Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Picture taken by National Geographic

I am an American and I want to visit UK.  I want to badly!  I think most Americans want to visit the UK.  In fact its one of the top destinations for American travelers.  But whenever I hear the reasons people want to go I’m often disappointed by their responses.  “I want to see Big Ben!” or “I want to take a picture with those Royal Guards who never move” or “I want to see the crown Jewels”.

Now, some people really want to do these things, that’s fine.  However, I believe there is SO MUCH MORE to the UK than what can be seen from Parliament & Buckingham Palace.  After all the United Kingdom is comprised of 4 countries after all: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  I’m going to try to keep each description fairly short so you can read through all of them.  Here are the top 10 reasons I believe everyone should visit the UK.

10 The History
This is a land filled with History!  A land of Kings and Queens.  A land full of old myths and legends.  A land of many wars and strife.  A land that was the capital of the world at one point.  Most American’s have some bloodline connection to one of the four countries.

9 The Castles
Get away from downtown London and go explore some of the Castles of the country!  There are over 1500 castles in England.  Over 1,600 in Scotland (Although quite a few are in ruins now.)  About 400 in Wales and Northern Ireland has somewhere between 50 – 100.  Each one of these locations has a story to tell.

8 The Food
There was this British girl I liked back in college (just before I met the love of my life, love you sweetie!) and she found this British restaurant – a sort of mom and pop joint just a few miles from our small college at Eastern University near Wayne Pennsylvania.  It wasn’t a date, well… I thought it was.  But apparently it wasn’t… she broke my heart… sigh… I’m not bitter… anyway about the food.  YUM!  It was so different what what I was use to eating.  Some of it I loved – some of it I hated – but I was thrilled to try it all!

7 The Rolling Green Hills
All area’s of the UK have their large abundance of rolling green hills, but Northern Ireland instantly comes to mind.  Every photo I’ve ever seen of the country side out there is like some magical land straight out of a painting.  These hills make for great photo ops.

6 The Master Craftsmen/Women
The industrial revolution brought about large scale manufacturing – thus almost completely eliminating the need for craftsmen who produce custom made things.  Almost.  The UK is home to tens of thousands of craftsmen & women from every walk of life that are still in business crafting various different items that people are still willing to pay top dollar for because some things are just better made by hand.

5 The Pub’s.
Now, I know what you’re thinking!  “I don’t drink.”  or  “I don’t want to go to a bar” right?  UK “Pubs” are different from American Bars.  Pub’s (short for Public Houses) are a place where friends and families go to hang out, see some good local entertainment, eat a hearty meal, and of course, have a pint.   Pub’s are most streets in major area’s and each one unique.

4 The Architecture

Don’t you dare go to the UK without admiring the hundreds of years of artwork on display in the streets, buildings, lamps, windows, gardens, homes, offices and churches.  The amount of detail the builders put into the historical buildings are mind boggling.

3 The Photographic Opportunities
Breath taking Images are just waiting for you to take some pictures of.  I would love to take 2 months off work and just explore and take creative pictures.  You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t capture this artwork that is all around you.  TIP:  Try to take pictures from different angles and unique vantage points.  Low from the ground looking up.  Having leading lines in your picture.  Etc.

2 The People of the Land
I dare not attempt to stereo type an entire people from 4 countries and so many different cultures within.  Statements like, “They are all wonderful” or “They are all awful” would be a gross and ignorant assumption.  What I do know is that everyone has a story to tell and if you take a moment to strike up a conversation with someone you might be surprised with how it goes.

1 The Over All Culture
Between England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland – You’ll be roaming a land rich with traditions and shared values.  Take some time – pause – observe – journal your thoughts – take it all in.  Everything mentioned above pours into the over all unique culture of the United Kingdom.

If any of my readers & followers from the UK would like to chime in and add to this list I would love to hear from you.  Even if it is a correction on something I may have gotten incorrect!  Can’t wait to visit yall some day!

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IMG_0067When you see this image, what comes to mind?  Not too long ago I was in Pacasmayo Peru in South America to help an orphanage & Church down there.  I love when I visit other Countries because to me EVERYTHING is art.  Every street, every building, every person, every ally is art.  Take this scene for example.  Many people will see very different things in this picture.

  • Some might just see a wall.
  • Some might only notice the graffiti.
  • Some might see the remains of posters – or the current one that is up.
  • Some might feel sorry for anyone who lives here.
  • Some might think this place is nothing but a dead end.

But did you notice the fresh bricks ready to be laid in the bottom right of the photo?  You see, even when it seems like there is no hope for a grungy and poor situation, renewal is just around the corner.  This was Hobby #32 “Travel”

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DSC_0137During one of my many treks through the United States’ Nations Capital (Washington D.C.) there are a ton of photographic opportunities.  I try to pick just one subject to photograph each time I’m in the city.  This helps me to get the best shot.  I’m not good enough to compose a great images in a matter of minutes like the professional photographers out there.  It helps me to get at least one shot I’m very pleased with.  It’s a little past 6am EST the morning of this shot.  The sun is directly behind the Washington Monument.

Washington Monument Trivia!
You might have noticed in this picture that it appears the bottom of the monument is a different color.  You’re eyes are correct!  They started building the monument to George Washington back in 1848 – 1854.  But construction was put on hold due to politics, funding, and many other things.  It was finally finished between 1878 – 1884.  Due to this decades long gap – they ended up having to slice marble from a different location in Maryland which is why to this day we have a two toned monument.

Also the monument is 555 ft tall… wow.

Also no other buildings in Washington D.C. are allowed to be taller than the Monument or the Capital Building.  Which is why to this day these structures are still very prominent in the skyline, even-though we have the construction abilities to build significantly taller things than this now.

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