Photo of the Week

This is a photograph that was taken at the Musée Rodin in Paris.

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The Kiss

Currently listening to the The Perfect Ten Podcast with Phill & Phil.

Stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.

Steve

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Birmingham

Birmingham is the second city of the United Kingdom.  It does not have the lure of London for visitors.  Nor is it a up and coming city such as Manchester or Leeds.  The two football (soccer) teams are rubbish.  The people talk in a depressed sounding accent.  Saying all that Birmingham is my home city and I am proud of it and I would like to welcome more people to it.

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Birmingham Town Hall

There are several reasons to come and visit Birmingham.  My reasons to visit are:

  • The Canals
  • Jewellery Quarter
  • Bournville
  • The Balti Triangle
  • Heavy Metal

The Canals

The one fact that anybody from Birmingham will give you is that it has more miles of canal than Venice.  Originally built in the 18th century, canals were used to distribute goods from one area of the country to another.  It predates the railways. In Birmingham there are over 100 miles of canal that can be used. Now the canals are mainly used for leisure activities such as boating holidays.  The towpaths are used by walkers, joggers and cyclists.

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Gas Street Basin

Jewellery Quarter

This area of Birmingham is so-called as the major manufacturer of jewellery in the UK.  The industry has now declined in size however, there are still some workshop operating in the area.  Places to see are the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.  There is also the ‘Findings Trail and the Chain Bracelet Trail’ to follow. If you are feeling flushed with spare cash you can go to one of the workshops and order a piece of custom made jewellery.

Bournville

Bournville is considered to be a company village.  It was established by the Cadbury family for the workers at the nearby chocolate factory.  This was the antidote to the slum conditions that was typical of the late 19th century.  The village itself contains houses with large gardens, recreation areas and parks. There is no public house as the Cadbury family were devout quakers.

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Non too flattering view of Bournville

While in Bournville check out the Cadbury World.  This is a attraction dedicated to the story of chocolate and Cadbury.

Balti Triangle

If you are feeling hungary then head to the ‘Balti Triangle’ and try a balti curry.  The triangle covers the Sparkbrook, Sparkhill and Balsall Heath areas of Birmingham.  The balti is a curry that is served in a wok like dish known as the balti bowl.  It is best eaten with a large naan bread.  Balti restaurants as also known as ‘Balti Houses’.  Being mainly run by muslims they do not sell alcohol.  However, you are allowed to bring your own beer or wine to consume with your meal.

Heavy Metal

If the city of Birmingham cannot offer you anything else it is the home of the music genre known as Heavy Metal.  In particular Black Sabbath who originated from the Aston district of the city.  The music perfectly describes that area in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  It was run down consisted factories bellowing smoke from it chimneys and bomb sites from the Second World War.  It was the total opposite to swinging London and the hippy vibe of San Francisco.

In future posts I will be explaining these areas in more detail.

Currently reading The Lost Estate by Henri-Alain Fournier

Currently listening to Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Until the next time, stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.

Steve

Why Travel?

That is the question I have been asking myself.  Where has the passion for wanderlust come from?  Why now in my life?

We all plod along in our lives.  Some of us are driven, some of us want the quiet life and some of us want to get as much life experiences as we can.  As I almost reach my 47th birthday there is a feeling that I feel somewhat unfulfilled.  Scientifically, the term is known as midlife crisis.  I could have gone down the route of having a relationship with a woman who is young enough to be my daughter or brought a motor cycle that was too powerful for me.

However, I feel that travel allows me to indulge in something that I find important.  This is education.  I do hold a degree however, I am a fully paid up student of the University of Life.  Travel allows me to experience different peoples and cultures.  I want to take something away from every place I visit and apply it to my life.  Finally, travel allows me to be the person that I want to be in life.  This is why I choose travel.

Still reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

Currently listening to 16 Military Wives by The Decemberists

Until my next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.

SteveImage

 

 

 

The Travel Bucket List

Like almost everybody who wishes to travel the time comes to decide where you want to go and what you want to do.  Over the past few weeks I have been giving this some thought.  So here goes, this is the bucket list of places and sites I want to see.  They are in no particular order and there are many more that I have forgotten to list.

EUROPE

Island hopping in Greece

Lap the history in Rome

Walk across St. Mark’s Square in Venice

Explore the culture and tapas in Madrid

Soak in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Try and find the Loch Ness Monster

Enjoy of pint of the black stuff in Dublin

Walk across the Giants Causeway

View Mount Etna in Sicily.

Reflect in the Vatican

Suffer a hangover at the Oktoberfest.

Stand across two continents in Istanbul

Cross Abbey Road in my bare feet

Photograph the Leaning Tower of Pisa

March across Red Square

Survey the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Ponder man’s capacity for cruelty at Auschwitz

Enjoy Vienna without suffering from food poisoning.

Cycle down the Champs Elysees

OCEANIA

See the sun rise over Uluru

New Zealand (all of it)

Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge

ASIA

Taj Mahal, India

Soak in the Dead Sea

Experience Tel Aviv

Marvel at Petra

Enjoy Vietnam

Visit the Great Wall of China

Experience Hong Kong

Wander around Angkor Wat

Marvel at the temple in Mynamar

Taste the street food in Bangkok

Drink a Singapore Sling in Singapore

SOUTH AMERICA

Machu Picchu, Peru

Visit the Galapagos Islands

Attend a soccer game in Buenos Aires

Attempt to dance a tango (I do have two left feet.)

Take the cable car up Corcovado and view the statue of Christ the Redeemer

Enjoy Angel Falls.

NORTH AMERICA

Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown

Soak up the rays on Miami Beach

Ride the cable car in San Francisco

Act like a big kid in a Disney Resort

The nightlife in New Orleans

Photograph the Grand Canyon

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

See a baseball game at either Fenway Park or Wrigley Field (Proper baseball parks)

Soak up the music in Memphis

CENTRAL AMERICA

Mayan Temples in Mexico

Relax on a Caribbean Island

Explore the rain forests in Costa Rica

Stroll the streets of Havana

AFRICA

Pyramids in Egypt

Cruise down the River Nile

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Table Mountain in Cape Town

View the Victoria Falls

After all that I think I better start saving, planning and dreaming.

I am a avid reader and listener to music.  In each of my posts I will mention what I am currently and listening.

At this moment I am reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

I am currently listening to Little Broken Hearts by Norah Jones (brilliant album)

Until the next time, stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.

Steve