Mount Washington, lying farther north in New Hampshire, was private land when Thoreau climbed it in 1858, but today itstands in the White Mountain National Forest. Steps have been taken to help the many tourists who want to reach this summit. A toll road and cog railway, working opposite slopes, serve those who prefer to climb their mountains sitting down.
Hikers in Thoreau’s mold, believing “it is far more independent to travel on foot,”
can follow his ascent and descent by using the system of trails and shelters maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club and the U. S. Forest Service. The four of us opt to take the toll road up and a trail down,into Tuckerman Ravine where Thoreau camped. His party had a number of mishaps here, including a campfire that burned several acres of forest. The hikers today use portable stoves; open fires are forbidden. Other good places for hiking in are European cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, where you can find cheap apartments in barcelona, apartments in amsterdam or edinburgh accommodation.
At Baxter State Park in Maine, a Thoreauvian philosophy rules Mount Katahdin. The park’s donor, Governor Percival Baxter, left strict deeds of trust, as park supervisor Buzz Caverly explains: “Wilderness was more important to the governor than recreation, so we firmly restrict our number of visitors.” The park has 200,000 acres of forest and mountains, but only 1,000 campers can stay overnight. Reservations are prepaid, facilities remain rustic. Daily use by cars is limited, and the same goes for mountain trails; when a parking lot is full, that trail is closed to hikers.
Up on Katandin the effects of these policies are clear: The mountain seems uncrowded; I saw no sign of garbage or carved initials. Smaller groups of people also tend to help each other.
Our family party climbs the Abol Trail, a steep three-mile hike that follows a great landslide of loose stone and gravel. We start with empty canteens, expecting to fill them at streams. But they are dry: For months Maine has had almost no rain. We struggle over boulders, as big as automobiles, that Thoreau said were “the raw materials of a planet.” Other hikers offer sips from their canteens, then encourage us to look for water on the upper plateau.
There we find deep, clear pools beneath the rocks and tall grass. People stop to rest Thoreau, a Different Man and talk, sharing the day’s adventure. Jenny and Jeff lend out their drinking cups; in a side pool Bonnie soaks her tired feet. Going on to the summit alone, I pass a sign that identifies this oasis: Thoreau Spring.
Zagreb is the capital and largest city in Croatia. It is also economic, cultural, political and administrative center of Croatia. Very good geographic position provides an excellent connection for traffic between Adriatic Sea and the Central Europe.
Because of the most museums per square meter of urban areas – Zagreb is also called as a city of museum.
Some of the most important and attractive museums are: The Archaeological Museum – consisting about 450,000 monuments and varied archaeological artifacts, Technical Museum, Modern, Mimara Museum…
Zagreb is also an important tourist center. If you’re visiting Zagreb for the first time here are my picks for Zagreb’s must-see attractions: Zagreb’s cathedral, the Upper Town – Kaptol and Gradec, ,the Croatian Nationak Theatre in Zagreb, Stone Gate, the Funicular, Zrinjevac – beautiful park, Ban Josip Jelaćić square, St. Mark’s square…
If You’re looking for Zagreb accommodation there are many private apartments, world famous hotels, villas and rooms for rent.
Anne Boleyn died here in 1536 and, five years later, the last of the Plantagenets, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, aged 68. Protesting that “the block is for traitors,” she refused to kneel and dodged about the scaffold with her grey hair streaming and the headsman in pursuit.
The next three victims were also women: two together in 1542, Queen Catherine Howard and her confidante, Lady Rochford; then little Jane Grey, alone in 1554; and last came Elizabeth’s discarded favourite, the rebel Earl of Essex, in 1601. The lesser rest-75 in number had to accept public execution on near by Tower Hill.
A prisoner arrived at the Tower either overland or by the river. Overland, a causeway led across two moats and through two tower gates to the main entrance of the outer walls, the Byward Tower. From here he was channelled along to the Bloody Tower, where his path converged with that of prisoners arriving by the river entrance, Traitor’s Gate.
There are six towers in the outer ward. The inner ward has 13, of which four—Martin, Beauchamp, Bell and Bloody are theatres where high drama has played again and again.
One, the Martin Tower, is associated with blood of a special type : “Colonel” Thomas Blood, an Irish-born desperado who, in 1671, attempted to steal the State Crown and other royal regalia, then kept in a cupboard in Martin Tower. Caught on Tower Wharf, Blood demanded a private audience with the King. Astonishingly, the ever unpredictable Charles II not only granted the audience but forgave the persuasive rogue and awarded him a pension of 500 pounds a year!
Today the jewels and regalia, along with the silver-gilt plate used at state banquets, are kept in the Jewel House. Guards, grilles and thick glass protect the glittering treasure in Christopher Marlowe’s words “infinite riches in a little room.”
Of all the towers, the best named is the Bloody Tower. Its roll-call traditionally includes the little princes, Edward V and his brother Richard, in 1483; Archbishop Cranmer- and Bishops Ridley and Latimer, in 1553-54; Sir Walter Raleigh in 1603-16.
Raleigh – adventurer, poet, scientist, historian, gallant was the Elizabethan Age incarnate. Elizabeth herself first sent him to the Tower for having secretly married one of her maids of honour, but freed him a few weeks later. Elizabeth died in 1603, and James I almost at once flung Raleigh back, for his alleged part in a Catholic plot against the King.
This time he stayed for 13 years, writing his History of the World and other works, drawing maps, making ship models, dabbling in chemistry and medicine and receiving his friends. Among them was the young Prince of Wales. “Only my father,” he said bitterly, “would keep such a bird in a cage !”
James opened the cage door long enough to let Raleigh make one last expedition to South America. It failed, and he went back to the Tower, under sentence of death. On the scaffold at Westminster, he felt the axe edge and remarked, “This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician that will cure all my diseases.” Then, as the headman hesitated, “Strike, man! Strike!” He struck, and a voice groaned, “We have not another such head to cut off !”
As England grew more civilized, public executions declined. Tower Green’s headsmen had already sheathed their swords and axes when, in 1780, the Gordon Rioters had the distinction of being the last to die on Tower Hill. A hundred years later, Queen Victoria paved the Green, where folklore says grass never grew, and chained it off.
The Queen also restored the little chapel at the corner of the Green, St. Peter ad Vincula, “St. Peter in Chains.” “There is no sadder spot on earth,” wrote Macaulay; and in the chapel were buried more than four-score high-ranking lords and ladies, all of them headless, most in unmarked graves. Known and unknown, they are all at rest now.
History of London’s Dark Tower
A grim history of treason, torture and death
HIS wicked tower,” says Phoebe Meryll in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard, “like a cruel giant in a fairy tale, must be fed with blood.” And, indeed, for more than 700 years the Tower of London was the nation’s slaughterhouse, running with the blood of “the best and bravest in England.”
Used as a prison as late as the Second World War, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London comprises buildings and grounds covering 18 acres. Until 150 years ago, it also housed the Royal Zoo and the Royal Mint. Today it is a treasury, a garrison, two chapels, several armouries and a museum.
The dark heart of the complex is the ironically named White Tower (so called because its walls were once whitewashed). Built by William the Conqueror, it was his chief London stronghold “against the fickleness of the vast and fierce populace.”
Its architect was Gundulf, later Bishop of Rochester. He was succeeded by another bishop, Rannulf Flambard of Durham, who so “pilled and shaved” the people for his building fund that he was thrown into the tower he had just completed — its first recorded prisoner and, six months later, its first fugitive. Friends smuggled him a coil of rope in a wine jar, and he slid 65 feet to the ground and escaped to France.
The tower the bishops built is roughly square, 118 feet by 107, and 90 feet high. Its stone walls are 15 feet thick at the base, tapering up to 11 feet. Parapets fence the roof, and a turret rounds off each corner. Later kings, notably Henry III and Edward I, girdled it with walls and a moat and added gateways and bastions until it was one of the largest, stoutest fortresses in Europe.
But the White Tower itself they left more or less alone. Its exterior is as it was 900 years ago, except for the windows, which have been widened, reputedly by Sir Christopher Wren, from the wary Normans’ arrow slits. The interior has the same thick walls dividing each of the four floors into three rooms.
Below are the dungeons. The worst was Little Ease, said to he a four-foot cage too cramped for a prisoner to stand upright or lie. Guy Fawkes was chained here in 1605 before being submitted to the rack; he confessed after 3o minutes of torture The rack disappeared years ago, but “the Scavenger’s Daughter,” which crushed the body, is still in the Tower, along with the manacles used to suspend a prisoner by his hands, and the pilliwinks, a sort of thumbscrew.
Enough. Leave the dungeons. Two floors above is the chapel of St. John, with its high barrel vault and bare, cream-coloured stone. Close your eyes and it will people itself : the Archbishop of Canterbury and two high-ranking priests were at prayers here in 1381 when Wat Tyler’s rebels burst in and dragged them off to death, and here Mary Tudor married Philip of Spain by proxy in 1554.
The Banqueting Hall on the same floor is always associated with Charles, Duke of Orleans, taken prisoner at Agincourt, who spent much of his 25 years’ captivity at the Tower. Now it, too, is part of the Armouries, where the weapons and costumes of ancient wars are displayed.
Here is a shield that could “give fire;” a weapon incorporating a spear, a club and three gun barrels; and two of the last surviving longbow staves, once England’s national weapon. Also in the Armouries are suits of grey steel armour by the dozen, fluted and damascened, filigreed and arabesqued, gilded and silvered and engraved with royal devices.
Contrary to popular belief, there have been only seven beheadings in the Tower of London, all on Tower Green, and all the victims people of highest estate. First was Lord Hastings, executed by order of Richard, Duke of Gloucester in 1483.
Among all European destinations that are worth visiting, Barcelona in Spain happens to be one pristine city that is full of natural scenery and ancient culture and architecture that welcomes you with open heart all round the year, especially during winters. This is because temperatures in the city rarely go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and normally thy stay in low 60’s to keep you warm and cozy during a winter break you can take here. However, it is not just warm and sunny weather but there are many more compelling reasons to visit Barcelona during winters, and this article will tell you about some of these.
Barcelona is known for its excellent beaches but if you stayed at these beaches last time, do plan to visit all the museums, parks, restaurant and ancient buildings and architecture this time during winters as the weather is just right to indulge in a site seeing walk around the city. As far as accommodation is concerned, get yourself an apartments in Barcelona just like you enjoyed your stint in apartment Rome. This is not to belittle hotels that are really comfortable in the city. However, to get to know bout the place and its culture, apartments provide an opportunity to get close to the locals which is simply not possible with hotel rooms. Apartments are also cheaper than hotel rooms as you must have discovered during your stay in Vienna apartments.
Move away from the beaches and concentrate on the real Barcelona
Barcelona has got hot summers and winters that are mild to say the least. Yes, the city does boast of some stunning beaches but there is much more the city has to offer to the tourists than just beautiful beaches. The real Barcelona sits behind the beaches at the foothills of Mountain Montjuic.
Less tourists mean you are relaxed and comfortable
Surprisingly, there is less pressure of tourists in Barcelona during winters and this is really the time to enjoy the Spanish cuisine in the restaurants, take a walking tour of the city and take part in the fairs and festivals organized around this time in Barcelona. The good part of visiting Barcelona in winters is that you can see and do everything that you can in summers, perhaps at a slower and more enjoyable pace as Barcelona is more laid back and relaxing during winters. You can bike around or walk leisurely with feeling too sweaty or tired.
Avail discounts and offers
For shoppers also, winter is the best time to be in Barcelona as most shops and shopping malls offer great discounts because of a slow market. There are many shopping complexes apart from Las Ramblas to satiate one’s hunger for boutiques and their antiques.
Take part in Barcelona’s famous nightlife
No visit to Barcelona is complete without a mention of its hectic and vibrant night life and this is one aspect of socializing here that goes on without a hiccup even during winters. You can take part in nightlife without having to brave the winters like in Amsterdam and Paris.