Things to do in Wismar
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
1M ago
When it comes to maritime Europe, it seems the Mediterranean Sea gets most of the attention – its warm water and golden beaches attracting tourists, while its geography has made it an important trade route since ancient civilisations emerged on its shores. In comparison, the Baltic Sea in the north of Europe can often be a bit overlooked. Too cold for swimming much of the year (except for people braver than me) and without the beautiful sun-soaked islands, the Baltic Sea doesn’t have nearly the number of holidays resorts as the Med. And, without a thoroughfare like the Suez Canal, and borderin ..read more
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Things to do in Riga
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
1M ago
From its founding in the 14th century, one of Riga’s landmarks, the House of the Blackheads, was a social club for unmarried merchants and foreigners in the city. Not surprisingly, things could get a little wild in the lavish reception areas that the organisation’s wealthy members gathered in. One December, in 1510 to be exact, the Brotherhood of Blackheads constructed a replica of a tree and paraded it through the streets of Riga before ‘planting’ it in front of their headquarters. Probably under the influence of quite a few mulled wines, they decorated the tree with flowers, fruits, and ligh ..read more
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Where to stay in Bangkok
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
3M ago
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Bangkok in my life. Maybe 20? 30? Possibly even more. Each time, I’ve had the opportunity to explore different neighbourhoods and discover new places to stay in Bangkok. And the wonderful thing I’ve realised after all these trips – there really is no bad area! Bangkok is a huge city with so much to see and do. But it’s also very tourist friendly and generally quite well connected by public transport (or cheap taxis). So regardless of where you stay in Bangkok, you’ll be able to get around the city. There’s also a fantastic range of styles and ..read more
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Things to do in Putrajaya
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
4M ago
Before I tell you about the things you’ll see in Putrajaya, let me tell you the thing you won’t see – traffic! On the wide boulevards that run through the centre of the city, down the side streets between modern buildings, along the arcing roads that connect the outer precincts, there is a smattering of cars but barely enough to make me wait for a green light when I’m crossing the road. While the streets in the centre of Kuala Lumpur are relatively calm compared to the mayhem of Bangkok, for example, Putrajaya could almost be post-apocalyptic in its emptiness. Is there anybody here? It’s a fa ..read more
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Things to do in Trogir
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
4M ago
From this part of the Croatian coast, the islands beckon. There’s the large island of Hvar, with its charming towns and ancient Stari Grad Plain; and there’s also a plethora of smaller ones easily accessible from Split, with gorgeous beaches and welcoming landscapes. But there’s only one island here that is covered entirely by a historic town, a town so significant that it has been designated as a World Heritage Site. I’m talking about Trogir: the best preserved medieval town on the east coast of the Adriatic! The historic part of Trogir that covers the island is small – just 500 metres long ..read more
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A DMZ tour from Seoul
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
5M ago
These days, it seems so ludicrous that you would just split a country apart – especially along a fairly arbitrary line like the 38th parallel… but that’s exactly what they did to Korea at the end of the Second World War. To try to deal with the remaining tensions between the major powers at the end of the war, the US and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily divide the Korean Peninsula in a straight east-west line while they worked out what to do. As we now know, though, they couldn’t work out what to do. This irrational hard border led to the Korean War. It led to the creation of two new cou ..read more
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World Heritage Sites in Malta
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
5M ago
Malta’s position in the Mediterranean Sea has long made it an important centre for the growth and exchange of cultures. Relatively hot and dry, and with soil that doesn’t naturally lend itself to easy agriculture, it is not in itself a country that would’ve been popular for settlers. Except, that is, for its extremely strategic location between the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. It’s probably one of the reasons why humans found these islands so many millennia ago, and wanted to make their mark. Two of the World Heritage Sites in Malta show not just how early the country was inhabited ..read more
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Visit the Gaya Tumuli in Gimhae
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
6M ago
When I pop into the small visitor information booth near the Tomb of King Suro, the woman behind the counter looks shocked. She doesn’t see many foreign tourists here, she tells me. It’s perhaps no surprise that visiting the Gaya Tumuli in Gimhae is not at the top of the list for things to do in South Korea. I mean, a collection of ancient mounds that have tombs hidden inside them? To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for my quest to visit World Heritage Sites. Yet I will turn out to be pleasantly surprised by my time here – in more ways than one. One pleasant surprise is ..read more
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Things to do in Corinth
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
6M ago
On the night of April 12, 1990, the guard at the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth was keeping an eye on things when suddenly he was attacked. Burglars had climbed over the roof of the site’s museum, dropped down into the courtyard, and broken into the gallery. With the guard subdued, they then plundered the museum collection, stealing 285 ancient objects. The theft was the largest ever of a Greek museum, and for years there were fears that these priceless artefacts would never be recovered. But 9 years later, in 1999, a tip-off led Greek police to the USA where, with help from the FBI ..read more
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Visit Mystras
Time Travel Turtle By Michael Turtle
by Michael Turtle
6M ago
As you probably know, the Byzantine Empire (also called the Eastern Roman Empire) had Constantinople as its grand and powerful capital. When the city (now known as Istanbul) was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, it marked the official end to more than a thousand years of the Byzantine Empire, the fall of one of the most important to ever rule over part of Europe. But, although 1453 was the official end of the empire, there were a couple of provincial Byzantine capitals that held out for years to come. One of these was Mystras, the capital of Morea (a province which covered most of the m ..read more
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