Month: January 2013

Istanbul (2012) #4: Turkish Art and the Spice Bazaar

Down the side of Sultanahmet mosque is a square with Egyptian obelisks brought to then Constantinople by the Romans and the Serpent Column of Greece which once stood as a Pan-Hellenic monument to the Greco-Persian war made from melted weapons of Persian soldiers and dedicated at Delphi.   On the right from there is the less visited Museum

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Istanbul (2012) #3: Topkapi Palace and its Harem

Topkapi Palace closes early in the mid-afternoon and fills up fast so if you want to see Istanbul’s most iconic Ottoman palace before the crowds at the gates become unbearable than get there before half ten. It’s 25 Turkish Lire (TL) inside and another 10 TL to see the Harem area which was in my

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Istanbul (2012) #2: Blue Mosque, Chi Kofta and crossing to Asia

Istanbul has a wonderfully organised public transport system where with just one card, the Metro Card, you can take the tram, ferries, buses and metro. You can top it up at most shops and the machines at the stations and ports. Also one can be be shared throughout a group perfectly legally.    Using Seán’s

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Brave New World: Banned Books #6

“You got rid of them. Yes, that’s just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether ’tis better in the mid to suffer the sling and arrow of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them…But you don’t do

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Istanbul (2012) #1 Solid History

We froze, forks halfway to our mouths and halted our conversation as the sundown prayers were called out in song through the city evening. The restaurant, a tourist favourite, kept on bustling. A haunting echo sang back from the city in reply. That morning that we had sleepily left our house and now we were sitting

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Barcelona & Tarrgona (2012)

“I’m sorry madam; you’re going to have to check that bag in. There is a fifty euro charge.” There is a reason everyone hates Ryanair. Call me madam one more time, go on I dare you… Okay so it was not the most promising start to a holiday ever but despite being fifty euro out

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From London to Glasgow 2011 #5: Glasgow

We didn’t have long to stay in Glasgow. I regretted not allowing more time for Scotland in hindsight. I definitely want to organise another trip to Scotland some time this summer, maybe even take in some of the Edinburgh Fringe Fest. if I can get some kind of a job. Glasgow has a bad reputation.

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From London to Glasgow 2011 #5: Fort William

The train from Glasgow to Fort William takes four hours and winds its way up the west Scottish coast. It is worth every second. Of course I like trains. Buses and cars make me nauseous sometimes but I can read and eat all I like on trains. There’s space to walk around and stretch your

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From London to Glasgow 2011 #3: York

We arrived in York to a surprisingly gorgeous day. What marred our enjoyment of the sweltering heat was the half hour walk to our hostel. This walk actually took about an hour because we got lost twice. The walk would have been beautiful under any other circumstances. The river was idyllic, the green parks that

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