village has its own feeling and unique beauty. Although it must be noted that the best Fish and Chips are found on the North side of the village, while the best pint is (at least in my mind) found in the south side of the village. In the South of the village you will find the Catholic Church but what’s more fascinating is glancing to the right of this church you will find stone pyramid structures known as “The Way the Fairies Went”, also referred to as “The Pyramids”. The work was carried out to celebrate Sneem winning the National Tidy towns competition way back in 1987. Although, I think they in part, pay homage to the stone houses that you find on the Skellig Islands made famous by the Awful Star Wars Movie where Luke Skywalker was emasculated to make Rey Skywalker the star of the show. On the Skellig Isles you will find stone huts that date back to the 6th-8th Centuries. Sneem has a number of hotels and Bed and Breakfast options scattered throughout it and due to the numbers who stay in Sneem daily the population of the village hits the thousands. When I last stayed in Sneem, I stayed on the Southern edge of the village at the very modern and super accommodating Sneem Hotel. With breath-taking views; should you opt for a lakeside room, it’s a highly recommend stay (at least by this Englishman’s standards) should you be taking in Sneem and the Ring of Kerry.
Alternative options can be found scattered around Sneem and although I may not have stayed in all these options – I can guarantee thanks to the Irish hospitality and the desire to always be accommodating any option you choose in Sneem or he surrounding area will be excellent value and worthy of your time and money. I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Dear Corrupt Conservative Party
Dear Conservative party, I'm utterly dismayed at the state of this party and the state of this once great nation. I've been a member of the Conservatives since the 1990s. And yet since regaining power in 2010 you have enabled the total destruction of this once great country. I do believe this destruction isn’t down to incompetence but is instead fully orchestrated by those who pull the strings of those in power. As a lifelong Conservative - I considered giving up my membership back in 2018 when I was thrown to the wolves by the Conservative party when a left-wing hacktivist decided to write a libellous set of articles on me. This matter was made worse by the inaction and incompetence of the Conservatives at the time. I got no support from the Conservatives between 2018 and 2021 while the articles remained up. The Hackney Citizen later admitted Libel at the end of 2021, and yet it was only then, was I able to try and rebuild my career. I watched a party and a government make a dog’s dinner out of Brexit - cowering to the corporations, the corrupt civil servants, and the press. Yet, despite us finally leaving – this government has wasted any advantages that would come from leaving the EU. They could have abolished all the unnecessary paperwork imposed on the city of London by the EU and yet in 2022 – nothing. They could have scrapped the European convention on Human rights and yet in 2022 – nothing. Brexit has been wasted and in my mind setup in this way so those who pull the strings will pull us back to that corrupt political union when the time comes. I stood in defiance as I watched the corrupt Conservative Government act like Communist China – anyone would think they had colluded with the Chi-Coms by the way they set about engaging with the public in 2020 and 2021. The WEF instructions, clearly were being fed to them into enforcing tyrannical lockdowns and pushing Vaccines, Vaccines so good that they were never tested to stop transmission; so of course, they clearly didn’t work! This corrupt government led by the propaganda outlet of Nadim Zahawi’s YOUGOV side hustle pushed vaccine passports and the idea of digital IDs onto a submissive scared nation. Despite all claims that this was all for the countries benefit, when in fact it was simply mirroring communist China and bowing to the demands of the WEF. Despite all this deliberate tyranny, I kept paying my monthly direct debits to the Conservative party in the hope that maybe, just maybe I would get to speak out and have a say in the direction of the party. I watched as I saw the Conservative Government standing idly by as fighting age men crossed the channel illegally, only to be welcomed by our corrupt border force to then be placed in 3-5star hotels across the country. I watched with dismay as Property Developers channelled money to the conservatives so that the government would encourage the mass importation of new arrivals with each year that passed. With the sole intention of propping up the property markets that seemed to be the only reason the UK wasn’t capitulating economically. I watched as Net Migration ballooned, year after year, despite the mass exodus of Brits from the UK who were sick of seeing their neighbourhoods and country change forever. Those who remained watched as crime and civility spiralled out of control – as communities that were once homogenous no longer were. The perils that came with importing waves upon waves of new arrivals was ignored by those who served Serco and their property magnet friends. New Labour in 1997 opened the flood gates to changing the dynamics of the country by side lining the native brits for the needs of outsiders. And yet, under the Conservative Government the flood gates were opened even wider. The party, the government and the system has led the country to this spiralling collapse, and it is to the detriment of hard working Brits who were never asked if any of this was acceptable. People look at banana republics and see the corruption – little do they imagine that one of the world’s oldest democracies in the world would stink to high heaven with corruption it does today. Is this collapse of the west led by the UK orchestrated – if it isn’t then every involved should be sacked because they reek of incompetence. The question I now ask myself – do I continue paying the miniscule direct debit to the Conservative party in the hope that I can change the rotting corpse or just sack them off and completely turn my back on this party that is Conservative by name only in the 21st century!?!
Answers and thoughts below.
Poznan Poland - uniquely beautiful and worth your time and energy
Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk - these are cities people tend to imagine when thinking of Poland or when they are considering visiting Poland. And yet Poland is much much more than these places, with a tremendous much more to offer. Each time I take a peek at this beautiful country I’m forever surprised and in awe at what an exceptional country it is. Recently I found myself visiting the beautiful city of Poznan. Not a city I had considered until recently but that was due to change when I realised I could get to Berlin from Poznan very easily. At first, I simply used Poznan as a place to fly in and out of. Ignoring what it had to offer; as getting to Berlin (at least at the time) was more important. However, I came to realise that Poznan was a place that needed to be visited and absorbed for its own merits, not just used for its convenient airport and transport links to Berlin. In my latest video, which can be found on my YouTube Channel - The Wondering Englishman - I took it upon myself to see how much of Poznan I could explore in 24 hours. Should you be curious about that adventure - sit back with some snacks and enjoy. , Of course, I didn’t capture everything in Poznan in 24 hours - this would be nigh on impossible. It also means I have plenty of reasons to return in the near future when the time permits and flights are at the right prices.
Poznan is located in west central Poland and came about in the middle ages. The city in recent years is known to the Poles as an important cultural and business centre, and one of Poland's most populous regions, with many regional customs such as Saint John's Fair (Jarmark Świętojański), traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect. Poznań is the fifth-largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Poznan has a population just shy of 550,000 souls, and the Poznań metropolitan area which comprises of Poznań County and several other communities is inhabited by over 1.1 million people. It is one of four historical capitals of medieval Poland and the ancient capital of the Greater Poland region. Poznań is a centre for trade, sports, education, technology and tourism. It is an important academic site, with about 130,000 students and Adam Mickiewicz University, the third largest Polish university. The city's other renowned landmarks include the National Museum, Grand Theatre, Fara Church and the Imperial Castle. The name Poznań probably comes from a personal name Poznan, "one who is known/recognized", and would mean "Poznan's town". It is also possible that the name comes directly from the verb poznać, which means "to get to know" or "to recognize", so it may simply mean "known town". The city was first referenced in 970 AD. Although some historians suggest settlement was likely in this vicinity for much longer than that. For centuries before the (an event that essentially is credited as the creation of the very first Polish state, the Duchy of Poland), Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Western Polans. It consisted of a fortified stronghold between the Warta and Cybina rivers on what is now Ostrów Tumski. The island where the Cathedral now stands. The city is dripping in over 1000 years of recorded history and I’m certain when more people dig further then will find even more history waiting to be found. A city that certainly gives historians and culture seekers a run for their money as they walk the cobbled streets and try to imagine all those that came before them. From unique places to eat to fun places to drink; Poznan has something for everyone seeking out an alternative weekend destination. And because it's often not considered by many as the go-to destination, Poznan is reasonably affordable! From affordable comfortable central accommodation to affordable food, drink and excursions to museums. This place won’t break your budget and you will be left with a warm feeling about Poznan and a feeling that you have discovered something you must tell your friends about. The last two times I stayed in Poznan I stayed at the B&B Hotel Poznan Old Town - which is located right in the centre and an absolute bargain when you consider Breakfast is included. On my second trip to Poznan, I stayed at accommodation - This was also incredibly central and ticked all the boxes when it came to providing comfortable accommodation with excellent value - both places I would happily stay at again for the right price. Of course, Poznan has hundreds of options - so bargains can be had if you shop around. Check out the accommodation map below just to give you an idea of what's on offer. I am not sponsored by the Polish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
The Rock of Cashel - Ireland - a wonder of the Emerald Isle
Ancient kings, patron saints and unparalleled beauty – the Rock of Cashel brings together Ireland's long legacy and trademark stunning scenery. Silhouetted against the sky, rising above the lush green fields of the surrounding countryside, the Rock is home to over 1,000 years of history, right at the heart of Ireland's Ancient East. The Rock of Cashel is one of the wonders of the Emerald Isle; a truly wonderful place to visit and explore the history of this magical and spooky place with a very dark history. Found southwest of Dublin and northeast of Cork in mystical Irland is a hill known to the locals and to many around the world as The Rock of Cashel. Dripping in history and wonder it is on many to-do lists for those who visit Ireland. Thankfully because it is relatively distant from most places in Ireland the Rock of Cashel isn’t completely overrun by tourists - at least just yet. According to local legends, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel. Local legend states that St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Although this mound or hill as it may be referred to where we find the Rock of Cashel has been here since the ice age - so sadly a nice idea about St Patrick but simply not true. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest and tallest of the structure is the well-preserved Round Tower - 28 metres, or 90 feet. Its entrance is 12 feet from the ground, necessitated by a shallow foundation (about 3 feet) typical of round towers throughout Ireland - if you are curious what they are like from the top or to climb - do check out my video on Kilkenny where I climb the Round tower in Kilkenny Ireland. The tower was built using the dry stone method. Modern conservationists have filled in some of the Tower with mortar for safety reasons. The Cathedral, built between 1235 and 1270, is an aisleless building of a cruciform plan, having a central tower and terminating westwards in a massive residential castle. The Hall of the Vicars Choral was built in the 15th century. The vicar's choral were laymen (sometimes minor canons) appointed to assist in chanting the cathedral services. The Office of Public Works undertook the restoration of the Hall as a project in connection with the European Architectural Heritage Year, 1975. Through it, visitors now enter the site. In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Cashel was sacked by English Parliamentarian troops under Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin. The Irish Confederate troops there were massacred, as were the Catholic clergy, including Theobald Stapleton. Inchiquin's troops looted or destroyed many important religious artefacts. In 1749, the main cathedral roof was removed by Arthur Price, the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel. Today, what remains of the Rock of Cashel has become a tourist attraction. Price's decision to remove the roof on what had been called the jewel among Irish church buildings was criticised before and since. The entire plateau on which the buildings and graveyard lie is walled. An extensive graveyard is to be found in the grounds around the buildings, including a number of high crosses. Scully's Cross, one of the largest and most famous high crosses here, initially constructed in 1867 to commemorate the Scully family, was destroyed in 1976 when lightning struck a metal rod that ran the length of the cross. The remains of the top of the cross now lie at the base of the cross adjacent to the rock wall. Cormac's Chapel, the chapel of King Cormac Mac Carthaigh, was begun in 1127 and consecrated in 1134. It is a sophisticated structure, with vaulted ceilings and wide arches, drawing on contemporary European architecture and infusing unique native elements. The Irish Abbot of Regensburg, Dirmicius of Regensburg, sent two of his carpenters to help in the work and the twin towers on either side of the junction of the nave and chancel are strongly suggestive of their Germanic influence, as this feature is otherwise unknown in Ireland. Other notable features of the building include a barrel-vaulted roof, a carved tympanum over both doorways, the magnificent north doorway and chancel arch and the oldest stairs in Ireland. It contains one of the best-preserved Irish frescoes from this time period. The Chapel was constructed primarily of sandstone which has become waterlogged over the centuries, significantly damaging the interior frescoes. Restoration and preservation required the chapel to be completely enclosed in a rain-proof structure with interior dehumidifiers to dry out the stone. It is now open for limited tours to the public. All in all, a beautiful and magical place to visit and in my mind should be added to everyone's itinerary when visiting the Emerald Isle. If you manage to visit it or have visited it previously let me know what you thought. The wonderful crows who call the Rock of Cashel their home make the trip worth it alone. Either take a road trip from Dublin or Cork or alternatively, stay in the area. When booking accommodation in Ireland and around the world I like to use Booking.com I am not sponsored by the Irish Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Ireland
Why visit the "Food Paradise" that is Malaysia
If you haven't been to Asia and have thought about travelling there, the odds are that your first country to visit on the continent would be the usual suspects of Japan, South Korea, China, and even Singapore. But if you are a little more adventurous and up to the challenge of taking the road less travelled, Malaysia should definitely be placed on your shortlist of the first Asian countries to visit. It is a place brimming with diversity and with a food culture that has slowly garnered worldwide acclaim. This is partly made possible by the food heritage influence of various cultures like Malay, Chinese, Vietnamese, Javanese, and more. And let's not forget that Malaysia used to be a British colony. So you can find more than just a hint of western influence in the food culture. You only need to walk the streets of Kuala Lumpur to see and taste this with your own eyes and mouth. When people revisit Malaysia for the food, don't think for a moment that they are talking about the hamburgers in fast food chains, the steaks in restaurants, or the sashimi on display in a Japanese restaurant. It is "street food" that is all the buzz in this food paradise. Some of the infamous dishes include the delectable; Chay Kway Teow, the irrepressible Asam Laksa, and the national dish that is Nasi Lemak. It even has a dessert with an icy reputation that has spread far and wide all over the world in Cendol. There is something for everybody. If there is a particular dish that you somehow dislike, there's going to be something else nearby that would give your taste buds the pleasure it deserves. The dilemma is never about having nothing to delight your taste buds. It will be about whether you have enough space in the stomach to gobble down every delicious food you come across. Then there is the king of fruits that is famous in this part of the world. Either you like durians or find them repulsive. Many still love to consume them even when they loathe the aroma of this thorny-looking fruit. The good thing is that some of the best durians come from Malaysia.
So you wouldn't be shortchanged by getting your durians here. They are cheaper, fresher, and have a wider range of variety available for patrons to select from. Malaysia is a hidden treasure of a travel destination in Asia. The people generally speak English, the exchange rate is very attractive to the US dollar, and the food culture is like a buffet on nuclear steroids. Those who love city life have Kuala Lumpur to explore and prowl. The most mesmerizing of rural tourist spots can be easily found just outside the city. It is definitely a country worth plotting into your shortlist of the next Asian country to visit. Book your flight today with WayAway and use the Promo code "WonderingEnglishman" to get 10% off "WayAway Plus" membership - an essential tool for booking cheap flights anywhere!
Life is better when you have a Sauna
The Sauna is a living institution in Finland. It is said there are more than 3 million saunas for the 5.5 million people in Finland. That’s more than the total number of cars in Finland. The Finns I’ve met along the way tell me the Sauna is an expression of lifestyle in the family or is frequently used as a tool for business to improve client relations. For outsiders to Finnish culture, the Sauna may have only really been seen in their upmarket Gym or when staying at a nice hotel spa. The thought for most of having a Sauna at their home could feel alien to the majority of humans living on Earth. And yet the average family in Finland will have at least two saunas, one in town and one in the country cottage. You have to understand the Finns aren’t short of a few Bob; so having a cottage in the country is very common among its well educated, wealthy, homogenous population. To truly understand the Sauna and the Finnish culture of Sauna I tried my best to immerse myself in the experience when and where I found it in Finland. Although this wasn’t going to be too difficult as I found the Sauna to be everywhere I went. From the humble city apartment to the numerous hotels and public locations. The hardest part of trying to understand the Finnish culture of the sauna was breaking the ice with the average Finn who is infamous for being people who naturally socially distance well before there was any Pandemic and arent well known for small talk. Unless it’s a modern electric sauna - which is what you will find in all city apartments in Finland, the traditional sauna is heated with dry wood, Alder, Aspen, birch or even pine. In the old days heating the sauna used to be the work of women, but now it's generally the work of men and in Finnish tradition, a matter of honour to them. It is said that every Finnish man knows how to build “The best Sauna” and how to heat it and that of course, the best sauna is the sauna that he built himself. In Finland, it is said all saunas are different and if they have been individually made then each one is unique. However, there are various types of sauna and thankfully the best place in the world to experiment with the different types of sauna is of course in Finland. Smoke sauna Also called savasana or savu sauna, the smoke sauna is the oldest and most traditional type of Finnish sauna that has been used to be a thousand years. It is a log house with a big stove but no chimney, only some shutters (lakeinen) to let some of the smoke out. The sauna is heated for hours, once the room reaches the right temperature “the häkälöyly”, the fire is put out and the room is ventilated. The room is designed such that it is able to retain heat for quite some time after the fire is put out. The smoke will make the interior completely black. All shutters and the door is kept open to let the harmful fumes and carbon monoxide are able to get out. Wood burning sauna Also called a wood stove sauna, a wood-burning sauna works by burning wood in an oven which in turn, heats up stones that can retain and spread heat in the sauna room. Electric sauna The electric sauna is the most common type of sauna in Finland and works the same as a wood-burning sauna. The key difference is that the oven, or heating element, is powered by electricity rather than by burning wood. It was in the Lakelands of Finland where I really got to grips with the different array of saunas. Most notably at a destination called Revontuli - a resort that markets itself as a Northern Lights Resort. To get here I travelled up from the beautiful capital city of Helsinki to Jyvaskyla - you may have seen my video on Jyvaskyla before continuing further north-east to the Revontuli. It was here that the local Finns gave me insight into the Sauna culture as well as a place where I was able to sample 6 different saunas. From Smoke Saunas to Tent Saunas I got to see the pros and cons of each - visually the most impressive was a very special glasshouse sauna with a magnificent view of the sky above. The average Finnish family will aim to take a sauna about twice a week, and traditionally this has been on Wednesdays and on Saturdays. The sauna is the hottest place where people go voluntarily, with temperatures up to +90 C (+ 194 F). The heart of the sauna is the stove built of stones. The Finns call the steam“Löyly” that rises off the stove. The steam that rises off the stove when water is thrown on them is the spirit of the sauna. Up until the 19th-century men and women and children and the servants bathed together in the countryside, strict rules in the community prohibited any indecent behaviour. Sauna has been the secret weapon in the wars for the Finns – dugout saunas were built and bathing was mandatory in the army, also cutting the hair and cleaning the lice out of one´s hair while taking the sauna. “If there is time to fight, there is time to have a sauna” is the saying. The sauna is a good place to discuss differences of opinion on many matters, also political. In the sauna, everybody is equally naked as on the first day and in the sauna, the big and the small directors can get equal. President Kekkonen of Finland often discussed political matters in the sauna with his guests and during the days of the Soviet Union, it was common for the communist leaders to conduct meetings in the Sauna. The invitation to take a sauna with your Finnish hosts after an official negotiation is a gesture of hospitality. This is done to seal and celebrate a good contract agreed with both parties and to show mutual trust and friendship. This has been the tradition for several hundred years. In Finland’s Parliament House, there is a sauna for men and one for women. It’s common for corporations in Finland to have stylish and handsome saunas for the use of their executives and business guests. The employers´ unions and the trade unions meet in the sauna. The technology of the sauna has changed very little in the course of the centuries. The sauna is getting ready for the bathers. The sauna etiquette is all about respecting your fellow bather. When intending to throw water on the stove you always first ask the approval from other bathers and then after throwing inquire if more is needed and also ask the quality of the löyly. You stay in the löyly as long or as a short period of time as it feels good. There is no other rule in this behaviour. Löyly is an ancient Finnish word that is also used to mean the “soul of a human being” or the “soul of the sauna”. “Vasta – vihta” Birch twigs are bundled and bound together leaving the under part of the leaves on top. You softly beat this bunch - the vasta all over your body, starting from the head. It is a custom that you also provide the vasta treatment to the person next to you by beating his or her back as wished, especially if you are sitting next to an elderly person Tradition is no matter what the temperature outside - You go swimming in the lake or the sea - with or without ice - or if the ice is simply too thick in winter, you can roll in the snow to refresh yourself in between the löyly experience. When leaving the sauna, one adds firewood to the stove (if the stove is of the sort that is heated continuously) and fills the water buckets as a polite gesture for those coming to the sauna next. The best thing about the Sauna experience is the science that backs up the health implications of having a sauna. The heat immediately brings the blood pressure down and allows one to start relaxing. The heat and the steam open the pores and allow sweating. The heat relaxes muscles, the breathing gets slower and one feels good. The sensational shock of cold water or snow releases the stress-relieving hormones in a burst. You experience a tsunami of dopamine, endorphin, serotonin and all the healthy highs. The cold shock also boosts all the vitals in your body, your blood circulation and other fluids circulating inside you are rearranged. After the dip, you feel different and great. In the sauna you can disengage your mind from the outside world – the sauna experience can be like a mental rehearsal and a meditation - everything just feels better after a good Sauna session. To book a truly unique Finnish Sauna experience like I did. Check out Revontuli - The Northern Lights Resort. Either contact them direct or book via Booking.com. Have a wonderful time and think of this blogger as you sit there and unwind. I am not sponsored by the Finland Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Finland
Le Parc aux Bombous - un digne concurrent pour un endroit à visiter si près de Mirepoix et Carcasso
L’utilisation des terres dans le sud-ouest de la France est généralement un mélange de vignobles, de terres agricoles, de centres ruraux et urbains, mais il y a un endroit unique où le bambou peut être trouvé dans un éventail de diversité. La fascination d’un homme pour le bambou en a fait une entreprise qui est maintenant une attraction touristique. Le Parc aux Bombous est situé dans un cadre luxuriant sur les rives de la magnifique rivière L’Hers. Répartis sur 5 hectares et établis en 2006, les jardins de bambous ont captivé les visiteurs qui se sont installés dans ces environs pas très français. Plus de 200 espèces de bambou se trouvent dans ce jardin tranquille. Les bambous sont des plantes vivaces à fleurs à feuilles persistantes. L’origine du mot "bambou"! est incertaine, mais il vient probablement de la langue néerlandaise ou portugaise, qui l’a emprunté à l’origine au malais ou au kannada. Dans le bambou, comme dans d'autres graminées, les régions internodales de la tige sont généralement creuses et les faisceaux vasculaires de la section transversale sont dispersés dans toute la tige au lieu d'être disposés en cylindre. Les bambous comprennent certaines des plantes à la croissance la plus rapide au monde, en raison d'un système unique dépendant du rhizome. Certaines espèces de bambou peuvent pousser de 910 mm (36 po) en 24 heures, à un rythme de près de 40 mm (1⁄2 po) par heure (une croissance d'environ 1 mm toutes les 90 secondes, ou 1 pouce toutes les 40 minutes ). Les bambous géants sont les plus grands membres de la famille des graminées. Cette croissance rapide et cette tolérance pour les terres marginales font du bambou un bon candidat pour le reboisement, la séquestration du carbone et l'atténuation du changement climatique. Les bambous ont une importance économique et culturelle notable en Asie du Sud, en Asie du Sud-Est et en Asie de l'Est, étant utilisés comme matériaux de construction, comme source de nourriture et comme produit brut polyvalent. Le bambou, comme le bois, est un matériau composite naturel avec un rapport résistance/poids élevé utile pour les structures. Le rapport résistance/poids du bambou est similaire à celui du bois, et sa résistance est généralement similaire à celle d'un bois résineux ou d'un bois dur. Le Parc aux Bombous est très facilement accessible depuis Mirepoix et constitue également une excursion d'une journée digne de Carcassonne ou éventuellement de Toulouse si cela ne vous dérange pas de parcourir les kilomètres. Ou si vous avez la chance d'emprunter la route panoramique tout en voyageant dans le sud de la France, vous pourrez vous arrêter dans de nombreux hôtels et chalets magnifiques dans les environs. Airbnb est toujours une option délicieuse car il vous donne un vrai goût de la région et offre généralement un bien meilleur rapport qualité-prix qu'un hôtel du sud de la France. Bien sûr, le petit-déjeuner n'est pas toujours inclus, mais est-ce important avec l'argent qui sera économisé ! Je suis un hôte Airbnb ainsi qu'un voyageur Airbnb fréquent. J'adore Airbnb car non seulement cela rend les voyages plus abordables, mais cela permet également de rester hors des sentiers battus. Séjourner chez l'habitant ou dans votre propre cottage est bien plus unique que de séjourner dans un hôtel générique que vous pourriez trouver n'importe où dans le monde. Utilisez la carte ci-dessous pour rechercher le séjour Airbnb parfait dans cette charmante région de France. Si vous êtes un lecteur régulier de ce blog, vous saurez que je fais toujours de mon mieux pour faire une vidéo pour accompagner n'importe quel article de blog. Dans cette vidéo, j'explore les merveilles du "Parc aux Bombous". Pour les téléspectateurs qui aiment la vidéo, j'ai ajouté quelques informations supplémentaires sur les merveilles de Bamboo dans les paragraphes sous la vidéo. Bambou - L'étoffe des légendes: Dans plusieurs cultures asiatiques, dont celle des îles Andaman, on croit que l'humanité est née d'une tige de bambou. Dans la mythologie philippine, l'un des récits de création les plus célèbres raconte l'histoire du premier homme, Malakás ("Fort"), et de la première femme, Maganda ("Belle"), chacun émergeant d'une moitié d'une tige de bambou fendue sur une île formée après la bataille entre Sky et Ocean. En Malaisie, une histoire similaire comprend un homme qui rêve d'une belle femme en dormant sous une plante de bambou ; il se réveille et casse la tige de bambou, découvrant la femme à l'intérieur. Le conte populaire japonais "Conte du coupeur de bambou" (Taketori Monogatari) raconte l'histoire d'une princesse de la Lune émergeant d'une section de bambou brillante. Le bambou hawaïen ('Ohe) est un Kinolau ou une forme corporelle du dieu créateur polynésien Kāne. Une canne de bambou est aussi l'arme du héros légendaire vietnamien, Thánh Gióng, qui avait grandi immédiatement et comme par magie depuis l'âge de trois ans en raison de son souhait de libérer sa terre des envahisseurs Ân. L'ancienne légende vietnamienne Cây tre trăm đốt (Le bambou aux cent nœuds) raconte l'histoire d'un jeune fermier pauvre qui est tombé amoureux de la belle fille de son propriétaire. Le fermier a demandé au propriétaire la main de sa fille en mariage, mais le fier propriétaire n'a pas permis qu'elle soit liée en mariage à un pauvre fermier. Le propriétaire a décidé de déjouer le mariage avec un accord impossible; l'agriculteur doit lui apporter un "bambou de 100 nœuds". Mais Gautama Buddha (Bụt était son nom) est apparu au fermier et lui a dit qu'un tel arbre pouvait être fabriqué à partir de 100 nœuds de plusieurs arbres différents. Bụt lui donna quatre mots magiques pour attacher les nombreux nœuds du bambou : Khắc nhập, khắc xuất, qui signifie « réunis immédiatement, s'effondrèrent immédiatement ». Le fermier triomphant retourna chez le propriétaire et réclama sa fille. Curieux de voir un bambou aussi long, le propriétaire s'est joint magiquement au bambou lorsqu'il l'a touché, alors que le jeune fermier prononçait les deux premiers mots magiques. L'histoire se termine par l'heureux mariage du fermier et de la fille du propriétaire après que le propriétaire ait accepté le mariage et demandé à être séparé du bambou. Dans une légende chinoise, l'empereur Yao a donné deux de ses filles au futur empereur Shun pour tester son potentiel à régner. Shun a réussi le test de pouvoir gérer sa maison avec les deux filles de l'empereur comme épouses, et ainsi Yao a fait de Shun son successeur, contournant son fils indigne. Après la mort de Shun, les larmes de ses deux épouses endeuillées tombèrent sur les bambous qui y poussaient explique l'origine du bambou tacheté. Les deux femmes devinrent plus tard des déesses Xiangshuishen après s'être noyées dans la rivière Xiang. Parce que le bambou peut pousser sur des terres autrement marginales, le bambou peut être cultivé de manière rentable dans de nombreuses terres dégradées. De plus, parce que la croissance rapide du bambou est une culture efficace d'atténuation du changement climatique et de séquestration du carbone, absorbant entre 100 et 400 tonnes de carbone par hectare Le bambou est récolté à la fois dans des peuplements cultivés et sauvages, et certains des plus grands bambous, en particulier les espèces du genre Phyllostachys, sont connus sous le nom de "bambous à bois". Le bambou est généralement récolté comme matériau de base pour la construction, la nourriture, l'artisanat et d'autres produits manufacturés. La culture du bambou en Asie du Sud, du Sud-Est et de l'Est remonte à des milliers d'années. Une pratique, en Corée du Sud, a été désignée comme un système du patrimoine agricole d'importance mondiale. Récolte La durabilité du bambou dans la construction est directement liée à la façon dont il est manipulé depuis le moment de la plantation jusqu'à la récolte, le transport, le stockage, la conception, la construction et l'entretien. Le bambou récolté au bon moment de l'année, puis exposé au contact du sol ou à la pluie se décomposera aussi rapidement que le matériel mal récolté. Utilisations du bambou Culinaire Bien que les pousses (chaumes nouvellement émergés) de bambou contiennent une toxine taxiphylline (un glycoside cyanogène) qui produit du cyanure dans l'intestin, un traitement approprié les rend comestibles. Ils sont utilisés dans de nombreux plats et bouillons asiatiques et sont disponibles dans les supermarchés sous différentes formes tranchées, en versions fraîches et en conserve. Ustensiles de cuisine Le creux vide dans les tiges des grands bambous est souvent utilisé pour cuisiner dans de nombreuses cultures asiatiques. Les soupes sont bouillies et le riz est cuit dans les creux de tiges de bambou fraîches directement sur une flamme. De même, le thé cuit à la vapeur est parfois enfoncé dans des creux de bambou pour produire des formes compressées de thé Pu-erh. On dit que la cuisson des aliments dans du bambou donne à la nourriture un goût subtil mais distinctif. De plus, le bambou est fréquemment utilisé pour les ustensiles de cuisine dans de nombreuses cultures et est utilisé dans la fabrication de baguettes. À l'époque moderne, certains voient les outils en bambou comme une alternative écologique aux autres ustensiles manufacturés. Le carburant Le charbon de bambou est traditionnellement utilisé comme combustible en Chine et au Japon. Le bambou peut également être utilisé comme culture de biocarburant. En écrivant Autrefois, les Indiens utilisaient des stylos fabriqués à la main (connus sous le nom de Kalam) fabriqués à partir de minces bâtons de bambou (d'un diamètre de 5 à 10 mm et d'une longueur de 100 à 150 mm) en les épluchant simplement d'un côté et en faisant une plume. motif à la fin. Le stylo serait ensuite trempé dans de l'encre pour l'écriture. Textiles Le textile en bambou est tout tissu, fil ou vêtement fabriqué à partir de fibres de bambou. Bien qu'historiquement utilisé uniquement pour les éléments structurels, tels que les tournures et les côtes des corsets, différentes technologies ont été développées ces dernières années qui permettent d'utiliser la fibre de bambou pour une large gamme d'applications textiles et de mode. Les exemples incluent les vêtements tels que les hauts de chemise, les pantalons, les chaussettes pour adultes et enfants ainsi que la literie comme les draps et les taies d'oreiller. Le fil de bambou peut également être mélangé avec d'autres fibres textiles telles que le chanvre ou le spandex. Le bambou est une alternative au plastique qui est renouvelable et peut être réapprovisionné rapidement. Les vêtements modernes étiquetés comme étant fabriqués à partir de bambou sont généralement en rayonne viscose, une fibre obtenue en dissolvant la cellulose dans le bambou puis en l'extrudant pour former des fibres. Ce processus supprime les caractéristiques naturelles de la fibre de bambou, la rendant identique à la rayonne provenant d'autres sources de cellulose. Le bambou a été utilisé très tôt par les humains à diverses fins. Les catégories de travail du bambou comprennent Construction Le bambou, comme le vrai bois, est un matériau de construction naturel avec un rapport résistance/poids élevé utile pour les structures. Dans sa forme naturelle, le bambou en tant que matériau de construction est traditionnellement associé aux cultures d'Asie du Sud, d'Asie de l'Est et du Pacifique Sud, dans une certaine mesure en Amérique centrale et du Sud, et par extension à l'esthétique de la culture Tiki. En Chine et en Inde, le bambou était utilisé pour soutenir de simples ponts suspendus, soit en fabriquant des câbles de bambou fendu, soit en tordant ensemble des chaumes entiers de bambou suffisamment souples. Le bambou a également longtemps été utilisé comme échafaudage ; la pratique a été interdite en Chine pour les bâtiments de plus de six étages, mais est toujours utilisée en permanence pour les gratte-ciel de Hong Kong. Aux Philippines, la hutte nipa est un exemple assez typique du type d'habitation le plus élémentaire où le bambou est utilisé ; les murs sont en bambou fendu et tissé et des lattes et des poteaux en bambou peuvent être utilisés comme support. Dans l'architecture japonaise, le bambou est principalement utilisé comme élément supplémentaire ou décoratif dans des bâtiments tels que des clôtures, des fontaines, des grilles et des gouttières, en grande partie en raison de l'abondance de bois de qualité. Comme surface d'écriture Le bambou était largement utilisé au début de la Chine comme support pour les documents écrits. Les premiers exemples survivants de tels documents, écrits à l'encre sur des faisceaux de bandes de bambou (ou «glissades») reliés par des cordes, datent du 5ème siècle avant JC pendant la période des Royaumes combattants . Cependant, des références dans des textes antérieurs survivants sur d'autres supports indiquent clairement que certains précurseurs de ces feuillets de bambou de la période des Royaumes combattants étaient utilisés dès la fin de la période Shang (à partir d'environ 1250 avant JC). Des bandes de bambou ou de bois ont été utilisées comme matériel d'écriture standard au début de la dynastie Han, et des exemples excavés ont été trouvés en abondance. Par la suite, le papier a commencé à remplacer les bandes de bambou et de bois des utilisations courantes, et au 4ème siècle après JC, les lamelles de bambou avaient été largement abandonnées comme moyen d'écriture en Chine. La fibre de bambou est utilisée depuis les temps anciens pour fabriquer du papier en Chine. Un papier artisanal de haute qualité est toujours produit en petites quantités. Le papier de bambou grossier est encore utilisé pour fabriquer de l'argent spirituel dans de nombreuses communautés chinoises. Les pâtes de bambou sont principalement produites en Chine, au Myanmar, en Thaïlande et en Inde et sont utilisées dans les papiers d'impression et d'écriture. Plusieurs industries papetières survivent grâce aux forêts de bambous. Les papeteries de Ballarpur (Chandrapur, Maharastra) utilisent le bambou pour la production de papier. Les espèces de bambou les plus couramment utilisées pour le papier sont Dendrocalamus asper et Bambusa blumeana. Il est également possible de fabriquer de la pâte à dissoudre à partir de bambou. La longueur moyenne des fibres est similaire à celle des bois durs, mais les propriétés de la pâte de bambou sont plus proches de celles des pâtes de résineux en raison de sa très large distribution de la longueur des fibres. À l'aide d'outils moléculaires, il est désormais possible de distinguer les espèces/variétés à rendement supérieur en fibres, même aux stades juvéniles de leur croissance, ce qui peut contribuer à la production de marchandises sans mélange. Armes Le bambou a souvent été utilisé pour fabriquer des armes et est toujours incorporé dans plusieurs arts martiaux asiatiques. Un bâton de bambou, parfois avec une extrémité aiguisée, est utilisé dans l'art martial tamoul du silambam, un mot dérivé d'un terme signifiant "bambou des collines". Les bâtons utilisés dans l'art martial indien du gatka sont généralement fabriqués à partir de bambou, un matériau apprécié pour sa légèreté. Une épée en bambou appelée shinai est utilisée dans l'art martial japonais du Kendo. Le bambou est utilisé pour fabriquer les arcs, appelés Yumi, et les flèches utilisées dans l'art martial japonais Kyūdō. Le bambou est parfois utilisé pour fabriquer les branches de l'arc long et de l'arc classique utilisés dans le tir à l'arc traditionnel, et pour fabriquer des armes supérieures pour la chasse à l'arc et le tir à l'arc sur cible. Les premières armes à poudre, comme la lance à feu, étaient en bambou. Le bambou était apparemment utilisé en Asie de l'Est et du Sud comme moyen de torture. Instruments de musique Il existe de nombreux types de flûtes en bambou fabriquées dans le monde entier Le bambou peut être utilisé dans la construction du didgeridoo australien au lieu du bois d'eucalyptus plus traditionnel. Le bambou est également utilisé pour fabriquer des tambours à fente. Le bambou a également été utilisé récemment pour la fabrication de guitares et de ukulélés. Les ukulélés en bambou sont fabriqués à partir de solides bandes de bambou lamellé-croisé, et non de contreplaqué. Autres utilisations Le bambou a traditionnellement été utilisé pour fabriquer une large gamme d'ustensiles de tous les jours et de planches à découper, en particulier au Japon, où des fouilles archéologiques ont mis au jour des paniers en bambou datant de la période Jōmon tardive (2000-1000 avant JC). Le bambou est utilisé depuis longtemps dans les meubles asiatiques. Les meubles chinois en bambou sont un style distinct basé sur une tradition millénaire, et le bambou est également utilisé pour les sols en raison de sa grande dureté. Plusieurs fabricants proposent des vélos en bambou, des planches de surf, des snowboards et des skateboards. En raison de sa flexibilité, le bambou est également utilisé pour fabriquer des cannes à pêche. La canne fendue est particulièrement prisée pour la pêche à la mouche. Le bambou est traditionnellement utilisé en Malaisie comme pétard appelé meriam buluh ou canon en bambou. Des sections de bambou de quatre pieds de long sont coupées et un mélange d'eau et de carbure de calcium est introduit. Le gaz acétylène résultant est enflammé avec un bâton, produisant une forte détonation. Le bambou peut être utilisé dans le dessalement de l'eau. Un filtre en bambou est utilisé pour éliminer le sel de l'eau de mer. De nombreux groupes ethniques des régions reculées qui ont accès à l'eau en Asie utilisent du bambou âgé de 3 à 5 ans pour fabriquer des radeaux. Ils utilisent 8 à 12 poteaux, de 6 à 7 m (20 à 23 pieds) de long, posés côte à côte sur une largeur d'environ 1 m (3 pieds). Une fois que les poteaux sont alignés ensemble, ils coupent un trou en travers des poteaux à chaque extrémité et utilisent un petit poteau de bambou poussé à travers ce trou comme une vis pour maintenir tous les longs poteaux de bambou ensemble. Les maisons flottantes utilisent des tiges de bambou entières attachées ensemble dans un gros bouquet pour soutenir la maison flottant dans l'eau. Le bambou est également utilisé pour fabriquer des ustensiles de cuisine tels que des baguettes, des plateaux et des cuillères à thé. J'espère que vous passerez un bon moment au Parc aux Bombous si vous y allez. Je ne suis pas parrainé par le gouvernement français ou un groupe de voyage, j'ai simplement écrit ce message car j'aime voyager. Veuillez consulter ce blog pour plus d'idées de voyage indépendantes et ma chaîne YouTube. Si l'une de ces informations vous a été utile et que vous avez envie de m'acheter un café, veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous pour m'acheter un café via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Jyväskylä - The gateway to the Lakelands of Finland
Lapland & Helsinki are places most will be able to visualise without even having to visit. They are the lifeblood of the Finnish tourist industry due to their magnetic draw for the tourists that flock to Finland every year. Both are on either end of Finland - so far detached from each other that they are often only connected with connecting flights. Helsinki in the South and Lapland in the far North. And yet locals and those in the know will tell you that there is more to Finland than just the top and the bottom. If other countries in the world had the Lakelands of Finland to boast about, you would see adverts on every airport train, in every country around the world. And yet ask anyone outside of Finland, if they have heard of the Lakelands of Finland? Few will respond with a certain yes - most will look at you blankly. And yet ask a Finn where they like to holiday when they are staying in Finland - many will tell you about the Finland Lakelands. Although they will tell you about the Lakelands with hesitancy because they don’t want the whole world to know their little secret. I recently found myself exploring the Finland Lakelands. It’s an all-year-round destination depending on one's enthusiasm for the great outdoors. As the name suggests the land is full of lakes. In the winter these lakes are frozen over for at least 3-to 4 months of the year. The winter months offer Snowmobiling, snow walking and dogsledding adventures to name but some of the activities you could partake in while the summer months offer visitors extreme water sports to leisurely boating escapes. The further you venture from the major cities, towns and villages the more peaceful the surrounding nature appears to be. Although one must approach all nature with caution as this land is blessed or cursed (depending on your perspective) with randy Moose and shy but predatory wolves roaming the forests. As beautiful and unique as all these animals are, each would rather not bump into a lost tourist. So these graceful animals can stay hidden even for the beadiest eyes of nature hunters. I tried my best to not only experience as many activities as possible. From Snowmobiling to Dog Sledding but also I tried my best to understand the unique cities, towns and villages that cut through this region. Regular viewers of my YouTube Channel “The Wondering Englishman” will have witnessed many of these adventures unfold. In my latest adventure, I found myself exploring the city of Jyväskylä. Architects and fans of design have become regular visitors to this city over the years as it's considered a showcase for the now past Finnish designer - Alvar Aalto. Alva Aalto is loved by the Fins for his unique designs with food and this city offers up plenty of opportunities to try to understand what makes him so cherished. To get to Jyvaskyla I flew into Helsinki and then from there, I took a bus north. However, Jyvaskyla is a very well-connected city so it’s very easily accessed via Train also. To see what Train travel is like in Finland I’ll be showing that in a future video. So make sure you subscribe to gain access to that release. The city's most famous architect didn’t think much of what I liked the most in Jyväskylä. I very much enjoyed walking up the Harju steps which are to the north of the city, built-in 1925 and considered by Alva Aalto to go nowhere. Maybe true in his time but in the 21st century, these steps lead to a very fine view of the surrounding forests, the city and Finland's deepest lake (a favourite place for locals to ice skate on during the winter months). And as long as you venture up these steps from Tuesday to Sunday you will be able to gain access to central Finlands Natural History Museum and the City’s observation tower - Vesilinna. I think visitors to the city of Jyvaskyla should use it as a springboard to the many activities and sights that can be had on the outskirts of the city. The city can be blitzed in a day so can either be used to connect the dots of Finland or as a base to take in the surrounding Lakelands throughout the forever-changing months of the year. Jyväskylä is going to be very different in peak summer from what you see in peak winter. The long days where the sun barely sets with a vibrant free population that isn’t constrained will certainly be of a very different vibe to what I witnessed while Finland was suffering under draconian curfew measures imposed by its WEF-endorsed government. While I was in Jyväskylä I stayed at the Solo Sokos Hotel PavilJonki - an incredibly comfortable room with all the amenities one could ask for including a fantastic breakfast that set me up for the day to explore the sights and sounds of Jyväskylä. Although Jyväskylä has many fine hotels and apartments to suit someone from all budgets. Jyväskylä is best known amongst rally enthusiasts for hosting the Finnish stage of the world rally championships. When the petrolheads invade Jyväskylä in the summer months I’m told the dynamics of the town change dramatically. Not only do visitors encounter more roaring cars parked outside the numerous hotels where rally parties can go onto the early hours. The place comes to life further with music festivals in the surrounding areas. My hope is visitors to Finland will discover Jyväskylä before it makes the news for other reasons. With the recent Ukraine conflict, It got me thinking that should the Fins ever enter a conflict with the Russians again - expect Jyväskylä to make its presence known on the world stage as it hosts the headquarters of the Finnish Air Force. Let’s hope that time never comes! Before leaving Jyväskylä I found myself taking in the small island of Haapasaari just to the east of the city centre. On this island are some incredibly old saunas from the modern to the incredibly old. The Island even has a Sauna Monument on the top of the hill is that devoted to the Sauna. I found it an incredibly beautiful place to watch the sun go down and reflect on all I had seen lately. Post sunset I recommend eating at the only restaurant on the island called Savutuvan Apaja Oy. Here I was introduced to some relaxing Yoga which I have to say enabled my mind to drift and reflect.
I hope I get to return to Jyväskylä in the summer months - if you do before I do - let me know how it was. I'm certain it will be enjoyable and worth anyone's time of day. I am not sponsored by the Finland Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Finland #Travel
Winter escapism on a loud snowmobile in central Finland
I recently found myself visiting the centre of Finland during peak winter when snowfall was at its most fluffy and dense. And the outside temperatures consistently remained below zero degrees celsius. As one moves closer and closer to the arctic circle the snowmobile becomes more and more of a common sight. It’s a machine you would never see in the Caribbean but that’s OK they have their jetskis. Whereas the Northmen of Europe & North America have their snowmobiles. 7km from the centre of Jämsä, located on the waterfront of Lake Patalathi which connects to Finland's deepest lake - Lake Patalathi. I found myself kitting up in a 1 piece snowsuit that would protect me from the freezing elements but also should the crash my snowmobile and it blows up while I’m on (this is very unlikely to happen but it’s always best to be prepared)! Once I had my helmet and gloves on I was ready to explore the frozen lakes and forests that surround Himos. A winter resort known for its ski slopes in the winter months and buzzing music festivals in the summer months. A snowmobile, also known as a Ski-Doo, snowmachine, sled, motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, or snow scooter, is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, but most are driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby in recent years. Snowmobiles do not have any enclosures, except for a windshield, and their engines normally drive a continuous track at the rear. Skis at the front provide directional control. Early snowmobiles used simple rubber tracks, but modern snowmobiles' tracks are usually made of a kevlar composite construction. It was only in the second half of the 20th century that saw the rise of recreational snowmobiling,
Over the years riders have been called snowmobilers, sledders, or sled necks. Recreational riding is known as snowcross/racing, trail riding, freestyle, boondocking, ditch banging and grass drags. In the summertime, snowmobilers can drag race on grass, asphalt strips, or even across the water. Snowmobiles are sometimes modified to compete in long-distance off-road races. The Snowmobile greatly changed life in northern communities, especially North America's isolated communities, but also northern Scandinavian communities where Ski-Doo replaced sled dogs by the end of the 1960s. Although Sled Dogs are still used they are just much less common and are generally used for racing and sentimental reasons (check out my Husky Racing Video if curious about that experience). The Snowmobile also greatly improved communication between isolated communities. Snowmobiles are also called "Snow Machines” in some areas of Alaska. As a result of their inherent manoeuvrability, acceleration, and high-speed abilities, skill and physical strength are both required to operate a snowmobile. Snowmobile injuries and fatalities are high compared to those caused by on-road motor vehicle traffic. Losing control of a snowmobile could easily cause extensive damage, injury, or death. One such cause of snowmobile accidents is loss of control from a loose grip. If the rider falls off, the loss of control can easily result in the snowmobile colliding with a nearby object, such as a rock or tree. Most snowmobiles are fitted with a cord connected to a kill switch, which would stop the snowmobile if the rider falls off; however, not all riders use this device every time they operate a snowmobile. However, both snowmobile tours I experienced in my time in Finland (Himos Ski Resort & Tahko Ski Resort) encouraged the use of the kill switch and provided extensive training on how to use the machines even if the riders had ridden before. A common mistake for many riders is being a little too confident while bombing along the powdery trails - one could get a little too excited and lean badly or swerve off of the path. Which could result in rolling the snowmobile or crashing into an obstacle. In unfamiliar areas, riders may crash into suspended barbed wire or haywire fences at high speeds. Each year a number of serious or fatal accidents are caused by these factors. In my time in Finland I made one mistake - I tipped my snowmobile while riding in the Tahko Ski Resort - this caused the snowmobile to turn on its left side - which in turn broke the windshield. Thankfully it only set me back 30 euros at the end of the ride to repair but more costly mistakes could cost the rider north of 1000 euros if they manage to destroy their machine. Something that happens at least once a season with at least one rider no matter on the resort. While I was snowmobiling I managed to get mine up to 80kmph - one wrong turn or a clip of a hidden rock could have ended with disaster; so I don’t recommend pushing the machines to the limit (as they can go way past 100kmph with ease). Each year all over the world, riders are killed by hitting other snowmobiles, automobiles, pedestrians, rocks, trees, or fences, or falling through thin ice. As long as you are aware of the dangers you will approach with caution and respect the trails ahead. Collision with large animals such as moose and deer, which may venture onto a snowmobile trail, is another major cause of snowmobile accidents. Most often such encounters occur at night or in low-visibility conditions when the animal could not be seen in time to prevent a collision. Also even when successful, a sudden manoeuvre to miss hitting the animal could still result in the operator losing control of the snowmobile. Risks can be reduced through education, proper training, appropriate gear, attention to published avalanche warnings and avoiding drinking alcohol. It is recommended that snowmobile riders wear a helmet and snowmobile suits. And thankfully with all this information and amazing tour guides at your disposal either in Himos Ski Resort or the Tahko Ski Resort you are going to have a good time! If you are curious about my ride at the Himos Ski Resort - check out the video that I made for my YouTube Channel “The Wondering Englishman” - titled - “Snowmobiling on the deepest frozen lake in Finland - Päijänne Lake - Himos Finland”. To Snowmobile in either Himos Ski Resort or Tahko Ski Resort, I would advise flying into Helsinki Airport and then either taking the Train north or renting a car. The trains are extremely well priced and incredibly comfortable in Finland. In peak winter a car though will give you the freedom to get about it can be fairly difficult driving when the snow is coming down blizzard style. Either way if you have ever wondered what Snowmobiling is like - Finland is as good a place as any if not better to try it out for yourself. Highly recommended and worthy of your time! I am not sponsored by the Finland Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & Odysee. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas Odysee is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Finland #WinterBreak #Snow #Travel