Maybe not the place that immediately comes to mind when you think about holidays, but there are good reasons to visit Gävle in Sweden.
First of all, it is only an hour and a half by train from Stockholm, which in a country as large as Sweden is almost near.
It is the capital of Norrland, the Swedish region that extends beyond the Arctic Circle, which many see as an almost wild land.
It is a university city mainly from the 1800s, the city actually dates back to the 1400s, but after a fire in 1869 there is very little left of the original buildings. When wood is the main material used in construction, fires are particularly destructive.
What remains is south of the river and is called Gamla Gefle and is a typically Scandinavian place. However, as well as being a not too far base for exploring the outskirts of the Swedish ‘wilderness’, Gävle has some attractions of its own.
What to find in Gävle in Sweden?
For example it is the hometown of Joel Hägglund who might mean nothing to you but he is more famous as Joe Hill. This is a Swede who emigrated to the United States, became an organizer in the trade unions and was wrongly accused of murder and executed in 1915. He obviously became a martyr and hero of American folk. If you are in Gävle you can visit the house where he was born transformed into a museum.
Gävle in Sweden also has a great railway museum called Sveriges Järnvägsmuseet where you will find both large locomotives you can ride on and miniature trains. An earthly paradise for enthusiasts.
Another great museum is the region museum or Länsmuseum Gävleborg which contains exhibits on the area’s history and culture. For lovers of the genre there is also a museum dedicated to prisons.
Strangely Gävle also has a whiskey distillery, a recent thing, in fact only opened in 1999. You can still visit it by booking directly on the site (it has an English version). Gävle in Sweden can be comfortably explored in one day if you pass before or after a tour of northern Sweden. If you go in the period before Christmas do not miss the giant straw goat that is made every year and is quite unique.
Douglas Corrigan, the man who flew to Ireland by mistake or maybe not…
We still don’t know if Douglas Corrigan intended to fly to Ireland or ended up there by mistake. We know that he became famous for a while and was even nicknames “Wrong Way”. But his story is still fascinating. Another of his claims to fame was that he was one of the builders involved in the Spirit of St Louis, Charles Lindbergh’s place. He was born in Texas in 1907 and died in 1995. This story takes back to the romantic days of early aviation.
In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long […]
In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long Beach, California! H
At the age of 31, Corrigan flew out to New York City from Long Beach. The pilot filed to return back to Southern California on July 17th, 1938, but during that foggy morning, he headed east from the 4,200-foot (1,300 m) runway of Floyd Bennett Field, flew into the mist, and vanished for over 28 hours. Nonetheless, he eventually appeared in Dublin, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.
When explaining the situation to officials, Corrigan said that he left New York en route to California but had then gotten mixed up in the clouds and haze. He also shared that he had an issue with his compass. Overall, the airman expressed that he noticed the error after flying for approximately 26 hours. However, there is good reason to believe that this transatlantic hop wasn’t actually a mistake.
Importantly, Corrigan, a man of Irish descent, in 1935, applied to the federal government for permission to make a direct trip from New York to Ireland, which was turned down. Officials felt that the aircraft was not in the right shape to make this transatlantic hop. He then made several modifications and additions over the next few years but was continuously denied. Despite not being approved for transatlantic flight, the government did certify the plane for cross-country trips.
Moreover, the U.S Centennial of Flight Commission highlights that Corrigan grew frustrated with the bureaucracy by 1937 and flew to New York late at night after authorities had gone home. He would then have filled his tanks and set flight for Ireland. Unfortunately, there were several mechanical issues while heading to the East Coast and he lost his window of safe flying weather. Therefore, he decided to fly back west.
The best UK attractions according to Tripadvisor
There are notable surprises in this list compiled by Tripadvisor users, for example you don’t find the great museums in London but we have museums in other places and two football stadiums. In first and second place we have two fairly predictable London attractions the Tower of London and Tower Bridge which are also close together although they don’t have much in common other than the name and proximity. The Tower dates back to 1100 and the bridge to 1800.
In third place we have Arthur’s Seat, the hill located in Edinburgh. Not only is this a nice walk, but once you get to the top you will have a nice view of the whole city. In fourth place we have Etihad Stadium, the Manchester United stadium. You can visit it when there are no matches, they organize a guided tour.
In fifth place we have Anfield Stadium, a practically sacred place for Liverpool fans. When there are no matches, the stadium is open for guided tours. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ranks sixth, it is Scotland’s most visited free attraction. It has 22 themed galleries displaying over 8000 objects of international importance. Birmingham Back to Back is in seventh place, back to back houses were heavily used during the industrial revolution. Not really hygienic or comfortable and they don’t make us envy those times. The museum is a very informative blast from the past. Crumlin Road Gaol is in eighth place. An old Belfast prison closed in 1996 and reopened as a museum. There are guided tours of the prison and you can discover the story when women and children were held within its walls and of the political segregation of republican and unionist prisoners. In ninth place we have the magnificent National Railway Museum in York. Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivaled collection of engineering works, the museum celebrates the railroad’s past, present and future. What’s more, free. In tenth place we have the Churchill War Rooms which are located in London. Surprised? What did you expect to see in the top ten tourist attractions in the UK?
The strange Egyptian house in Penzance in Cornwall
In all parts of the world there are always weird things to see and Cornwall is certainly no exception. If you go to Penzance, try to pass by the strange Egyptian house. It was built on Chapel Street by Plymouth architect John Foulston around 1835. At this time everything Egyptian was in fashion. In London at Piccadilly they had built the Egyptian Hall at the same time and the province tried to adapt to trends.
It was a Plymouth bookseller who wanted this house, his name was John Lavin and he had a passion for maps and travel guides but he also traded minerals. He had then bought two properties here, which were in fact two cottages but he wanted to stand out so he had the two buildings join together with a single facade.
In addition to transforming the architecture of the two buildings, he also built a small mineral museum inside. The house still exists now and houses three apartments, it is a listed building. The interesting thing is that it is a precursor of the Art Deco that conquered the world a century later.
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