Topic: Great Britain

Scottish Ceilidh dancers at the height of their frolicsome performance.

Scotch Whisky: Sharing with Angels

10.09.2019

Proper spelling first: Scotch whisky has no e between the k and the y! But if there is an e wedged between the k and the y, the respective whiskey variety usually originates from Ireland, the United States or even from far-away Japan. Whereas wiskey or wisky clearly derive from nowhere, except perhaps from the brains of committed non-whisky-drinkers or those battling with the effects of over-indulgence. The popular spirit’s name, by the way, was simplified in the course of history from the Gaelic Uisge Beatha – meaning water of life – to Whiskybae and finally to Whisky.

Read article

Reading time: about 3 minutes
The Spitbank Fort in the Solent strait in Great Britain.

Solent Forts: Strongholds in the Sea

28.04.2019

The Solent? Non-Britons may wonder what or where that might be. A marine area brimming with flat fish floundering about perhaps – or a lonely island lost somewhere in the limitless ocean? Whereas the former’s majority are commonly frequenting the chilly waters of the North Sea around the bend, the latter is a pretty close guess, at least when it comes to the „island“ part. Solving the geographical riddle: the Solent is a strait (about 20 x 4 miles) running between the mainland of England and the Isle of Wight. It not only serves as a shipping route for commercial and military vessels, but also poses as a welcome playground for a multitude of watersports. Southampton, the largest port, surely rings a bell in many a mind as being the last British pier for RMS Titanic to call at before commencing her unfortunate voyage across the Atlantic. Another popular harbour lying by Solent shores is Portsmouth, from where before-mentioned enigmatic islands are best reached: the Solent Forts, a group of sturdy man-made islands built in the late 19th century to ward off sea-born attack. The three Forts – Spitbank, No Man’s Land and Horse Sand – were decommissioned after WW II, lay dormant for a number of years, put up for sale in the 1960s seeing changing ownership. Today, the Solent Forts offer luxurious accommodation incorporated in extraordinary venues and are owned and managed by the AmaZing Venues company.

Read article

Reading time: about 3 minutes
The Wild Haggis: Fact or fiction?

Scotland: Is the Wild Haggis fact or fiction?

3.01.2019

Bringing down the rare Haggis scotticus – the Wild Haggis – to secure the next traditional Haggis meal – requires utmost agility and perseverance by human persecutors equipped with equally-measured lower extremities. One must know that Wild Haggii vary in characteristics and that it is two different genera who roam steep and rough highlandish terrain. In both cases the legs on their left are different in length from the ones on their right – and vice versa. Either way, their unusual physique allows them to swiftly climb and scuttle around their regular habitat unperturbed by topographical challenges, albeit in one single direction only: Wild Haggii featuring longer legs on the left, move around clockwise, whereas the ones relying on extended limbs on their right, will logically proceed counter-clockwise. A refined GPS system usually prevents painful head-on collisions and all Haggii, limbed in whichever fashion, are said to lead a fairly peaceful coexistence.

Read article

Reading time: about 4 minutes
Historic vehicles on display in Glasgow.

Down by the Riverside: Glasgow’s Museum of Transport and Travel

10.10.2018

Whenever a building has been designed by Iraqi-born star architect Zaha Hadid, it is destined to become an award-winning landmark that attracts maximum attention. The Riverside Museum, Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel set on the north bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow, profits from a combined power: the magnetism exerted by a contemporary architectural shell of attested refinement and the veteran exhibits restored to enchant present and future crowds. The Riverside accommodates more than 3,000 objects that profoundly document the city’s transportation-linked past – maritime and otherwise.

Read article

Reading time: about 2 minutes
Abbey Road Studios in London

A groovy kind of place: The Abbey Road Studios

2.09.2018

The much-published image of a Liverpudlian boy-band cheerfully zebra-crossing Abbey Road, is one familiar the world over. Miraculously, it has never gone threadbare! In times when impatiently awaited new albums regularly catapulted the international fan base into a state of frenzy, the venue of recording stood a serious chance of attaining similarly excessive attention.

Read article

Reading time: about 2 minutes