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Adventure: The Metropolitan City of Wroclaw, Poland

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Thinking, TravelNo Comments

I recently visited Wroclaw in Poland with my brother and his friends for his stag do and his birthday. It was the first time I had met many of my brother’s friends and they are a great bunch of lads. In this post I’ll be discussing my experience of being in Wroclaw.

The first thing to write is that the architecture is aesthetically pleasing. There are many buildings with a Georgian style and many churches that are exquisitely designed. Here is an example of one such church:

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A Church in Wroclaw, Poland.

Here are two photos of fountains I took:

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Fountain (1).

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Fountain (2).

Wroclaw is vibrant, youthful and has an upbeat feel. It is a clean city, only being let down by graffiti that is everywhere. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, with some even having English menus upon request. The cost of living is cheap with roughly 10 slotty (about £2) buying a double vodka and diet coke. I did have difficulties getting zero sugar drinks in a number of places, which was a bit of an issue with me being diabetic.

The only Polish word I managed to learn was Kawa, which means coffee. The main square is huge and has flower market stalls that appear to be open 24/7. I found myself listening to Polish conversations as I walked around and appreciating the beautiful sound of the language. Some Polish spoke English exceptionally well whereas others didn’t speak any English at all. I found the Google Translate App really useful.

Without doubt it is people that make a city. All appeared happy, content and liberal. Polish people had less inhibitions when it came to dancing than we English have. Polish people will quite happily bump into anyone in their way in pubs and clubs. This is normal to the Polish, but being British I found it a little rude.

As Poland is known for being Roman Catholic and as such conservative when it comes to gay people and their rights. I decided to test the waters with a Polish man who I had been talking to and getting on with whilst smoking a cigarette. I came out and asked his views on gay people. He said:

“I don’t care, I don’t give a fuck. That’s your choice. We’re all just friends here.”

He described himself as not being religious, male, heterosexual and was in his mid twenties.

Overall Wroclaw is a beautiful city, with wonderful people and a place that I will be visiting again.

Take care,

Antony

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My India Adventure (Part 8) – The Sun Tattoo, Goodbyes & The Journey Home

By Adventures, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, Nature, Paganism, TravelNo Comments
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Sun Wall Plaque.

I’d been thinking about getting a tattoo for sometime. I just couldn’t decide what or where. I knew it would be a permanent feature on my body, so didn’t want rush into anything.

Earlier in the week Eddie and I had gone shopping (see My India Adventure (Part 3) – Shopping in Delhi) and I had bought this sun wall plaque (photo left) as a gift for someone. As the week went by, I decided I liked the plaque too much to give it away and decided to keep it.

Then an idea popped into my head: Why don’t I get a tattoo like the sun plaque? So on the afternoon of my last full day in Delhi, I had it done. Here’s some photos of me being tattooed:

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Me being Tattooed.

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The finished Sun Tattoo – it looks superb, I couldn’t be happier with it.

Eddie came with me to get the tattoo done. It’s three inches by three inches squared. It was done by a Tattoo Artist at the Tattoo Work Shop in Connaught Place, Delhi, India. The Tattoo Work Shop was clean (all needles were single use and in date) and they showed me a portfolio of tattoos they’d done before.

The sun for my symbolises many things. I am a sun-worshiper in every sense of the word. Literally, pagans worship the sun. Figuratively, the sun makes me feel alive and energised. My sun tattoo symbolises my adventure in India, as well as my upbeat personality with the happiness and joy I hope to bring into people’s lives.

Eddie suggested the location of the tattoo placement on my back. I left the tattoo parlour pleased with the tattoo and with no regrets about having it done. My only slight disappointment is that where I had sunburned skin the tattoo’s colour has faded a little as it’s healed. Still, I can have it touched up.

That evening Robert, Michael and I had a farewell meal with Neha’s family. I presented Neha’s parents with a gift of a sun-shaped wall mirror to thank them for having me to stay and for treating me so well. We had a lovely meal, said our goodbyes and then headed back to the guesthouse. The flight was an early one.

At the guest house, Eddie called me. He wanted to see me last time, before my departure. I explained that I hadn’t even packed yet and that he wouldn’t get much sleep. But he insisted and I’m so glad he did.

The next day, Eddie waved me off as I got into a car to the airport with Robert and Michael. Neha would be flying over to Robert the following week.

The British Airways flight was relaxed and easy. Once at Heathrow Airport, London, Robert, Michael and I said our goodbyes and headed off in our own directions all destined for our own homes.

The luggage collection and immigration passport controls hadn’t taken had long as I had expected. So it turned out that I would have a long wait for my pre-booked Megabus journey. Plus the Megabus would only get me into Manchester six minutes before the last train home, which was risking it. So at the airport I spent a bit of money and booked myself on an earlier National Express coach.

I set off on the London Underground to Victoria Coach Station. From there I caught the coach and arrived in Manchester over an hour earlier that I had originally expected to. I got an earlier train for the final leg of my journey, meaning that I got home an hour earlier. I was glad to be home, tired after a busy but exciting week and worn out by the journey.

But I’m already excited for my next trip to India.

This is the final part in my series of blog posts about my India Adventure. Here is a list of the other posts in chronological order: My India Adventure (Part 1) – The Journey, First Impressions of Delhi, The Guest House & The Family, My India Adventure (Part 2) – The Wedding, My India Adventure (Part 3) – Shopping in Delhi, My India Adventure (Part 4) – Delicious Food, My India Adventure (Part 5) – Gandhi’s Grave & India Gate & My India Adventure (Part 6) – The Taj Mahal

Blog soon,

Antony

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My India Adventure (Part 7) – Agra Fort

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, History, Inspiration, TravelNo Comments
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Agra Fort Information Stone.

On the same day that Robert, Neha, Michael, Neha’s family and I visited The Taj Mahal we also visited Agra Fort. I don’t know enough about Agra Fort’s rich history, but I do know about a legend…

Legend has it that the Emperor who built the Taj Mahal inherited Agra Fort. He desired buildings made out of white marble inlaid with gold and semi-precious gemstones, like the Taj Mahal. So he knocked down some of the existing buildings and rebuilt his own.

The Emperor was later deposed by his son and imprisoned in his white marble buildings (see photos Inside 5 and Inside 6 below) until he died. From his prison, the Emperor could see the Taj Mahal, where the ashes of his love rested.

It looks like it was quite a luxurious prison to me. No doubt he had staff to feed, water, bathe and cloth him. Along with maybe a few guards to make sure he didn’t try to escape.

Here are some photos of Agra Fort:

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Agra Fort Entrance.

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Agra Fort Outside (1).

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Agra Fort Outside (2).

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Agra Fort Inside (1).

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Agra Fort Inside (2).

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Agra Fort Inside (3).

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Agra Fort Inside (4).

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Agra Fort – you can see The Taj Mahal from a window.

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Another Agra Fort Information Stone.

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Agra Fort Inside (5).

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Agra Fort Inside (6).

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The Third & Final Agra Fort Information Stone.

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Agra Fort Inside (7).

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Agra Fort Inside (8).

In the next blog post in the series, I’ll tell you all about a permanent reminder I got to remember my India adventure. It will be published soon, so check back regularly for the next update.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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My India Adventure (Part 6) – The Taj Mahal

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, TravelNo Comments
IndiaJuly2015-TajMahal-0

Taj Mahal Information Stone.

The Taj Mahal is one of the seven Wonders of the World, so being in India I had to see it. I went with Robert, Neha and Neha’s family. The journey by car from Delhi to the Taj Mahal is about 3-4 hours one way, but is totally worth it.

All cars have been banned within a certain distance of the Taj Mahal because of fears that the air pollution might stain or damage the famous white marble building. To get to the Taj Mahal you are required to take an electric buggy. Before the Taj Mahal there is a gatehouse where you buy tickets. For foreigners the admission fee is currently ₹750 (about £7.50), although Indian citizens get admission much cheaper.

Through an archway you get your first glance at the Taj Mahal. You see it’s lush green gardens with it’s turquoise water fountains. There still some distance away you see the architecturally beautiful, ginormous and symmetrical feat that is the Taj Mahal.

There was no photography allowed on the inside of the Taj Mahal. However outside the Taj Mahal photos were allowed. The Taj Mahal is difficult to describe in words, so here are some of the many of photos taken:

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Taj Mahal Layout Board.

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The Taj Mahal first glance.

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The Taj Mahal with gardens.

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Taj Mahal selfie with me and Robert.

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Taj Mahal selfie with me and Neha.

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Taj Mahal selfie.

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Me with the Taj Mahal in the background (1).

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Me with the Taj Mahal in the background (2).

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Me with the Taj Mahal in the background (3).

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Close up of Taj Mahal.

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Taj Mahal one of the Towers.

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Taj Mahal entrance.

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The back of the Taj Mahal, across the river is where he wanted to build a black Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal was built by an Emperor as a mausoleum for his third and favourite and after she died during childbirth. He designed everything to look symmetrical from a distance. It was said to be incredibly expensive to build at the time and is considered priceless now.

As you get close to the Taj Mahal you realise that the four towers are actually titled outwards. This for two reasons. Firstly to give the impression from a distance that they stand straight. Secondly so that if there was an earth quake the towers would fall outwards not inwards onto the main structure.

Behind the Taj Mahal is a river. On the opposite side riverbank the Emperor wanted to build a black Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for himself. This would have continued his love of symmetry and created a mirror image. However a year into it’s construction he was taken ill and died before it could be completed.

One of his wives negotiated and got his ashes buried in the Taj Mahal, with his favourite wife. The joint burial tombs are ironically the only thing in the Taj Mahal that isn’t symmetrical.

I recommend that if you’re planning to visit the Taj Mahal or any other tourist attraction in India that you read up on them before you go.

I never post photos of people without their permission. For this reason photos of Neha’s family have been deliberately excluded as I didn’t get time to ask each family member for their permission to post photos of themselves here.

The next blog post of the series titled My India Adventure (Part 7) – Agra Fort will be coming soon. So keep checking back for updates.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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