5 Must See Places in Dublin

Dublin is the home to world-famous GUINNESS brewery and many other attractions. I was here for a week and visited some amazing places in and around Dublin.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle – This is a famous Irish Castle off Dame Street in Dublin. It was the seat of British administration till 1922. Since then it is a major building housing the Irish Government. The architecture is Victorian with some modern buildings on the side.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo – One of the most famous Zoo in the world , it is home to exquisite species of plant and animals. It is located in Phoenix park area. The educational program for endangered species is one of the highlights of this place.

National Botanical Garden of Ireland

National Botanical Garden – This is situated in northwest of Dublin in a place called Glasnevin. The garden has over 20,000 types of plants in its spaces. The collection of orchids is really awesome.

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin – It is popularly known as the Cathedral of The Holy Trinity. It is the oldest Cathedral in Dublin and belongs to the Dublin Diocese era.The Cathedral was the first to be built keeping in mind the Viking raids.

Iveagh Gardens water Fountain

Iveagh Gardens – It is a public park located between Clonmel Street and Upper Hatch Street. It was originally owned by the Guinness family and was gifted to the Irish nation by first handing it over to the University in 1941 and later it became an independent garden in 1961.

 

Do’s and Don’ts of buying a property in Istanbul

Apartment in Istanbul

Last time we discussed how beautiful Istanbul is. If you want to own a property here now is the right time. However there are dangers too which should be kept in mind. Take into account all the pros and cons at each step. To make it easier I have listed some do’s and don’ts in brief.

Now for a brief do’s and don’ts while buying apartments in Istanbul:

  • Purpose : Take into account the purpose of buying an Apartment. It can be for living as well as for investment. So be careful with the purpose.
  • Buy Apartments in Happening Areas: Go for areas which are growing and also see the facilities available for the money you are paying.
  • Research and find the right agent: Look for a local real estate agent, do research online and also be aware of the legislations.
  • More than one Source :Get information from more than one source to make sure about genuineness.
  • Long term Investment :If the property is for investment purpose always invest for a longer period than 5 years to hedge against risk of loss. Real Estate works in the same way as stock longer the time of investment smoother the Profit.
  • Choose the tenant carefully: Last point to note for those who will let out their property as rented accommodation, Be careful and choose the tenant carefully with proper knowledge of the local authorities.

Living in Istanbul

 

There is a huge demand for apartments in Istanbul owing to Population shift. Around fifty percent of the population is young and below 30 years. This means that Turkey has a large working population that translates to spiked economic growth. Istanbul is a place with the right mix of old and new which draws the people to own apartments. Turkey also has one of the fastest growing populations that will lead to shortages in apartments. Istanbul acts as a bridge between two continents Asia and Europe. For ages it has been the missing link between the East and the West. So the population of Istanbul is a mix of Asia and Europe. Istanbul also has a rich cultural heritage. It has blend of Greek, Roman as well as Ottoman empires. So you can find architecture with a blend of Eastern and Western style. One can see a few remaining Roman architecture signs like the Hippodrome, Basilicas cistern and the Column of Constantine. However the most impressive structures are the Hagia Sophia which was once the largest Cathedral and later turned into a Mosque by the Ottomans. Now it is a Museum and UNESCO world heritage site. The Blue Suleiman Mosque is one of the most impressive structures in the City.

Istanbul from water

Istanbul: A Panoramic view

However the tastes of people in Asia and Europe are similar when it comes to Apartments. There is a wide choice for housing here ranging from Simple Apartments to Villas. Many other kinds of luxury apartments are available all over Istanbul. It includes luxury apartments with swimming Pools indoor and outdoor, Club with Sauna and Billiards and Pool. Also Tennis courts, basket ball courts and Table Tennis is there for pastime. Maslak is one of the most sought after areas for buying apartments. Its proximity to Airport, Shopping Mall, Metro and the breathtaking Bosphorous makes it the place to live. Good health and education facilities in the area add to the aura. Another location is Esenyurt in Istanbul which is one of the green areas which are much sought after. Proximity to the Sea as well the Lake makes it for real serene living. Apartments are with all amenities, secure and nice place to relax after a good day at work. For families Belikduzu is the location. Variety of apartments are available ranging from 2 Bedroom to 4 Bedroom to accommodate nuclear as well as Large Families.

If you are looking for a happening place to buy property and retire in bliss Istanbul is the place.

Exotic Norway

Beautiful Norway

Beautiful Norway

 

One of the beautiful place on our planet, Norway has great landscapes. Natural wonders and marvelous cities make the country a must visit.There are certain reasons why it is regarded as the greatest place on the planet.Here are a few I discovered:

  • Safe and sound – Norway cities and countryside have the lowest crime rates in the world. Murder is almost non-existent. Even the family life is among the best in the world.
  • Great to travel – If you are a person who likes to travel and explore, Norway is the place for you.You can hike and put a tent anywhere, without restrictions. You can just explore the great landscape.
  • City is Green – If you go to Oslo the capital, you will feel like you are in the countryside. All facilities with greenery protection, it is an exception among big cities. I am about to go there and will talk about it sometime.
  • Midnight Sun – Known as the land of the midnight sun, you can watch this natural marvel and believe me you will be stunned.Near to Arctic circle you can explore the extreme weather.
  • Skiing is in the blood – Skiing is the sport which has been born in Norway. Actually ski is an old Nordic word meaning a pair of split wood planks.
  • Northern Lights – The amazing lights in night which are a great natural phenomenon will take your breath away. Just watch and soak in the beauty of nature you will find nowhere in the world. It is still a mystery for science.

A quick weekend in Stockholm

I’ve been curious to explore the Nordic countries for a while now. Between Oslo and Stockholm I decided to make a quick trip to the wonderful Stockholm. From London it’s quick flight away. Although it is currently winter and not exactly shorts and flip flop weather in Sweden right now I had a fantastic time.

 

gamlastan

On my first day I decided to start exploring Stockholm in the lovely Gamla Stan district which is one of the largest and best preserved medieval cities in Europe according to VisitStockholm. “Gamla Stan” literally translate to “old town.” Stockholm was founded there way back in 1252. While visiting Gamla Stan I observed the beautiful preserved buildings, walked past the Nobel museum and Stockholm cathedral. After enjoying the sights I decided to head to the the Royal Palace. By chance I happened to be there while the changing of the guards was taking place so that was a great experience to see while visiting Gamla Stan.

As I have a large interest in history on my 2nd day in Stockholm I decided to go to the island of Djurgården  and go check out some of the well-known museums. I started off by going to the Vasamuseet which is a museum honoring the Swedish war ship vasa which was built between 1626 and 1628. The ship only made it out 1,300 meters before sinking. In the 50s the ship was located and years later turned into a museum.  Afterwards I decided to check out the Nordiska Museum which was very enjoyable. Skansen is an outdoor museum and zoo nearby. I decided to go on my next trip in the summer when it would be nice to enjoy the weather.

 

vasamuseet

Stockholm is a beautiful city. Even though I didn’t get to see that much, I know know that I will definitely be back! Make sure to experience a fika and eat a swedish kanelbullar (cinnamon roll) while in town!

fika

Things to See in Scotland

melrose abbey

The good part about traveling throughout the UK is that everything is pretty much in close proximity and you won’t have to travel very far to see places that are truly worlds apart. Take Scotland as a great example. The Scottish have always prided themselves very separate from the English, and they take this seriously with nearly everything in their culture. Not only the people, of course, but their landscape is also very different. You can find a lot to see in Scotland, if you’re so inclined.

One of the coolest places in all of Scotland, in my opinion, is Melrose Abbey. England has some great castles, but I’m not sure any are this old. This castle was built in 1136 and has been the home of many Scottish kings. Amazingly, most of this castle is still in tact and you can see exactly how it looked almost 1000 years ago.

Stirling Castle, on the highlands, is also another great treat for the senses. It was built in the 16th century way atop Castle Hill to act as a stronghold against invaders. To this day, it is one of the most pristine examples of an old castle in the world. Scotland has many great sights to see, and anyone might love a visit.

Exploring Urban Dublin

I wanted to touch on another great option for urban exploration that is the city of Dublin with some great abandoned areas and sites to visit. I thought of some of the other large cities in and outside the UK and London, Glasgow, and others all have their charm in the ruins of the old world and new coming together. However Dublin can be quite an interesting place, with such a rich history of architecture and politics. There’s a great site with some visited areas for those urban explorers looking for some new places to look into. If you look into the Pigeon House story on the site they give you some great tips on how to conquer that space. It makes me want to take out a quick loan with ferratum.co.uk and take 2 weeks to do a serious road trip around Ireland and especially tackle some of the spots that other urban explorers have raved about online.

exploring ireland can be a journey into history

There’s even a facebook group with some abandoned buildings as some options to go visit while in Dublin. You can find them here: URBEX Ireland. All in all there’s a lot of historical options in Dublin and the surrounding area, you can take some time and certainly explore the city inside and out. Just make sure you don’t get caught!

Cheers and happy exploring!

Venture out..

Now many people would think to really get the best out of Urban Exploration you need a big city like London, but that’s simply not true. While London, due to it’s huge expansion has opened up many spaces that were previosly inacessable or known, including sewers and tube stations, smaller cities have their own wealth of places ripe for finding. You don’t need to travel to far to explore your surroundings, the whole idea of urban exploration is the ability to explore your own surroundings, and get a better understanding and respect for what makes up the place you live.

urban exploration is possible in any city

Take Glasgow, theres been a huge amount of interest in Glasgow in the last 5years, expansion with events such as the Commonwealth Games has seen urban renewal, and with that a growth in urban exploration. Websites like Abandoned Scotland give you a great starting point for tips and help in Glasgow. Through them you can get suggestions for walks with your friends, or join in with others on a group eploration.Of course there are lots of forums on line in the UK covering all sorts of places, so if you dont know what’s in your local area, get online and have a look.

Berlin, a great introduction

Teufelsberg, a must for urban exploration

Recently I spent a long weekend in Berlin a city that, due to its unique history, for a long time was a mecca for squatters and urban explorers alike. Obviously the war caused a lot of chaos in Berlin, abandoned buildings, air raid and anti-aircraft towers, numerous bunkers – but what makes this still relevant is that the wall which then divided the city, slowed down a lot of re-building and created vast pockets of unusable land. Even though its now 25years since the wall came down and Berlin is now a modern cosmopolitan city, there are still many empty gaps.

For a novice urban explorer this is a great city to cut your teeth, so to speak! There are lots of  underground guided tours, like this excellent one of  a World War 2 flak tower, to give you a feel for the conditions of exploration in a controlled environment, and an understanding of the equipment needed. I loved this tour of Berlin Templehof, the vast former airport (once on of the 20 biggest buildings in the world) that played a huge role in the war and keeping West Berlin going through the Berlin blockade, and is now a public area – the tour takes you through some of the tunnels that were used for ammunition storage, and the secret film bunker, but really its seeing from inside the vastness of the space that was exciting.

Once you’ve experienced exploration, the next natural calling point is Teufelsberg Hil – the former home of American cold war spying. this crumbling listening station in Grunewald is a great place to spend an afternoon clambering about and wondering what passed through the now graffitied walls. Supposedly locked off, this is regularly and easily accessed, and a safe place to start unguided.

My advice – get to Berlin , it won’t stay like this for too much longer.

 

Fascination with urban exploration

A while back, I read a post on the internet about abandoned buildings and places that are close proximity to large urban centers. Now, I was not dumb enough to think that major urban areas could not have abandoned parts- after all, every big city has areas and buildings that only attract the homeless or people intent on graffiti. However, this post made me realize that there were a number of places in my own city, and near my city, that were waiting to be explored.

These were places that were once occupied. People lived in these places, they went to work in these places. Once upon a time, many lives revolved around this area that now lay derelict and abandoned. There was something rather fascinatingly existentialist about that. All civilizations crumble- no matter how big, or small they are.

abandoned_08

Of course, these are areas where people can go to escape. Abandoned buildings and wastelands do not really get a lot of tourism, so for the urban adventurer, these places pose quite an attraction. They are also a quick getaway for those who want to go on an adventure but cannot take a couple of days off from work. According to me, as long as you’re not doing something harmful to other people, having a fascination with urban exploration is probably one of the best hobbies to have in this generation.