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  • Kremenchuk - a central Ukrainian city that may surprise you

    With a population of around 220,000, Kremenchuk is another one of those Central Ukrainian cities that is often overlooked. While in Kyiv I met many locals who had never even heard of Kremenchuk and this despite it not changing its name half a dozen times over the last century like its neighbour to the West - Kropyvnytskyi. Kremenchuk has existed in its own right since the 16th Century and since then its been one of the nuts and bolts of the industrial hub of Central Ukraine. However, the question that may have brought you here - is it worthy of a visit or your time? Kremenchuk was almost wiped off the map by European Brothers when the mother to end all wars the second world war was responsible for between 90-95% of the city being destroyed due to the fanatical fighting that took place here. On the 29th of September 1943, the city was liberated from the Nazis, this day is now forevermore celebrated in Kremenchuk as the City Day. Despite rising from the ashes with a remarkable post-war recovery aided by a healthier economy, it is said Kremenchuk lacks much of the architectural charm and distinctly Ukrainian character of its sister city, the oblast capital of Poltava to the East. And yet despite these claims made by those who may only want to be negative - I'm here to claim that it is a city of charm and beauty that will draw you in and leave permanent positive memories engrained on you. The first time, you may approach Kremenchuk you might approach it from the west. You will bump across a rusty old bridge that wouldn't look out of place crossing the Mississippi River in the good old United States. The first impression many will have is that this looks ominous but maybe it's exactly why the Ukrainian Government have injected almost $400million into a New suspended Bridge that will be constructed in the next couple of years making the old rusty Mississippi bridge obsolete. Upon arriving in Kremenchuk, it becomes quickly clear the city has beauty and plenty to offer the discerning tourist who is willing to take a chance on Kremenchuk. I'm a traveller that likes to find value when I stay anywhere in the world - so like clockwork on route to Kremenchuk, I found myself an apartment via Booking.com - realising upon arrival that I was going to stay for more than one night I booked another place for a second night. If you are curious about the quality of accommodation you can get in Kremenchuk I urge you to take a look at my video that shows you what you can get for a mere £17 a night. Also, I recommend using the Booking.com search function to have a browse at what is available for the dates you may have in mind. Once, checked into your apartment or hotel what on earth is there to see? Well, the widened Dnieper River is worthy of being marvelled out. Not too far out of the city is the reason the Dnieper River is as wide as it is around Kremenchuk. It's all thanks to the Hydro-Electric Dam that provides Electricity for the region as well as making the river at least at this point in the geography worthy of boat tours, beach time and simply a place to clear one's head. Since the De-Communisation of Ukraine that happened from 2014 onwards, Kremenchuk has now lost its Grand Lenin Statue however, it does have an array of monuments and Soviet architecture that is sure to pique anyone's interest. I was particularly taken aback by the beautiful parks that skirt the edge of the Dnieper River combined with an array of interesting characters that I found around every corner. It's a city that will spark your imagination for the days you find yourself there. If you are curious about what I may have seen while there - please do check out the recent video I made on Kremenchuk. 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 Kremenchuk 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(Odysee). I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY(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 #Ukraine #Travel #Kremenchuk

  • Ukraine is more than just Kyiv, Lviv & Odesa - been to Kropyvnytskyi?

    The biggest country in Europe at least for the moment - Ukraine is vast and worthy of 21st century travellers time. Regular visitors to this blog will note my enthusiasm for Ukraine via this Blog and via my YouTube Channel "The Wondering Englishman". Do check out the posts and playlists if you are curious about Ukraine as a place worthy of your time. I recently had the pleasure to visit the central Ukrainian city of Kropyvnytskyi. "Krop what ski?" Well, in a way you would be forgiven for never hearing about it until now or simply being unaware of this central Ukrainian city. Kropyvnytskyi only came by this name in the year of our Lord 2016! Kropyvnytskyi has changed its name several times over the years. The original settlement was known as Yelisavetgrad after Empress Elizabeth of Russia (r. 1741–1761) from 1752 to 1924 as well as simply Elysavet. In 1924 it became Zinovyevsk in honour of the Bolshevik revolutionary Grigory Zinoviev (1883-1936), who was born there. Following the assassination of the First Secretary of the Leningrad City Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) Sergei Kirov (in office 1926–1934), the town was renamed Kirovo in Kirov's honour on 7 December 1934 - a name change similar to those of numerous other localities throughout the USSR (including present-day Kirov in Kirov Oblast, Kirovakan, Kirovabad, as well as multiple instances of Kirovsk, Kirovo, Kirovsky and other derivatives). Concurrently with the formation of the Kirovohrad Oblast on 10 January 1939, and to distinguish it from the Kirov Oblast in central Russia, Kirovo was renamed Kirovohrad, a name it maintained until 2016. Due to mandated decommunization the name of the city then changed to Kropyvnytskyi, in honour of the writer, actor and playwright Marko Kropyvnytskyi (1840-1910), who was born near the city. However the Kirovohrad Oblast was not renamed because it is mentioned in the Constitution of Ukraine - only a constitutional amendment could change the name of the oblast. Kropyvnytskyi is between Uman & Kremenchuk and can be accessed via the immense bus network that serves Ukraine. It can be reached quite easily with a 4-hour drive from Kyiv. It is also possible to reach Kropyvnytskyi from Kyiv via train but it will take you twice as long on a train and often involve numerous changes however, this isn't to say it can't be done or shouldn't be done via train. But what is in Kropyvnytskyi for the traveller who wants to visit a destination in Ukraine that isn't Kyiv, Lviv or Odesa? Well, I found myself there in 2021 and decided to document what I found. This is An Englishman in Kropyvnytskyi. Of course, every adventure to every town, city and place will be different depending on the time of year and the interest of the traveller. However, I do hope that my adventure might inspire you to visit this Central Ukrainian city that is less trodden than most. If you are curious about where I stayed when I was there. I made another video showing just how affordable this little city is. When booking accommodation in Ukraine I tend to favour the Booking website Booking.com - However, I would also steer you towards Hotels.com and Airbnb for your accommodation needs. It's always good to use a selection that way you know you are getting the right price and the best value for money. The apartment/hotel I found in Kropyvnytskyi was via Booking - I recommend using the search below if you are curious about what is available in the centre of Kropyvnytskyi. 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 Kropyvnytskyi 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 #Ukraine #Travel

  • How to Travel inside Ukraine - Transport Guide

    Ukraine, a country I have become very fond of in recent years but there is more to Ukraine than just the magnificent capital Kyiv. The Epic country covers an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and northeast. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. With a population of about 42 million, it is the eighth-most populous country in Europe. So with all this knowledge of its geographical size, its population and the wealth of entries and exits into the country it's clear there is a lot to see. However, one might wonder how should one travel around Ukraine? Thankfully, I've been experimenting with the various modes of transport around Ukraine for many years now - I've made the mistakes so you don't have to! With this guide that I hope connects perfectly to my consistent content on Ukraine, I hope it encourages you to travel around this wonderful country. I am not sponsored by any tourist board, company or individual. The article does contain affiliate links that do reward me a tiny percentage should you ever make a reservation via these links. These links do not increase the price for you they are simply the companies way of saying thank you for bringing traffic to their business. Some recommendations will not have links simply because those companies do not have affiliate programmes. The recommendations I make are the same if I were advising friends or family and I would want them to have the best experience. My first blog and this blog was designed for Friends and Family but I'm now glad everyone can now benefit from my gained knowledge. Air If you have the cash and very little time to enjoy the roads of Ukraine then Air travel is one way to see the country very quickly. The network is very centralised, so more often than not you need to change flights in Kyiv when travelling between the south, east and the west. The number of domestic flights and carriers has fallen considerably in recent years. Personally, I've used Air Ukraine many times and despite the age of some of the planes, I've always found the service to be fantastic and I've always reached my destination on time and in one piece! Bus Travel Buses serve every city and small town, but they're best for short trips (three hours or less), as vehicles can often be small, old and overcrowded. However, luxury bus services run by big companies provide a good alternative to trains. Some bus stations you will encounter are quite orderly, while others remain chaotic. The domestic intercity bus network is dense and you can basically get anywhere with a bus. However, the quality of vehicles can vary a lot depending on where you are travelling. On routes where many tourists travel, you will find the majority of buses are in good or very good condition. But if you are travelling on less popular routes, you will in most cases end up on an older bus. Also on many routes, transportation is done in small buses. There are literally thousands of tiny transport companies operating services across Ukraine. However, on the main intercity routes the two large operators, Gunsel and Autolux use Western-standard coaches. Opt for their not-so-expensive 'VIP' services if you want more comfort as well as onboard wi-fi. German operator Flixbus has just entered the Ukrainian market and is set to expand its network. Car Travelling by car in Ukraine can be a rewarding if nerve-racking experience. However, road conditions are improving and drivers may even be becoming a little more disciplined. I've yet to experience any problems with the traffic police. This is not Asia or Africa where cops are corrupt, however, this didn't always use to be the case. Before 2014 corrupt cops were more common in 2021/2022 the cops are well trained and well paid. If you bring your own vehicle into Ukraine you will need an International Driving License as you may get yourself into trouble if you do not have one. Third-party insurance is compulsory. This will normally be covered by a 'Green Card' International Motor Insurance Certificate, which should be obtained before you enter Ukraine in your own car. Hire companies will provide their own vehicle insurance. Drive on the right. Unless otherwise indicated, speed limits are 60km/h in towns, 90km/h on major roads and 110km/h on some dual carriageways. There's a zero-tolerance policy on drink driving. Believe it or not, it's a criminal offence not to wear a seat belt (although everybody ignores this rule). Traffic cops have the power to stop you but not to issue on-the-spot fines. Hitching is not very common in Ukraine due to the sheer number of buses. A fancy form of hitchhiking is BlaBlaCar ride-sharing service has made inroads in Ukraine in recent years, but of course, few drivers speak English. However, the ones who do will be an excellent source of local knowledge and most likely be keen to practice their English on you. I've met some great people using BlaBlaCar - so I'm a big fan! Local Transport Ukrainian cities are navigable by trolleybus, tram, bus and (in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro) metro. Urban public transport systems are usually overworked and overcrowded. There's no room for being shy or squeamish – learn to assert yourself quickly. A ticket (kvytok or bilyet) for one ride by bus/tram/trolleybus costs 4uah to 10uah. depending on where in Ukraine you are. Most journeys in Kyiv are now 8uah. There are virtually no return, transfer, timed or day tickets available anywhere. It's common to pay the driver or conductor on the bus. Tickets on trams have to be punched on board (or ripped by the conductor). Unclipped or untorn tickets warrant an on-the-spot fine should you be caught. For the Metros Top-up cards & QR code tickets are now also available. The tokens are now a thing of the past. Metros run from around 5.30 am to just after midnight. Taxi Travelling by a standard taxi anywhere in the ex-Soviet Union can be a decidedly unpleasant experience for foreigners, as for some reason they take pride in gaming the meters. Before the days of apps I would say -if there's a bus or tram going to your destination, take it. However, since the advent of Uber, Bolt & Uklon in the major cities, the app services are now the way to go. Although sadly not every town is serviced by these Taxi apps but all the big cities are. I massively recommend using Bolt, Uber & Uklon when in Ukraine. When there is a surge compare the price of all 3 and you will never pay too much. Please download the apps before you arrive in Ukraine and make sure your credit card or Google or Apple pay is linked to the apps that way you will never worry about the driver having change for that 500 UAH ever again! 🚕 BOLT - Use My Code - "HFDHF" - £12 Credit 🚕 🚕 UBER - Use My Code - "uberAVT" - Free £/$ changes weekly 🚕 🚕 UKLON - No discount code but worthy of your time 🚕 Train For long journeys, the train is the preferred method of travel in Ukraine. The most useful and comfortable are the daytime Intercity+ trains. Many overnight trains have old, Soviet-era carriages. Services are mostly punctual. Every train station (zaliznychny vokzal or just vokzal) has a left-luggage counter, which usually goes by the Russian name kamera khranyeninya (камера хранения) or kamera zberihannaya (камера зберігання) in Ukrainian. Many are open 24 hours except for signposted short breaks. You usually pay when you deposit your luggage and retrieve it with the receipt or metal tag you are given. All classes have assigned places. Your carriage (vahon) and bunk (mesto) numbers are printed on your ticket. SV Spalny vahon (SV, sometimes called Lyux) is a 1st-class couchette (sleeper) compartment for two people. It's perfect for couples, but if you're travelling alone, sharing with a stranger can be awkward. Not available on many routes and books up immediately despite costing two to three times more than kupe. Kupe Kupe or kupeyny is a 2nd-class sleeper compartment for four people. The most popular class and also the safest and the most fun. Sharing the compartment with two or three others is less awkward than sharing with one other (as in 1st class) and there's safety in numbers. Kupe is about twice as costly as platskart. Unless otherwise noted, train prices are for kupe. Platskart Platskart is a 3rd-class sleeper. The entire carriage is open (no separate compartments), with groups of four bunks in each alcove, along with two others in the aisle. Zahalny vahon (obshchy in Russian) Fourth-class travel means an upright bench seat for the entire journey. This class of carriage is now rare on Intercity trains, but most elektrychky (slow electric trains) have this kind of seating. 1st/2nd Class (C1/C2) Carriages on the Intercity services have seating divided into two classes (there's little difference between them). There are basically three types of train: Express trains The Intercity express trains between Kyiv and major cities have airplane-style seats, a cafe, functional air-con and pleasant staff. They make few stops between the capital and regional centres. Pasazhyrsky poyizd (also known as poyizd, skory poyizd or shvydky poyizd) These are mainline services travelling long distances between cities, often overnight. They usually have compartments with individual berths for each passenger. Elektrychka (prymisky poyizd; prigorodny poyezd in Russian) These are slow electric trains running between cities and rural areas. They're often used by locals to reach summer cottages and gardens. Elektrychky sometime leaves from a dedicated part of a station set aside for local trains. They are extremely slow and stop at every station. No air-con and toilets are a hole in the floor. To avoid the hassle, buy tickets via the Proidz App, via their website or with the form below. In older trains, each carriage has an attendant called a provodnik (male) or provodnitsa (female), who collects your ticket, distributes sheets, makes morning wake-up calls and serves cups of tea. Dining cars rarely sell anything more than sandwiches, snacks and drinks, so bring supplies. Toilets are often locked some 30 minutes either side of a station. Bring your own paper. Don't drink the water from the tap. I'll try to keep this blog updated with up to date information as well as will keep posting videos about Ukraine on my Channel. 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 #Ukraine #Kyiv #Travel

  • Traffic Light Countries

    Ladies and Gentleman, the all-knowing Nanny Government has given the British Public permission to travel once again. Since being banned for much of 2021 from travelling we are now able to head to the airport and escape the Island Prison we have called home for so long. The Government has confirmed that foreign travel will reopen under a traffic light system from May 17th 2021. Countries will be split into three categories; green, amber or red, depending on how high-risk they are. Well, some pen pusher in the civil service must have assumed the public to be so stupid that we would only understand Red, Amber or Green and because we have become accustomed to sitting in our cars on overly congested streets thanks to the ballooning population of the last several decades - traffic lights seem to be what they went with. The system will slot the foreign destinations into three categories, namely green, amber and red, based on which varying degrees of quarantine and testing requirements will be determined for arriving passengers. For the Green category, the passengers need to take a pre-departure test and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on or before day two of their arrival in the UK. However, they will not need to quarantine on return, unless they test positive for Covid-19. Passengers arriving from destinations in the Amber category need to quarantine for a period of ten days. They are also required to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight. They can also opt for Test to Release on day five. All arrivals from the Red category will be subject to restrictions that are currently in place for those countries. The factors that will be assessed to determine the colour code of a particular country will include the rate of infection, the prevalence of Covid-19 variants and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated. It will also consider the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing. The list is likely to change but at the moment the countries UK Travellers can travel to from May 17th are the following: Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Singapore, Brunei; Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Madeira and the Azores. As an individual who has objected to Lockdowns and all the measures put in place since the World Health Organisation downgraded Covid-19 way back in March 2020 I personally think the expense of PCR tests are there to coerce the population into adopting Vaccine passports. Make the populations life harder than it need be so that they may accept the Chi-Com Social Credit system. Do not allow the government or your peers to guilt trip you in to not travelling - you are free human being and as long as you set forth in the world open to adventures the lay ahead and don’t bring your problems with you the world will welcome you with open arms. Travel is good for the mind, body and soul and by allowing these authoritarian restrictions to dictate what we can and can not do we are allowing the Globalists to destroy the dreams that we once had. Happy travelling Government websites will update I'm told every 3 weeks with country status. For the most updated information on Testing centres and travel costs, I recommend this link - which will take you to Money SuperSaving Expert who I'm told keeping this page updated daily. 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, Pledsto or SubscribeStar.

  • Will you get the vaccine?

    The left went into another meltdown recently as they reacted to the hugely successful podcaster Joe Rogan. The 53-year-old podcaster was simply having a conversation as he always does about everything and nothing. His show (The Joe Rogan Experience) is hugely entertaining and if you will recall from my Top YouTubers of the all-time list he featured on that list before he left YouTube for Spotify in a deal worth more than $100million. And yet this highly entertaining podcaster can't have an opinion in 2021 without being torn to shreds by those who would call themselves the left. Joe stated healthy people could forgo the coronavirus vaccine. "I'm not an anti-vax person," Rogan said. "I believe they're safe and encourage many people to take them." Rogan did not walk back on his suggestion that the young and healthy do not "need" vaccines, which drew backlash from every leftist rag and snowflake who has bought into this Plandemic. Just like Joe Rogan I simply have an opinion and I personally believe every individual on this planet should be entitled to their opinions. Joe may be x100000 more popular than most people in the world but that shouldn't deny him to have an opinion. Life is about personal choices and what you choose to stick inside your body should be a personal choice, not something that Technocrats, celebrities or the media should have any say in what you do. Sure they can spend all the time in the world trying to convince us to take an experimental potion that probably has little use to a person who is 99.9987% immune to Covid-19. However, when they try to coerce or enforce the population through laws then this is where they cross the line. Followers to this blog will be aware of all the Covid-19 material that I've churned out over the last 16months+. I was being called a conspiracy theorist for stating that vaccines would be available before 2020 was finished - before lockdowns even began in March 2020! Experts were stating that it would be 2-3 years before a vaccine would be available back in March 2020 and yet here I was stating vaccines would be here by the end of 2020. I didn't make the prediction because I'm psychic or that I have close ties to big pharma. I made this prediction because I knew the end game of a fake Plandemic would be vaccines and then the vaccine passport which would effectively enslave the Global population to a system similar if not identical to the Chi-Com Social Credit system. It is not my job or your neighbours' job to say if you should get one of the so-called vaccines that are now available at your local health centre or hospital. I and your neighbours simply have opinions on the matter. You will undoubtedly meet and greet people over the coming days and weeks who will shout with glee how they have just had their vaccine and thankfully they won't be suffering from the short term side effects that are impacting many people who have taken some of the vaccines. It is my hope these same smiley people won't later suffer from side effects in the medium or long term. Given that vaccine trials don't end until 2023 for Phizer and Astra Zeneca there is no way of knowing the health implications from these potions that so many are so willing to inject into their arms. I will not be coerced through guilt for others or be goaded by the line that it is for the greater good to submit to taking a vaccine. I will not be coerced to get the vaccine because otherwise, I will not be able to travel. In 1947, 2 years after the second world war ended it was decided in Nuremberg that Scientists should abide by 10 Rules. These rules were forever to be known as the Nuremberg Code. The first rule is "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential". If everyone taking these so-called vaccines knew they were test subjects would they be so keen to take them? Maybe, everyone is fully aware that they are test subjects, but I simply do not believe this to be the case. It's amazing how many NPCs I hear on a daily basis telling me that the vaccines are fully approved and fully tested. I think they believe if they repeat the mantra then it will prove to be correct when in fact it couldn't be further from the truth! The significant Short Term side Effects from the Covid-19 Vaccines (so far). Anaphylaxis (Severe allergic reactions) Bell’s Palsy Thrombo-embolic events with concurrent low platelets Capillary Leak Syndrome Death These are the significant side effects that are highlighted on the UK's Government Yellow Flag website on a weekly basis - each case is an actual person who took the vaccine in good faith thinking it would make their life better rather than worse. The website will unlikely report in the years to come how many people suffer Medium or Long term side effects as by then Governments and vaccine companies will be able to just claim the future medium or long term illnesses are not related to the vaccine taken in 2021. It's funny how if a person dies within 28 days of testing positive for Corona Virus they are labelled as a Covid-19 death even though they died in a car crash and yet when a person dies 2-3 days after taking a vaccine the cause of death is not the experimental vaccine! Should you wish to investigate vaccine side effects further - please check out the CDC's VAERS website where they keep a database on the impact of Covid-19 Vaccines. Let me know in the comments below if you have already been coerced into taking these experimental vaccines. Or if you plan to take one of them to simply be able to get on with the life that we once knew so well. If you do decide the vaccine is appropriate for you I hope you and your family will be 100% healthy in the short, medium and long term - but please do not wish ill on those who do not want to partake in this experiment. And if you believe in freedom then you will also believe in the right of your neighbour to forgo the vaccine without him or her giving up any of their freedoms. 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, Pledsto or SubscribeStar. #Covid19 #Vaccines

  • Where to Drink in London in 2021?

    The world has changed. London has changed. It’s not so easy that you just venture to a local London Boozer and have a drink. Now, you must pretend you have an NHS Track and Trace App. Now you must sign in as Mickey Mouse. Now you must sit outside in the cold and drink with the elements and hope the pub is breaking all carbon emissions with its outdoor gas heaters on full whack so that you may not catch Pneumonia (a problem that seemed to vanish and get replaced by Covid in 2020 and 2021). To be able to drink socially and with crowds, before things properly open again, now there are only really two places worthy of your time in central London. Soho & Borough market! Why are these the only areas worthy of your time in central London? Well, everything else is closed until May 17th - so our esteemed leaders have told us we must lump it to save lives! Yes, you will find the odd place that is lucky to have an outdoor terrace or beer garden open in London. However, given how few and far between these are compared to good old fashioned pubs and bars you will find most places are closed due to the lack of outdoor space making it impossible for them to open. On the first day that Pubs & bars were given permission to open up - I took a stroll from once lively Old Street to a once past it Soho to count who was open and who was not. This is what I found on that walk. Soho has risen from the ashes to be a place you actually may want to have a drink in once again. 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, Pledsto or SubscribeStar.

  • The Best Corner Guards for Baby in 2021

    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)

  • The London Mayor Candidates and who to vote for

    London - the greatest city in the world! Well, at least in my mind. So is it any wonder that a record-breaking 20 candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to run for Mayor of London. Running for office isn’t risk-free and is a very thankless task. Your political enemies will try their best to smear you in every which way possible. Politics is far from pretty and with the rise of social media and the internet, it has become easier and easier to throw mud at your political opponents. On May 6th, 2021 Londoners will get a chance to put an "X" next to their first-choice candidate and an "X" next to their second choice candidate however, there will be only one winner. So who are these brave individuals that have decided to throw their hats in the ring? Shaun Bailey: Conservative Party Kam Bayalev: Renew Sian Berry: Green Party Count Binface: Count Binface for Mayor of London Valerie Bown: Burning Pink Piers Corbyn: Let London Live Max Fosh: Independent Laurence Fox: Reclaim Party Peter Gammons: UKIP Richard Hewison: Rejoin EU Vanessa Hudson: Animal Welfare Party Sadiq Khan: Labour Party Steve Kelleher: Social Democratic Party David Kurten: Heritage Party Farah London: Independent Nims Obunge: Independent Niko Omilana: Independent Luisa Porritt: Liberal Democrats Mandu Reid: Women's Equality Party Brian Rose: London Real Party I think the reason so many have decided to run for mayor is telling on how bad a job Sadiq Khan has been for London and Londoners. Without a shadow of a doubt, Sadiq Khan has been the worst Mayor of London in all its history. You might think this statement is harsh but in reality, there have been very few Mayors in London. The first Mayor appeared at the turn of the 21st Century in the year 2000. Until then London had no mayor or needed a mayor and yet here we are in 2021 frantically trying to decide who should be the Mayor of London! The position was originally held by Ken Livingstone when the role was created on 4 May 2000 until he was defeated in May 2008 by Boris Johnson, who served two terms before being succeeded by Khan. It’s a close call between who was the best - Ken or Boris but it's an easy call to say the terrorist sympathizer and defender of all things woke Sadiq Khan has not made a positive impact on the lives of Londoners. For myself the hardest decision I’ve had to make in choosing who I will vote for is deciding between the following candidates: Piers Corbyn: Let London Live Laurence Fox: Reclaim Party David Kurten: Heritage Party Brian Rose: London Real Party I and every Londoner must make a first and second choice for Mayor. I liked these 4 candidates because they all agreed Lockdowns were disproportionate to the risk and they all have been advocates of Free Speech. Despite Piers Corbyn being a lovely man and being one of the leaders against Lockdowns I realized I couldn’t vote for Piers Corbyn because he was just too much of a Socialist. So it is, for this reason, I'm out when it comes to Piers. However, I will keep supporting him in the work he does in speaking out against Lockdowns. I also had to discount the incredibly strong candidate David Kurten because he turned his back on Gerard Batten when he allowed Stephen Yaxley Lennon to join UKIP. Despite never being a member of UKIP I felt this was poor politics on David Kurten's part. So this left two candidates for whom I could vote for. Laurence Fox & Brain Rose. I went in search of both candidates to see what they were all about. I hope you managed to watch the entirety of the video and if you did you would see I failed to document Brian Rose's Manifesto. However, thanks to the power of the internet and the ability to go forward in time I managed to finally catch up with Brian Rose and document his Manifesto and ask some of the questions that have been raised along the road to trying to establish who one should be voting for. Remember, democracy is far from the perfect system but by taking part in it at least on a local level there is hope that you may change things for the better. Please get Khan out of office! Happy Voting! #LondonMayor #Politics #LaurenceFox #BrianRose

  • Scammers are targetting Airbnb owners & those looking for a bargain property rental on Gumtree

    There are almost 8 billion people wandering around planet Earth and sadly a small fraction of them live their brief lives by scamming others. Now while Hollywood over the years has made some amusing films about the scammer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Sting & Catch me if you can - to name but a few). The reality is scammers can destroy people's lives in seconds with a well-thought-out scam. And at least in London, it would seem the Metropolitan Police does not seem to care to act on these scammers. I recently found my day being turned upside down as I was made aware that the property that I rent out on Airbnb & Booking.com was being used by a Scammer to potentially steal money from people looking for a London apartment. Once I had the details I immediatly got in contact with the Metroplitan Police. I informed them that the lady who had informed me of the scammers was willing to partake in the sting that would enable the Police to bring these scammers to justice. The response I got from the Police was to stay away and that they would not be helping me today. Well, I wasn't going to sit back and allow innocent victims to be scammed especially if they were under the belief that they were going to be moving into my property. I sprang into action and made my way to my property. I wasn't sure how many scammers were going to be at the property or if I would interupt the scammers stealing from an innocent victim. This is what went down: Sadly, the Metropolitan Police refused to take arrest the scammer. They didn't even want to search the scammer. They could have easily conducted a sting operation that day but because they didn't no one was brought to justice that day. However, I believe the world should know that Luke Francis (pictured) was one of at least two scammers involved in this operation. He and his accomplice or gang have most likely tried to continue with the scam as everyday victims are coming forward to say they have been cheated by scammers who fit the exact same discription as those I encountered that day. Londoners deserve a police force that looks those who pay their wages. The Metropolitan Police seem more concerned about policing those who don't want to wear a mask or those who are simply purchasing a coffee with friends than spending any police time or resources on catching real criminals in the act. London deserves a better police commisioner and a better police force. Sadiq Khan doesn't seem to care for the plight of Londoners and the people are tired of London becoming more and more lawless - something needs to change! The Ingredients of the Gumtree / Craigslist Scam. Find a property on Airbnb or Booking.com Rent that property for 1 night Advertise that property on Gumtree or Craiglist. When people respond to the advert inform them they can view the property on the day you are renting the property. The day you collect the Airbnb / Booking.com keys will be the day the scam takes place. As the Scammer will be playing the role of a fake Estate Agent. You will be showing potential victims around the property that has been advertised for 50% of its true value. Inform the victims that if they would like to secure the property they must return to the property with 6 weeks of rent up front in cash. Final day of the scam - the victims turn up to the apartment with 6 weeks rent in cash. Get them to sign a fake contract and inform them they can move in at the weekend. Repeat this with every person prepared to leave a cash deposit prepared to secure the property. Hand the Airbnb Keys back to the owner (hopefully via a lockbox that way they need not meet you) - the owner is none the wiser that their property has now been fraudulently sub-let to a victim whose cash you have just taken. Go home with thousands of pounds of cash in your bag, safe in the knowledge you are a scumbag and you have just ripped off countless victims who worked hard for their cash. By the time the victims realise they have been scammed - you the scammer will be long gone with their cash and the victim will be thousands of pounds poorer and the Metropolitan Police won't give a damn. Of course if you are a good human being you won't be scamming anyone. The bullet point list on the scam is meant to inform people of the existance of the scam so that it does not happen to you or people that you know. Please do not go down the dark path in life where you think the only option you have in life is to scam innocent people out of their hard earned money is the only way you can earn a living. If you found this information useful or eye opening share with a friend or relative that you think might find this information useful. The only way to beat these scammers is to never allow them to win. The police certainly won't want to help you so it is your job to help yourself! Please do check out this blog for more content 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 #Scammer #ScamAlert

  • Kyiv - Ukraine - where to stay?

    I hear you are thinking of taking a short break to one of Eastern Europes finest capital cities. Flights are booked and I'm sure you found the best deal by searching with Skyscanner. The question which hopefully brought you to this page (and this always insightful blog) is most likely "Where to stay in Kyiv?" Kyiv the capital and most populous city of Ukraine is located in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper River. Its population is thought to be around 3million people although some estimate it to be much higher - if this is the case it's the seventh most populous city in Europe. Making it a reasonably large city to navigate for any prospective tourist like yourself. If you are looking for inspiration on the city or on things to do while there be sure to check out my YouTube Channel (The Wondering Englishman) and also this Blog Post (Kyiv or as some still wrongly say Kiev - is booming!) However, do stick around and take in this post, as we will now look at the options on places to stay while visiting Kyiv. Regular readers of my Blog & viewers of my Channel will have observed I know Kyiv very well. I would be lying if I said you must stay in this part of Kyiv as it's the best part of Kyiv to stay in, and the only part of Kyiv worth seeing. Kyiv is a wonderfully big city - however, where you stay will really depend on your needs. For the benefit of this article, I'm going to assume you are visiting Kyiv for a long weekend or maybe a little longer and you're visiting this unique city for leisurely reasons as opposed to business reasons. Administratively, the city is divided into districts (raions), which have their own units of central and local government with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. Kyiv has a total of 10 Districts. The districts I would advise new visitors to the city to stay in, to guarantee the most use of the city is Pecherskyi District (Печерський район), Podilskyi District (Подільський район) and Shevchenkivskyi District (Шевченківський район; after Taras Shevchenko). Basically everything around the centre and on the West side of the RIver. Although please do not think I'm saying you shouldn't stay in the other districts as all are worthy of your time - it's just when time is limited these 3 districts are where you should focus on finding the right accommodation for you. Over the years I've stayed in a selection of amazing places while in Kyiv - ranging from the best five-star hotels to serviced apartments, penthouses, and humble hostels for when I've simply arrived during Independence day and realized everything is fully booked! When visiting Ukraine I use 3 different websites to book the majority of my accommodation - they all offer something different hence the reason I use all three portals. Those portals for booking accommodation are where I book a lot of my accommodation through. They are Airbnb, Booking . com. and Dobovo. If you aren't a user of any of these website's I can't recommend them enough. All have been super useful to me on my travels around Ukraine. I believe there will be 3 types of tourist travelling to Kyiv - Those with an infinite budget where the price is not relevant to them, The Price-conscious traveller who wants the best value for money and the traveller on a shoestring. Here are my recommendations for all 3 of you. And if it counts for anything I have personally stayed in everything I recommend and I am not sponsored by any of these places. Luxury Traveller - Price doesn't matter 11 Mirrors Design Hotel This is the number one rated hotel on Tripadvisor - however, this is not the reason I'm recommending this phenomenally beautiful hotel. I've had the good fortune to stay here again and again and have always been impressed by the comfort, location, and service. This is a boutique hotel so it must be noted that this hotel only has 50 rooms so during peak season this hotel does tend to be sold out and deals are generally few and far between as the demand always remains high. The comfort and design are where this hotel trumps competitors but due to its small size, it is lacking in other comforts you would expect for the price bracket. This hotel would be perfect if only it had a swimming pool and a larger bar area rather than the small bar it has tucked away past reception. Hilton Kyiv Located on the other side of the road to Kyiv's Botanical Gardens almost at the top of a reasonably steep hill one will find the very popular Hilton Kyiv. As you would expect from Paris Hilton's Grandfather's empire this is a large hotel with many rooms. As this is a 5-star hotel you will be left very satisfied with the breakfast - perfect way to energise ready for those long walks around this megacity. And yet the real reason I really love this hotel is its fantastic Swimming Pool. I would stay at this hotel sometimes just to use the spa facilities and its awesome pool. The pool makes up for it's less than central location. Intercontinental Kyiv Boasting one of the most central locations in Kyiv (at least from a Tourists perspective) this 5-star hotel drips in luxury and finesse. I love the massive ornate reception of this hotel. (a close second to this hotel for its reception would be the Premier Palace.) However, its the size, comfort and modern rooms that make me choose this place over other rivals not mentioned today. A good 5-star hotel should always have a decent bar and the Intercontinental Kyiv has exactly this. The hotel bar is the perfect place to begin an evening before venturing out into the wider city. I recommend sampling one or all of their many fine cocktails. Many an enjoyable late-night has been had drinking whisky in the rooftop bar. The bar is worthy of your time even if you never get to stay in this superb hotel. Mid Range - Price matters but so does where you stay Once again all these recommendations will be places I've stayed and with full disclosure, I'm not sponsored by any of these recommendations so its entirely my own independent advice. MaNNa Boutique Hotel Now I was debating if I should put this hotel under the Luxury section but I decided against that. Not because this place isn't super comfortable or extremely luxurious - it's just if you get lucky, at certain times of the year, this place can sometimes be very affordable. The Location for me is extremely special - located on the southernmost edge of Podil it oozes hip and what the trendy kids define as cool. Small details make this place special and worthy of your time especially if you are looking to impress that lucky person travelling with you. Only time will tell if this place gravitates out of the Mid Range prices and into the super-luxury section. Any economist will tell you that demand tends to push up prices and sadly I think prices for this place will only go higher in years to come. Airbnb Despite recent Lockdown problems where Airbnb left the majority of hosts high and dry when Covid-19 swept over the world, I still have a fondness for this company. There are hundreds of worthy Airbnb apartments to stay in while in Kyiv. Some of course are better than others. However, I wanted to list my two favourites that can be found on Airbnb in Kyiv that I've had the pleasure of staying in. The first is located 1-2 minutes from Maidan Square and has good old fashioned sleek comfort. Whereas the second is located Slightly to the south of the centre next to the best Vietnamese restaurant in Kyiv - NAM. If you are curious, do check them out below but remember there are hundreds of Airbnbs to choose from in Kyiv and many are worthy of your time and money. Travel on a Shoestring - but still, live well It won't last forever, but for the moment Kyiv is a very affordable destination. Personally, I always prefer to have my own place, however, when backpacking and trying to make your budget stretch, hostels and shared accommodation should always be considered. These places are also great ways to meet like-minded people and sometimes locals if you opt for the shared accommodation. There are Hostels in Kyiv for less than $5 but if you spend a little more you will find something far nicer. I really rate Dobovo for finding affordable apartments. Booking.com for last-minute deals and of course Airbnb. If you leave booking to the last minute, as long as Kyiv isn't super busy, you can find some real bargains. The reason for this - Airbnb algorithm reduces the prices the closer you get to your travel date. Capsule Living An export that seems to have come from Japan are the capsules. Capsules it would seem have transformed the old fashioned hostel. Partly inspired by the old sleeper trains and partly inspired by Sci-Fi space movies. Guests to these hotels/hostels now have their own Capsule/Pod. The more luxurious ones have some space between themselves and other guests. Whereas the cheap and cheerful ones are usually stacked on top of each other, like a bunk bed, but this time a capsule upon capsule. Pod Living really has come to Kyiv, as BC (Before Covid) there seemed to be a new one in the city popping up almost every month. Only time will tell if this is the way all hostels and budget hotels will go or if it's just a fad. In the meantime, you might as well embrace it for a mere $5-$10 a night depending on which one you use. AV-2 Capsule Hotel With a super central location and at the time of writing this article in 2021, AV-2 Capsule Hotel is the cheapest Capsule accommodation in Kyiv on average. Clean and worthy of your time if you are wanting to save the pennies and live like a Japanese Businessman or a Space Cadet in wonderful Kyiv. Single capsules and Double Capsules are on offer. So, this would work if you were a couple and your other half was open to zany new things. Montel Maidan These Capsules I believe have been imported from China. How do I know that? Well, for some reason, Google keeps presenting me with adverts on buying one of these new capsules. The mega-giant Google must know, I think they are an excellent idea and should be in every airport in the world. Sadly airports would rather you sleep on cold tiled floors or unwelcoming benches where every chair has its own armrest thus making laying down nigh on impossible. However, more importantly, Montel Maidan made the investment in these slick space ages capsules. Located right in the heart of Kyiv by Maidan Square. This place seems to be double the price of AV-2 due to the high tech nature of the sleeping quarters and yet by European standards it still remains good value. A-Hostel Less Futuristic but almost exactly the same and with an excellent vibe, the A-Hostel is just around the corner from the Gullivar Shopping centre. Everything you would expect from a hostel, but due to the pod-like sleeping quarters which are either Single or Doubles, you are guaranteed privacy, when you are craving some needed rest after taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful Kyiv. Worthy of your time if you are young and need to meet other travellers - this and the Good Dreams Hostel (however not officially on this list - as it's a little run down in recent years) are probably your best bets if you are looking to remain social with other travellers while on the road. The beautiful thing about Kyiv is there is an array of districts to explore and places to stay, all offering value to the different types of tourists who will eventually visit the city. I'll keep updating my YouTube Channel and this Blog on Ukraine content - so, do stay tuned. From how to travel around Ukraine to what there is to do. In my latest two videos on Ukraine (Playlist of over 20 videos), I see how safe the Kyiv Metro is while the nation undergoes the globalists Covid-19 Crisis and in the second video, I walk the entire Main Street in Kyiv - Khreschatyk Street. 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 #Ukraine #Kyiv #Travel