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Route 66; the legendary road from Chicago to Los Angeles

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Route 66, everyone has at least heard of it, part of our culture by now. It was one of the main roads on the American highway network which has become a kind of cult.

It didn’t last long. Route 66 was decommissioned and replaced by 5 other roads in 1985. At least 20% of the road is no longer there, so it is no longer possible to go all the way.

Built in 1926, just in time to be used by the poor fleeing the misery of the ‘Dust Bowl’ states at the time of the Great Depression. It was in fact called “The Mother Road” in John Steinbeck’s book “Furore” and the name stuck. About 210,000 people traveled there to get to California.

The road was originally 3940 km long. Of course, the towns and cities along the way saw an increase in opportunity and prosperity.

The father of Route 66

A certain Cyrus Stevens Avery is considered the father of this road. It should be known that back then, in the 1920s, not everyone wanted motorways. Aside from the potential cost, many farming communities were scared of roads with fast vehicles, used to driving around in their tractors or wagons.

But Avery managed to convince nearly everyone to look to the future. He also named the road Route 66 because he thought the two 6s were easy to remember and promote. Avery wanted to make a road from Chicago to California, that was his dream but he was also lucky that in those years a highway network was approved and therefore his Route 66 could be part of a highway system that covered or intended to cover everywhere in  the country.

The Bunion Derby was a race that ran from Los Angeles to New York and was held in 1928 and spanned all of Route 66. It contributed to the almost legendary popularity of the road. 199 competitors from all over the world participated. A Cherokee Indian named Andy Payne won.

Unlike other long roads built in the United States at the time, Route 66 did not go straight but was diagonal, thus allowing for the connection of mainly agricultural areas in states such as Kansas, Illinois or Missouri.

Thus it became the truck highway, both for transporting agricultural products, but also because it was a road that crossed places in mild climates, unlike other roads and therefore almost never blocked by snow.

Route 66 Buildings

A major note in the look and history of Route 66 are the many motels, gas stations, and diners that  sprung up and grew along the way. To get noticed, many of these places had a very colorful and also eccentric look, to make the motorists understand that they were offering. So there were Mexican restaurants with huge sombreros on the roof.

Route 66 did not last long, in fact after the Second World War it was already outdated and in the 1950s it was no longer able to keep up. It was President Eisenhower who approved a new highway network for the United States in 1956, inspired by German autobahns.

However, there is now an economy based on tourism for those who want to rediscover the spirit of this great road. In several places there are initiatives and some motels and other buildings have been restored and relaunched.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree?

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Summer is definitely the period when everyone is creating lists, this was created by Fbm Holidays  and are in fact two different lists, one for the towns and one for  villages.

Some of the places chosen are quite predictable, others less so. For example, at the first place in the list of villages we have Castle Combe which is a quite obvious choice, at second place instead is Portmeirion, a village that seems to have been transported from Liguria to Wales but is less known.

The lists don’t include anywhere in Scotland which instead has several rather lovely places.

The prettiest villages in the UK

Castle Combe , Cotswolds, Wiltshire

Portmeirion , Gwynedd

Beaulieu, Hampshire

Altruistic’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Bibury , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Polperro, Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Hathersage, Top Area, Derbyshire

The prettiest towns in the UK

Keswick , Lake Area, Cumbria (pictured above)

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Salcombe , Devon

Cirencester , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Bamburgh , Northumberland

Whitby , North Yorkshire

Rye, East Sussex

Bakewell, Optimal Area, Derbyshire

Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Burford , Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

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Travel

The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree?

Published

on

The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree? thumbnail

Summer is definitely the period when everyone is creating lists, this was created by Fbm Holidays  and are in fact two different lists, one for the towns and one for  villages.

Some of the places chosen are quite predictable, others less so. For example, at the first place in the list of villages we have Castle Combe which is a quite obvious choice, at second place instead is Portmeirion, a village that seems to have been transported from Liguria to Wales but is less known.

The lists don’t include anywhere in Scotland which instead has several rather lovely places.

The prettiest villages in the UK

Castle Combe , Cotswolds, Wiltshire

Portmeirion , Gwynedd

Beaulieu, Hampshire

Altruistic’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Bibury , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Polperro, Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Hathersage, Top Area, Derbyshire

The prettiest towns in the UK

Keswick , Lake Area, Cumbria (pictured above)

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Salcombe , Devon

Cirencester , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Bamburgh , Northumberland

Whitby , North Yorkshire

Rye, East Sussex

Bakewell, Optimal Area, Derbyshire

Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Burford , Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

 

 

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Conwy in Wales, from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution

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Conwy in Wales, from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution thumbnail

Conwy in Wales has a medieval castle and other buildings reminiscent of that period, but also boasts two bridges both of which are innovative projects typical of the boom in engineering projects that developed with the Industrial Revolution.

If you are in North Wales, which has also been very trendy lately, don’t miss the beautiful town of Conwy. on the estuary of the River Conwy. It has several sights and even a UNESCO heritage site. Edward I founded the town of Conwy in North Wales, between 1283 and the 1289 on the site of the ancient Cistercian abbey of Aberconwy, which was founded by Llewellyn the Great like many other princes of Gywnedd. At the beginning the town was called Conway.

The monks and the Abbey were transferred to Maenan by Edward I in the 1307 when the king decided to build a castle and demolish the abbey to have more space.

The remains of a 12th century abbey church are located inside the walls north of St Mary’s church.Additionally, there is All Saints Church, which now serves as Conwy’s parish church.

As part of its strategy to subdue the Welsh , Edward I increased the population of his new city with British colonists and issued an edict forbidding the natives from entering the settlement.

The port which is protected from the elements and used as a port to supply the goods to the castle, as well as a place of refuge and for fishing.

 

Conwy Castle

But the thing that you notice immediately in Conwy is the castle, which was the most expensive of the fourteen magnificent defensive castles designed and built by the architect and mason Master James of St. George, ordered by Edward I. A

The castle was built on top of a  rocky promontory, surrounded by the river on two of its sides, with the purpose of defending the city, subduing the Welsh and guarding the entrance to the city

Initially, the rectangular-shaped castle was built with an outer and inner wall and the walls were 5 metres thick. There were also four towers and a drawbridge, in short, the typical medieval castle.

Both the interior and the exterior of Conwy Castle have changed over the centuries. The castle was captured by the British, then by the Welsh and finally by the British in the War of the Roses.

It was badly damaged during the English Civil War in 1600 .

Conwy Castle was sold by Charles II to the third Viscount Conway, who subsequently stripped the castle of timber, roof and metal, leaving it in ruins. Note that the four Welsh castles built by Edward I of England are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site or Globe Heritage Website. These are Beaumaris Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle and Harlech Castle.

The Conwy Walls

Conwy Community Walls, which surround and protect the city of Conwy. Admission is free and the doors are always open. They were completed as part of the castle defences in the year 1286.

The walls, high 10 meters and over two meters thick, extend for three over a kilometre. For their age, they appear to be in relatively good condition and are among the best medieval walls to be found in the UK.

The city walls themselves were also connected to the castle by a series of tunnels. There were only three doors, all easily defended with double towers, one on each side.

Originally, the path around the wall was divided into various sections, each of which was a separate path. Of which it had its staircase and age connected to the others by a wooden bridge

which could be removed quickly and easily instantly, if the besiegers attempt to climb the wall. If you pass this way, take a walk on the walls to get some nice panoramic views, but be careful not to trip and avoid if you are dizzy.

The two bridges of Conwy

Another thing to visit in Conwy is the Suspension Bridge now managed by the National Trust fund. It was built in 1826 on a project by Thomas Telford, this bridge is considered innovative and avant-garde to the paces. In fact, it was one of the first suspension bridges in the world. The cables of the bridge are embedded in the rock of the promontory of the castle.

The bridge is simple and was created to blend well with the town, in fact, the support towers of the bridge were designed to resemble the towers of the castle.

Conwy also has a tubular railway bridge, unique in the world to use Robert Stephenson’s design, a kind of iron ring. Designed by William Fairbairn and built by Robert McAlpine and built in 1850 Stephenson used the same design in his subsequent and larger Britannia Bridge that spanned the Menai Strait in Wales until it was destroyed by fire in the 1970.

Other things to see in Conwy in Wales

In Conwy you can also see the smallest house in Great Britain is located on Quayside in Conwy, the tiniest home,

This tiny one-story fisherman’s home is on the outskirts of the city.Otherwise visit the Elizabethan house of Plas Mawr built between 1289 and 1585 for the merchant Robert Wynn.

The Great Hall is one of the best preserved structures in the town,  and this is one of the best preserved Tudor building in all of Great Britain. The plastered walls hide a plethora of original elements and furnishings, many of which are still in use today.

Where is Conwy located?

Conwy is practically attached to Llanduno, you can get there in a few minutes by train via the legendary railway bridge. The fortified town is also located fairly close to Colwyn Bay. You will likely visit it as part of a North Wales holiday.

 

 

 

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