Categories for Travel

September 8, 2021

Travelling corner: Bristol by bike (part 4)

It’s not so easy to cycle when it’s windy, or it’s raining or snowing (of yes, we did cycle in the snow this year, what an experience!). But, even then, cycling is my favourite means of transport J In the last several months, we repeated many of our previous bike trips, but we also managed to (re-)discover a few new cycling paths. Today, I’m taking you on three bike trips in / around Bristol. Come and join me!

Ashton Court

We accidentally discovered this cycling path and we’re so glad we did, as it’s an excellent short-cut to Ashton Court. If cycling from Shirehampton, we first cycle along Portway Road and then we turn right onto the small bridge, which I think is called Plimsoll Bridge, to reach Bedminster. There, we go under the large bridge and then follow the number 33 cycle path.

Aust

First, we need to cycle to Severn Beach along the number 41 cycle route (or you can go by train) & then head along the main road towards Aust. We cycled there in winter and back then the cycling path from Severn Beach to Aust was closed. I think it’s open now, so we plan to re-cycle this route in summer. In Aust, there is a small beach with impressive cliffs above. Aust is famous for fossils and rock formations.

Blaise Castle

Blaise Castle can be approached from many different directions. We usually cycle from Shirehampton along the number 41 cycle route. However, Blaise Castle can be also approached from Combe Dingle. We can cycle there on the main road from Shirehampton then go via Sylvian Way and Dingle Road.

These are three great locations to visit by bike. Where do you enjoy cycling to in/around Bristol? Please let me know in the comments below. 

August 11, 2021

Book review: The Lido Guide by Emma Pusill and Janet Wilkinson (with my own recommendations!)

That’s such a useful publication: a well-researched guide to open-air swimming pools in the UK and Channel Islands. It contains a long list of lidos with some practical information about them, like addresses, website, contact details, short description of the pool and a couple of photos. In the introduction, we read that the majority of the open-air pools are community run by groups of volunteers who have often saved the pools from closure. We’re encouraged to visit the lidos on rainy and windy days, too (sounds adventurous!). There is even a short extract on the pronunciation of the word ‘lido’ (is it lee-doh or ly-doh?), as well as a mention of the historic pools of Britain. What personally surprised me was that Wales only has one open-air pool?!

As a swimming enthusiast myself, I also want to include here a short list of the lidos I have visited:

Clevedon Marine Lake

Portishead Open Air Pool

Bristol Lido

The Rock Pool (Westward Ho!)

Chagford Swimming Pool

Bude Sea Pool

Jubilee Pool (Penzance)

But, with this lovely catalogue of different lidos, I feel well-equipped to explore more open waters.

Lastly, I want to mention that the marine lake in Weston-super-Mare is being currently refurbished (June 2021), so I am hoping to go there for a splash in summer 2022!

Do you have any favourite lido(s)? Please let me know in the comments below.

March 24, 2021

Travelling corner: Winter wonderland in Stourhead (Wiltshire, England)

In December 2020, we gave ourselves a beautiful treat; a visit to Stourhead. It was our first visit there and we didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be a magical experience. Especially since, in December, along the path way there were Christmassy decorations with some lights installed for the late-evening visits. The place is a true gem for garden and nature lovers. It seems that every detail was carefully designed with many different types of trees, shrubs, plants and water animals. As we read on the NT website, it’s a world-famous landscape garden and can be described as ‘a living work of art’.

As we visited the garden in winter, we’d love to visit it in spring, summer and autumn, as it’d be lovely to observe the seasonal changes. We’ll keep our blogging journal updated and will share more stories from our visits here.

Have you recently visited a magical place? Please let me know in the comments below.

December 18, 2019

Travelling corner: My sentimental trip to Śląsk in Poland

I spent part of my childhood and youth in Śląsk (Silesia), it’s a province in the south of Poland. As I wasn’t born there, there were some aspects which always attracted my interest: the regional history, the industrial character of the region and their regional dialect (gwara śląska). I left this part of Poland in my early twenties to go study in the Czech Republic and then in the UK. These days, every time I re-visit this region, I’m more and more fascinated by the changes that have been made, in terms of new cultural establishments, improvements in the urban landscape and the rich cuisine on offer. I think I feel like my uni professor from Prague who, after living her whole life in architectonically diverse Prague, came to work in Śląsk, found an architectural relief and was fascinated by the industrial character of the region. So who knows, maybe I’ll inspire you to travel to this part of Poland!

Nikiszowiec 

Let’s start with the oldest part of Katowice (Katowice being the capital of Śląsk). It’s a more than one hundred years old settlement built originally for coal miners. The houses called familoki (in German Familien-Block), with red windows, were built for workers and their families. Even though this part of Katowice seems so beautiful, quiet and overall unreal, people actually still reside there. The perfect place for a slow walk to discover its uniqueness and beauty.

Café Byfyj 

If we’re in Nikiszowiec, we need to try some amazing food from Café Byfyj. I don’t go out so often and if I do, I try to visit places that respect our planet and choose sustainable, fresh and local products. The food here was delicious and what’s more, the service was amazing: kind and friendly.

Muzeum Śląskie (Silesian Museum)

Is there a better place to build a museum in industrial Śląsk than on the grounds of the former mine? Yes, in 2015 Muzeum Śląskie opened its new site which was built on the former Katowice mine. It’s now conveniently located in the centre of Katowice in Śląsk. It has art galleries, museum rooms, cafes and restaurants, and a library. I found the whole site beautifully rebuilt and was fascinated by the presentation of the history of Śląsk. I was impressed to see some paintings by well-known Polish artists.

That’s the story of my sentimental travel to Poland. Have you visited an important/inspiring place recently? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla