Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Notting Hill Carnival 2008 [video]

Hey! It's been a long time, isn't it? Well, what can you say?

Lot's of things to show and describe to you, but for a starter, here is a video clip from the Notting Hill Carnival, the big street annual party that took place in London this long weekend in London. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Winchester is a city in Hampshire, in southern England, one hour by train from Waterloo rail station of London. It is one of the most historic cities of England as it used to be tha capital of Wessex and England for some time before London.
It is very famous mainly for two things. For its Cathedral, which is the longest Medieval Cathedral in Europe and for the King Arthur's Round Table in the Great Hall! More posts to follow about these!
Let's see some photos of the centre of the city.
The Westgate is one of the first things you see coming from the rail station.
The Winchester Westgate

The High Street, which after a while becomes a pedestrian road.
Winchester High Street

Winchester High Street
The statue of King Alfred the Great, who reigned the Anglo-Saxonic kingdom of Wessex in 9th century. He is the only English King with the epithet "the Great".
King Alfred the Great statue

The river Itchen.
River Itchen
More posts to follow about Winchester's Round Table and Winchester Cathedral.
Some useful links for the visitor:
Visitwinchester.co.uk - The official tourist information website of Winchester.
Map of Winchester - From the tourist information website.
Winchester-cathedral.org.uk - Winchester Cathedral's website with tourist information.
Hantsnet.gov.uk - Hampshire County Council's webpage for the Great Hall.
Southwestrains.co.uk - South West Trains webpage, with information about trains and ticket prices to Winchester.

Saturday, 10 May 2008


The town of Cambridge is 80 km north-east of London, in the county of Cambridgeshire, and the trip by train from King's Cross station lasts roughly for 1 hour. Trains are quite often, 2-3 per hour and the ticket is not much, a return ticket booked the same day will cost you around ₤18-19.

Cambridge is world-wide known for its University. Built in 1209, it now has 31 colleges and it is consistently ranked in the world's top 5 universities.

Punting in the river Cam is a very famous activity in Cambridge. You can hire a boat with a punter, or you can punt yourself, if you dare! The river gets quite busy so be aware of... collisions and keep your hands inside!

Punting at River Cam

Punting at River Cam

Bicycles are widely used by students and residents. The photo is taken in the rail station cycle parking.


In the centre of the town you find the Great St Mary church...

Great St Mary's

... and the market place just in front of it.

Market Place

King's College is one of the most famous colleges of Cambridge University.

King's College

King's College Chapel is also one of town's landmarks. You can visit both King's College and its Chapel, but it's better visiting the colleges website (see below) because during some periods (eg. exam period) it's closed to tourists. The admission ticket costs around ₤5.

King's College Chapel

Clare College is just next to King's...

Clare College

... and I strongly recommend visiting its gardens, for a ticket of just ₤2!

Clare College's gardens

Clare College's gardens

Clare College's gardens

Clare College's gardens

The round church of Holy Sepulchre.

Holy Sepulchre (Round Church)

The Eagle Pub is also well known. It sports a so-called RAF bar, whose ceiling is full of graffiti dated back to World War II, from soldiers of RAF and USA Air Force. It is also said that it's the pub where Francis Crick and James Watson announced the discovery of the secret of life, ie the structure of DNA!

Eagle Pub ceiling

Useful links

visitcambridge.org - The official tourism website for Cambridge, UK, for information and maps.
Cambridge in Wikipedia.
cam.ac.uk - The website of University of Cambridge.
kings.cam.ac.uk - King's College website with opening times and tourist information.
Free audio walking tours of Cambridge.
A city centre map, from the official tourism website [pdf].

Friday, 2 May 2008


Some photos from a trip in Barcelona few months ago. Unfortunately the time again was limited, so I can only present you some of the famous landmarks of the city.

La Rambla. A big pedestrian road where you can enjoy your walk. A part has flower shops, another one bird and pet shops, lots of street artists and animateurs.

La Rambla

La Rambla

La Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia square).

Placa de Catalunya

Placa de Catalunya

The statue of Christopher Columbus.

Columbus statue

Columbus statue

Barcelona sunset

Two famous buildings of Barcelona, designed by the well-known Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, Casa Battlo...

Casa Battlo

Casa Batllo

... and La Pedrera (aka Casa Mila).

La Pedrera or Casa Mila

La Sagrada Familia, also designed by Gaudi, has been building since 1882. Estimations indicate it will be finished in 2026. The church is enormous and you can't fit it in a pictures from so close.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

La Bouqueria Mercat St. Josep is a Market near La Rambla.

La Boqueria Mercat St. Josep

Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona F.C.. Mes que un club, more than a club.

Camp Nou

Palau Nacional, the National Palace, now houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

Palau Nacional

El Corte Ingles, Spain's largest department store chain.

El Corte Ingles

The Cafe Zurich.

Cafe Zurich

Sunday, 20 April 2008


The time I had the opportunity to spend in Glasgow was very little comparing to the size of the city, so the first impression I got remained the conclusive. Until maybe next time...

I traveled from London by train. The trip was not short, roughly 5-6 hours. My first contact with anything Scottish was when the train crew changed as we headed North and suddenly I started to understand almost none of the announcements! Hail the Scottish accent!

Arriving at Glasgow the firth thing I saw was the Central Rail Station (dah!).

The Central Station

Glasgow is the largest city of Scotland, but not its capital, that is Edinburgh.The central pedestrian commercial street, Buchanan street, is full of shops, malls and as you can see, people! Without doubt, one of the busiest parts of the city!

Buchanan street

Buchanan street

The church of St George at Buchanan street.

St George Church

In the end of Buchanan street we see the Royal Concert Hall.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Nearby there is the central square of Glasgow, George square, with the City Chambers.

City Chambers at George square

... and the Gallery of Modern Art, which I visited but just briefly.

Gallery of modern art

A bit far away is Glasgow's Cathedral, also called St Mungo's Cathedral, of the Church of Scotland. In the square in front of it we see a statue of David Livingstone, a Scottish explorer.

St Mungo's Cathedral

Before leaving, I tried a tea at the famous Willow Tearooms, which are designed from the well known Scottish architect and designer Mackintosh, at Buchanan street. They are in business since 1903 (not that particular tearoom though). The variety of teas is stunning.

Willow tearooms

Pay attention in the chairs. They are also designed by Mackintosh himself.

Inside willow tearooms

By the way, Bank of Scotland has its own banknotes, in different multiple designs. They have the same trading value as the English ones.

Scottish banknotes

I hope I will have in the future the chance to visit Glasgow again and explore it more thoroughly.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury is one of the most famous tourist destinations in England.

The Canterbury Pilgrim

It is a city in eastern Kent, in the South East England. It's a rather small city, populated by 40-45 thousand people, and it's well known for its Cathedral. Canterbury is the seat of the Archbishop of the English Church (titled as the Archbishop of Canterbury) and it has been the destination of pilgrims for centuries.

The relationship of the town with Christianity goes very deep in time. Its first Archbishop was St Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent from Rome in 6th century to lay the foundations of the English Church. The Abbey of Augustine as well the Cathedral and the St Martin's Church - England's oldest parish church in continuous use - are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

An important year for the Canterbury Cathedral and the English Christian Church in general is 1170. The Archbishop at that time, Thomas Becket, was murdered in the Cathedral just before the evensong by knights of King Henry II. Thomas Becket has been in the past a King's Chancellor but when he became an Archbishop the conflicts with the King began. After his murder, Thomas Becket was seen as a martyr by the Christians all over Europe and was canonized by Pope just three years later.

And now it's time for some photos.

Entering the town center from the west side, we see the Westgate Tower.

Westgate Tower

The high street, full of shops, cafes, restaurants, stalls with ice creams and sausages, musicians etc.

Canterbury High Street

At Canterbury's High Street

At Canterbury's High Street

First view of the Cathedral. You can see the tall bell tower from miles away.

Canterbury Cathedral's Bell Tower

Heading towards the Cathedral we reach the Christchurch Gate.

Christchurch Gate

Christchurch Gate

And then you just admire the enormity and the architecture of the Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral

Taking photographs inside the Cathedral is allowed, except for inside the Crypt.

The Nave.

Canterbury Cathedral's Nave

The sculptured and painted Medieval pulpit.

The pulpit

The Martyrdom, the exact point where Thomas Becket was murdered.

The Martyrdom

The Bell tower viewed from inside.

Vaulting of the Bell Tower

The bronze eagle-shaped lectern and behind the Alter and St. Augustine's throne.

The brass lectern and High Altar

The Cathedral has lots of impressive stained glass windows, some of them of historical value. Below you can see one of them. In the last row, the one in the middle, shows Adam (Adam Delving) is dated back in 1176 AD and is one of the oldest stained glasses in Great Britain. Click to see in more detail.

Stained glass

In the west side there are two stained glass windows with quite different style. It reminded me some... cartoons.

Stained glass

And in detail...

Detail of stained glass

The Cathedral tends to host cultural events like concerts. Here a youth Orchestra is rehearsing... It should be amazing performing in a place like that...

Orchestra in Canterbury Cathedral

You can see more of my photos from the trip to Canterbury in flickr.

Information: Canterbury Cathedral, wikipedia.