Finland in the Wild
This winter I went to Narnia aka the Wild Taiga in Finland. I arrived in the early evening and was driven along snow covered roads through pools of yellow light cast by the street lights above us. After passing through the town of Kuhmo the residences thinned out quickly and were non-existent when we turned off the road. My hotel, Hotel Kalevala, looked like a fictional creation from the outside as it loomed up ahead through a misty haze. My adventure had begun ...
Krka National Park - A Croatian National Treasure
Sunlight dancing on the blue water glimpsed through the trunks and branches of the trees foresting the banks of the river was entrancing. I was surrounded by the lakes and waterfalls of the Krka River in the Krka National Park. An area that encompasses the incredibly beautiful river basin …
Jeonju, A Cultural Corner of South Korea
The small town of Jeonju in South Korea is inextricably linked with the history of Korea. One of its most important historical monuments is the Omokdae Terrace. This terrace, on top of the hill overlooking the town is famous as the place where Yi Seong Gye, later known as King Taejo, hosted an outdoor banquet for his family ...
Entering the Dragons’ Den at Tongdosa Temple in South Korea
My visit to Tongdosa Temple coincided with the preparations for the birthday of Buddha. Celebrations for this event not only encompass Buddhist temples but the whole country and it is a holiday for everyone, whatever their religion. I approached the first gate at the entrance to the temple under a canopy of brightly coloured decorations inflated fish. Stepping through this gate I entered the dragons’ den …
Haeinsa Temple - A Buddhist Jewel in South Korea
A visit to Haeinsa Temple in South Korea is both a walk in a park and a cultural experience. The mountains and valleys of Gayasan National Park make a splendid back drop for the temple. Mount Gaya has long been considered a sacred site of Buddhism …
Animals First in the New Forest Village of Brockenhurst
Despite the persistent drizzle I could feel the magic of the forest outside pulling me outside and away from my cosy hotel room. I was staying at the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, a village in the famous New Forest. Ancient grazing rights are still upheld here and ponies, donkeys, sheep cattle and deer graze freely throughout the forest. At the front of my hotel is a cricket ground and sheltering under the trees surrounding it I could see two small ponies ...
Lymington, the Coastal Capital of the New Forest in England
Lymington in the New Forest of England has an unusually wide High Street. It was built like this to accommodate the large Charter Market that has been held here since 1250. Early every Saturday morning around one hundred market stalls are set up and line the High Street on both sides. Generally referred to as a Georgian street this road actually features an eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco and traces of Medieval architecture. I joined the crowds of visitors thronging the High Street to browse the various stalls that ranged from pet products to home-made bread...
Balmer Lawn Hotel - a Brockenhurst Beauty in England's New Forest
Ideally situated in the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest the Balmer Lawn Hotel is as steeped in history as the common land,Balmer Lawn, that surrounds it. Once known as Palmers Lawn it is recorded that the waters of the Lymington River that flow past the hotel were known as Palmers Waters and there was a small settlement here known as Palmers Hamlet. The lawn was once the site of an annual horse race but complaints of damage to the turf brought that to an end. Today it is home to the Brockenhurst Cricket Club. The lawn extends behind the hotel and is perfect for an early morning walk ...
Lyndhurst, the Heart of England's New Forest
Lyndhurst has been the throbbing heart of England’s New Forest since William the Conqueror made it his base when he established his hunting grounds here over nine hundred years ago. Today Lyndhurst is still central to the activities in the New Forest. The road into the village snakes around the summit of a hill topped by its glorious gothic parish church with its iconic towering spire...
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