Sunday, 5 October 2014

Mallorca Island Tour in Pictures

Pictures from the No Frills Excursions Island Tour of Mallorca we went on during a recent holiday.

They took us on a coach, boat, tram and train journey covering the west side of the island. First up was a windy coach trip through the mountains to a small port called La Calobra.

From there was a boat trip round the coast until we reached Puerto Soller

Then a short tram trip to the town of Soller

The best till last was a trip on the Orange train, so called because that's what it transported to its destination the city Parma. And the best way to travel on it is standing on the end of a carriage.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The House of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Buzludza

I spotted this place on a list of the best abandoned places in the world online. When I told Eva about it she said it was not far from her Bulgarian home town, so on our summer trip we decided to go and do some urban exploring.

It sits on top of Buzludza mountain looking like a UFO landed from space

There is a way of getting inside, and from researching on other websites it seems its meant to be a secret so i'm not going to reveal how its done. I couldn't get in myself as i'm to tall and didn't have the strength in my arms to pull myself in due to once braking my arms. But Eva could get in and this is what she saw....

I am not entirely sure what the place was used for but I am guessing they had meetings there and people conducted speeches in the middle of the arena. I do know it was built on a spot where a person of importance was killed in a battle. There are no plans to restore the place because of the cost involved and there is no love from some people for the communist history of the country.

I took a piece home with me, a corner of a letter which had fallen from the wall on the outside. I wanted to take the whole letter but it was way so heavy I could not move it, and wouldn't of fitted in my suitcase. Here it is in our kitchen in Essex....

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Two Holy Days at the Rila Monastery

During my second ever trip to Bulgaria this summer we visited the Rila Monastery with which is built in the Mountains about an hour or so drive from Sofia. It is thought it was built by or for for St John Rila and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We stayed in a nearby hotel but it is apparently possible to stay in the Monastery itself.

This is the rock above the cave where St John of Rila lived as a hermit in the nearby mountains and prayed for 17 years, he most probably would of sat there looking out over the trees. By the end of it all he could perform miracles and animals would approach him as his friend.

To get to the rock you have to crawl through a hole out of the cave and if you can do it you apparently have no sins. I found it pretty tough having to crawl up bending my long legs, I must of done something nearly wrong to find it such a struggle.

This is a picture of inside a little church next to the cave where St John Rilla was at one time buried. No Photos Allowed !!!! Lucky I went up through the hole before I took the picture, or i could be still stuck in there!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is on the site where the London 2012 Olympics took place and is a good afternoon out if you know where to go. I also wanted to see if I could prove I would of won a medal in the Long Jump.

Its a vast area with lots of concrete open space and giant walks between what were the Olympic venues, and i'm talking about half an hour walks. Its really frustrating as well when you walk all the way along a path to find it blocked due to works taking place. The best place to go is at the front of the park where the orbit tower and aquatics center is as its where the water fountains and play parks are and we can act like kids

In the fountains
On a swing

 It was a shame we couldn't find a place called the view tube where you can hire bikes, it was probably 45 mins walk across some giant concrete space. Anyway here is my attempt for Long Jump gold.....

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Spring Morning Bicycle Commute

Hopped off my bike on the ride to the train station to take a few pictures.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Day Two in Paris, Notre Damme Coucher du Soleil

First breakfast when staying in Paris just has to be croissants from a bakery just around the corner from where we were staying..

Then it was off to the musee d'orsay, now that is what I call an art museum. In a great setting in a converted old train station..

If your pushed for time don't wast it trying to decipher the useless map (all french maps are awful) go to the top floor to see what must be millions of pounds worth of famous paintings.

Next visit was the Notre Dame where Eva made hundreds of new friends, but only learnt one's name which was Francois because I named him.

By the time we left the Notre Dame the sun was setting and the Paris sky was great for taking pictures...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Fools Gold in Paris

Standing on the bank of the Seine admiring the brownness of the flowing water, we were about to walk away a man approached and said whilst holding a gold ring "Is this yours, did you drop it?"

I've never worn a ring but I said yes in the heat of the moment and took it as a potential nice little earner. The man asked for 3 euros for a coffee, fair enough I thought and paid him. Walking further along the river in front of me what did I spot? A man crouching on the floor behind two men and then grabbing their attention and holding a gold ring.  That was the point I realised I'd been had, the men must have been locals because they completely ignored him.  Who was worse, me for taking the ring I knew didn't belong to me, or the man for setting up the scam in the first place? I would like to think if it turned out to be real gold I would of sent it back to the French authorities, but probably not.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Day One in Paris, Déception Musée du Louvre

This is part one of the story of our trip to Paris, the start of which was nearly disrupted by the tube strike that thankfully got cancelled at the last minute. I still created our own battle to get to the early Eurostar train from St Pancras though by forgetting to tap in my Oyster card and then getting off to correct it and getting back on a wrong train. Still managed to get there in time and whilst posing in front of the Eurostar train which I had been waiting a long time to have a go on, a man in a smart uniform approached us and asked if we wanted him to take a picture of both of us. We agreed and then afterwards he got into the drivers seat, if we knew he was the one taking us there I would of got him to pose with us.

Once arriving and dropping our stuff off where we were staying we went traveled by Metro to the Louvre museum. Nice glass pyramid out the front and was impressive in its architecture but not so much the content inside.

I'm not turned off by a bit of art which will be proved on a later post by how impressed I was by another museum we went to, the Louvre though was just full of historical religious paintings.You could quite easily get in free by flashing an old ticket or a bit of white card with a black strip on it as no one properly checked them. Its the most visited museum in the world probably because of the Mona Lisa which if you ask me is not even very good, and the Venus di Milo which didn't do much to distract me from my cheese and onion sandwich....

After the museum we walked up the Champs Elysees which is the Regent Street of Paris but with the Arc de Triomphe at the end instead of Leicester Square. Its a long walk from the Museum when its cold so recommend getting the metro halfway to miss the gap between Jardin des Tuieries which are the gardens outside the Louvre and the Champs Elysees itself. 

Only a short half day but much more was to come......