The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

March 12, 2015 by David Herd

The Pile gate to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city, first impression certainly lived up to it’s reputation. It’s no wonder it is one of the most popular European destinations. This is the 3rd Croatian city I have visited starting with Zagreb then onto Split before taking a 5 hour bus trip down the coast to Dubrovnik.

Neum in Bosnia

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Just north of Dubrovnik you have to cross the Bosnian border at Neum. They check your passport going in and going out.

Just inside the Pile Gate

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Here is the first thing you see when you enter the city through the Pile Gate.

Lots of bars and restaurants

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

There is a big choice of places to eat and drink in Dubrovnik, being the low season they are all screaming for customers.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city has amazing stone walls.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

I walked right around the entire city on top of the walls which costs about $20 and is well worth it. It really gives you a sense of this majestic city.  Dubrovnik’s Old Town is completely surrounded by enormous stone walls that date back to the 10th century. Up to 6m (19ft) thick and 2.5m (8ft) high in places, Dubrovnik’s Ancient City Walls were built to protect the city and deter would-be invaders. You can walk along the entire (2km/1.2mi) length of the ancient walls today and it is one of the best ways to appreciate the majesty of the Old Town plus get some great views over the Adriatic sea. There are 2 towers and 2 forts incorporated into the walls that were built and strengthened in the 15th century to bolster the city’s defenses. The Minceta Tower protects the city’s northern edge; the Bokar Tower protects Pile Gate (the city’s main entrance); Lovrjenac Fort protects the west, and the Revelin Fort protects the eastern entrance.

The harbour

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

  The walk started at the harbor end of the city an continued anti-clockwise taking about 90 minutes to finish.

The narrow walk way on top of the wall

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

This is a great way to explore Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Many wonderful views from the top of the wall.

Dubrovnik, a red roof city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

This fabulous Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city is totally unique.

Minceta Tower

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The rounded Minceta Tower where the walls are 6m thick, the better to protect Dubrovnik from attacks by land.

Minceta Tower

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The tower was built in 1464 and was once used to store water. It was named after the Mencetic family who probably contributed financial support to its construction.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

I would have to say Dubrovnik is one of the best cities I have ever visited.

Sunbathing

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

She found a nice spot out out of the wind and started working on her tan. Trust me the wind was quite cold that day. 🙂

Marin Držić

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Marin Držić  also Marino Darza or Marino Darsa; 1508 – 2 May 1567 is considered the finest Croatian Renaissance playwright and prose writer.

Clock Tower Luza Square

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Dating from 15th century The clock tower overlooks Orlando’s Column and Sveti Vlaho Church.

Dubrovnik harbor at dusk

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

A great time of the day to take photos, the blue sky seems to highlight the shot.

Orlando’s Column

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The knight carved in the column is Orlando. According legend in the 9th century Orlando and his fleet saved Dubrovnik from a 15 month long Saracen siege.

Fantastic Dubrovnik walls

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Make sure you put this city on your bucket list.

Great tune filmed in Dubrovnik.

  Karmen fabulous 2 br apartment

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

If you visit Dubrovnik and want a fantastic apartment look no further than Karmen apartments. 

For a very good discount just book through THIS LINK.

View from the 2 bedroom Karmen apartment

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The location is perfect and the price is very reasonable indeed. Marc the owner is very helpful and a hive of information. Staying here is like staying in your own home, the furniture, atmosphere and comfort is simply fantastic.

Marc van Bloemen owner of Karmen apartments

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityMarc is a friendly Englishman who will point you in the right direction for restaurants and has a great knowledge of Dubrovniks history. Dubrovnik was significantly affected by the break-up of Yugoslavia. In the early 90s, Greater Serb aggression resulted in Dubrovnik suffering its most serious existential threat. Over two thirds of the historic town’s buildings were hit by artillery. The town’s cobbled streets were struck by hundreds of direct hits. For the first time in history, the medieval city walls themselves received over a hundred direct hits. Many historic palaces were badly damaged by the resulting fires. The renowned Sponza and Rector’s palace, St Blaise’s church, the Franciscan monastery and the Amerling and Onofrio fountain all suffered severely. The total reconstruction cost was said to be some $ 10 million.

The soldiers come to town for a movie.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Shooting a movie can be very tiring so naturally a soldier needs to relax in the shade. 🙂

Breathtaking Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

I took the cable car to the mountain top and saw this wonderful view of Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The city looks rather small from the top of the hill.

From the cable car above Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Snow capped mountains in the distance.

Only the lonely

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Let’s hope his girl finally turns up. 🙂

Black Risotto at an Irish pub

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Thankfully it tasted better than it looked. 🙂

Azur restaurant

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

This is certainly the best restaurant I found in Dubrovnik, a little hard to find but well worth the effort.

Azur Wonton soup

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

In fact I went here 2 nights in a row. 🙂

Lots of very narrow steps.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

It’s hard work getting up these steps.

Wonderful city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Here is the first of two photos I found online.

Here is the 2nd one

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Both these shots are rather stunning.

A fitting end by 2CELLOS.

 
Thanks for visiting my Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city photo blog.
 

  Here are some more posts to check out 

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            Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you            
 book through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .
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Slide show here.

Pattaya live webcam
 
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That’s all folks

1g Duck

 
 

Check out my post on Zagreb

 

Before you go please have a look at my post on Split

 

Here is a short video from the cable car.

Here is a promo video on Dubrovnik featuring Marc from Karmen apartments.

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Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

April 25, 2014 by David Herd

Roman Baths

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level.

The name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, leading to the town’s Roman name of Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sulis”). The temple was constructed in 60-70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually built up over the next 300 years. During the Roman occupation of Britain, and possibly on the instructions of Emperor Claudius, engineers drove oak piles to provide a stable foundation into the mud and surrounded the spring with an irregular stone chamber lined with lead. In the 2nd century it was enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted building, and included the caldarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and frigidarium (cold bath). After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the first decade of the 5th century, these fell into disrepair and were eventually lost due to silting up, and flooding. TheAnglo-Saxon Chronicle suggests the original Roman baths were destroyed in the 6th century.

Steam rising

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

The water that flows through the Roman Baths is considered unsafe for bathing, partly due to its having passed through the still-functioning original lead pipes, and up until World War II, it was advertised on the basis of the radioactivity it contained. However the more significant danger is now considered to be infectious diseases. In October 1978, a young girl swimming with the Bath Dolphins, a local swimming club, in the restored Roman Bath contracted meningitis and died, leading to the closure of the bath for several years. Tests showed that Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba, was in the water. The newly constructed Thermae Bath Spa nearby, designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, and the refurbished Cross Bath allow modern-day bathers to experience the waters via a series of more recently drilled boreholes.

Fascinating place to visit

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Probably was exactly the same many centuries ago.

Ancient stone coffins

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

I would not have enjoyed being a pallbearer. 🙂

  Acting the part as the English love to do.

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Taking a bath was not a simple chore. There was not one bath to use in a large complex such as the one at Bath. A visitor could use a cold bath (the frigidarium), a warm bath (the tepidarium) and a hot bath (the caldarium). A visitor would spend some of his time in each one before leaving. A large complex would also contain an exercise area (the palaestra), a swimming pool and a gymnasium. One of the public baths at Pompeii contains two tepidariums and caldariums along with a plunge pool and a large exercise area.

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

Does not look too inviting does it?

That water looks very unhealthy

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

This is no place for a swim.

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Entrance to the Baths

Historic Ancient Roman Bath House

                   The entrance does not indicate the treasure inside.        

Thanks for visiting my Historic Roman Baths in Bath photo blog.      

                           More posts for you to see

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                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 
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That’s all folks

St Ives best seaside town

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Lisbon ancient western European city

August 27, 2013 by David Herd

Lisbon hilltop district of Bairro Alto.

Lisbon ancient western European city

Lisbon ancient western European city 

Lisbon ancient western European city is an experience to remember. Wandering through the winding narrow streets among dozens of restaurants and bars, with jazz, reggae, electronica and fado filling the air and revellers partying until dawn.

Baxio district

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Nightclubs scattered all over town make fine use of old spaces, whether on riverside docks or tucked away in 18th-century mansions.

Amazing restaurants in Lisbon.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

 Food fabulous food, I think Lisbon is one of the most underrated cities in Europe.

Mouthwatering display of cured ham

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

The atmosphere in many of Lisbon’s restaurants is wonderful.

Lisbon ancient western European city  

Lisbon ancient western European city

  Bairro Alto is a great district for interesting restaurants.

 Bairro Alto at night

 Lisbon ancient western European city

Many of Lisbon’s buildings have not changed in centuries.

  Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.

 

Fado, traditional melancholic singing.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery states that “the only reliable information on the history of Fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best. But even that information was frequently modified within the generational transmission process that made it reach us today. In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia (loosely captured by the word saudade, or “longing”). However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage) Many thanks to Wikipedia.

Play it again Jorge.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Jorge really seemed to love his work. 🙂

The famous Café A Brasileira.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

The Brasileira was opened by Adriano Telles on 19 November 1905 at No.122 (an old shirt shop), to sell “genuine Brazilian coffee” from the State of Minas Gerais, a product generally unappreciated in homes of Lisboetas of that period. In order to promote his product, Telles offered each shopper, who bought a kilogram of ground coffee (for 720 réis), a free cup of coffee.

Of course coffee at Brasileira was excellent

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

The Brasileira is one of the most famous cafes in Europe.

Lisbon, both modern & ancient.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

There is a modern side to this ancient European city.

São Jorge Castle

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Although the first fortification on this hilltop date to the 2nd century BC, archaeological excavations have identified a human presence in the Tagus valley as far back as the 6th century BC. The first fortification was, presumably, erected in 48 BC, when Lisbon was classified as a Roman municipality.

Beautiful Lisbon building.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

A wonderful city to wander around in the evening.

Should the guy on the left be considered suspicious?

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

The cops are too busy trying out their new Segway.

This is one very steep hill.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Walking down is not a problem.

Lisbon tram.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

The old fashioned Lisbon trams are a great way to get around the city.

So many restaurants & such little time.

Lisbon ancient western European city

 

Lisbon was such a total surprise for me, unlike the more popular busier European cities like Paris, Rome, Barcelona & Berlin, Lisbon turned out to be a gem. I am probably a little biased being such a lover of good restaurants, wine and music, coupled with the beautiful old buildings and narrow winding streets in the Bairro Alto district, this city has it all.

The food of coarse is superb.

Lisbon ancient western European city Lisbon was was a surprise packet, it really exceeded my expectations.

Thanks for visiting my Lisbon ancient western European city photo blog.

                             Here are some more posts to check out 

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That’s all folks

1g Duck

 

 

 

If you enjoyed Lisbon, hilltop district of Bairro Alto I’m sure you also love Paris, click on the photo below.

 


Cascais is on the cast near Lisbon

 

In Monte Carlo you can smell the money

 

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Angkor Wat Cambodia spectacular sad

August 6, 2013 by David Herd

Angkor Wat Cambodia 7th wonder of the world.

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat Cambodia one of the 7 Wonders of the World was built in the first half of the 12th century, situated in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, it is one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia. It extends over approximately 400 square kilometres and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor, was the center of the Khmer Kingdom. I was quite overwhelmed by this amazing ancient kingdom, to me it is far more impressive than Egypt’s Pyramids. I feel Cambodia is many things, friendly, spectacular and sad all at the one time. In Ankor Wat you are very close to the  Khmer Rouge “Killing Fields” which surely must rate as one of the most atrocious barbaric  periods in human history. I really don’t wish to write about the details of this crime against humanity, which disregarded human life and produced repression & massacres on a massive scale. If you want to find out more please let Google give you the answers.

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat Cambodia Stretching over some 400 square kilometres, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries, including the largest pre-industrial city in the world. The most famous are the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations.  

Amazing ancient ruins Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat Cambodia

My lasting impressions are of the breathtaking ruins, beautiful children & Cambodia’s unbelievable history.

Beautiful faces in the ruins.

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Sadly, poverty is everywhere in Angkor Wat Cambodia, and I can’t help wondering what % of the billions of dollars in aid ever gets to the people who really need it? Particularly when you see so many government officials driving around in luxury motor vehicles. Oh well, apart from that it is a fascinating country, hopefully at the end of this post I can provide you with a few travel tips for you to consider. One of the many lasting memories for me are the beautiful smiles on the faces of the children who have so little, when it comes to material possessions, yet so much true happiness in their hearts.

Another beautiful face among the ruins

Angkor Wat Cambodia

The children always have a smile for you.

Below a “not so” beautiful face among the ruins.

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Everywhere you turn there is a magical sight to see.

Looks like a giant claw

Looks like a big claw Please click on Google + to help my page ranking.  

 

Fascinating carvings

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat Cambodia northern province of Siem Reap, is one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia. It extends over approximately 400 square kilometres and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dykes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor, was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom.

Magic scene at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Located six kilometre north of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat Cambodia is one of the largest of Khmer monuments. Built around the first half of 12th century by King Suryavarman II, the temple’s balance, composition and beauty make it one of the finest monuments in the world.

Though ‘Wat’ is the Khmer (Cambodian) word for temple, the westward orientation of the structure is atypical of temples. Scholars believe that the architecture and sculptures are that of a temple where Lord Vishnu was worshipped but it was also built as a mausoleum for the king after his death.

Lots of strange things to eat here.

David Herd Thailand

I would be a little wary of shopping here. 🙂

Eat it at your peril. 🙂

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Find me a Burger King quickly please. 🙂

Hungry Kids

Street kids Siem Reap

I prefer giving to kids food rather than money.

The Red Piano

Siem Reap Red Piano

A good place for a cool drink.

Long road at Angkor Wat Cambodia

Angkor Wat

That’s my friend Jock chatting to a girl.

David Herd & Jock Granger.

David Herd Thailand Here is my Sydney friend Jock Granger, he is about to retire after many years as a Qantas steward.

Beautiful bride at Angkor Wat.

David Herd Angkor Wat

We were lucky to be here when the wedding was in progress.

The wedding party arrives.

Angkor Wat

They look wonderful all dressed up.

The temples are a popular wedding location

Angkor Wat Cambodia

Travel tip. Take a boat down the mighty Mekong river to Phnom Penh.

Regency Angkor Hotel

Angkor Wat Cambodia Good location with excellent facilities, book through THIS LINK for a discount.

Book here for the best hotel rates, you can chooses to pay later or cancel if you wish.

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                                       Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
                                                                 Plus free cancellation .?
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That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 

Here is a slide show with some terrific photos of Angkor Wat.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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