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The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapers

The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapersWashed by the emerald-turquoise waves of the Coral Sea and immersed in brilliant sunshine, the Gold Coast city on the Pacific coast of Australia justifies its name of golden – there are 56 km of fabulous sandy beaches, where one can walk barefoot on pure white sand, creating a pleasurable feeling as it creaks under your feet like silk. Golden – because in the state of Queensland, the golden rays of the sun give you positive emotions all year round, a blessing to all residents and holidaymakers alike. The city further justifies its name by the number of millionaires who have chosen to make it their home, making it one of the best places in the world.

Probably the Aborigines who inhabited these parts of Australia on the coast more than 60 thousand years ago, were also incredibly happy living there, until they were moved out inland, far away from the cost by the Europeans who settled in the beautiful coastal zones. The The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapersUnknown Southern Land (Terra Australis Incognita), so called since Roman times, was discovered as a continent in 1606 by the Dutch, and it was Dutch navigators who in the 17th century mapped the more accurate outlines of the mainland. The east coast remained poorly understood until, in 1770, the English traveler James Cook, who had made his journey at the behest of the British Geographical Society set foot in Botany Bay. On the shores of the current Gold Coast, according to historical evidence James Cook first landed there on 16th of May 1770. At that time, these lands were inhabited by the aboriginal tribes of the Yugamba, who lived by hunting and fishing. The aborigines called this area Kurungul because of the abundance of deciduous trees used for making boomerangs.

The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapersAfter Britain claimed the mainland in 1828 it began to establish its colonies and prisons, the Gold Coast also began to develop as a center for the woodworking industry. Europeans were attracted by the valuable breeds of red cedar. Gradually this area began to develop as a Mecca for the rich and influential residents of Brisbane, when in 1885 the Governor of Queensland took a fancy to the coast and built himself a holiday house on a hill. In 1923, a businessman from Brisbane, James Cavill, built the Surfers Paradise Hotel, and later a whole area of the city acquired this name. After the construction of the coastal road in 1925, the tourist boom began, and gradually the region became known as the “golden one”. In 1959, the city became officially called the Gold Coast and received the status of City.

The name Surfers Paradise speaks for itself: the best Pacific coastal waves for novice surfers The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapershave turned the Gold Coast into a center for surfing. The cult of surfing is present on all Australian emblems and souvenirs along with kangaroos and koalas, which can be found not only in special parks, but also in forests and meadows.

Heading west from the city center, the coastline comprises of many islands sheltering the shore from the heavy ocean waves, making it possible on some beaches to swim in a calm sea. The beauty of this is also in the fact that the swimming season lasts all year round: even in the Australian winter, the temperature of the ocean does not fall much below 19 degrees, at an average temperature of 21 degrees.

The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapersOne gets great pleasure walking along the beaches, you can walk along the silky sand for ages without ever getting tired, because the ocean breeze fills you with inexhaustible energy. Only here can you begin to appreciate how the feeling of extraordinary freedom and there is a feeling of infinite life. The ocean beckons, the sound of the waves bewitches. Having been here once, an irresistible desire is born to return again and again.

Skyscrapers all along the coastline is another exotic side of this Pacific Gold Coast landscape. High-rise buildings began to appear in the city center in the 1980’s. Lined up along the golden The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscraperscoast, they seem to stretch skyward toward blue skies, reflected in the Pacific waves. Every year their number is growing. In 2005, the Queensland Number One Tower (Q1) was built in the shape of an Olympic torch 322,5 meters high, which remained the tallest building in the world until the Dubai Sails (built in 2011). From the observation deck on the 78th floor a magical panorama unflods below. The most expensive penthouses are sold in the residential tower named “Soul”, the second highest in the city at 243 meters.

The Gold Coast, a city of happy people and skyscrapersLuxury villas adorne the suburbs along the canals and rivers where previously, there was nothing but a huge swamp. But they began to drain it, dig many canals and build luxury villas along these canals. The Nerang and Kumera rivers flow through the city and spread out in these canals. Villas by the river are only affordable by wealthy Australians who are living along beautiful streets by the canals and rivers, and boast names such as Prosperity Alley, Champagne Boulevard and Pearl Passage!

Australians know how to have fun. In addition to restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and a casino, the city has many different festivals throughout the year. Like the blues festival.

Finally, plenty of fun is available for fans of extreme recreations with adventure and water parks. Not far from the city there is Lamington National Park a world heritage site with rain forests.

The sea air climate and the beauty of the natural landscape, contributes to the production of hormones creating happiness that radiates on the faces of all who live here…

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“Black boy” in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate names

Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesUnusual names always attract, sometimes you want to visit a place simply because you like the name and to find out if it matches your expectations. Each name has a history of its own. In England, more than 55,000 pubs have been preserved, which were once the inns, where coaches used to stop to change horses and passengers could stay the night. Times were wild and at night travelers often became victims of robbers, so many inns where you could spend the night where littered along most main roads.

The first so-called hotels appeared, after the Romans started building roads. Small hotels grew Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesBlack boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesalong the roads from private households; here one could not only stay for the night, but also have something to eat and drink. This became very popular in ancient times. In the 17th century, the number of pubs increased due to the introduction of gin, which was brought in from Holland. But some time later, when the working classes started drinking too much, the government introduced a “beer law” in 1830. Which made it easier to open beer houses. Beer was then considered as a useful and nutritious drink. Consequently, the number of pubs increased even more.

Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesNow a pub is not only hotel, but also a meeting place for the local community, or “the heart of England”, as Samuel Pips, the author of a diary about the daily life of Londoners called them in the 17th century.

According to the law of 1393, adopted under Richard II, pubs were supposed to hang signs on the street with images, these often changed in accordance with changes in the country’s politics or in memory of certain historical Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesevents. The most common name of the pub is “Lion”, which can be “red,“ golden ”or even“ white. ” There are more than 700 pubs named “Red Lion”. Legend attributes the tradition to call pubs by this name to English King James I, who allegedly demanded that the sign of the red lion must be displayed at all inns to show loyalty to the king. The lion was the heraldic symbol of the king. The second place among the names is “Royal Oak”, of which there are more than 600 on this island.

Several pubs all over England have the name “Black boy”. Legend states that this name was Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesadopted from King Charles Stuart II (1630–1685), who was nicknamed “black boy” by his mother, Henrietta Maria of France because of his black hair, dark brown eyes and dark complexion inherited from his Italian grandmother, Maria de Medici. In 1650, after the political crisis in the country and the execution of King Charles I, his son Charles II was crowned as the legitimate heir in Scotland, but after losing the Battle of Worcester against the troops of Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarians, Charles II escaped. All the posters issued for his search, described him as a “tall black man.” His popularity among the people was great, supporters of Charles, who were fighting for the restoration of the monarchy in the 1650s, began to name inns Black boy as a sign of commitment to the royalists.

There are other versions of the origin of the name “Black Boy”. Referring to chimney sweeps and coal-miners.

The “Black Boy” Pub in the ancient English capital of Winchester was built in the 1700s. Black boy" in the ancient capital city, or how politics dictate namesLegends about the origin of its name are also diverse. But this pub claims to be one of the country’s most unusual places, not because of the name. But because its owner, David Nicholson, in 1995 restored the building, retaining the charm of the old world and turned the pub into a “home-grown museum“. All walls and ceilings are hung with museum exhibits: eccentric decorations, nostalgic posters, hundreds of miniature bottles of alcoholic beverages, cartoons, maps and comics. Everything displayed on the walls has its own history, so the author claims.

Perhaps such a museum cannot be found anywhere else, except in Winchester, well worth a visit, as it is definitely a one off.

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Most beautiful sunsets over a town called Clevedon

Clevedon“A green and silent spot amid the hills,

A small and silent dell! O’er stiller place

No singing skylark ever poised himself.

The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope

Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on,Clevedon

All golden with the never-bloomless furze,

Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell,

Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate

As vernal cornfield, or the unripe flax,

When through its half-transparent stalks, at eve,

The level sunshine glimmers with green light.

O, ’tis a quiet, spirit-healing nook!”

ClevedonThe above poems were written by the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 while he lived in the Somerset village named Nether Stowey. He was fascinated by the beauty of the surrounding hills and loved hiking in nature reserves, where he was inspired by the beauty of the romantic scenery. Somerset‘s landscapes were enjoyed by the poet Alfred Tennyson, the writer William Thackeray and many others. Somerset Alleys meanders through coniferous and deciduous forests, heathlands, moorlands, and calcareous meadows. Deeply wooded valleys were named Poets’ Walk by inspiration of English poets and today these paths are part of the longest walking route in England over 1000 km long, called the South West Coast Path .

On the seven hills of Somerset, along the mouth of the river Severn, the longest river in Great ClevedonBritain, lies the town of Clevedon. The name of the town is derived from the old English word “cleve” meaning “cleave” and “don” meaning “hill”. The local Poets’ Walk was designated as a Nature Reserve and is now a popular footpath and tourist attraction which starts at the beautiful Marine Lake in Salthouse Bay and ends along the cliff tops, offering breathtaking views overlooking the Bristol Bay with beautiful sandstone cliffs and beaches at the mouth of the River Severn as it spreads into a wide estuary. On a clear day you can enjoy great views across the Severn Estuary to the coast of Wales and islands of the Bristol Channel.

ClevedonThe alley leads north into Clevedon, where you can enjoy walking along the embankment of the town where a 312 m long pier grows out of the water on thin metal legs. It was opened in 1869 and now is one of the earliest surviving examples of Victorian architecture, when the town was an agricultural village and turned into a popular seaside resort. The poet and writer Sir John Betjeman described Clevedon pier as “the most beautiful pier in England”. The Royal Pier Hotel was built in 1823 originally known as the Rock House was converted into luxury apartments after a fire in 2003.

Pebble beaches in the old harbor are washed by the Severn estuary, with some of the highest tidal ranges in the world up to 15 m, second only to the Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada. The geology of rock, gravel and sand give the water a brown colouration. The shoreline at Clevedon is a geological site of special scientific interest. A small cliff on the beach contains many minerals such as “Haematite” “Pink barite” “Pyrite” and “Copper sulphides” some of them are unique and unusual for this region.

ClevedonYou can walk for half a mile along the waterfront passing ornamental gardens, bowling greens, tennis courts and be astonished with the stunning scenery of the bay. Public houses along the promenade offer great balconies from which one can sip a drink while enjoying the beautiful sunset. It is better to visit Clevedon on a clear sunny day so as to enjoy the sunset and witness the crimson light sinking in the waters of the estuary, giving pink-red hues to the blue-gray sky, reflected in the mirror-like water element. A fairy tale never to be forgotten easily.

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“Jewel of the Cotswolds” and a folly for an English Lady

Broadway Tower The Cotswold Hills are the second largest region of the Area Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and the largest National Park. The beauty of this landscape cannot be ignored with it’s hills, steep slopes, deep ravines, valleys, meadows, old beech forests and heath lands. In ancient times, the inhabitants of the Cotswolds worshiped the mother goddess Cod from Celtic mythology. It is assumed that the name Cotswold is derived from Cod being the name of the deity and Wold for hill.

As if by magic, small towns and villages with doll like cottages appear in diverse landscapes. Cleeve HillThis golden-honey stone, that keeps its colour even in cloudy weather, changes shades with age and only becomes more expressive. Most of the cottages in the Cotswold villages, like Bibury, Castle Combe, Tewksbury, Stow-on-Wold and Broadway, were built in the Middle Ages, when, thanks to the breeding of a rare breed of sheep in the 16th century, the region flourished through the sale of wool. At the same time, many churches were built, conditionally known as “woolen”, which still adorn the panoramas of the hills. The highlight of the Cotswolds landscapes is a huge number of stone built fences, the total length of which is 4000 miles.

Broadway The village of Broadway was called the “Cotswold Jewel“. Little is known about its origin; during excavations, many artifacts were found, indicating settlements more than 5,000 years old. The name Broadway speaks for itself, there is a wide main street and is also one of the longest in England. In the 1600s, the village was the center of a coach stop between travelling from Worcester and London, 33 inns was built here. When the rail link opened and the station was erected in neighbouring Evesham, Broadway turned into a quiet paradise of peace and tranquility. Romantic poets, writers, impressionist and artists rushed here. Popularity returned at the beginning of the last century in a new capacity with the invention of the automobile, when thousands of tourists began to visit Broadway. In 1934, J. Priestly, in his guidebook “The English Journey”, called Broadway “the most English and least spoiled of all villages.”

The 14th-century Lygon Arms Hotel was key to the journey from Worcester to London and is associated with many significant historical events. During the Civil War (1642–1651), the leaders Broadway Broadway of both opposing armies, Oliver Cromwell and Charles I and subsequently other kings of England, including Edward VII and Edward VIII, stopped here at different times. In the 1920s, when Bolton Russell owned the hotel, his son Gordon Russell restored furniture from antiques found in the attic and subsequently became the leading designer of furniture in England. His many inventions, wardrobes with drawers and dressing tables, laid the foundation for modern furniture design. Today’s Broadway is the center of “Arts and Crafts,” a movement founded by the artist Morris in the Victorian era, proclaiming the superiority of handicraft production based on a combination of intellectual and manual labour over machine production.Broadway Tower (10)

Broadway Tower The Cotswold covers a territory of six counties and from the highest hills on a clear day you can see a panorama of over 13 counties. In 1794, from the window of her house in the city of Worcester Lady Coventry, the wife of 6th Earl of Coventry was admiring the lighthouse that was lit on one of the highest Cotswold hills at a Broadway Hill (7)distance of 35 kilometers. The English landscape architect Lancelot Brown known as Capability Brown and the architect James White designed a tower 20 meters high in the form of a castle on a hill 312 meters high above sea level just for her. This little folly of an English lady was an example of architectural extravagance. Today the tower is a tourist attraction. If you are lucky to be here on a clear sunny day, you will see a fabulous panorama of hills stretching all around for hundreds of kilometers.

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One hundred balloons for Romania


One hundred balloons in the sky for RomaniaColourful hot air balloons in the sky is the embodiment of a holiday, a dream come true, a fairy tale reality. The bright colours on hot air balloons will always remind us of the Ballooning Fiesta in the Romanian region of South Maramures with it’s complete immersion of the national Romanian culture, traditions and customs. Peter Hurley, the organizer of the festival, who fell in love with this land, opened for us a small window of this ancient world, which is normally difficult to find especially today in Europe. We were introduced to hospitable and sincere locals known as Maramureshans who have an open living soul and for whom the romance of simple moral values helped preserve their identity and national culture.

The festival was a commemoration of a significant event in history. The 100 balloons from European countries, Chile and Japan adorned the skies for four days above Romania representing 100 candles in celebration of the centenary of the independence of Romania, which also happened to coincided with the end of the First World War.

The first morning flight took place in the Carpathian valley of Lapus over it’s picturesque RogozRogozvillages, green hills and autumn forests. Later that day the pilots and all the team enjoyed the local distinctive flavour where we met some amazing people and got acquainted with their crafts. Two thousand years ago, the Dacians, ancestors of the Romanians, inhabited Maramures. From all sides, this region is surrounded by mountains and forests, which helped residents in this era of great migration, to preserve their age-old traditions. People live here in communes by subsistence farming and still make national clothes, carpets, and wooden products by hand. Together they celebrate holidays and hold folk festivals. For locals, this is daily life but for tourists it’s a unique living museum. All the participants of the fiesta were welcomed with great warmth and treated to goat milk, cheese, apples, grapes, nuts and a very unusual local drink called Polinka.

The church of the archangels Michael and Gabriel in the village of RogozMasterful wooden architecture is the glory of Maramures. Since ancient times, the inhabitants of the Carpathian valleys used the Maramuresforest to build houses and folk crafts and now their wooden architecture is famous throughout the world. Eight unique Orthodox wooden churches are on the UNESCO list. The church of the archangels Michael and Gabriel in the village of Rogoz, where we visited, was built in 1663 from plates joined together without the use of metal nails and a roof made of wooden tiles. The walls are supported on a foundation of stone blocks, whilst the interior is painted with bright frescoes.

There followed three more days of magnificent flights in the skies over the Baia Mare!


The best moments of the fiesta can be seen on the video…

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