Travel 2014

October saw me taking a short break in Rome. Somewhere that was always high on my list of cities to visit, but for whatever reason, I had not yet been. Well it surpassed my expectations. So much history, architecture and everything else possible. Simply loved it and will go back, many times I expect. Only down side, god it was busy, even the first week in October. Was also surprisingly warm and generally dry, 26C most days.

December saw my first trip to Prague. More on this later as well as details on a trip earlier in the year to the north of England.


On this page:


Rome

Vatican Vatican

Piazza S. Pietro. That's the queue to get in, right round the Piazza, but actually they were very well organised and it only took about 20 mins. the size of the people in the pcitures gives an idea of the scale of this architecture.

Vatican Vatican

Inside St Peter's.

Vatican Vatican

More inside and Vitican guard.

Vatican

A night shot of the Piazza which I felt came out really well and just had great colour and effect. Again you can see the scale of the architecture as that is the end of one of the curved Arch's in the photos above.


Colosseum, Palatino and the Forum area

First day and it was straight out to the Colosseum, something I had wanted to see for a long time. Glad I got there early and had 2 to 3 hours, because by 12 noon, it was heaving and you could hardly move. It was also hot, so the early start helped. The whole area is quite spectacular and hard to comprehend that it has been there for a couple of thousand years. There's the Arch of Constantine, the Palatine Hill (Palatino) where I understand all the knobs of Rome used to live, Circus Maximus is just down the road and then the hill overlooks the Forum area.

Colosseum Colosseum

Apparently, it originally had a roof of sail like material. Again you can see the scale by the size of people in these pictures.

Colosseum

In these pictures you can see a floor area at the far end that has been recreated to show where the arena floor was.

Arch of Constantine Colosseum area

Arch of Constantine. Can't remember what the other picture was, but still spectacular.

Forum area Forum area

Forum area.

Forum area Forum area

I think this is the Forum area where Caesar was stabbed. Old Joke, Caesar was stabbed in the Forum, also in the Duodenum and in the Oesophagus. The old ones are the best.


Others

Other sites from around Rome in no particular order, just things I found, liked and captured.

National monument National monument

Altare della Patria. National monument to the first Italian king and the dead of the first world war. Quite spectacular and I believe a fantastic view from the roof. Have to do that next time.

Villa Borghese Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese. A park in the centre of Rome housing a 17th house and gardens. The Borghese Gallery and Museum on the left and the Villa Medici on the right. Both in the park.

Villa Borghese

A very swank restaurant I found in the park. I simply wasn't dressed for it.

Villa Borghese Villa Borghese

Bougainvilleas. Some of the flowers out in the park.

Quirinale

Sunset looking towards St Peter's. From the Palazzo del Quirinale.

Streets

Rome is a fantastic walking city, if it's not too hot. I walked for 5 or 6 hours some days. Every street you turned down there might be history, Architecture or it was just fascinating.

Streets

Then at the end of some streets, the view was spectacular. Just a little side street and there's some ancient monument, church or some other stunning building at the end.

Church

Spectacular churches all over the place. Stopped in this one at lunch time to get out of the heat and cool off. Incredible interior and then a young man practising on the organ to the right with 2 teachers. So, relaxing, cool and great music to listen to.

Just a square I found, to sit and have an ice cream in and again, stunning architecture, one of which, turned out to be a university building.

Presidental palace Presidental palace

I think this was the presidential palace. The Piazza di Monte Citorio. The inevitable obelisk or column. They are all over the place in Rome and you will see many in my photos.

Marcus Aurelius Column. when peeled off and laid out flat it tell the stories of his military victories.

The Pantheon. Quite spectacular with it's oculus in the ceiling. Built by Marcus Agrippa.

Piazza Navona. Stunning architecture and surrounds and a great place for people watching.

Piazza Navona.

A small very ornate church I found by the river side.

Some view along the river, looking towards St Peter's.

Castel Sant'Angelo.

The Palace of Justice.

The Spanish Steps and a house near the top. Unfortunately the church was being renovated so the view was not great and the advert spoilt it.

Pretty normal Roman home with the garden on the roof.

Piazza del Popolo. The 2 spectacular buildings spanning the entrance to the Via Del Corso. View from high up in the Villa Borghese.

Piazza del Popolo. The inevitable obelisk.

A panorama of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Prague


In and around the Old Town square

A Christmas trip to Prague in December was well worth it, although not as "Christmasy" as German and Austrian towns. this I suppose was not surprising, as apparently 70% of the population have no religion, due to the communist years.

The Old Town is really the heart of the city and everything revolves around the Old Town square. The area is rich in old architectural buildings, many of which are apartments or offices. These are all intact as Prague was hardly bombed in the war at all. Some of the buildings are quite spectacular.

Old Town Old Town

City hall with Medieval clock.

Old Town

Mediocre Christmas tree.

Old Town Old Town

Church of Our lady before Tyn. Very Gothic, fairy tale stuff.

The following are just an array of some of the spectacular building in the Old Town area and most are apartments, even the ones with ornate tops and turrets.

The Powder Tower, a 15th century city gate and the Municipal House, Art Nouveau venue, host of concerts, opera etc..


Charles Bridge

Some shots of the gates either side of the bridge and the bridge it's self.

The Charles Bridge with the Palace and cathedral on the hill in the background.


The castle area on the hill

The castle area was quite spectacular and well worth a good roam around, down quirky little side streets and weird painted buildings and ornate lampposts.

Below left, a wishing well and ornate doors to the Cathedral and one of the many buildings buildings in the palace grounds.

Some shots of the cathedral.

Other buildings in the castle area on the hill.

Ornate lampposts and other buildings in the area.

The cathedral and castle hill from below Charles bridge.

Golden Lane medieval street within castle walls.

More Golden Lane and Chrismas decoration.


New Town

Strangely named, as it was far from new, but I suppose it is all relative. Another great area with a wealth of interesting buildings.

National Theatre. Unfortunately undergoing renovations, but still clearly a spectacular building. Other buildings in the area.

The Dancing house and the church of Saint Ludmilla. All generally in the New Town area.

Other buildings around the New Town Hall.

New Town Hall, quite speptacular and a theatre just opposite the Church of St. Ludmilla.

Some of the ornate roof tops.


Others

The Parliament building on one side of the river and the concert hall on the other.

Odds and sods from around town.

The National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square.

And the man himself, in his square.


The Bone church and Kotna Hora

The Bone church near Kotna Hora. Don't remember all the details, but was around teh time of the 30 year war and too many to bury in the grave yard. So inventive priest did something different! Very weird and creepy. Also took a day trip out into the countryside Bohemia, which was nice, even if the weather wasn't.

Kotna Hora Bohemia. Famed for silver mining and the unusual shaped St Barbara's church. The guide said something about the palace being comparable to Prague Castle.

The statues here are supposed to be in some way related to those on the Charles Bridge in Prague.

St Barbara's church.

A selection of other buildings in Kotna Hora.

The North


Took a trip "Up North" in June, holiday at home for a change. Booked a farm cottage near Barnard Castle in Teesdale. Kept referring to it as North Yorkshire, which I got the impression, annoyed the farmer, as he kept correcting me and reminding me, it was Teesdale. This area is right on the edge of the North Pennines AONB. Beautiful countryside.

Haven't yet finished updating this, so there is lots of text descriptions still to be done!

The Angel of the North, Gateshead. I expected it to be bigger.

Barnard Castle, home of the Bowes family, that's the queen mother "Bowes Lyon". A lovely little town.

Durham Cathedral, quite spectaculat. A lovely town as well.

And surrounds.


Various photos from around the Yorkshire Dales National Park and North Pennines ANOB. Unfortunately I did not keep details of where they all are.

Some photographics tricks with High Force waterfalls.

Ingleborough.

Views from Ingleborough.

Ingleborough.

Ribbledale viaduct.

Some of the Roman ruins from Hadrian's Wall.

The Wall its self.


On the way home decided to stop at a few places along the way, started in Richmond, but not impressed, so moved on. Stopped in Rippon which was really quite nice.

Rippon Cathedral.

Market Place Rippon, Town Hall and Obelisk.