As mentioned here I have travelled further across Europe than ever before and I hope this pattern continues into 2016 and beyond. I feel that travel is one of the key opportunities that anyone can undertake to broaden their horizons and experience new ways of life and cultures. I also feel that is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people to discuss food, culture, politics, history etc.
This year I have also made amazing friends from across the globe whilst studying in England; friends that I will have for life and have enriched my life. Nothing can combat small-mindedness and bigotry than travel and international friends (small mindedness is something Ireland is sometimes infamous for). Below is a brief summary of my highlights and travels thus far of 2015 in regards to cultural and museum based experiences. I hope to elaborate and discuss some of the below mentioned experiences in future blog posts.
In January of this year I travelled to Amsterdam and visited the Rijksmuseum, The Anne Frank Museum and The Museum of the Dutch Resistance. I also travelled around the various districts of Amsterdam and admired the many historic and beautiful buildings. Amsterdam is a wonderful, diverse and historically interesting city. I hope to write a few blog posts on my museum visits, as well as using the idea of intangible heritage in relation to partaking in heritage in different forms through walking and architectural tours.
For most of my travels this year, I have been lucky enough to travel with some wonderful like-minded companions. Its a wonderful experience to visit foreign places and see the place you visit through someone from a different culture’s eyes. Questions of how different cultures and peoples participate and engage with heritage were constantly in my mind whilst travelling with friends.
Above are just a few of the countries that I have visited this year. These countries are culturally and historically diverse which makes for an interesting place to visit. Eastern Europe in particular is steeped in history and is somewhat not used to a large amount of western tourism. It was interesting visiting Latvia and Bulgaria in particular and how they cope with western tourists. Though I shall say that both Latvia and Bulgaria had amazing museums and heritage sites.
Whilst studying in England I was able to take advantage of reduced train fares to travel to Exeter, Scotland, London, Durham etc. and experience cities I wouldn’t ordinarily have visited when visiting England. Train travel is not as glamourous as the above picture, but enables student’s and history buffs a like to discover historical cathedral cities such as Exeter, Durham, York etc.
- Travelling on the Settle to Carlisle line to Glasgow through snow and ice in North Yorkshire.
- Experiencing Scotland through the unusual guise of a heritage led bus tour.
- Falling in love with Riga and its history. And most importantly the amazing museums!
- Understanding and learning about Bulgaria’s history in Varna in a 12th century monastery carved into a hillside.
- Drinking traditional cider in Exeter, Devon and visiting the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Fashion On The Ration’ exhibition.
- Experiencing an amazing exhibition centred on 400 years of Costume History in Barcelona.
- Visiting Kelvingrove in Glasgow and having a curator’s talking on an interesting 19th Century costume exhibition.