Monthly Archives: January 2013

The great reminder of ancient times in Stonehenge

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Stonehenge, the circle of stones, it is just it, a stone circle. Nothing special, not much to make such a big fuzz about. Or? Well, it is a stone monument, built in a circle, but it is so much more. Who built it? Why was it built? How was it built? Did the ancient people know something that we don’t know? Why was the secret forgotten?

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Stonehege, great piece of mystery

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How did the ancient do this?

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Our great guide David, who gave us more questions

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county side. Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks. It is at the center of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. (wikipedia)

Archaeologists believe the stone monument was constructed anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, which makes these monuments over 5000 years old. Amazing! Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge could possibly have served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. (wikipedia)

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Picture of a model. did it look like this?

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A lonely stone aligns perfectly with the other

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Nice view on a chilly day

We visited it on a chilly autumn day, October 25:th 2012 on a tour from London. We had this wonderful guide David, who told us a lot aout this place and asked even more question. Who made this thing? How was it made? Why was it made? The stones were probably transported from Wales, but how? It’s a long way and 5000 years ago there were no highways nor trucks. How did they get the stones one on top of the other, åerfectly aligned with each other and with the sun. We only see part of the stones, they are dig down in the ground for the stability, how was it done?

Maybe the most intriguing question is how. The stones are huge and they must be heavy. And still they are aligned perfectly with the sun, stones are lifted up on top of other stones and the circle is nice, beautiful and well planned. How was it made? Did the ancients have a secret that we don’t know of?

We left Stonehege amazed. Don’t believe people who say that’s a bunch of stones. They are, but they are also so much more. Go there, see for yourself and breathe and think. how, why and could we do it today?

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See you!

 

Stonehenge became a world heritage in 1986. Link: Stonehenge.

My grade for this site is 4,5 globes, maybe even 5, the mystery, the greatness and the secrets that are hiding here are many and worth it.

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//Monika

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Dublin is a pearl not (yet?) on the list

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I should have said Happy New Year in my last post. It’s a new year and new ideas after all and new plans, new ideas and new places to visit. Some will be world heritage sites worth to visit several times, some will be sites worth to visit only once and some will be places that are not world heritage sites, but still very much worth to visit. What places do you think are worth visiting? Maybe once, maybe over and over again?

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Just an old house

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Can you bear the sight of these statues?

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Resting by the water

How about new plans? I’m open for new ideas. Before the winter ends we’d like to go to Lueå in Sweden and maybe to Abisko too. And in spring? We want to go on a city-weekend in spring. Maybe to Amsterdam, maybe Prague, maybe Brussels or maybe Budapest or Berlin? Many places on the wish-list, so little time. Later in spring we are planning to visit Salamanca in Spain and maybe Cracow (again). Maybe we can go to Malbork in Northern Poland for a weekend, spend few hours in Gdansk. And then there is summer. The dream would be going back to Africa, this time from Nairobi to Vic Falls. Seems like a good plan for the summer. And before that maybe a few days at the high coast in Sweden.In the autumn maybe London again, or maybe New York, we’ll see.

Our spring city weekend two years ago took us to Dublin. The hotel was just by the O2 arena. We have no idea who played that weekend but the place was crowded by 14-ish year old kids. We couldn’t care less. We hardly noticed them. The place of the hotel was a little bit off, a litle bit outside the crowd and still short walk from the city and communications. Quite acceptable actually.

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Famous bridge, I don’t remember the name of the archtect, but he’s famous

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Less modern and very beautiful bridge

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Happy windows

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Street art

The weather was perfect, sunny and quite warm for the time of year. We wandered around the city, watched people, bridges, chilled in parks, went for shopping, drank coffee, beer and had cakes, oysters and great food. The time in Dublin was so worth it! In the very beginning we decided  to take a city tour in one of those hop-on-hop-off busses. We got some city history and viewed famous buildings and interesting sites. Perfect way to find out what you should see and explore.

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Nun

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A church

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Guiness brewery

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Drinking Guiness

We took a walk of fame in places there famous musicians left their mark. I don’t really remember many artists from Dublin, but I know that U2 are from here. Starstruck! There were many street artists and singers in Dublin. I Even bought a CD from one of them. He was good, young and genuine Irish. I think I’ve listned to the CD once since. By the way, I have an idea for all the street singers selling CD:s. I think it’s time to start selling your music in mp3-format (or similar) on a memory stick. You can have a nice box if you want to, but many people listen to the music on their computers, so why not make it easier for everyone? Or at least have an option with memory stick?

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An Irish street artist

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Colourfull doors

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The bank

Dublin is a city of Guiness. We went to Guiness brewery, of course. It’s a great and interesting place, even if you don’t like Guiness. We, of course had Guiness on the rooftop with great view of the city. That was not the only place where we had Guiness. We found a bar in an old bank, called “Bank”. They had Guiness and oysters as normal bar food, so we had it, of course. We also went to a church turned into a bar and had drinks.

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Spring in the park

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Nice evening in town

And then there was time to go home. We ordered taxi and waited for it to arrive in the hotel lobby. Some guy came in and asked us “Blablabla?” We didn’t understand a word, so we said “no.” This was our taxi driver and when he started speaking slower and more clearly we actually understood it. Happy joy!

Should Dublin, or anything inside it be a world heritage site? I don’t know. I mean it is a wonderful city, it has great atmosphere, old stuff and new stuff, great people and… yes, a soul. But I’m still not sure. What do you think?

//Monika

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Engelsberg Ironworks and the Oil Island, how much are they worth today?

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The place Engelsbergs bruk, or ironworks in English is a place situated in picturesque landscape in the middle of Sweden surrounded by lakes, woods and cute villages. The place started its work in 1681. At that time the work with iron was made by people living in the mountains. The place was modernized during 18:th century and was used until 1919. There is of course a large mansion and smaller houses for the workers.

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Short information about this place

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The washing cottage

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Old iron in the washing cottage

We visited Engelsbers works last summer (2012). The place was open and you could book a guided tour of the works, so we id.The place was very beautiful and picturesque, but also depressive, especiially when you know that there is not much work for the people around here, especially not after the summers season.

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The old mill

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Inside the mill

We went around workers’ houses, washing room, the mill, looked att the smithy (but didn’t go in. We also looked at the mansion, but since it’s private owned we couldn’t go too close. I wonder how it feels to live in World Heritage site.

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The office of the supervisor

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Cute bridge

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Stables

The place was full of red houses that belonged to the workers, a stable and some other simple buildings- Then there was the mansion, white, shining, magnificent. Two worlds, so close to each other. Even today the two worlds are separated, since you are not even allowed near the place of the nice people. Mixed feelings.

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The smithery

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The mansion

In the tour ticket there is also an option to visit the Oil Island. At the end of 19:th century the owner of the small island on the lake next to Engelsberg’s works, founded a refinery, one of the older in the world, at least the oldest preserved. He imported oil and refined it, producing different oil based products.

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The Oil island

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Our guide on the island

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Inside the old refinery

The refinery on the little island was closed in 1902 and today it is museum, telling a great story about innovative minds and great times. To make the visit even better we had a great fuide, an older lady who worked as chemistry teachear and could tell the story of the island, the refinery and the products in a very interesting way.

There is another place close to Stockholm, that is pretty much alike, except for the island. It’s called Wira works and it’s also old iron works, where weapons were made for the military in 17:th and 18:th century. It’s a great place, where you can walk and enjoy the old houses, old smithy and mill. Why is Engelsberg and not Wira a world heritage site? The tour of the both places is prettymuch allike. The similar history is hidden there,so why? And why, once you can put up a World Heritage flag some places think it’s enough and they don’t need to put so much more effort into it? I might write about Wira in another post, so you can see the similarities. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This place has been a world heritage site since 1993. Link to the site: Engelsberg Ironworks.

Sometimes places are not what they seem. The place was interesting, but not special. The Oil island is not part of world heritage site, but it still was part of the experience for us. If the Oil Island would be part of world heritage sie it would be three globes, now only two.

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Happy New Year!

//Monika

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