Scotland’s mystical Fairy Glen on the Isle of


Scotland's mystical Fairy Glen on the Isle of #Skye! 🦄 • PS. Anyone in #Boston tonight (Sunday)? I'm having a meetup at the Revere Hotel Rooftop at 7pm! More details: Facebook.com/expertvagabond

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Kiev – the Capital of Ukraine

My recent travels to Ukraine featured a couple of days in Kiev, as well as pointing a gieger counter at Reactor 4 at Chernobyl. Kiev’s a surprisingly attractive city and there’s plenty to occupy a few days.

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▲ Plenty of glittering Orthodox churches and cathedrals for a start. They don’t come much more golden and be-domed than the cathedral at Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra.

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▲ Although St Volodymyr’s Cathedral certainly doesn’t look bad. Plus I could see its collection of golden domes from my hotel room. Ukraine’s patron saint has a statue near my place in London, standing in front of the Ukraine Embassy and looking out at the busy traffic on Holland Park Ave.

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▲ In Kiev he stands close to the centre, looking across the Dnieper River. Kiev has plenty of statues, many of them whimsical affairs for Ukraine poets and other cultural heroes.

◄ Although not every statue has survived so well. Here’s the empty plinth at the junction of Kreshchatyk, the city’s main promenade, and Tarasa Shevchenko Blvd, where a statue of Lenin used to stand until the Ukrainians, tore it down to indicate their displeasure with neighbouring Russia.

 

 

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▲ More Orthodox architecture? From the Bell Tower at St Sophia’s Cathedral this is the view over the Bohdan Khmelnytsky statue in Pl Sofiyska and down proyizd Volodymyrsky to the St Michael’s Monastery. It may look old but the 1108 original was torn down by Stalin’s Soviets in 1937, the modern replacement popped up in 2001.

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▲Archictect Wladislaw Horodecki (alternatively Vladislav Gorodetsky) has been called the Antoni Gaudí of Kiev and his House of Chimeras with its fantastical concrete creatures writhing over their Art Nouveau home is a Kiev favourite.

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▲Still more art? The Podil district has the not terribly interesting Chernobyl Museum and lots of buildings decorated with huge murals like this one.

LP Kids activity: make mess-free tomatoes for La Tomatina festival

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On the last Wednesday in August, the town of Buñol in Spain turns red and squishy as thousands of people take to the streets for the world’s biggest food fight! More than 100 tons of tomatoes are thrown and competitors get covered head to toe in the space of an hour. The tomato-tastic tradition has been taking place in the town since 1945.

Follow the instructions below or download and print our activity sheet to make your own paper tomato for a food fight without the mess!

You will need:

  • Red and green paper
  • Scissors
  • A small hole punch
  • Split pins
  • A pen or pencil

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Step one

Cut your red sheet of paper into eight strips, each measuring 15cm x 2.5cm.

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Step two

Draw a rough star or spidery shape on the green paper and cut it out. This will form the top of your tomato.

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Step three

Carefully punch a hole roughly 1cm from the top and bottom edges of each strip, and one in the centre of the green tomato top.

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Step four

Stack the strips on top of each other, with the green shape at one end of the stack. Thread a split pin through the top and bottom holes and secure by flattening the ends.

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Step five

Carefully separate each strip and gently fan them out one at a time to form a round tomato.

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Make as many tomatoes as you need for a mess-free tomato fight!

Feeling inspired? Check out last month’s Lonely Planet Kids activity.

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Pathfinder Pics: hitting the highlights in Rome, Italy

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Lonely Planet Pathfinder Abigail King recently visited Rome,  just in time to witness the result of the city’s recent renovations. Here she shares the highlights of her trip.

‘As the ancient stomping ground of gladiators, emperors, visionaries and more, the city of Rome doesn’t hold back when it comes to majestic splendour. With visible history on almost every corner, it’s Rome’s current approach to life that’s hard to resist: gelato anyone? Sun-sparked coffee in a Vespa-dotted piazza?

This year, Rome raises its cultural cachet even higher. The Pope announced a global Year of Mercy, the Colosseum’s restoration project finished with a flourish and even the Trevi Fountain benefited from a luxury facelift courtesy of Fendi. So, to celebrate the city’s good fortune, and inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel destination list this year, I set out to snap Rome’s iconic stone: recharged in white beneath a sky of blue.’

The Trevi Fountain

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

‘Water and stone tumble one over the other at the magnificent Trevi Fountain: the largest Baroque fountain in the city and a monument to the power of water. According to tradition, throwing a coin into the fountain guarantees a return to Rome. 3000 Euros per day result from this enthusiasm.’

Skyline view

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

‘The legend of ancient Rome claims that Romulus founded the city by gathering together the settlements of the seven hills (Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal.) What does that mean? Plenty of chances to enjoy the city skyline! I watched this sunset from a balcony on the Via Alberto Cadlolo.’

A Roman sport

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

‘If there’s one thing Rome doesn’t lack, it’s tourists. In particular, tourists taking selfies. The old saying “When in Rome…” dates back to the 4th century Archbishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose. Today, we say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” So, yes. This is me, in St Peter’s Square beside the world’s smallest sovereign state, the Vatican City.’

Crossing the Tiber

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

‘Stone and squat, the Castel Sant’Angelo overlooks the flowing Tiber and its bridge of marbled angels. Originally designed as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian (he of the Scotland-England wall fame) the building served as a fortress for popes before morphing into the museum it is today. The neighbouring Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II provides the best view.’

World Records

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

The Pantheon, in Piazza della Rotunda, makes its mark in stone by taking some away. The oculus opens the roof to the sky, lighting the interior with sunlight and cooling the building with rain. Almost 2000 years after construction, this ‘temple of every god’ still carries the record for the largest un-reinforced concrete dome in the world.’

Look up

A photo posted by Abi King (@insidetravellab) on

‘Look up anywhere in Rome and you’re likely to see history looking back down at you. This stone struggle looms overhead on the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, a bridge across the Tiber that connects the historic centre of Rome with Vatican City.’

Do you love to write about your travels? Or perhaps Instagram is your thing? Find out more about our Pathfinders programme and how you can contribute to Lonely Planet here.

#followmeto St. Patrick’s cathedral in NYC with @natalyosmann and @INCinternatio…


#followmeto St. Patrick's cathedral in NYC with @natalyosmann and @INCinternationalconcepts. Love how it looks after the restoration. #followinc

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