Sunday Special – Glastonbury Festival


“G” takes us to England for the ever popular Glastonbury Music Festival. I’m not much for music festivals…that I’m aware of as I’ve never been to one. That being said, this is one that I would consider attending should I decide to take the festival plunge.

This past June the festival had hundreds of stages over 5 days with an incredible line up of musicians such as Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, The Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Goldfrapp, Kodaline, and much much more. The very first time this festival was held was back in 1970 (the day after Jimi Hendrix died) and was called the Pilton Festival. It was held over two days with several acts and 1,500 people coming basically by word of mouth.¬†Over forty years later its size has flourished to 175,000 attendees ¬†at this now iconic event. It’s meager start was hit or miss until it became annual event in the 1980s, with the exception of “fallow” years to allow a break for the land and the organizers. It was then that a charity aspect was introduced and has since supported charitable works including Greenpeace, Oxfam and Wateraid. ¬†

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Glastonbury Festival 2011 РPhoto credit: jaswooduk from UK, Glastonbury Festival 2011, CC BY 2.0

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Aerial view of 2002 Glastonbury Festival РPhoto credit: Chris Drake, Overhead Glastonbury Festival site (2002) Рgeograph.org.uk Р210700, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Sunday Special – Fiji


The Melanesian island country of Fiji is one that evokes images of languid blue waters, green jungle canopies and an idyllic island days. Often touted as a  wedding and honeymoon destination it seems Fiji has much to offer for a getaway, particularly a romantic one.

Located in the South Pacific, Fiji comprises over 330 islands, 110 of them being continually inhabited.  The main populated islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu with the capital Suva located on the former. Although Suva is the capital the main airport is in Nadi, also located on Viti Levu. 

As stated above, Fiji is renown for its wedding and honeymoon popularity and rightly so as there is an abundance of beaches, hotels and lush locations. The Coral Coast is the hub of many sun revelers and water sport aficionados. ¬†Off course there is also national parks and adventure activities too (kayaking, zip lining, off-roading, parasailing, etc). Daily ferries allow inter-island visits for further exploring. ¬†History buffs can learn of the country’s past with museums and historical sites. A little bit of everything under the warm tropical sun.¬†

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Fijian Beach – Photo is Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

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Coral Coast Sunset, Fiji РPhoto credit: Maxim75, Coral Coast Sunset, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Sunday Special – Estonia


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Cliffs at Saaremaa Island, Estonia РPhoto credit: Margus6, Varahommik ja Panga pank, CC BY-SA 3.0

This small Baltic country of Estonia has history that goes back for centuries and centuries with a¬†Finno-Ugric¬†language ancestry. ¬†Throughout these times the Estonian’s faced German, Danish, Swedish and Russian control. In 1918 they became an independent nation but were forced into the Soviet Union in 1940. 1989 they demanded independence and gained it officially in 1991, with much credit going to their peaceful Singing Revolution¬†of the 1980s. In 2004 they joined the European Union and switched to the euro in 2011. Today it is a tourism hot spot with plenty to offer.¬†

  • Capital city of Tallinn boasts an outstanding Old Town which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Sight
  • Experience “White Nights” from May through July when the sun barely sets
  • Take in the Suur and¬†V√§ike Taevaskoda (Small and Large Heaven’s Hall) along the Ahja River for some hiking and seeing some caves
  • The¬†Lahemaa National Park on the northern coast is filled with beautiful landscape and perhaps you will see moose, foxes and other animals
  • The south’s¬†Soomaa National Park showcases a primeval forest and quiet nature
  • Get your adrenaline flowing with activities such as repelling, rafting, ATV rentals, go-karting and even a precarious walk along the ledge of Tallinn’s TV Tower¬†
  • Visit any of Estonia’s plentiful islands, many just a quick ferry ride away
  • Take in all forms of popular music at any number of clubs offering rock, jazz, alternative, electronic and more. Music festivals are popular as well.
  • Admire the architecture of old in the many lighthouses, manor houses, churches, castles, and forts throughout the country
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Katariina Passage in Tallinn’s Old Town – Photo credit:¬†-jkb-,¬†Tallinn Katariina K√§ik,¬†CC BY-SA 3.0

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Panorama of Tallinn’s walled Old Town – Photo credit:¬†Ivar Leidus,¬†Tallinn Toompea Upper Old Town 2013,¬†CC BY-SA 3.0 EE

Sunday Special – Dublin Mountains Way, Ireland


Exploring a region by foot can be one of the most worthwhile ways to see it. This is certainly not limited to strolling through city centres. Walking and hiking is an activity enjoyed by many, from easy hikes spanning a few hours to ones that are strenuous and require days to finish. The payoff is exercise, breathing in nature and some phenomenal views. 

Dublin Mountains Way, only a mere 8 km / 5 miles from Dublin was named one of the most scenic walks in the world by Barry Stone in his book 1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die (2015).¬†The 43 km / 26 mile trail winds from easterly Shankill through to Tallaght in the west. Although it is considered a moderate to difficult hike that can take anywhere from 1 – 3 days it has been divided into three sections that can be done at any pace. ¬†The trail was completed and opened in 2009 by the Dublin Mountains Partnership (DMP) and they continue to maintain and upkeep the paths. Their website offers descriptions of the routes, downloadable .pdf maps as well as event listings, transit information and “Leave No Trace” material. ¬†The DMP also have also set up mountain biking routes, assembled ¬†bouldering sites, introduced wheelchair orienteering on way-marked trails and manage conservation and upkeep of the area. As with any activity, make sure you are prepared and let someone know where you are going.¬†

Ireland is a stunning country, arguably one of the world’s most beautiful. Why not see it’s beauty by roving and wandering along these paths?

The Scalp From Barnaslingan Hill

The Scalp (Barnaslingan) on the Dublin Mountains Way РPhoto via Wikimedia Commons РTaken and owned By Joe King (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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The Hell Fire Club along the Dublin Mountains Way РPhoto via Wikimedia Commons РTaken and owned by jasonrogers [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons