21 September 2016

Do Something New Each Day - August 2016

Day 214 - 1 August 2016 - Watched the movie 'Belle Epoque'

A 1993 Oscar winner for Best Foreign language Film, this is a very good and funny Spanish film set during the Spanish Civil War. For more info click here.

Day 215 - 2 August 2016 - Listened to the album 'Bahane (Remixes)' by Sezen Aksu

Today I decided to listened to another album. This time I looked at the list of the best selling remix albums of all time and saw this one at No 4! It has sold a total of 421,000 copies since its release in 2005.

Sezen Aksu is a very popular Turkish pop singer who has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. This album was OK - it had some really good dance remixes, but also included some outright cheesy ones.

Day 216 - 3 August 2016 - Watched the movie 'Leviathan'

Nominated in 2015 for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this very good Russian film has won numerous international awards. It has the usual slow pace of most Russian films but it does a great job in building the characters. For more info click here.

Day 217 - 4 August 2016 - Watched the movie 'Ceasar Must Die'

If there's a film that shows the power the arts and literature subconsciously have in our lives, this is certainly it! All actors in it are actually high security prisoners, who prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The result is simply moving and thought provoking. Click here for more info.

Day 218 - 5 August 2016 - Watched the movie 'The Hunt'

A bit of an error on this one! Rather than watching the 2012 Danish film with the same name, I watched this one which was not good at all! I will not ever bother you with it. If you really want to know more, click here.

Day 219 - 6 August 2016 - Visited Sudley House, in Liverpool

A lovely, historic house built in 1824, which is now a museum and art gallery containing the collection of George Holt, a shipping-line owner and former resident. Click here for more info.

Day 220 - 7 August 2016 - Visited the Strawberry Field gate, in Liverpool

Strawberry Field was a Salvation Army children home in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool. The name became world famous in 1967 with the release of "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles. John Lennon grew up near the home. One of his childhood treats was the garden party that took place each summer on the grounds. Unfortunately the home and the grounds are no longer open to the public, but the original gate still remains there.

Day 221 - 8 August 2016 - Visited the Piersmaster House, in Liverpool

Located at the famous Albert Dock complex, the house was built in 1852 for the piermaster and his family. The piermaster was responsible for the safe passage of ships entering and leaving the dock at high tide. In 2003 it was transformed into a wartime house. For more info click here.

Day 222 - 9 August 2016 - Watched the movie 'My Life As A Dog'

Another very good film that has won numerous international awards, including the 1988 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. It's a Swedish drama that tells the story of a young boy who is sent to live with relatives. Definitely worth a look. Click here for more info.

Day 223 - 10 August 2016 - Listened to the album 'The Decline Of The British Sea Power' by British Sea Power

Listed as one of the best indie albums of all time by NME magazine, I can safely say that it wouldn't have featured in any list of mine! Not really my cup of tea, apart from a couple of exceptions. Oh well, I tried! Click here for more info about the band.

Day 224 - 11 August 2016 - Listened to the album 'Our Endless Numbered Days' by Iron & Wine

Another album in the list of best indie albums of all time, but this time I liked this one. A selection of nice ballads, very easy to listen to and to relax to. Click here for more info on the band.

Day 225 - 12 August 2016 - Had dinner at 'Wildwood', at Chelmsford

This weekend I visited some very good friends of mine which took me to this restaurant for dinner. The food was good but it was ruined by the over-eager staff, who kept on asking us if we had finished all the time, while ignoring some of our orders. Click here for the restaurant's website.

Day 226 - 13 August 2016 - Visited Wickford

I haven't uploaded any photos of Wickford, since it's a very small town with nothing special to it. The photos are from the surrounding area. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the day thanks to the great barbecue organised by my friends.

Day 227 - 14 August 2016 - Listened to the album 'Since I Left You' by The Avalanches

Obviously I know of The Avalanches. But this album somehow managed to slip under my radar until now. It's in the list of the greatest dance albums of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine. It deserves to be in it as it's a great and very enjoyable album. Click here for more info on the group.

Day 228 - 15 August 2016 - Tried the beer 'St Feuillien Grand Cru'

While the time for my holidays has almost arrived, it was time to 'celebrate' by trying for the first time some Belgian beers. This one was really nice and even though it's not a lager it will go down nicely to lager drinkers. It feels very light on the palate but - be careful - its alcohol content is 9.5%! Even though I liked it, Hoegaarden Grand Cru is still my favourite from the 'Grand Cru' category. Click here for more info.

Day 229 - 16 August 2016 - Tried the beer 'Sporkin Veurns Reuzenbier Tripel'

I love Tripels but this one was not to my liking at all, mainly because it was too hoppy. 7% alcohol content in this one. Click here for more info.

Day 230 - 17 August 2016 - Tried the beer 'Guinness Special Export'

So far Guinness has a 50% success rate with me. I don't like the Guinness served in the UK, but I do like the one served in Dublin. So I decided to try this one which is brewed (if I'm correct) for distribution in Belgium. I guess its alcohol content (8%) gives it away! I have to admit I didn't like it. It starts off like a Belgian dark ale, something like Kasteel or Rochefort. But then it turns way too coffee-like and bitter on the palate. I struggled to finish it.

Day 231 - 18 August 2016 - Tried the beer 'Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge'

The first ever Belgian beer I couldn't finish!!! I've never tried a sour ale before so I decided to try this one as it has great reviews. It has a great ruby colour that you can't see in the photo. But the taste - way too sour and vinegary for my liking! But not to worry. It will be used in one of my breads to give them that lovely sour taste I love in a bread. Click here for more info. 

Day 232 - 19 August 2016 - Visited Budva

My holidays have arrived and today I ticked off a country (Montenegro) and a town (Budva) in my bucket list. 

Budva is a Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea. It has around 14,000 inhabitants, and it is the centre of Budva Municipality. The coastal area around Budva, called the Budva riviera, is the center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. For more info click here.

Day 233 - 20 August 2016 - Visited Kotor Bay and Perast

The Bay of Kotor is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Its numerous Orthodox and Catholic churches and monasteries make it a major pilgrimage site.

On this day I ticked off two places, Kotor Old Town and Perast.

Perast (see photos above) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is an old town on the Bay of Kotor. It is noted for its old Venetian palaces and its proximity to the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks. The second island is particularly interesting given that it is the only artificially-built island in the Adriatic, with an area of 3,030 m² — it was built upon a rock after two Venetian sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary on it in 1452. Click here for more info.

Kotor (see photos above) is a beautiful coastal town in the Bay of Kotor. Its population is around 13,000 and it's the administrative centre of the Kotor Municipality. Click here for more info.

Day 234 - 21 August 2016 - Visited Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It's known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Despite the thousands of tourists (it's high season after all) you can't ignore the fact it's a very beautiful city and, new part or old, it's a great example of how to make a city be a tourist destination for millions of people. Sorry Game Of Thrones fans, I'm waiting for the whole series to end so I can watch it all in one go, so I may not have photographed places where the action takes place. But I did eat an octopus burger for the first time - nice, but nothing beats grilled octopus!! And I ticked off Croatia too off my list! For more info click here.

Day 235 - 22 August 2016 - Visited Mostar

Mostar is a city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the most important city in the Herzegovina region and its cultural capital. Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who in the medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva river. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks, and is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge were destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. Even though I only stayed there for a short period of time, the old part of the city is very beautiful and the people very friendly. And I got to tick off yet another country!!! For more info click here.

Day 236 - 23 August 2016 - Visited Split

Split is the second-largest city of Croatia and the largest city of the region of Dalmatia. It is known for the fortresslike complex at its center, Diocletian's Palace, erected by the Roman emperor in the 4th century. Its historical centre and the palace are part of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. Once home to thousands, its sprawling remains include more than 200 buildings. Within its white stone walls and under its courtyards and galleries are shops, bars, cafes, cathedrals, hotels and several houses. Click here for more info.

I have to admit I preferred Split to Dubrovnik. At first, as I was arriving by coach, it looked like an ugly concrete city. But once you hit its centre, it becomes beautiful and feels like a normal city rather than a place made for tourism. Its old town is an amazingly beautiful labyrinth to lose yourself in and Split definitely has a great nightlife.

Day 237 - 24 August 2016 - Visited Hvar

Hvar (Greek: Pharos), is a city and port on the island of Hvar, in Croatia. It is inhabited by 3,771 people, making it the largest settlement on the island of Hvar. It is situated on a bay in the south coast of the island, opposite from the other nearby towns of Stari Gradand Jelsa. The ancient Greeks founded a settlement named Faros (384 BC) on the north of the island, from where they could control the fertile agricultural area, now known as the Stari Grad Plain. It has been proposed that there was concurrently a second Greek settlement called Heraclea, on the site of today's Hvar town. PS: due to a small delay in the planning, I didn't get to visit the castle, so the photo from the top of a hill is from Google. But the one with the sunset was taken from my room. Click here for more info.

Day 238 - 25 August 2016 - Visited Stari Grad

Stari Grad (literally Old Town) is a town on the northern side of the island of Hvar in Croatia. One of the oldest towns in Europe, its position at the end of a long, protected bay and next to prime agricultural land has long made it attractive for human settlement. It was originally named Faros by the Greek settlers from the island of Paros, who arrived in 384 BC. The most ancient part of Stari Grad falls within the UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain. Click here for more info.

Day 239 - 26 August 2016 - Visited Cave Bisevo (Blue Cave)

The Blue Cave in the island of Bisevo is one of the most popular attractions around the islands near Split. As the sunlight reflects through the water, it bathes the cave in an aquamarine light. Click here for more info.

Day 240 - 27 August 2016 - Visited Trogir and Sibenik

Two more places ticked off today. First off, Trogir is a historic town and harbour on the Adriatic coast in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia, with a population of 10,818. It is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. In the 3rd century BC, Tragurion was founded by Greek colonists from the island of Vis, and it developed into a major port until the Roman period. The name comes from the Greek "tragos" (male goat). Since 1997, the historic centre of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. (The first from the photos above is from Google). Click here for more info. 

The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome (32 m high inside) in the city of Šibenik. It is the church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the see of the Šibenik diocese. It is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the entire country. Since 2000, the Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Unfortunately I didn't get to see it inside as there was a wedding going on. How dare they not invite me!!?? Click here for more info.

Day 241 - 28 August 2016 - Visited Zadar

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, situated on the Adriatic Sea. It is the center of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region. In the last official census of 2011 the population of Zadar was 75,082, making it the fifth largest city in the country. Zadar is a historical center of Dalmatia as well as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zadar. It has a rich history dating from prehistoric times. Click here for more info.

Day 242 - 29 August 2016 - Visited Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. In 1979, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register. The protected area extends over 296 square kilometres (73,350 acres). Each year, more than 1 million visitors visit the park. The park is world-famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. These lakes are a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. The lakes are all interconnected and follow the water flow. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria. The particularly sensitive travertine barriers are the result of an interplay between water, air and plants. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm (0.4 in) per year. Click here for more info.

Day 243 - 30 August 2016 - Visited Lake Bohinj

Fourth country ticked off this month!!Lake Bohinj, covering 318 hectares (790 acres), is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. It is located within the Bohinj Valley of the Julian Alps, in the northwestern Upper Carniola region, and part of Triglav National Park. Click here for more info.

Day 244 - 31 August 2016 - Visited Lake Bled

Lake Bled is a lake in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia, where it adjoins the town of Bled. The area is a tourist destination. The lake is 2,120 m (6,960 ft) long and 1,380 m (4,530 ft) wide, with a maximum depth of 29.5 m (97 ft) and has a small island (Bled Island). The lake is situated in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains and forests. The medieval-era Bled Castle stands above the lake on the north shore. Click here for more info.

August review

What a month!! It was one of two halves. In the first half it was all about music, movies and Liverpool. The second half was all about travels and ticking off places from my bucket list. In total, I saw 5 films for the first time, visited 5 new places around Liverpool, tried 4 beers, listened to 4 albums and visited one restaurant. But above all, I broke my all time record and ticked off 14 places from my bucket list!! Still have a few days left until the end of the year, so that list is going to get even shorter!

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