Browsing Category

Europe

Europe UK

North Wales Off The Beaten Track

Day Tripping North Wales, Walking in Sunshine, Almost!

With the first weekend of proper blue sky sunshine upon us and a bit of heat in the air to accompany, thoughts turn to getting out of the city, even if just for a day and heading into the countryside.

Living in Manchester we are lucky enough to have a host of easy to reach destinations whether traveling north, south, east or west. That said, it is never a difficult one you make in choosing Wales, one of my favorite places on the planet. It doesn’t matter how far or wide I travel this globe of ours I never tire of trips to Wales, where even a familiar landscape causes me to smile as the light shows it in a subtle different and ever changing fresh perspective.

Continue Reading

Austria Europe

Vienna revisited, a travel bloggers view.

The Long Weekender

Vienna (Wien) Austria

 

Vienna is a city that has held a special place ever since I first visited as an 18 year old. I returned after that first visit a few times between the ages  of 18 and 25, but had not returned since. From that very first visit it struck me as a fairy-tale city, full of romance and joy, enhanced given that it was  December, close to Christmas, the ground covered in a blanket of pure white snow, all adding to that feeling of magic. On one of my visits on a Christmas day I made my way to St. Stephens’s cathedral, more out of curiosity than religious compulsion, and ended up with the very good fortune of hearing the Viennese boys’ choir sing. It still stands out as a profound life memory, along with those memories of the friends I made and times we shared. On one such evening a gang of us all met up (me being the only non-Austrian) in the metro station at Opera before heading off into the snow covered streets, snow ball fighting as we went into the night. The memory of that night and many other remain vivid to my recollection. Indeed, such was the impact of my experiences in Vienna it inspired a short story I wrote shortly after one visit, which was published in a well-known Dublin magazine of the time “In Dublin”

Would I feel differently all these years later I wondered?

View from the plane as we come in to land Vienna.

This time there was no snow to greet me, but then on many of my past visits in younger days the snow had long passed. I am happy to say the city has lost none of its charm and is as wondrous and romantic a place now as it was then.

From a practical point of view  it’s also turned out to be one of the least expensive European cites I have visited, even taking Brexit bashing on my pound into account. This is another city where a city pass is an absolute must, called the Vienna Pass, it offers not only free entry into 60+ attractions in many it also allows you to skip the ques and gain easy access to the attraction, a real boon in peak season As if that wasn’t enough it includes the Hop on Hop off City Tour Bus, again a great was to familiarise yourself with the city and it stunning architectural history. If fact it covers entry to so many places you will be hard pressed to visit them all.

Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens Vienna

Schonbrunn Palace and gardens, a place I remembered well from all those years ago.

Tree lined avenue Schonbrunn

Continue Reading

Denmark Europe

Getting down with the Hygge in Copenhagen……..

Copenhagen Dreaming

 

The long weekender Copenhagen Denmark

 

Top Tips and Travel Know How

Frederiks Kirke (The Marble Church)

Sometimes fast sees more than more time spent can find. It is the fleeting glimpse and quick insight, when the light shines in a particular way, illuminating a view, I sometimes think it better to absorb quick and move on. The light here, on this day, told me all I wanted to know and feel.  In this light, with its crisp short span, from dawn till dusk, it is easy to understand the aesthetic and pared back simplicity that is the very definition of our understanding of what we refer to as Danish style. The light at this time of the year is made for photographers, never too high in the sky, rising late and setting early, but I cannot imagine I could stand too many of these short days and long nights of winter. Yet I can only wonder why it has taken me so long to visit this wonderful city and finish by saying I will be back when the sun and day hold for longer.

 

Stroma Canal Tour

Top Tip here, don’t go for the Netto boat as its pretty naf. A better option with much nicer boats and reputed to be the original tour, Stroma Canal Tour Copenhagen. Offering the Grand Tour and lasting one hour (Included with the Copenhagen Pass) you can join the boat tour at either Nyhavn, or Gammel Strand. A guided tour around the harbor and through the idyllic canals with guide commentary will tell you about Copenhagen’s beautiful churches, castles, old listed houses, new buildings and all other sights of interest. (The English speaking guide gave a very good commentary along the way)

Continue Reading

Europe

The Long Weekender Oslo, Norway Part 3

 

Day 3 Oslo 

Day 3 starts early  with the ferry to the Bygdøy peninsula which operates operates between March to October. More info and links for ferry at the end of post
The trip on the ferry is included in the Oslo pass again making this a fantastic investment for any travel to Oslo.
Departure is every 20-30 minutes from Pier 3 by the City Hall. We caught the first fery at 8:55 as this was to be the last day of our visit we wanted to see and do as much as possible.
Leave the ferry at the first stop  Dronningen and taking about 20 minutes to get there its a very pleasant trip across. (Norwegian Museum of Cultural History/ Folk Museum, Viking Ship Museum and Oscarshall).

 

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 3 (0)

View from the ferry back to City hall

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 3 (1)

Viking Museum

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 3 (2)

Viking museum. Fascinating place full of preserved artifacts and Viking boats and things.

Norwegian Folk Museum

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 3 (3)

For me this museum had to be one of my favorite places to visit as part of my Oslo long weekender. Packed full of fascinating glimpses in Norway’s past, and near past, history all brought to life with full size replicas and originals of the lives and living places of the Norwegians. Fascinating and deserves a good few hours of any visitors time to see it all as the grounds are quite extensive. More info on this at link to bottom of this post.

Continue Reading

Europe

The Long Weekender Oslo, Norway Part 2

Day 2: The Long Weekender

Top Travel Tips; Places to See Things to Do

The day starts with a visit to the magnificent Vigeland sculpture park a must see for anyone visiting Oslo and probably the best collection of sculpture I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. This is the worlds largest sculpture park to be created by one sculptor and i don’t think i have ever seen or heard of anything like it before. Containing over 200 works created over a lifetime by Gustav Vigeland in a mixture of mediums from granite, wrought iron and bronze, it is a truly unique place.  There is also a vitality and life affirming charm to the quality and scope of the works that can but make you smile whilst the park itself is a great place to spend a day have a picnic, if the weather permits, weather was great when I visited in May! I have included a link with more info on the park to the bottom of this post.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 2 (1)A Statue of Gustav Vigeland stands in a landscaped area at the entrance to the park.

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 2 (2)The wonderful vista from the highest point in the park.

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 2 (3)Granite sculpture in the park

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 2 (4)Seagulls take flight from one of the water fountains

Continue Reading

Europe

The Long Weekender Oslo, Norway Part 1

9 Top Travel Tips for Visitors to Oslo, Norway

Or put another way, things you may want to consider before travelling to Oslo in Norway

 

The long weekender a 3 part picture post

Day 1

Top Tip (1) For travelers from the UK It’s very expensive, at probably about twice the price of the UK average for food and possibly 3 times the UK price for a drink with a bottle of beer costing about a tenner

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 1 (1)

The Museum of Modern Art as seen from the water, with viewing lift in background. Yopu pay a small fee to ride to the top of this free standing lift shaft which offers pretty good views.

Top Tip (2) If travelling on a budget you may be surprised to find buying in  supermarket is generally no cheaper than eating out, but tap water is free and restaurants quite happy to provide it, even adding sliced lemon and cucumber in some places.

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 1 (2)

Picture of one of the current exhibits in the Museum of modern art, pretty funky place and some very interesting pieces as well as some downright bizarre installation including a gold life size porcelain of Micheal Jackson with chimp and a collection of heads of what is supposed to be Tom Cruise but looks nothing like him!

Top Tip (3) If your flight leaves you arriving late at night from the UK, as ours did with Ryanair from Manchester, there is a bus from the Airport to the City and is the cheapest way to get from the airport to the city, but try and choose accommodation that doesn’t involve a Taxi ride to your final destination. We took a 10 minute taxi ride and paid about £25!

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 1 (4)

I particularly liked this pieces which is a shelf of books with books made of thin sheet steel.

Top Tip (4) If there is one must see destination for the short break weekender in Oslo and there are quite a few noteworthy places to visit it has to be the sculpture park, it’s unique and outstanding.

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 1 (5)

To the foreground of this picture is a small beach where locals go swimming when the weather permits brilliant public space so close to the city.

Top Tip (5) Whatever budget traveler you may be get an Oslo pass, worth its weight in gold as it includes all public transport, entry to various museums and attractions, including the ferry to visit the Viking museum.

Weeekender in Oslo by DKTravelPix Day 1 (6)

I loved this tidy and uniform display of Violas against the outside wall of the museum.

Continue Reading

Europe Ireland

The Road To Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

The Road To Lough Dan

Day Tripping in The Wicklow Mountains

Hidden away and down stony lanes, over grassy hills, banked by screens of bracken fern, walk through the verdant ever changing weather and vista to reach the quiet shores of Lough Dan in Co Wicklow, Ireland.

The Road To Lough Dan, A Picture postcard by David Keegan (20)

Along the path, snatched glimpses of the Cloghoge River catch the eye, until it banks curve and wend to greet you as you arrive at the lake shores and the abandoned and forlorn white house. Meanwhile in the fields below herd of Sika deer pause to look before returning to graze.

 

The Road To Lough Dan, A Picture postcard by David Keegan (2)

The Road To Lough Dan, A Picture postcard by David Keegan (3)

Continue Reading

Europe UK

Sunset in Picklescott, South Shropshire.

Sunset outside The Bottle and Glass Pub in Picklescott, South Shropshire

Sunset outside The Bottle and Glass Pub in Picklescott, South Shropshire.

I took this picture a little while ago whilst visiting Picklescott of horse and rider taking a break outside the pub as the sun went down. Charming village and pub and great place to stop if you happen to be in that neck of the woods.

More info on the Bottle and Glass can be found by clicking this link 

and about Picklescott by clicking this link

Europe UK

The Jurassic Coast, Devon.

Devon

Jurassic Coast 

A recent road trip to Devon and Cornwall taking in parts of the Jurassic Coast. A UNESCO world heritage site its not hard to understand why once visited. You can read more of its fascinating history by clicking this link.  The plan was to head for Lyme Regis but as the weather was good and a Bank Holiday weekend to boot it was packed. Stopped long enough though to catch a pic along the beach. Heading off we happened upon a quaint and quintessentially English village where i stopped to buy a paper and i reckoned if you want to find where the locals go to avoid the crowds what better than to ask. the shop keeper. Helped by her grandson they both conversed between themselves for a few minutes one suggestion this place and the other that until they both settled on Tyneham.

The Jurassic Coast Devon UK (1)

Lyme Regis Coastline

I had seen no mention of Tyneham on the list of places to see and visit along the Jurassic coast so was immediately fascinated. It turned out to be far more intriguing than i could initially have imagined, or hoped for. It transpired that Tyneham had been evacuated by order of the war office in December 1943. The abandoned village of Tyneham has stood quiet, ghostly and forlorn since. You can read more of the fascinating history of this place by clicking this link. Access is not always available and the entire area around it is still used today as a military firing and practice range. During military  maneuvers the road is closed to traffic, best to check in advance if it is open. Luckily for me the road was open on the day i visited.

As a consequence whilst all other places along the Jurassic coast were crowded Tyneham was virtually empty apart from the savvy locals we joined. A beautiful place and a few pictures below to prove it

The Jurassic Coast Devon UK (2)

Passed this bridge along the way to the Jurassic coast in Devon

The Jurassic Coast Devon UK (3)

The Coastline at the abandoned village of Tyneham

The Jurassic Coast Devon UK (4)

The Jurassic Coast Devon UK (5)

Continue Reading

Europe Ireland

Achill Island, Co. Mayo West of Ireland

Achill Island

Co Mayo, Ireland

Achill Island, Irish: Acaill, Oileán Acla in the  County of Mayo is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, situated just off the west coast and has a population of approx. 2,700 and was first settled about 5000 years ago. Of course this population fluctuates wildly with the seasons as it has long been a popular second home holiday destination for many Irish. A small road bridge connects the island to the mainland crossing the Achill Sound.

Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (26)

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (21)The remains of what would have been a pretty much traditional cottage, although in times past the roof would have had a straw thatch.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (22)There is scarcely a road on Achill that does not have commanding views and gorgeously rugged landscape.

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (24)

Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland June 2016 (32)

Close to Dugort, at the base of Slievemore mountain lies the Deserted Village. There are approximately 80 ruined houses in the village. The houses were built of unmortared stone, which means that no cement or mortar was used to hold the stones together. Each house consisted of just one room and this room was used as kitchen, living room, bedroom and even stable. The village was abandoned at the time of the Potato blight in Ireland 1845 when residents either moved closer to the sea in order to live off fish and fishing, or emigrated. The village has been unoccupied since 1845 the ruins standing as a haunting reminder of one of the greatest, and unavoidable tragedies, of Irish history.

Continue Reading