Tag Archives: tourist attraction

Things to See in France: Mont Saint-Michel Travel Attractions 27 JUL 2017

One of the earliest recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites, France’s famed Mont Saint-Michel island commune in Normandy stands as one of France’s most recognizable landmarks, not to mention one of its most popular tourist destinations.

Situated about 1 km off the country’s northwestern coast, the tidal island crowned by its great Romanesque abbey supports a small population of around 50 permanent residents, all living within the boundaries of this medieval walled city.

Inaccessible during high tide, this fortified position has been held since Roman times, and in addition to its position as a place of worship since the 11th century,  The Mont as a strategic stronghold stands legendary as having been unconquered during the Hundred Years’ War, not to mention its successful 1433 defense against a full scale English assault.

Of course the reverse of this unconquerable nature wasn’t entirely missed either, with the tidal island also spending a fair bit of its history as prison stronghold for some of the Kings of France.

A team over at Great Big Story put together this great little primer on the fabulous Mont Saint-Michel:

No wonder it is one of France’s most visited tourist attractions.

Related Link: Wikipedia | Forbes | About France | YouTube

Things to See in Slovenia: Lake Bled and Bled Island Travel Attractions 23 JUL 2017

Some 55 km from the capital city of Ljubljana, you’ll stumble across the tourist popular little town of Bled, tucked in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia.

The picturesque Lake Bled, a lake of mixed glacial and tectonic origins, lies adjacent to the town, with the medieval-era Bled Castle overlooking the waters above the north shore.

In the middle of the lake is a tiny island, Bled Island, and what makes this small island so special is the fact that it is home to several buildings, chief among which is a pilgrimage church (complete with Gothic frescos and Baroque equipment) dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.

The church has a 52 m  high tower and there is a stairway of 99 stone steps leading up to the building – which tradition holds brings extremely good luck should the groom be able to carry his bride all the way up the stairs and ring the bell at the top, on the day of their wedding.

Recently, a team from Great Big Story put together this great little feature on Lake Bled, more than enough to stir up the wanderlust in pretty much anyone who sees this!


Related Link: Wikipedia | Lonely Planet | YouTube

Things to See in South Africa: Afrikaans Language Monument (Taalmonument) Travel Attractions 04 MAY 2015

The Afrikaans Language Monument (better known locally as the Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaners’ identity and pride in their language.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 1

A visit to the Taal monument is a fascinating step back into the past. Built in 1975, and designed by architect Jan van Wijk, it acknowledges the influence of a variety of languages such as Dutch, Malay, Malay-Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, English, and the indigenous Khoi and African languages, on the development of Afrikaans.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 2

The monument consists of various tapering structures of a convex and concave nature, symbolising influences of different languages and cultures on Afrikaans itself, as well as political developments in South Africa, as follows:

– Clear West: the European heritage of the language
– Magical Africa: the African influences on the language
– Bridge: between Europe and Africa
– Afrikaans: the language itself
– Republic: declared in 1961
– Malay language and culture

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 3

Guided tours are available on pre-bookings only. Volksmond Coffee Shop is an ideal venue for Sunday lunches and sundowners, as well as for family gatherings and year-end functions. They also sell picnic baskets to be enjoyed whilst revelling in the spectacular views of the Winelands.

The Monument with its exotic garden is an easy access point to a variety of hiking and biking trails on Paarl Mountain. Popular events include full moon picnics and stargazing evenings during the summer months.

Two amphitheaters are available for public and private events.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 4

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 5

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 6

Related Link: Wikipedia | Taalmuseum