Category: <span>Travel</span>

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The Memorial to the reporters in Bayeux honours journalists that have died in connection with their work. It starts in the 1940, and is (alas) updated every year. Press freedom is fundamental to free society and accountability of those in authority.

Freedom comes at a price, and we should honours those that died reporting on it.

Travel

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Visiting Louis Braille’s final resting place was very special for me. Of course with a blind wife this is because Braille features in my life. At one stage all our CD’s had Braille labels (of course now we hardly use CD’s at all). It is astonishing to think that this man developed a system to allow millions of people to read books again. He in interred at the Pantheon in Paris, which in its own right is a lovely place to visit.

Its also a little ironic that in many areas Braille isn’t nearly as useful as it used to be, especially with modern phones, ebooks, book readers and apps etc. It’s also lovely to see how these tools make it even easier for a blind person to lead a normal life. Lets hope the progress continues.

Travel

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A view of the Conciergerie on the West of the Île de la Cité, from the right bank of the Seine River. The current building dates back about 400 years, but the site. Was a Roman fortress over 2000 years ago.

The site is famous, of course, becasue Marie-Antoinette, was imprisoned, tried and sentenced at the Conciergerie.

Travel

Budapest is full of running paths, there is one in almost every park. And with a 5km track, Margaret Island is no exception. Margaret Island is a lovely little haven of piece and quite in the middle of the Danube, sheltering you from the somewhat chaotic city. So of course I had to go for a run. By the way, the track would make a perfect parkrun, just saying!

If you’re not a runner its still a lovely place to visit either for a picnic or just a stroll around the island.

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This track goes all the way around the island. Directions – stick to the track and run for 5km. You will get you back to where you started. 

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This water tower is in the middle of the island. It is over 100 years old and just short of 60m tall.

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Saint Margaret’s grave in the middle of the island. She lived in the 1200’s, and lived as a nun on the island since she was 3 years old. She was canonised by the Roman Catholic Church in 1943, and reputedly performed miracles both during her life and after her death.

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The remains of the Dominican convent where Saint Margaret lived.

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My route, its a lovely run.

Running Travel

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Before I visited the baths I wasn’t sure how the process works and it felt a little intimidating. So here are my tips based on my visit. I hope it makes your visit a little easier.

  • On arrival you pay a basic entry free which includes a locker, but you can also pay extra for a private cubicle, which is basically a tiny lockable room where you can change in privacy and leave your goodies. There were no empty lockers, so I had to get a cubicle. The entry fee included access to all the pools, and you can buy extras (such as a massage). I didn’t buy any extras.
  • I was given a wrist-armband, which included a magnetic key to unlock my cubicle. I am unclear if mens and lady’s changing areas are separate, but I think they are. However with a cubicle (since it’s private) it’s less of an issue.
  • I recommend bringing a pair of flip-flops, because the floors are wet and can get slippery.
  • You need to bring your own towel – next time I will bring 2 because my first towel got very wet, especially in the more steamy rooms.
  • One of the pools is like a regular gym pool for swimming laps, and if you want to use that pool a swimming cap is required
  • Once you’ve changed, you are free to wonder around the facilities and hop into any pool or bath. Everybody just walks around in their costumes, and there is no nudity or topless bathing (at least as far as I saw)
  • Most baths have a temperature sign, so you can easily find one that suits you.
  • There are indoor and outdoor pools, so just wonder around and see what works for you
  • There are hooks at the pools, but take note where you leave your towel, because there are a LOT of towels on the hooks
  • I kept my phone in my locker, and only took these overview shots at the end. Enjoy the baths without your phone. And with the indoor humidity I really would not recommend keeping electronics around anyway.
  • Finally, this SPA features a beer spar (where there are beer taps – I didn’t try), and at the outdoor pools you can play chess in the pool

It is completely above board, and very relaxing and refreshing. If you’re in Budaleast I highly recommend giving the baths a try. I visited the Széchenyi Spa, but there are baths all over the city, each with their own characteristics.

And aside from the wonderful bathing experiences, the buildings are wonderful and ornate – Széchenyi Spa dates back to 1881. Its worth a visit just to see the wonderful architecture.

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Travel

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“Cholate snail”, don’t worry no snails were harmed. Yes these rolled pastries are as good as they look.

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Mini-spinach and feta pastries.

Food and Drink Travel

There is no cost to visit the castle complex, and you can wonder around most of the complex. The view of the river and the city from the castle is spectacular.

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Budavári Palota – Buda Castle

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Matthias Church dates back to the 13th-century, with the Fisherman’s bastion in the front.

 

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The beautiful quad inside the castle, its also used as a live music venue.

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Fisherman’s bastion, supposedly it was the inspiration for the Disney castle. Its a long flight of stairs up from the river (or you can cheat and take the elevator at the back of the castle complex).

Travel

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The Szabadság Bridge, from the castle gardens

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The The Erzsébet Bridge, also, from the castle gardens.

Travel

For me a trip isn’t complete without exploring the bridges. And since Budapest is literally two cities spanning the Danube River, it has some wonderful bridges. The Szabadság Bridge, which was built in the 19th century, is a blend of elegance and history. Ornate design, guardian lion statues, and city vistas make crossing it a visual treat. The road is completely separate from the pedestrian pavement, so it is surprisingly peaceful to run across.

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The Erzsébet Bridge, built in the 1960’s is far more modern (and busy). The functional design still has some lovely lines though, and its quite astonishing how thick those cables are when you get up close.

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A nice route to run is to cross the Erzsébet Bridge towards Buda (the castle), climb the stairs and run around the castle gardens, then head back to the river on the Northern side of the castle, and run back to Pest along the Szabadság Bridge.

Running Travel

An innovative artist has added some colour to some of the electricity and fibre maintenance boxes in Muizenberg. I think it’s rather cute and brightens up the area just a little. I hope other areas follow this idea. If you park at Surfer’s Corner or in Palmer Road and walk around you’ll find some of these robots.

South Africa Travel