Chester Meetings, Saturday January 18th 2014

Globetrotters in Chester

Presents

  • “Impressions of Romania” – Speaker Brenda Wall
  • “Zagreb” Capital to coast – Speakers Vic and Angela Blundell.
Chester flyer - January 2014
Chester meeting poster – January 2014

Doors open 1pm for 1:30pm Start till 4:30pm Entrance Fee £3.00 includes refreshments and two talks Grosvenor Museum 25-27 Grosvenor Street, CH12DD

Enquiries to Hanna tel:  01244383392 or Angela tel: 01244 629930

2 thoughts on “Chester Meetings, Saturday January 18th 2014

  1. Here are the reviews from the January 2014 meeting.

    1. Impressions of Romania by Brenda Wall

    Brenda is an intrepid traveller and when this trip to Romania was mentioned by the Chester Civic Trust (she is a member) saw this as an opportunity to visit a country that she didn’t know too much about with a small group of friends.
    Romania still has lots of wild life and unspoilt wilderness, with many medieval towns now being restored to their former glory. Of course there are many castles and once they had arrived in Bucharest they travelled with a local coach to visit castles, monasteries and towns.
    After seeing Peles Castle built by the Royal Family in 1883 with its elaborate paintings on the outside walls, we went to the famous Bran Castle build in the late 1300’s which was used in the actual film “Dracula”.
    Hotels and food was excellent and everyone was able to sample local specialities such as chimneypot bread, Schnitzel and local cakes.
    Brasov and Sighigoara are lovely medieval towns with Grimm’s fairy-tale houses, roofs and lovely squares when you go outside these towns you still see horse and carts and life is still very primitive. Villages and towns around that area used to be inhabited by the Saxons and are now lovingly restored. UNESCO is involved with Prince Charles as Patron to help bring the villages back to life.
    Brenda travelled on average 2000 miles on this trip, which came to about 200 miles a day, so it shows that to see the different places you have to cover quite a distance. This was in October and the snows had come early, lovely views and scenery on the way through the Carpathian Mountains.
    The monasteries and Orthodox Churches were very beautiful, lots of paintings on the walls inside and out.

    On the way Storks were nesting on top of telegraph poles and they found the villagers still leaving bread and water in their porches for the weary traveller.
    Sibiu European Capital of Culture in 2007 is another wonderful medieval town, lots of cobblestones little towers, churches and its own wall. Sibiu is well known for the little windows in the roofs, they are called “Eye windows”
    This trip provided local entertainment and they were able to stop along the way for any unexpected events such as local markets and celebrations, which suited the group well.
    After 6 days we head back to Bucharest which still has an old communist feel to it, 3000 houses were removed to accommodate the parliament buildings when it was built in 1984.
    Looking at the photos and the ambiance in them we can be sure that this was a wonderful experience and it looked a well thought out journey.

    The company who helped with the bookings and Itinerary was Regent holidays with land agents Atlantic Tours Bucharest…….

    We would like to Thank Brenda for the engaging talk on Romania and it is definitely a contender for the coming summer time, it looks like a place you can go in small numbers and really enjoy the different aspects of their culture.

  2. 2. A Bus Journey in Croatia. Capital to Coast by Vic and Angela Blundell

    Vic and Angela live part-time at Milna on Brač, one of the larger of the many islands on the Croatian coast, so what better than to take an independent tour in their own time – about 2 weeks – by public transport only – best by bus. In April 2013 they arrived in Zagreb, a short flight from Gatwick airport which is easily reached from Chester rail station direct. (NB Buy tickets cheaply well in advance.) EasyJet, BA, Jet2 or Norwegian Airlines fly to Zagreb Airport and a 20 minute transfer time brought them to this lovely, interesting and relaxing city, capital since 1991, blessed by a compact and city centre, easily accessible, people friendly, beautiful buildings still bearing signs of former communist control, St Marks Church, Dolac Market, the Museum of Broken Hearts, reliable transport – by tram in the city, and good priced accommodation – the Best Western Hotel Astoria offering B&B at £35 pp per night ideal location just 10 minutes stroll from the main square, serves good traditional food, local wine is cheap. Karlovačko was around £1=10kuna for a small bottle. £1.70=15 kuna for a large bottle. There is lots to see and do, and a 2-3 day stay is ideal.

    The next (bus)stop on their journey was Plitviče National Park with its beautiful scenery and spectacular waterfalls and lakes – wonderful to roam in but waterproofs and stout boots are needed as the boardwalks can be slippery. A 1 or 2 day ticket will get access to the park and the walks are well laid out. There are hotels, souvenir shops and cafes, but you will be made most welcome at a local homely family run B&B with dinner available (English spoken) for example, Korana village just outside the park in easy walking distance or by shuttle bus.. Then it was on to the coast at Zadar, an interesting Roman walled city – 2 nights were enough to relax and especially at sunset view the Sun Salutation, listen to the famous Sea Organ humming and take in the sights. Next stop was Sibenik, very hilly, with its interesting cathedral, four fortresses, and the medieval Mediterranean gardens, a place to dine with stunning views over the sea. On the bus again heading for Split, the second most important city of Croatia. The discerning Roman emperor Diocletian spent his last days at his great palace overlooking the beautiful coastline in this lovely town and even today, on the right day, he’ll appear with his retinue to proclaim your fate as you watch with fellow tourists. Musicians and choirs are known to sing spontaneously in the great tower. As you stroll to the palace, you’ll walk along the Riva, noting the excellent shops, especially the patisseries and cafes, the superb Flower market. The hotels can be pricey, but you can hire a room only, very cheaply, just 5 minutes from the centre, before you take the Jadrolinija ferry across to Brač. This is a paradise for at least a week’s walking, the best time May/June, Sept/Oct, and there is a very continental feel about this idyllic area, where people come from all over Europe. There’s an interesting school for stonemasons where you can see the students at work, visit Blaca Hermitage and maybe climb the Vidova Gora (780m) for stunning views across the bay towards Bol and its famous beach and Island of Hvar. Make time to chill out with a glass or two at one of the local Vineyards.
    Vic and Angela are happy to help you out with suggestions for travel and accommodation arrangements and even happy to take you walking along some of their favourite paths. Please see website http://www.footsteps-in-croatia.co.uk.

    Hope to see you at the next meeting on 15th March 2014.

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