Trekking Nepal in January: Annapurna – Dhaulagiri, by guest adventurer Joy Sunday
Pashupatinath Temple Holy Men
Holy men in a temple in Nepal. For a dollar you can photograph them …..
Be prepared to rough it (just a bit) if you decide to trek Nepal. Even if you don’t get off the beaten track, which we did for 6 of the 10 days on the Annapurna – Dhaulagiri trek, Nepal is a third world country and, as such, requires all the appropriate considerations and an open mind if you are going to appreciate your adventure. Continue reading →
England is well known for its historical pubs, some dating back to the middle ages, and what better place to do a historic pub crawl than York?
York Pub Crawl
As one of England’s most historical cities, there are plenty of pubs in York worth a visit.
Copyright: Phil Wiley
Ye Olde Starre Inn which is in Stonegate, a quaint narrow paved street, is my favourite pub in York. It’s hard to walk past it without popping in for a pint of cider, or Theakston’s Old Peculiar (a Yorkshire beer). They also do great ‘pub’ lunches, and the atmosphere is not too bad either You’ll have the time of your life. Especially if you’re on a York pub crawl with your mates.
Not only that, but being the oldest pub in the city, Ye Olde Starre Inn holds real historical significance. It dates back to 1644, the time of King Henry VIII’s reign, and is the subject of many ghost stories. The Battle of Marston Moor was fought near York in the English Civil War and the Inn’s cellar was used as an operating room for the wounded. It is said their screams of pain can still sometimes be heard throughout the pub. Another interesting story is that of the two cats who were apparently bricked into the pillar between the door and the bar. It is said the cats can be heard scampering through the pubs and that dogs bark and hit their heads against the pillar trying to get to the cats.
York Pub Crawl – The King’s Arms
Another pub in York that is of particular interest is the Kings Arms. This is one of, if not the best known, of the pubs in York. As you wander inside to the warm, friendly atmosphere take a moment to look around. As you are greeted by the smiling staff and a friendly open fire (in the colder months) you will notice the pub’s inside decor of stone and wood features plaques of water heights.
The Kings Arms is best known for its capacity to flood. Being located on the banks of the River Ouse, every time the river bursts its banks the famous York pub goes under water. When it’s not flooded they serves up a fantastic king-sized meal. Sit inside by the fire, or on the banks of the River Ouse and have a pint or two and a bite (well a lot of bites) to eat.
York and the surrounding area is said to contain one pub for every day of the year, although this now probably a little exaggerated. It is said, with poetic licence, that there is no point within the city walls where one can stand and not be able to see at least one pub and at least one church. So if you like English beer go on a York pub crawl.
Now in its 27th year, The Good Pub Guide once again brings you the very best pubs in Britain. The only truly independent guide of its kind, its comprehensive yearly updates and countless reader reports ensures that only the very best make the grade.Whether you are looking for a delicious gastro meal for that special night out, or just want a quiet, laid-back pint in a friendly countryside local, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect location among the unique, memorable and often hidden-away places. Excellent as a guide for your York pub crawl.
Everything discerning drinkers need to know about bottled beers is collected in this pocket-sized guide: tasting notes, ingredients, brewery details, and a glossary to help the reader understand more about them. This bottled beer bible, acclaimed by brewers, bottle collectors, and everyday drinkers, covers all the bottle-conditioned real ales currently brewed in the UK, with a special section at the front highlighting the best 500. Features on how real ale is brewed and bottled. Beer that ferments naturally in the bottle has a complex, fresher taste, just like draught ale that has been allowed to mature in the cask. A rating system highlighting beers of special merit, including CAMRA Bottled Beer Award winners. Everything you need to know about bottled beers is here—where to buy them, tasting notes, ingredients, brewery details, and a glossary to help. Very useful you want to start off your York pub crawl with a few beers at home before hitting the pubs.
List Price: $ 19.95
Price: $ 12.28
This is the Ghostly Pub Tour of York as Detective O’neil takes the general public to the most haunted pubs around the city of York.
York Pub Crawl – The Golden Fleece
The Golden Fleece is an inn in York, England, which has a free house pub on the ground floor and four guest bedrooms above. It was mentioned in the York City Archives as far back as 1503 and is rumoured to be haunted. The inn claims to be the most haunted public house in the City of York. The back yard of the inn is named “Peckitt’s Yard” after John Peckett, who owned the premises as well as being Lord Mayor of York around 1702. His wife Lady Alice Peckett is said to haunt the pub, which was featured on the British TV programme Most Haunted in 2005.
The Golden Fleece, York - Photo: Phil Wiley
“Many guests have reported seeing the late Lady Peckett wandering the endless corridors and staircases in the wee, small hours and, including ghostly apparitions and moving furniture, hers is just one of the five resident spirits.”
The pub is situated on The Pavement in the centre of York, opposite the historic Tudor street called The Shambles.It has a recognisable large golden fleece (dead sheep) hanging above the door. Nearby attractions also include the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall (who were former owners of the inn themselves), Cliffords Tower, and York Minster….source: wikipedia.org.
York Pub Crawl – York Brewery
York Brewery opened in May 1996 in York, England using the disused brewery equipment of Lions Original Brews from Burnley and was the first brewery within the city walls for 40 years. In 2007, it expanded so to increase its output by 50 per cent. In December 2008 York Brewery was taken over by Mitchell’s Hotels and Inns of Lancaster which plans to expand its business and create jobs.
It produces award-winning ales (and what other kinds do you want to drink on your York pub crawl )
The brewery’s ‘Centurion’s Ghost Ale’ was named champion in the Brewing Industry International Awards 2002 and won the ‘Best Strong Bitter’ Gold Medal at the Great British Beer Festival in 2006 and 2007. Its beer, ‘Guzzler’ won the gold medal in the bitter category of the Small Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) North Beer Competition in January 2006 and the gold medal in the bitter category of the North Beer Competition, held by the Society of Independent Brewers, in January 2007. ‘Yorkshire Terrier’ won the bronze medal in the Champion Beer of Britain competition held at the Great British Beer Festival in 2000, and the silver medal in the Society of Independent Brewers North Beer competition in February 2003.
The brewery produces four ales year-round: Yorkshire Terrier, Stonewall (removed as a permanent for 2009, replaced by Constantine), Guzzler and Centurion’s Ghost, as well as several seasonal ales. Centurion’s Ghost Ale, which is 5.4% alcohol by volume, is York Brewery’s strongest beer and is named after an incident when an apprentice plumber saw Roman soldiers marching through the cellar of Treasurer’s House in York. ‘Brideshead Bitter’ was produced in conjunction with Castle Howard, where scenes from the television series Brideshead Revisited were filmed.
The brewery is located centrally within York on Toft Green, and offers tours of its facilities to the public. As well as producing ales, the brewery also runs three pubs within York, namely The Three-Legged Mare, The Last Drop Inn and The Yorkshire Terrier Inn, and one, Mr. Foley’s Cask Ale House, in Leeds. Its beers are however available in many other pubs throughout York and the wider Yorkshire area.
Best Pubs in York for your historic York pub crawl.
The Maltings: Tanners Moat ,York, Yorkshire ,YO1 6HU (just over the river from York city centre)
Good food and beer including Black Sheep Bitter, plus the landlord keeps six guest ales on hand pump including one each from Roosters and York and four that change daily.
The Good Pub Guide calls it a “Bustling, friendly city pub with cheerful landlord, interesting real ales and other drinks plus good value standard food”
The Golden Fleece: 16 Pavement, York, Yorkshire, YO1 9UP
Small city centre pub with good beer and added ghosts.
The Three Tuns: 12 Coppergate, York, Yorkshire, YO1 9NR
Sizeable lively open-plan pub, four well kept ales such as Wychwood and Jennings, decent generous food from sandwiches up
The King’s Arms: 3 Kings Staith, York, Yorkshire, YO1 9SN
Fine riverside position (prone to flooding – past water levels shown), bowed black beams, flagstones, lunchtime food from sandwiches up, Sam Smiths; picnic-sets out on cobbled waterside terrace, open all day. It’s great York city centre location on the banks of the River Ouse means it’s often crowded and on sunny days hard to get a seat outdoors. But it should definitely be on your list for your York Pub Crawl. Unless it’s flooded of course
Ye Old Starre Inn: 40 Stonegate, York, Yorkshire, YO1 8AS
My favourite pub in York, probably because my cousin Pete Wiley used to work in there as a barman, but it’s a must on your York pub crawl, with good food and more importantly lots of good beer.
One of York’s greatest strengths is its superb pubs. If you’re not a fan of places like the Slug & Lettuce, if your idea of drinking hell is overly-cold-so-as-to mask-the-taste Carling and if you don’t think much of having your …
Mirror.co.ukTravel: Martin Fricker enjoys a weekend in historic YorkMirror.co.ukLEGEND has it that the walled city of York has 365 pubs – one watering hole for every day of the year. But there is much more to the former Roman settlement than its abun …
York is also known for being haunted. There are pubs and houses that are apparently haunted and have been on tv because of that. Unfortunately we didn’t go inside any of them. We walked along the wall surrounding the City, …
With Twissup York fast approaching we’ve put together a rough plan for the day, a lot of this will depend on how people are feeling and how many turn up, some of the pubs won’t fit a huge number of people in so we may have to split up …
Yesterday’s York pubs were The Swan, The Slip Inn and The Golden Ball. The Swan is truly an ace pub. Two rooms and what the Bavarians would call a Schwemm (see http://tinyurl.com/schwemm for a brief description of the wonderful …
The Alhambra (meaning ‘red fortress’ in Arabic) is an ancient palace and fortress built by the Moorish rulers of Granada in southern Spain (known as Al-Andalus when the fortress was constructed), occupying a hilly terrace on the southeastern border of the city of Granada.
Granada - Copyright: Phil Wiley 2005
Once the residence of the Muslim rulers of Granada and their court, the Alhambra is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions exhibiting the country’s most famous Islamic architecture, together with Christian 16th century and the later additions of the ornate gardens that can be seen today.
In the warmer months the Alhambra can become so full of tourists that the Palace (full of art and antiquities) closes it’s doors quite early. They only allow a set number of visitors inside per day, so if you arrive later than midday you could be locked out. You can still enter the grounds, and walk the walls, but you won’t get to see many of the treasures.
Granada from Alhambra
Copyright: Phil Wiley 2005
My suggestion is to get there no later than 11am. If you’re staying in Granada be aware that it’s quite a hard walk from most of the tourist hotels so, unless you speak Spanish and can find the right bus (and bus-stop) it’s probably best to get a taxi.
The Palace of Charles V, within the Alhambra, was erected by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527. Its most westerly feature is the alcazaba (citadel); a strongly fortified position. The rest of the plateau comprises a number of palaces, enclosed by a relatively weak fortified wall, with thirteen towers, some defensive and some providing vistas for the inhabitants.
Completed towards the end of Muslim rule in Spain by Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353-1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last days of the Nasrid emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as Christian Spain won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra mixes natural elements with man-made ones, and is a testament to the skill of Muslim craftsmen of that time.
Alhambra - Copyright: Phil Wiley 2005
The literal translation of Alhambra “red fortress” derives from the colour of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings now seen today are reddish.
The first reference to the Qal’at al Hambra was during the battles between the Arabs and the Muladies during the rule of Abdullah ibn Muhammad (r. 888-912). In one particularly fierce and bloody skirmish, the Muladies soundly defeated the Arabs, who were then forced to take shelter in a primitive red castle located in the province of Elvira, presently located in Granada. According to surviving documents from the era, the red castle was quite small, and its walls were not capable of deterring an army intent on conquering. The castle was then largely ignored until the eleventh century, when its ruins were renovated and rebuilt by Samuel ibn Naghralla, vizier to the King Badis of the Zirid Dynasty, in an attempt to preserve the small Jewish settlement also located on the Sabikah hill. However, evidence from Arab texts indicates that the fortress was easily penetrated and that the actual Alhambra that survives today was built during the Nasrid Dynasty.
The magnificence of Alhambra is well portrayed in this slideshow.
The music, ‘Granada’, is provided by Andres Segovia on the guitar.
Ibn Nasr, the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, was forced to flee to Jaen in order to avoid persecution by King Ferdinand and his supporters during attempts to rid Spain of Moorish Dominion. After retreating to Granada, Ibn-Nasr took up residence at the Palace of Badis in the Alhambra. A few months later, he embarked on the construction of a new Alhambra fit for the residence of a king. According to an Arab manuscript published as the Anónimo de Granada y Copenhague,
“This year 1238 Abdallah ibn al-Ahmar climbed to the place called “the Alhambra” inspected it, laid out the foundations of a castle and left someone in charge of its construction”
The design included plans for six palaces, five of which were grouped in the northeast quadrant forming a royal quarter, two circuit towers, and numerous bathhouses. During the reign of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city complete with an irrigation system composed of acequias for the gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress. Previously, the old Alhambra structure had been dependent upon rainwater collected from a cistern and from what could be brought up from the Albaicín. The creation of the Sultan’s Canal solidified the identity of the Alhambra as a palace-city rather than a defensive and ascetic structure.
The Muslim rulers lost Granada and Alhambra in 1492 without the fortress itself being attacked when King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile took the surrounding region with overwhelming numbers.
The Radcliffe Camera, locally known as “Rad Cam” or “Radders”, is a building in Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737-1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. The building was funded by a £40,000 bequest from John Radcliffe, who died in 1714. Nicholas Hawksmoor originally proposed making the building round, although the final plans designed by Gibbs were quite different from those planned by Hawksmoor.
After the Radcliffe Science Library moved into another building in about 1860, the Radcliffe Library was taken over by the Bodleian and renamed the Radcliffe Camera (the word camera translates from Latin as “room” or “chamber”.). The upper-floor library became a reading room, used mainly by undergraduates, who had been admitted to the Bodleian since 1856, and the ground floor was turned into a book-stack (it was converted into a second reading room in 1941). In taking over the Radcliffe, the Bodleian library acquired its first major addition of space for readers since the building of Selden End in 1634. And by the beginning of the twentieth century an average of a hundred people a day were using it. It now holds books from the English, history, and theology collections, mostly secondary sources found on Undergraduate and Graduate reading lists. There is space for around 600,000 books in rooms beneath Radcliffe Square.
The Bodleian Library
which is the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. These days, many students choose to order books up to Radcliffe Camera’s reading rooms to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Annoyingly for staff, it is also one of the harder Bodleian sites to deliver items to
Oxford’s libraries are among the most celebrated in the world, not only for their incomparable collections of books and manuscripts, but also for their buildings. Some of which have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages. These buildings are still used by students and scholars from all over the world, and they attract an ever-increasing number of visitors.
The Bodleian, the chief among the University’s libraries, has a special place.
First opened to scholars in 1602, it incorporates an earlier library erected by the University in the fifteenth century to house books donated by Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester. Since 1602 it has expanded, slowly at first but with increasing momentum over the last 150 years, to keep pace with the ever-growing accumulation of books and papers, but the core of the old buildings has remained intact.
Before being granted access to the library, new readers are required to agree to a formal declaration. This declaration was traditionally oral, but is now usually made by signing a letter to the same effect, and ceremonies in which readers recite the declaration are still performed for those who wish to take them, these occur primarily at the start of the University’s Michaelmas term. The English text of the declaration is as follows:
I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.
This is a translation of the following traditional Latin oath:
Do fidem me nullum librum vel instrumentum aliamve quam rem ad bibliothecam pertinentem, vel ibi custodiae causa depositam, aut e bibliotheca sublaturum esse, aut foedaturum deformaturum aliove quo modo laesurum; item neque ignem nec flammam in bibliothecam inlaturum vel in ea accensurum, neque fumo nicotiano aliove quovis ibi usurum; item promitto me omnes leges ad bibliothecam Bodleianam attinentes semper observaturum esse. (Leges bibliothecae bodleianae alta voce prae legendae custodis iussu).
Here’s a short video of the libraries of Bodleian.
The Radcliffe Camera (colloquially, Rad Cam; Radder in 1930s slang) is a building in Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science …
The Radcliffe Camera is one of my favorite buildings in England, not just because of the name but because of the history behind it. It was built in the 17th century to serve as an extension of The Bodleian Library. …
This is the Radcliffe Camera, a library that houses English Literature and other books. Here’s a great video about Oxford (look for Oxford Today), and the Radcliffe Camera is discussed as part of the Bodleian Library at …
Bible buffs beware: the Bodleian has entered the furore of the online market with a mobile phone app that immerses users in the history of the King James Bible. The app, which is the first to be released by the Bodleian…
Whilst the Bodleian Library, in its current incarnation, has a continuous history dating back to 1602, its roots date back even further. The first purpose-built library known to have existed in Oxford was founded in the …
Sightseeing in Paris is a must for any traveller. For those of you out there who love to get out and see the sights on a trip you can’t go past a visit to Paris.
When you go sightseeing in Paris you get the whole deal – there’s culture, authenticity and that little snap of individuality. So I’m told anyway And seeing I did it my way I guess the individuality bit is about right.
Already in France visiting my aunt and uncle who live in a fantastic farmhouse in Normandy, I traveled from a little town called Flers in the French countryside to Paris by – not one of those utlra fast ones which whizz you by everything before you have time to see it, but a slow countryside plodder of a train…. lovely.
I’d booked a week in the Bleu Marine Paris Montparnasse Hotel mainly because it was within an easy walk of the Eiffel Tower and the river (and the railways station so I didn’t have far to carry my luggage) and the first thing I saw when I walked out of the Montparnasse train station when I arrived, was the breathtaking sight of the the Eiffel Tower looming straight ahead of me. Wow! It was the first time I’d seen it in real life. And I could see it everytime I turned around right until the moment I stepped inside the hotel. Sadly I didn’t have a view of it from my room, because I couldn’t afford one of the better rooms.
Paris is sightseeing on a whole new level. On my list of must does were the Eiffel Tower (of course ) Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc Di Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees, The Louvre, Napoleon’s Tomb and so, so much more.
My sightseeing in Paris (naturally…seeing I’d been yearning to climb it my whole life) began at the Eiffel Tower. This 116 year old structure which graces the Parisian skyline stands at 324m high and is a favourite stop for tourists from all over the world. For just a few euros you can walk up the 1665 stairs or catch the glass lift all the way to the top to get one of the best city views you will ever see ( the best night time view of the tower itself is probably from the top of the Montparnasse Tower which was near my hotel…brilliant (you have to pay to go up to the viewing platform though)
Back at the hotel I decided against eating in their restaurant and head out into the streets looking for somewhere quirkier and Parisian. And I found it big time
Monsieur Lapin… understated decor featuring a bizarrely morbid take on Alice in Wonderland on the toilet door, and as the name suggests a penchant for rabbit based dishes (lapin in French) . Delicious food but slightly strange place, where nearly all the other diners were male gay couples
I’m going to use the word bizarre again, because I’m a vegetarian so it it was a bizarre choice of a place to eat in the first place…but the most bizarre thing about the place was a HUGE picture in the ladies toilets of Alice in Wonderland brandishing a shotgun and a dead rabbit in a waistcoat with a watch at her feet. I remember my horror when I closed the door to behind me, sat down, and looked up to see her staying at me with that malevolent look..then I couldn’t stop laughing. Brilliant!
Sightseeing in Paris – The Louvre
My travels then took me to The Louvre – an absolute must for sightseeing in Paris! Based in the former Royal Palace, the Louvre Museum showcases the very apartments that Napoleon Bonaparte lived in, still in their original state. Given the long history of the Louvre, the glass pyramids which mark the entrance of the museum at the end of the Tullieries gardens seem in stark contrast to their surrounds. The Louvre showcases around 35,000 works of art including the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and many other famous works from around the world. The place is so huge that it is estimated it would take five and a half weeks of non-stop looking for someone to see everything within the Louvre’s walls.
When sightseeing in Paris you also can’t go past a visit to the Moulin Rouge, it is expensive to go in, but well worth the experience if you can afford it!
by kate wiley (this article is an ongoing adventure which will be added to soon, and regularly….sorry it’s so short at the moment. I actually wrote it at about 7 or 8 years ago when it was just thrown together without much thought except pleasing the search engines to make some money running advertising, which I no longer care about. Since then I’ve been back to Paris several times, and I’m still travelling – currently in Melbourne, heading for London in a few weeks.)
After a long day of sightseeing in the Ciy of Light, many folks decide to pack it in early. Those who are into the party scene know there is plenty of nightlife in Paris to keep you busy after hours. But did you know that some of the …
Sightseeing in Paris, by land and water. Over time I have read some folks claiming to want to be in Paris with limited time, sometimes even in between correspondence at the airports. Even thus I do not agree this is the best way to see …
Paris may be renowned as one of Europe’s most vibrant and interesting capital cities, but once you’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower, pushed through the crowds in front of the Mona Lisa and done a hunchback impression at Notre Damme what’s …