I'm a title. Click here to edit me.
The Best Corner Guards for Baby in 2022
We love our homes and the furniture in our homes however we love our babies far more and we of course want to protect them as they learn to walk and run. The last thing any parent wants is for your little prince or princess to bash their eye out on the corner of your beautiful coffee table or kitchen table. The solution could be to rid your house of every sharp edge and corner for a couple of years where their balance isn't so good however we know this isn't possible. The best solution for any home with a new baby unsteady on his or her feet are corner guards. These not only protect your bundle of joy but also protect that furniture that will hopefully last your beautiful home for years to come. So what are the best Corner Guards that money can buy? 1) - Large Corner Guards Protectors - Pack of 14 What I love about these Guard Protectors is the fact that they don't destroy the look of the furniture on top of this they are extremely difficult to remove which means little Johnny can't take them off and risk swallowing them. A risk many cheap corner guards come with is the risk of swallow or simply being removed and then not being there when needed. The soft-touch reduces the risk of any head injury and the transparent look to them enables them to blend in meaning that elegant worktop still holds its beauty. The beauty, the incredible low cost, and the functionality make these the number 1 corner guards at least in my mind. Available on Amazon. £4.49 (Pack of 14) 2) - Canwn Foam Proofing child Safety Corner Protectors These traditional corner guards have high-density foam, which better absorbs impact, and is loaded with adhesive so they stay in place. The material is non-toxic and the design offers full coverage of sharp corners. They also come in three colors: white, brown and black. Canwn safety corner protector is made of healthy and eco-friendly soft NBR material and 100% non-toxic and no smell which will let your baby and child live healthier and safer.
Available on Amazon. £8.49 - £9.49 (Pack of 8) 3) - FiveSeasonStuff Table Foam Corner Protectors These thick and soft foam corner protectors provides great protection for your little ones. A fantastic product for reducing impact injury. They fit perfectly on various desktops and can be used in wood, glass, aluminum alloy, ceramic tile, marble, metal, cement, etc. furniture. They report to have anti-tear fiber layer - I tried personally ripping one up and it was nigh on impossible - I think I need to eat more spinach! With a very Secure and Easy Installation like all of these protectors it comes with a strong adhesive, strong enough to stay on but gentle enough to come off and not damage furniture. What is different abut these is just how many colours are available - think of a colour and they probably have that range for you! Available on Amazon. £7.98 - £12.98 depending on colour (Pack of 12)
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
Le Parc aux Bombous - a worthy contender for a place to visit if near Mirepoix and Carcassonne
The Land use in Southwestern France is usually a mix of vineyards, farmland, rural and urban centres but there's a unique place where Bamboo can be found in an array of diversity. One man’s fascination with Bamboo has turned it into an enterprise that is now a tourist attraction. Le Parc aux Bombous is set in a lush setting on the banks of the beautiful River L’Hers. Set over 5 hectares and established back in 2006 the Bamboo gardens have enthralled visitors who set forth in these not very french surrounding. More than 200 Species of Bamboo can be found in this tranquil garden. Bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants. The origin of the word "bamboo" is uncertain, but it probably comes from the Dutch or Portuguese language, which originally borrowed it from Malay or Kannada. In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are usually hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross-section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 in) within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 40 mm (1⁄2 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes). Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. This rapid growth and tolerance for marginal land, make bamboo a good candidate for afforestation, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo, like wood, is a natural composite material with a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures. Bamboo's strength-to-weight ratio is similar to timber, and its strength is generally similar to a strong softwood or hardwood timber. Le Parc aux Bombous can be reached from Mirepoix very easily and also makes for a worthy day trip from Carcassonne or possibly Toulouse if you don't mind clocking up the miles. Or if you are in the lucky position to be taking the scenic route while travelling through Southern France there are plenty of beautiful hotels and chalets you could stop at in the nearby area. Airbnb is always a delightful option as it gives you a real taste of the local area and is generally far better value than a Hotel in Southern France. Of course, Breakfast is not always included but does this matter with the money that will be saved! I'm an Airbnb host as well as a frequent Airbnb traveller. I love Airbnb because not only does it make travelling more affordable but it also allows you to stay off the beaten track. Staying with a local or in your own cottage is far more unique than staying in a generic hotel you could find anywhere in the world. Use the map below to search for the perfect Airbnb stay within this charming part of France. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I always try my best to make a video to go with any blog post. In this video, I explore the wonders of "Le Parc aux Bombous". For viewers who enjoy the video, I have added some extra information on the wonders of Bamboo in the paragraphs below the video. Bamboo - The Stuff of Legends: In several Asian cultures, including that of the Andaman Islands, believe humanity emerged from a bamboo stem. In Philippine mythology, one of the more famous creation accounts tells of the first man, Malakás ("Strong"), and the first woman, Maganda ("Beautiful"), each emerged from one half of a split bamboo stem on an island formed after the battle between Sky and Ocean. In Malaysia, a similar story includes a man who dreams of a beautiful woman while sleeping under a bamboo plant; he wakes up and breaks the bamboo stem, discovering the woman inside. The Japanese folktale "Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" (Taketori Monogatari) tells of a princess from the Moon emerging from a shining bamboo section. Hawaiian bamboo ('Ohe) is a Kinolau or body form of the Polynesian creator god Kāne. A bamboo cane is also the weapon of Vietnamese legendary hero, Thánh Gióng, who had grown up immediately and magically since the age of three because of his wish to liberate his land from Ân invaders. The ancient Vietnamese legend Cây tre trăm đốt (The Hundred-knot Bamboo Tree) tells of a poor, young farmer who fell in love with his landlord's beautiful daughter. The farmer asked the landlord for his daughter's hand in marriage, but the proud landlord would not allow her to be bound in marriage to a poor farmer. The landlord decided to foil the marriage with an impossible deal; the farmer must bring him a "bamboo tree of 100 nodes". But Gautama Buddha (Bụt was his name) appeared to the farmer and told him that such a tree could be made from 100 nodes from several different trees. Bụt gave to him four magic words to attach the many nodes of bamboo: Khắc nhập, khắc xuất, which means "joined together immediately, fell apart immediately". The triumphant farmer returned to the landlord and demanded his daughter. Curious to see such a long bamboo, the landlord was magically joined to the bamboo when he touched it, as the young farmer said the first two magic words. The story ends with the happy marriage of the farmer and the landlord's daughter after the landlord agreed to the marriage and asked to be separated from the bamboo. In a Chinese legend, Emperor Yao gave two of his daughters to the future Emperor Shun as a test for his potential to rule. Shun passed the test of being able to run his household with the two emperor's daughters as wives, and thus Yao made Shun his successor, bypassing his unworthy son. After Shun's death, the tears of his two bereaved wives fell upon the bamboos growing there explains the origin of spotted bamboo. The two women later became goddesses Xiangshuishen after drowning themselves in the Xiang River. Because bamboo can grow on otherwise marginal land, bamboo can be profitably cultivated in many degraded lands. Moreover, because the rapid growth of bamboo is an effective climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration crop, absorbing between 100 and 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare Bamboo is harvested from both cultivated and wild stands, and some of the larger bamboos, particularly species in the genus Phyllostachys, are known as "timber bamboos". Bamboo is typically harvested as source material for construction, food, crafts and other manufactured goods. Bamboo cultivation in South, South East Asia and East Asia stretches back thousands of years. One practice, in South Korea, has been designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. Harvesting The durability of bamboo in construction is directly related to how well it is handled from the moment of planting through harvesting, transportation, storage, design, construction, and maintenance. Bamboo harvested at the correct time of year and then exposed to ground contact or rain will break down just as quickly as incorrectly harvested material. Uses for Bamboo Culinary Although the shoots (newly emerged culms) of bamboo contain a toxin taxiphyllin (a cyanogenic glycoside) that produces cyanide in the gut, proper processing renders them edible. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms, in both fresh and canned versions.. Kitchenware The empty hollow in the stalks of larger bamboo is often used to cook food in many Asian cultures. Soups are boiled and rice is cooked in the hollows of fresh stalks of bamboo directly over a flame. Similarly, steamed tea is sometimes rammed into bamboo hollows to produce compressed forms of Pu-erh tea. Cooking food in bamboo is said to give the food a subtle but distinctive taste. In addition, bamboo is frequently used for cooking utensils within many cultures and is used in the manufacture of chopsticks. In modern times, some see bamboo tools as an eco-friendly alternative to other manufactured utensils. Fuel Bamboo charcoal has been traditionally used as fuel in China and Japan. Bamboo can also be utilized as a biofuel crop. Writing In old times, people in India used hand made pens (known as Kalam) made from thin bamboo sticks (with diameters of 5–10 mm and lengths of 100–150 mm) by simply peeling them on one side and making a nib-like pattern at the end. The pen would then be dipped in ink for writing. Fabric Textiles Bamboo textile is any cloth, yarn or clothing made from bamboo fibres. While historically used only for structural elements, such as bustles and the ribs of corsets, in recent years different technologies have been developed that allow bamboo fibre to be used for a wide range of textile and fashion applications. Examples include clothing such as shirt tops, pants, socks for adults and children as well as bedding such as sheets and pillow covers. Bamboo yarn can also be blended with other textile fibres such as hemp or spandex. Bamboo is an alternative to plastic that is renewable and can be replenished at a fast rate. Modern clothing labelled as being made from bamboo is usually viscose rayon, a fibre made by dissolving the cellulose in the bamboo and then extruding it to form fibres. This process removes the natural characteristics of bamboo fibre, rendering it identical to rayon from other cellulose sources. Bamboo was used by humans for various purposes at a very early time. Categories of Bambooworking include Construction Bamboo, like true wood, is a natural building material with a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures. In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America, and by extension in the aesthetic of Tiki culture. In China and India, bamboo was used to hold up simple suspension bridges, either by making cables of split bamboo or twisting whole culms of sufficiently pliable bamboo together. Bamboo has also long been used as scaffolding; the practice has been banned in China for buildings over six stories but is still in continuous use for skyscrapers in Hong Kong. In the Philippines, the nipa hut is a fairly typical example of the most basic sort of housing where bamboo is used; the walls are split and woven bamboo and bamboo slats and poles may be used as its support. In Japanese architecture, bamboo is used primarily as a supplemental or decorative element in buildings such as fencing, fountains, grates, and gutters, largely due to the ready abundance of quality timber. Textiles As a writing surface Bamboo was in widespread use in early China as a medium for written documents. The earliest surviving examples of such documents, written in ink on string-bound bundles of bamboo strips (or "slips"), date from the 5th century BC during the Warring States period. However, references in earlier texts surviving on other media make it clear that some precursor of these Warring States period bamboo slips was in use as early as the late Shang period (from about 1250 BC). Bamboo or wooden strips were used as the standard writing material during the early Han dynasty, and excavated examples have been found in abundance. Subsequently, paper began to displace bamboo and wooden strips from mainstream uses, and by the 4th century AD, bamboo slips had been largely abandoned as a medium for writing in China. Bamboo fibre has been used to make paper in China since early times. A high-quality, handmade paper is still produced in small quantities. Coarse bamboo paper is still used to make spirit money in many Chinese communities. Bamboo pulps are mainly produced in China, Myanmar, Thailand, and India, and are used in printing and writing papers. Several paper industries are surviving on bamboo forests. Ballarpur (Chandrapur, Maharastra) paper mills use bamboo for paper production. The most common bamboo species used for paper are Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa blumeana. It is also possible to make dissolving pulp from bamboo. The average fibre length is similar to hardwoods, but the properties of bamboo pulp are closer to softwood pulps due to it having a very broad fibre length distribution. With the help of molecular tools, it is now possible to distinguish the superior fibre-yielding species/varieties even at juvenile stages of their growth, which can help in unadulterated merchandise production. Weapons Bamboo has often been used to construct weapons and is still incorporated in several Asian martial arts. A bamboo staff, sometimes with one end sharpened, is used in the Tamil martial art of silambam, a word derived from a term meaning "hill bamboo". Staves used in the Indian martial art of gatka are commonly made from bamboo, a material favoured for its lightweight. A bamboo sword called a shinai is used in the Japanese martial art of Kendo. Bamboo is used for crafting the bows, called Yumi, and arrows used in the Japanese martial art Kyūdō. Bamboo is sometimes used to craft the limbs of the longbow and recurve bow used in traditional archery, and to make superior weapons for bowhunting and target archery. The first gunpowder-based weapons, such as the fire lance, were made of bamboo. Bamboo was apparently used in East and South Asia as a means of torture. Musical instruments There are numerous types of bamboo flutes made all over the world Bamboo may be used in the construction of the Australian didgeridoo instead of the more traditional eucalyptus wood. Bamboo is also used to make slit drums. Bamboo has also recently been used for the manufacture of guitars and ukuleles. Bamboo Ukuleles are constructed of solid cross-laminated bamboo strips, not plywood. Other uses Bamboo has traditionally been used to make a wide range of everyday utensils and cutting boards, particularly in Japan, where archaeological excavations have uncovered bamboo baskets dating to the Late Jōmon period (2000–1000 BC). Bamboo has a long history of use in Asian furniture. Chinese bamboo furniture is a distinct style based on a millennia-long tradition, and bamboo is also used for floors due to its high hardness. Several manufacturers offer bamboo bicycles, surfboards, snowboards, and skateboards. Due to its flexibility, bamboo is also used to make fishing rods. The split cane rod is especially prized for fly fishing. Bamboo has been traditionally used in Malaysia as a firecracker called a meriam buluh or bamboo cannon. Four-foot-long sections of bamboo are cut, and a mixture of water and calcium carbide are introduced. The resulting acetylene gas is ignited with a stick, producing a loud bang. Bamboo can be used in water desalination. A bamboo filter is used to remove the salt from seawater. Many ethnic groups in remote areas that have water access in Asia use bamboo that is 3–5 years old to make rafts. They use 8 to 12 poles, 6–7 m (20–23 ft) long, laid together side by side to a width of about 1 m (3 ft). Once the poles are lined up together, they cut a hole crosswise through the poles at each end and use a small bamboo pole pushed through that hole like a screw to hold all the long bamboo poles together. Floating houses use whole bamboo stalks tied together in a big bunch to support the house floating in the water. Bamboo is also used to make eating utensils such as chopsticks, trays, and tea scoops. I hope you have a great time at the Le Parc aux Bombous should you visit. I am not sponsored by the French 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. 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
Ride tall on this Airbnb Experience
Cycling has with each year become more and more popular around the world. However, you may not be aware that if you took a DeLorean back in time over 200+ years you simply would not find a man or woman on this contraption. They simply did not exist before 1817 and what existed in 1817 was certainly not worthy of your morning commute. More on that later! I'm an avid cyclist - granted I’m no Bradley Wiggins (British born cyclist who has more Gold than Mr-T on a Friday night) but I did take Norman Tebbit at face value when he said "Get on your bike!" - so I did. Whether I'm riding a bicycle for leisure, exercise or commuting there's always been a bike near to me. However, it was not until recently did I get to try a legendary bicycle out thanks to Airbnb advertising it as an Experience. The Penny Farthing London Experience popped up on my screen and I thought to myself "I must try this!" It was certainly on my bucket list. However, before we delve into the Penny Farthing or High Wheel to the Yanks where did it come from? A Brief History on the Bicycle that would lead eventually to the Penny-Farthing. The "Dandy horse", also called Draisienne or Laufmaschine, was the first human means of transport to use only two wheels in tandem and was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais. It is regarded as the first bicycle, but it did not have pedals; Drais introduced it to the public in Mannheim in 1817 and in Paris in 1818. Its rider sat astride a wooden frame supported by two in-line wheels and pushed the vehicle along with his or her feet while steering the front wheel. It was effectively an adult's balance bike made of wood. The first mechanically-propelled, two-wheeled vehicle may have been built by Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, in 1839, although the claim is often disputed. However, as I’m part Scottish I’m going to believe the Scot beat the world to the invention. And in typical feisty Glaswegian fashion, he is also associated with the first recorded instance of a cycling traffic offence, when a Glasgow newspaper in 1842 reported an accident in which an anonymous "gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design" knocked over a little girl in Glasgow and was fined five shillings. In the early 1860s, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement took bicycle design in a new direction by adding a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel (the velocipede). The French vélocipède, made of iron and wood, developed into the "Penny-Farthing" (historically known as an "ordinary bicycle", a retronym, since there was then no other kind). It featured a tubular steel frame on which were mounted wire-spoked wheels with solid rubber tires. The pedals were still attached directly to the front wheel, which became larger and larger as makers realised that the larger the wheel, the faster and farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals. Solid rubber tyres and the long spokes of the large front wheel provided a much smoother ride than its predecessor, the Boneshaker. This type of velocipede was the first to be called a bicycle (“two-wheel”) and its shape led to the nickname Penny Farthing in the UK. They enjoyed great popularity in the 1880s, at least by those that could afford them. Although the trend was short-lived, the Penny Farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport. Now as a keen cyclist who has a sense of wonder if one can do things. I made an enquiry via the Airbnb experiences website to see if I could ride with the Penny-Farthing Club. Thankfully, they ride regularly so they were able to accommodate my desire to learn all about Penny-Farthings and test my balance. If you have a spare £100 in your pocket you might be tempted to enjoy a London Tour on a Penny Farthing! I can honestly say it's well worth the time and money and should be tried by anyone who has a sense of wonder about the world. The Penny Farthing Club, founded in 2013 by Neil Laughton who was intrigued by these Victorian-era bicycles. The PFC has developed into a community of enthusiastic riders, racers and polo players! The Club has two dozen modern replica bicycles of various sizes and offers rider training, events throughout the year - including private hire, corporate team building and film/photo commissions. Those on the experience will be introduced to the Penny Farthing and its history before being helped up to the lofty height of the bicycle. You will then head out onto the streets where you will learn to safely mount, ride and dismount. A few hours spent with the Penny Farthing Team one Sunday morning was enough for me to feel I had mastered the art of riding these splendid contraptions. Once you feel competent and able to hop on and off these tall relics, the Penny Farthing Club will take you on a tour through Westminster and central London. Once riders are confident on the Victorian invention they will be leisurely guided around the Westminster area, past many iconic locations such as the Palace of Westminster, Parliament Square, Churchill War Rooms, the gardens of 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. It helps to be fearless and confident with your balance this is not for the overweight and those who aren't very fit. As the Bikes have only one fixed gear it does require you to exert more energy than a usual bike. However, the view and attention that you get from being up so high make up for these extra calories burnt. I’ve never had so many people wave and smile in my direction while on the road in London. Everyone either stood and took pictures, waved or cheered. Of course, this being The Wondering Englishman Blog - I've of course included a video to go with this post - do check out the video on the day I spent with The Penny Farthing Club. Tours and lessons can be booked in London, Bath & Brighton. 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 you do decide to ride tall through London, Bath or Brighton on the Penny Farthing Bike Tour please let me know in the comments below! I can’t recommend it enough, it should be done by everyone! Happy riding! One last thing - if you aren't from London and you are planning on visiting London for the weekend or even longer. I highly recommend booking yourself an Airbnb to go with your Airbnb Penny-Farthing Experience. Pick one that suits your needs and in your location - there is an array of choice in London and something for everyone's budget. If you have not used them before (you have probably been living under a rock). But if you use this referral link you will get many Dollars, Euros or Pounds off your first booking and I'll get a very small referral kickback. This link will give you $50-$60 off your first booking. If you are a new customer. I am not sponsored by the British 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. 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
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 petrol heads 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 incredible 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 do 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
Let the dogs do the work :)
Like many people on this planet, I’ve spent my life around dogs. From the largest (Great Danes) to the smallest (Chiwawa’s and Pomeranians) to an array of many in between. And yet despite always considering them man’s best friend and always being the greatest of company. I always felt it was I, that was doing work for them. I would take them for a walk, I would get them breakfast and dinner, I would fill their bowl up with water and I would bathe and groom them. The gun dogs never seemed to be working gun dogs and the Jack Russell never seemed capable of ratting. The ex-police dog was retired way before I met him as he probably didn’t have the killer instinct and the rest of the dog pack over the years lived a dog's life. And rightly so - they are domestic dogs and have no reason to worry about mortgages or paying one’s way in life. And yet it wasn’t until my recent encounter with a pack of dogs did I finally see what real working dogs were like. The Cocker Spaniel that collects the dead duck for the hunters - while impressive how gently he brings the limp bird back and holds it in his mouth. Is if you would admit purely novelty value and work the human beaters could easily do if they were being honest with themselves. Truly impressive working dogs come in the form of Siberian Huskies. And it was on a recent adventure in the Lake lands of central Finland did I discover how wonderful these working dogs truly are. Some 3 hours north of Helsinki is a working kennel where some of the finest racing dogs have lived and worked over the years. International competitions in dog racing have been won because of the grit and determination that has gone on at these Finnish kennels in central Finland. And it was here that I would come to meet dozens and dozens of Siberian Huskies who were all gagging for the opportunity to pull their dog sledge while I or others experienced the delights of dog racing for the first time in our lives.
I arrived at Mc Ahon Kennel which is near the town of Jämsä, a town between Tampere and Jyväskylä city. Due to its geographical location, this part of Finland is covered in snow for a sizeable amount of time - which makes it perfect for those wishing to enjoy an array of snow activities. However, today I wanted to experience the delights of being pulled as fast as possible by some very excited Siberian Huskies. I’m very conscious about the welfare of animals and I like to think I’m well tuned in to animals to sense if they are happy or sad and I can safely say with confidence that all the huskies I saw at Mc Ahon Kennel were in fine shape and extremely happy dogs. They were clearly well-fed, exercised a lot and were well looked after. Huskies can withstand temperatures of -70c so when I found them they were chilling out in the snow by the kennels very comfortably when the temperature was just under zero celsius. Depending on the package you opt for will depend on how long you get to take the husky pack out with your traditional Finnish sleigh, which will most likely be covered in reindeer pelts to keep you warm when the sun vanishes and the icy wind picks up. Thankfully the day I was there I had the weather on my side so it really didn’t feel that cold. The key to staying warm anywhere is always plenty of layers and decent thermals and on the day I was there sliding around the ice, I certainly wasn’t shy about wearing as many layers as possible so to maximise the enjoyment for the day. I only had a small taster of what Siberian Huskies were capable of, but should I want to take them for a longer excursion in the future, this option would be available direct with Mc Ahon Kennels. If you are curious what my day with the Siberian Huskies was like, do check out my video which is available on YouTube and Odysee. To get to the Lake Lands of Finland so that you may personally go Husky racing - I recommend flying into Helsinki. Most of Europe's major airlines fly to Finland and if they don't you can get a connecting flight somewhere in Europe if you are flying from outside Europe. You are of course more than likely to be able to pick up a good deal if planned ahead. Kayak, Google Flights and Skyscanner should be the go-to websites for searching for the best flight deals. In my personal experience, my favourite place to go for European flight deals is Skyscanner. For some reason, Skyscanner works best when searching for European Flights over any of its rivals. If you are tempted to stay for a few days in the area, you could stay in one of the hotels, or Airbnbs that can be found depending on the season. Over the years, I've had the fortune to stay in an array of hotels, apartments and various forms of accommodation while travelling. For the majority of travellers, I recommend Booking.com - yes there are hotel comparison websites such as Trivago and Kayak. However, from my years of travel experience, I've discovered both of these comparison websites do not have all the hotels, hostels and apartments listed. The reasons behind this could be some premises simply do not pay the comparison sights a fee or the reason could be something else. If you know of the reason do leave a comment below. However, I have discovered no matter what the location Booking.com will 9/10ths of the time have the most competitive deal and generally the most choice. However, if you are super keen to get the best deal- use Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, Lastminute.com and Hotels.com in separate browser windows. A big thank you to: Mc Ahon Safari, Makiahontie 20, 42100 Jamsa, Finland Written by Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman If Huskies aren't your thing - maybe try Snowmobiling - Check out this article #Finland
Revèl France - A Market town in the South of France that comes alive on Saturday
As the brakes come off the Global Lockdown, it gives many of us, a needed excuse to go out there and explore. I recently found myself in the South of France (although some may call it southwestern France) in the Haute-Garonne department of France. One of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. Created from part of the former province of Languedoc. I just happened to find myself in the usually sleepy town of Revèl except today was Saturday and this was the day that Revèl has traditionally come alive. Revèl with a population just shy of 10,000 takes a deep breath in every Saturday when visitors pour into its Medieval centre and migrate on mass towards the Market Square. Steeped in over 650+ years of trading history visitors get a chance to purchase some of the finest local produce this area of France has to offer. From fresh Oysters, locally made Pâté and fruits so ripe you could eat them like candy. While all at the same time encountering wonderful french characters with each turn you take. Founded in 1342 by Philippe VI of Valois. The heart of Revel is its central market, Right in the centre of the market square is an ancient 14th-century building supported by a forest of pillars and beams. As you penetrate the centre of this truly beautiful medieval building you encounter the tourist office that allows access to what used to be the local Jail and also the Watchtower. To really get a perspective on the town it is recommended to head up to the top of the watchtower. Here you will see close up the Market squares beautiful clock tower and be able to look out across the wonderful landscape taking in the Black Mountains and the towns Notre Dame Cathedral. Look down into the square and you will hear the buzz of the visitors and full-time inhabitants doing their weekly shopping. Content in the knowledge that their ancestors and many like you will have partaken in an almost an identical activity for over 6 centuries in the exact same place and in the uniquely identical fashion. As Revèl grew over the ages and its market became more widely known it attracted some incredibly talented tradesmen. From the nineteenth century, cabinet makers, markers, sculptors, and bronzers made Revel the capital of the Furniture of Art. However, as the modern world has taken to pre-packed self-assembled minimal furniture from Sweden Revèl's furniture trade has contracted massively. Although, new furniture is still being made in the town and its history is celebrated at the furniture museum also found in the town. If you are curious about what a Market day looks and feels like in the days after COVID I've made a video where I walk around the market and then head up the watchtower to get the picturesque view over the bustling market town. And when you have had your fill of Markets, Cathedrals & Furniture you could take a short drive to the Saint-Ferréol lake. The Lakes beach is a stone's throw away from Revel. The centrepiece of the genial device created in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet to supply water to the Canal du Midi, the Saint-Ferréol lake, classified as a World Heritage site. Humanity by UNESCO constitutes a tourist site to be frequented in all seasons. With its 80-hectare park, its waterfalls, its sheaf of water and its shaded alleys, the site offers all the pleasures of swimming (monitored in summer), fishing, discovering nature, as well as practising many sports: Boats, windsurfing, tennis, horse riding, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, speleology and gliding. I'm sure I've missed something there but it gives you an idea that there is something for every outdoor enthusiast. To get to Revel if you are not from France I recommend flying into Carcassone but it is also very reachable if you fly to Toulouse in the west or Perpignan in the east. Many of Europes numerous Airlines fly into one of those 3 airports - depending on where you are flying from. You are of course more than likely to be able to pick up a good deal if planned ahead. Kayak, Google Flights and Skyscanner should be the go-to websites for searching for the best flight deals. In my personal experience, my favourite place to go for European flight deals is Skyscanner. For some reason, Skyscanner works best when searching for European Flights over any of its rivals. If you are tempted to visit Revel and the Saint-Ferréol lake, you could stay in one of the hotels, Auberges or Airbnbs that are in and around the area. Over the years, I've had the fortune to stay in an array of hotels, apartments and various forms of accommodation while travelling. For the majority of travellers, I recommend Booking.com - yes there are hotel comparison websites such as Trivago and Kayak. However, from my years of travel experience, I've discovered both of these comparison websites do not have all the hotels, hostels and apartments listed. The reasons behind this could be some premises simply do not pay the comparison sights a fee or the reason could be something else. If you know of the reason do leave a comment below. However, I have discovered no matter what the location Booking.com will 9/10ths of the time have the most competitive deal and generally the most choice. However, if you are super keen to get the best deal- use Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, Lastminute.com and Hotels.com in separate browser windows. An alternative which I do recommend for your accommodation is Airbnb. The city authorities still allow Airbnb in the city (it hasn't been banned just yet). I've booked a number of apartments via Airbnb. If you have not used them before (you have probably been living under a rock). But if you use this referral link you will get many Dollars or Euros off your first booking and I'll get a very small referral kickback. I'm an Airbnb host as well as a frequent Airbnb traveller. I love Airbnb because not only does it make travelling more affordable but it also allows you to stay off the beaten track. Staying with a local or in your own cottage is far more unique than staying in a generic hotel you could find anywhere in the world. Use the map below to search for the perfect Airbnb stay within walking or driving distance of Revel. I hope you have a great time in Revèl France should you visit. I am not sponsored by the French 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. And 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 Thanks very much! Stay safe & keep Progressing! The Wondering Englishman.
Ternopil - a friendly city in western Ukraine worthy of one's time
Found tucked between Lviv & Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine located on the banks of the river Seret this small city could easily be missed by most Travellers and tourists keen to head either further east or further west. And yet like so many Ukrainian cities dotted around the magnificently large landmass; that is Ukraine - this city has its qualities and charms that many will feel enriched if they take the effort to experience. Ternopil (pronounced Ter-Nop-ill at least by this Englishman) once went by a similar name Tarnopol until 1944 when it was changed by the Soviets who had freed it from Nazi occupation. To get to Ternopil I took a train from Lviv Train station. A route you and many foreign visitors will likely favour as it’s only a 2-hour train journey from beautiful Lviv city. A word of advice though when travelling by train to Ternopil (if you can afford it) pay the extra for a more comfortable carriage. I sadly made the mistake of opting for the cheapest ticket with the Proidz app which in turn meant I ended up laying in a carriage with no ventilation from open windows and no air conditioning. Not the most comfortable of rides I’ve ever endured - some chicken buses in Honduras could be defined as more comfortable. This being western Ukraine the 230k residents of Ternopil mostly speak Ukrainian so do take the time to brush up on some basic Ukrainian. It goes a long way to be able to simply say “Please” & “Thank you” (“Bud Laska” & “DyaKuyu”). Although thankfully the younger population in Ternopil, like most places in Ukraine, probably speak better English than some of your English speaking friends ever could. The population is a homogenous 99%+ Ukrainian - this brings with it certain benefits to the local population and visitors. Low crime rates and a general feeling of safety combined with clean streets make for your time there (at least in my mind) extra relaxing. The beautiful city of Ternopil was founded in 1540 although some historians have suggested a settlement existed here before the Mongol raids in the 13th century, due to their brutality, all signs of that settlement were wiped off the land; as they came, they saw and destroyed everything in their path. This is a similar story to many settlements in this part of the world - only the most rigorous archaeologists and time travellers will be able to unearth one day what was once here centuries before. The 500 years of history that is known in Ternopil is though fascinating and worthy of anyone’s time should they have a vested interest in expanding one’s knowledge base and scratching beneath the surface. Ternopils 18th century Cathedral built-in 1749 stood out the most for me as it dominates the centre of this peaceful and welcoming city. If you are curious about whether it is worthy of a day trip, weekend or even longer? Maybe my video will sway you - in my video, on Ternopil I spent 24 hours exactly in Ternopil and took in the nightlife and every significant monument on the map - sadly due to lockdown measures I failed to see any museums or galleries but they do exist should you be looking to spend longer in the city than I did. One of the incentives to visit should be the incredible value of the hotels in the city for the simple reason this place is off the beaten track so prices are a fraction of what you will see in Lviv or Kyiv. The Airbnb market is a little small (but there are some bargains to be had). However, my tip would be to check out one of the many hotels and go old skool and imagine what it was like back in the old Soviet days. If you are needing extra information on how to navigate around Ukraine - I put together a free guide on how to travel around Ukraine with the different forms of Transport. In this guide, I explore the various modes of transport. All of which makes Ternopil more accessible and less off the beaten track. I am not sponsored by the Ukrainian 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 do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman If you would like insight into where to stay when in Kyiv Click Here Insight into the capital city Kyiv Click Here A tour around Odesa Click Here Considering exploring Dnipro Click Here #Travel #Ukraine
Zhytomyr, Ukraine - a city frequently ignored but maybe that will change
To someone not from Ukraine or possibly eastern Europe - the name Zhytomyr conjures up images (at least for me) of a city from another planet. The name, at least before I had visited; “Zhytomyr” didn’t look like it is from this realm and yet Zhytomyr (Pronounced Ja-Tom-Ya) is a city in North Western Ukraine a mere 150km west of Kyiv. The road that leads through Zhytomyr once linked Kyiv to Spain but it wasn’t until the 9th century do we have evidence of what one would call a major settlement. Although that’s not to say there wasn’t a village or town where Zhytomyr now stands before the 9th century it simply hasn’t had enough archaeological attention to find the evidence of such past extraordinary lives. I recently took the time to explore Zhytomyr, a fairly easy thing to do should you have the desire or the need to go there. A train will take just over 2 hours from Kyiv while a car or a bus will get you from Kyiv to Zhytomyr in a slightly quicker time. High-speed rail hasn’t impacted the Kyiv to Zhytomyr route just yet! Legend has it that Zhytomyr was established in 884 by Zhytomyr, prince of a Slavic tribe of Drevlians. This date, 884, is cut in the large stone found in the centre of the city that was thought to be left behind from the last ice age. Zhytomyr was one of the prominent cities of Kievan Rus'. The first records of the town date from 1240, when it was sacked by the Mongol hordes of Batu Khan. Along with the atrocities carried out by the Mongols in the 13th century. Zhytomyr has had a hell of a bloody and grim past - should one ever have access to a time machine and care to visit this city over the centuries; it would make many R rated horror movies feel like family movies. From Soviet oppression to Nazi brutality. Henrik Himmler insisted while in Zhytomyr that the Ukrainian civilian population be brought to a 'minimum when he was carrying out his atrocities in and around Zhytomyr. Scratch beneath the surface of this small city and I’m certain every street will tell a story worthy of any history buff time. While Zhytomyr won’t win any awards for its beauty or its culture it does have a grittiness and warmth found so frequently all over Ukraine. It has all the hallmarks of what makes a Ukrainian city from its large Soviet squares to its array of old Soviet buildings and monuments found spaced out over the grid-patterned city. Zhytomyr might be a city frequented more by those who are connecting on elsewhere than those seeking out an adventure. However, this is probably exactly the reason why it should be added to your list of places to visit - being off the beaten track and on the path less trodden can bring magical moments and because of this Zhytomyr is a worthy place to engage with and allow it to steal some of your time, possibly one weekend in the future. I spent 24 hours in the city of Zhytomyr where I made this video. I personally think the city would be more enjoyable and worthy of your time in the warmer months than the cold icy months, but certainly, a place that can be considered excellent value for food and drink. As the city gets few visitors in the form of tourists it has far less accommodation than most Ukrainian cities, but bargains and suitable accommodation can be found if you take the time to look on Airbnb or Booking.com. Both of which I regularly use and recommend should you find yourself travelling around Ukraine. The surrounding forests, rivers and quarry lakes would be time well spent if exploring the Zhytomyr region in the warmer months. With an array of nature to be found in the surrounding countryside, it could certainly be a place worth escaping to if needing a weekend break from the congested city of Kyiv. If you are needing extra information on how to navigate around Ukraine - I put together a free guide on how to travel around Ukraine with the different forms of Transport. In this guide, I explore the various modes of transport. All of which makes Zhytomyr more accessible and less off the beaten track. I am not sponsored by the Ukrainian 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 If you would like insight into where to stay when in Kyiv Click Here Insight into the capital city Kyiv Click Here A tour around Odesa Click Here Considering exploring Dnipro Click Here Visiting the city of Ternopil Click Here A guide to Kremenchuk Click Here #Travel #Ukraine
10 ways the media manipulate you with their news by Noam Chomsky & The Wondering Englishman
As an Englishman, in the early years of my life before the internet came along, I had to endure only the corrupt news programs I could find in the United Kingdom. Over time I learnt to observe the propaganda being inflicted upon myself and the wider population. In this article, I will look at how the media pushes propaganda on the masses, and while many of the examples will be focused on the UK, much of this would also apply to any country where you find corrupt media organisations intent on power and control of the masses. One by One I will look at the "10 manipulative methods" that Noam Chomsky categorised and spoke about in his book on Media Control. However, as the focus of this piece will be the British Media I think it might be wise to familiarise the reader with the British media. Like all countries around the world, the UK has several types of mass media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines and websites. The UK’s large music and film industries could also be considered the mass media and ways used to manipulate the population. The UK’s biggest media providers are the publicly owned public service broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The BBC's largest competitors are ITV plc, which operates 13 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, and the broadcaster Sky. Each and every one of these broadcasters is involved in the manipulation of the people. Let's now look at the 10 ways the media manipulate the masses. 1. The strategy of distraction The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. "Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals." (quote from text "Silent Weapons for Quiet War"). The British Media and particularly the BBC push their agendas on a daily basis. Sadly in recent years, the BBC pushes the Neo-Liberal agenda of Globalism upon the unsuspecting viewers, listeners and readers. They do this by shaping the news for large swathes of the population. Some citizens in the United Kingdom only get their news from the BBC. The BBC workforce has been intent for decades on a borderless Europe and Borderless world. So much so that the consequences of open borders and the mass importation of people from all over the world, mean the BBC will only highlight the positive impacts. They will ignore negative news stories that changing demographics bring to a population. So much so that in 2014; when it was confirmed that 1400 young girls had been systematically raped by Asian men in the Northern English town of Rotherham they barely touched on the story. Instead what would be considered a massive news story was regulated to their local Sheffield and South Yorkshire BBC page. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-28939089 - If you had blinked you would have missed the story at least on the day it broke. For years, the BBC has followed the same line of brushing these stories under the carpet by distracting the masses with stories of people dancing or distracting them with news from the USA instead of focusing on real stories in the UK. In 2021, the BBC has ignored every single anti-lockdown protest that has happened in London. And yet when there has been a BLM or Extinction Rebellion Protest in central London they devote non-stop airtime to these causes because these causes suit their agenda. 2. Create problems, then offer solutions This method is also called "problem-reaction-solution. It creates a problem, a "situation" referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let circumstances unfold and intensify the urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is demanding further security laws and policies to the detriment of their freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil with the retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services. Since the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, all media outlets in the UK that are owned by the Government or the Billionaires have all been peddling the same stories. Back in December 2019 and January 2020 networks in the UK and around the world started showing images on the television screens of Chinese people collapsing in the streets of Wuhan. We were told of dead bodies piling up in morgues in Chinese hospitals. All to instil fear into the general population. When the Global Lockdowns came the news networks had done such a fabulous job of beating the fear drum everyone accepted the authoritarian measures without question. People gave up their rights, their freedoms and their businesses, all because they believed what was happening was necessary. And yet as people began to notice that in no other country did people collapse in the streets and (at least in 2020) hospitals were not overrun with Covid victims - a solution was offered. The solution came in the form of untested new mRNA vaccines courtesy of our friends at big pharma. Coincidently the same industry that pays millions to all the networks in the form of advertising. Whose share prices would be at all-time highs in 2021 as their profit margins were in the billions thanks to the crisis that unfolded. In 2020 if the world had not watched the news, would they have known there was a pandemic? Death stats in 2020 suggest it wasn’t an exceptional year for deaths. And yet in 2021, when a solution has been provided to a problem, we only knew about only because the media had told us about it. Deaths now seem to be higher everywhere, despite the rollout of vaccines. Are they really vaccines? That is a topic for another day! 3. The gradual strategy Acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, ... so many changes that would have brought about a revolution and anarchy in the streets if they had been applied all at once. The BBC has been guilty of pushing the NeoLiberal agenda upon the population since the 1980s and it’s only gotten worse as the years have crept by. However, I think it’s very clear they have pushed the acceptance of every single one of these views listed above on behalf of big government and big business. In the last 2 years, the BBC has pushed the gradual strategy of giving up our rights to remain safe due to the Pandemic. Giving up our right to body autonomy came gradually with mask mandates, vaccine rollouts, then recently pushing mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports all with the rhetoric that it is for the good of society. Something that if it hadn’t have been done gradually; would have been resisted far harder. The LGBT & Environmental agenda has been pushed gradually and incrementally over the decades by the BBC. Some may argue that times are simply changing, but if they had shown what they are showing in 2021 back in 1981 there would be riots on the streets and people would have been smashing up their television sets in disgust. The gradual steps to make both these movements accepted by the BBC has happened over time. 4. The strategy of deferring Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as "painful and necessary", gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice than of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, the masses, always has the tendency to expect naively that "everything will be better tomorrow" and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes. Once again we can refer to the recent Lockdown agenda by the mass media. Pushing the idea that lockdowns are necessary to bring a better future. This was pushed daily by the corrupt journalists at the BBC despite the fact that Lockdowns have been shown to only cost lives and have no benefit upon society. Lockdowns did not save lives (americanexperiment.org) 5. Go to the public as a little child Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children's intonation, often close to the weakness as if the viewer were a little child or mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilising. Why? "If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger." (see "Silent Weapons for Quiet War") The BBC in all its headline news (BBC News Every hour) has a habit of speaking to the public as if they were children. It’s infuriating to listen to if you are subjected to this news. They’ve been doing this for decades and examples of this can be seen daily on BBC iPlayer - but I wouldn't recommend subjecting yourself to that garbage. 6. Use the emotional side more than the reflection Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis, and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of an emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas, desires, fears and anxieties, compulsions, or induce behaviours. 7. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. "The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be: poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes, is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes." (See "Silent Weapons for Quiet War").
Just in the same way that the BBC talks to the masses like they are children they keep their general broadcasts extremely basic. They prefer to push their ideologies and ignore alternative points of view or thinking. I keep referring to the Covid crisis but I think it’s very clear time and time again how they keep the public ignorant to what’s really going on. Hiding the upticks in natural deaths in the vaccinated. Hiding that the vaccines are killing people and hiding that there is clearly a risk from these forced vaccines. Various wars over the years the public has remained ignorant to unless of course, that war benefits British interests or British businesses. The war in East Timor was a classic example of those in the UK remaining blissfully unaware whereas the Gulf wars were blasted onto our screens and newspapers as they fitted the Globalist western agenda. 8. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity. Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated. It’s my belief that we can use the examples of what the BBC used to be and what it is today. In the past, back in the early 20th century, the BBC used to employ well-spoken and highly educated individuals to host their News, Television and Music programmes. I believe in the early 20th century before the first seeds were planted to destroy the west; the BBC wanted to uplift the population. Educate them on important matters and to do this they did this with an authority. Today in the 21st century the BBC employs individuals intent on filling diversity quotas. Individuals who think it’s acceptable to use lazy slang to appeal to kids, who seem to think urban culture is something to be idealised. The News, Television programming and music programmes all embrace mediocracy across the BBC in 2021. Everything is broadcast in bytes rather than long intellectual segments where open discussion of ideas can be had. Gone are the days when a well-educated individual from Oxbridge can talk about the works of Shakespeare over hours. Now we have programming on grime music and sports quizzes, pushed upon the masses because they are deemed mediocre and not worthy of having their minds stimulated. 9. Self-blame strengthen To let individuals be blamed for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action.
And, without action, there is no revolution! Throughout the entire Brexit debate the BBC informed the population that they weren’t strong enough to go it alone or leave the EU. Day after day this was drilled into them and to the horror of the Liberal Globalist BBC, the Brits voted to leave the EU. Ever since then anything that goes wrong financially or Politically, is according to the BBC; the Brits fault for voting Brexit! If too many migrants cross the channel illegally it’s the Brits own fault the BBC will claim. If there’s a downtick in GDP then that’s the fault of Brexit. This corrupt organisation will go out of its way to blame Brexit on everything and anything. 10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves Over the past 50 years, advances in accelerated science have generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the "system" has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves. The BBC will daily promote studies that suggest the individual should do this rather than that. And effectively live by the statement that Nanny (The BBC) knows what’s best for the individual and that all thinking should be done by them. It’s not a BBC example, but a fine example of this, was earlier this year, by another corrupt news organisation - CNN. CNN told its viewers not to do their own research into Covid Vaccines and that CNN will be the gospel of gospels. CNN: Do NOT "Do Your Own Research" on COVID Vaccines - The New American I believe our corrupt media globally is carrying out the 10 manipulative methods on a daily basis sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly. I think as time has gone on and it has become clear we are more easily manipulated than ever before. They have increased their determination to manipulate the population to an extent the public now have the lowest trust in the media. Trust won’t be regained until the media stops manipulating the public. And that will unlikely end while the media is in the hands of big corporations and government. If you appreciate this content and would like to support me further please do Subscribe to My YouTube Channel (it costs nothing). However, if you would like to donate you can do this via Ko-Fi, Patreon, Pledsto or SubscribeStar. Best regards and resist all Propaganda!