Posts Tagged With: the beatles

Top 10 (FREE) Attractions To See In LONDON, ENGLAND


Transportation costs to London can be quite pricey (Especially if you are coming from North America, like me), however, once you get to London, there are A LOT of things, places, and events to see for FREE! That’s right! FREE! The list contains a variety of attractions from museums to shopping areas, and from historical buildings to beautiful, royal parks. One may say that the following attractions are “priceless”, because indeed, they are…

1) BIG BEN

Probably the most photogenic and overly photographed site in London, Big Ben represents the worldly iconic symbol of England and is a marvellous structure to see; along side the parliament buildings as well. Capture the building itself from across the river or on the Westminister Bridge.

2) Abby Road

Iconic for being The Beatles sleeve for their 11th studio album, Abby Road is a popular tourist attraction for many (not just for any Beatles fan). Gather 3 of your friends and head to Abby Road to capture a photo of you four crossing Abby Road that will probably be your most “liked” Facebook profile picture. P.s. Click ‘Abby Road’ above to check out a live broadcast of people crossing the iconic Road.

3) Hyde Park

No matter the season, this beautiful, royal park will be that relaxing and tranquil moment you’ve been waiting for after such a stressful, yet exciting day of travelling in unknown territory.

4) Princess Diana Memorial Walk / Fountain

I have yet to visit this tourist site, but I know it’s beautiful and 100% free. It’s not far from Buckingham Palace, and so, if you are in the area, make sure you check out the memorial for Princess Diana.

5) Camden Market

Now the fourth most popular tourist attraction in London, Camden Market specializes in alternative fashion, vintage, emerging designers, and funky clothing stores, as well as unique items. It’s also a great place for people watching… if you’re into that sort of thing.

6) Harrods

It’s extremely pricey to physically buy something at Harrod’s, but to actually visit and be amazed by this humungous department store is free. Just don’t fall into temptations, especially if you’re obsessed with buying shoes; you may just walk out £3000 in debt. yeah… £3000 for a pair of shoes, or maybe just one shoe? Check out my vlog below to witness this pair of shoes at Harrods!

7) Trafalgar Square

This square is absolutely beautiful and in the heart of London. This iconic attraction has many sights to see including the National Gallery (see below) and Nelson’s Column. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations.

8) National Gallery

The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square and has more than 2,000 works on display from 1260 onwards. All of the great names in art history can be found here, including Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian, Turner, Monet, Da Vinci and Van Gogh. The cost is free and it is an absolute MUST-SEE in my opinion.

9) Westminister Abby

Unfortunatly, Westminister Abby relies on admission fees from visitors to cover running costs. However! You may see the inside of the Abby for FREE for those who want to worship. The abby never charges those who want to pray or worship inside; so keep this in mind if you want to avoid paying the £16.

10) British Museum

Depending on the time you visit London, the British Museum often have free exhibitions and displays that you have to book ahead of time to see. If you visit London during a free exhibition and display event, then definitely check out the British Museum; other then specific times, unfortunately, it does cost money to visit the museum.

CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE VIDEO OF LONDON, ENGLAND (CLICK HERE)

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Categories: Blog, Canada, England, London, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom, Vlogs, Youtube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: Liverpool, England

With a love for The Beatles and spark of interest to visit such a historical city, I was finally able to cross Liverpool (or “Liverpewl”) off my Places To Go list.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning when my friend Caroline and I arrived in Liverpool. We didn’t go with a tour company and had all the free time to do whatever and go wherever we wanted.

Because it was so sunny and beautiful that morning and didn’t know what the weather would be like later on, we decided to journey to Albert Dock, which is one of the most touristy places in Liverpool; mainly because of the shear beauty of the docks, but also due to the fact that the Beatles museum  as well as other museums that are located in the vicinity.

   

Albert Dock was the first place I visited and the last place I visited; it was my most favourite place about Liverpool. It was so incredibly beautiful and full of history. They had the Beatles Story Exhibition, the Tate Liverpool, International Slavery museum, and so many restaurants, shops and cafes. They even had a Yellow Submarine at the docks; if only I had gotten a chance to ride on it.

After a beautiful morning at Albert Dock, Caroline and I decided to venture into the heart of the city and see the three main cathedrals and churches that were of immense significance and beauty. We travelled through Chinatown to get to our first cathedral on our list: The Liverpool Cathedral.

  

Words can not express how beautiful this cathedral was, and most important, how huge it was. This Anglican Cathedral Liverpool of is the largest in the United Kingdom and the fifth largest in the world.

The exterior was just as beautiful as the interior; except this cathedral was free to see the inside, which makes things much more epic! The inside was awe-inspiring and even just the staircases reminded me how beautiful architecture is (and this was all because of a staircase). The photo to the left just reminded me of a scene from Harry Potter within Hogwarts. I wonder if these staircases move? Probably not. They were still magical to see none-the-less.

I rarely go to church, but I would most definitely go to a service if it was held in this magnificent cathedral.

   

Our next stop consisted of this run-down Church called St. Luke’s. It was located on the top of Bold Street and was significantly destroyed from bombing during the 1940’s. It is commonly now known as “the bombed-out church” and is quite interesting to see.

As we ventured through Bold street, which is known for there vintage shops and cafes, and finally came to the third and final church on our list: the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral.

This cathedral looks like a bloody spaceship. It was actually really interesting to see and to take a look inside. I felt like I was in space or at least in a futuristic setting.

What I liked most about all three of these churches was the fact that they were all free to see and go inside; those are my favourite types of churches.

Caroline and I began to walk towards Mathew Street where The Cavern was located. The Cavern was where the Beatles first performed at a club during the 1960’s, and is now a huge tourist attraction.

      
After we hung out with The Beatles, we journeyed through the more industrial and busy area of Liverpool until we came to the World Museum. This was the start to journey of seeing all the museums in Liverpool.

Seeing as how time was limited, we decided to only go into two of the three museums on our list. The World Museum was not one of the two we really wanted to see.

Instead, we made our way back to Albert Dock to see the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Inside this museum, the had free entry to see the Titanic exhibition, as well as entry to the International Slavery Museum.

  Both the Titanic exhibition and Slavery museum were extremely interesting and knowledgeful. Both the history of the Titanic, as well as the history of Slavery interest me in a mixture of ways, and I learned a lot from both exhibitions.

After viewing the two exhibitions, we decided to head to Liverpool One, to see what it was all about. Basically, Liverpool One is like a giant shopping mall, except that its outside. You can climb this giant hill to reach the top floor of the shopping centre, and when you look below, you feel like your in an indoor shopping mall, but you’re not. It was really interesting to see, and there were lots of interesting and fashionable shops.

We realized that we had a few more hours left and decided to go to the Tate Liverpool. They had a Monet exhibition going on, but it costed a large amount of money to see it, and since I’ve already seen a lot of Monet paintings, I decided not to go. Instead, we were able to view some works of art on 2 floors of the Tate museum (because it was free). The works of art on these two floors were very contemporary and fairly odd pieces of art work; interesting, but questionable. I wasn’t as pleased by the art works offered at this museum compared to most of the free museums I visit, however, when I came to the last piece of artwork available, I was completely satisfied. They had one of the most recognizable, controversial and questionable pieces of art that really questioned “What Is Art? Who defines what is it?”: Fountain 1917 by Marcel Duchamp. I flipped when I saw this in the Museaum… but under close inspection, I realized that it couldn’t have been the real thing. Then I looked at the description block available on the wall, it backed up my hypothesis; a replica. Dang.

  

We spent the rest of our evening getting some Subway for dinner (YOLO!) and walking around the city and docks some more before we head to catch our ride back home to Leeds.


The sights and sounds of Liverpool were very beautiful and interesting. Even though Albert Dock was probably my most favourite thing about the city, I’m unsure whether I would have another reason to go back; it seems that Liverpool is just one of those cities that you only see once in your life and probably never go back. For me, it was missing that wow! factor…

I loved the churches, and found the museums very interesting, and would recommend the places I visited to those who have a desire to visit Liverpool. The air rings with Beatles music wherever you go, and if you get to visit Liverpool on a beautiful, sunny day; then you’re in luck.

~Ryan

Categories: Blog, England, Liverpool, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop: Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

If I can only say one thing; it would be:
EXPERIENCE OKTOBERFEST AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME.”

You can even quote me on that.

If you want to learn how to survive your first Oktoberfest experience in Germany, click here.

So you want to hear about all the crazy things that happen while I was in Munich, Germany for the weekend experiencing Oktoberfest?

Well… where do I begin.

DAY 1

After spending a marvellous couple of days in Edinburgh with my friend Savannah, we left Scotland behind and flew with Ryanair to Germany!
(If you want to know how I survived Ryanair – aka the cheapest airline company ever – click here)

We arrived in the afternoon an hour outside of Munich in a town called Memmingen. Basically, if you’re flying to Munich with Ryanair, you’ll end up here; in the middle of nowhere. We took the airport bus to the train station for 3 euros and took the one-hour train ride into Munich. I’ve come to realize that your only source of long-distance transportation in Germany are trains; don’t count on the cheap bus rides, as there aren’t any buses that will take you to far places. (Check out my blog on how to survive in Germany above).

As we hopped onto the train, all you can hear is the sudden noises of cans cracking open and the strong smell of german beer; not to mention men in lederhosens and women in busting, tight, coloured oktoberfest dresses. This became an enjoyable (yet extremely crowded) ride to Munich; especially with all the drunken singing.

We finally arrived in Munich (also spelt München) to a train station that was packed with people; conscious and unconscious. Oh the joys of Oktoberfest.
After a large amount of time spent trying to find a place with free wi-fi for me to use google maps for directions; we came to a complete dead-end. Night was starting to set and the nearest Starbucks didn’t have wi-fi (or at least maybe it didn’t work). We decided to get food from a grocery store, and then began a nightly search for a place with free wi-fi (My iPhone doesn’t work outside of the UK). Savannah and I ended up getting separated for some time with no way of contacting each other, and as I was about to give up on the search for her, I came across a wi-fi working Starbucks with her in it. Phew!

After getting correct directions to use the subway station (we weren’t sure if we should take the bus, train, subway, or tram once we got to Munich), we hoped on the subway and found our way to our accommodations late within the night. We were drained and didn’t want to leave the house once we finally found our way there. However, we realized that we hadn’t eaten dinner, so our hosts let us borrow their bikes, and we biked to the nearest restaurant to have our first German dinner; it was delicious.

We drove the bikes around the neighbourhood after dinner, and came to realize that we were actually in Germany. And realized that we were going to be at Oktoberfest. It was a very surreal moment as we biked through the neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Munich at night; it became a great evening once we were able to relax and enjoy the moment of where we were, and what we were going to experience this weekend.

DAY 2

Savannah and I decided to sleep in, as opposed to getting up at the crack of dawn for three reasons: 1) We were extremely tired from flying, traveling and all the added stress that came with it 2) We decided that we were going to spend half the day actually exploring the city of Munich and visiting all the tourist places as well as seeing all the must-see sights and 3) The guys that we were staying with all worked at Oktoberfest so we never had to wait in line to get into the beer tents. BAZINGA!!

The guys lent us there bikes again for the day, and told us exactly what we should see, experience and explore with our limited time in Munich. So, we began our journey by biking through Munich: WHO DOES THAT?! We do, and I’m so happy we were given the opportunity to bike through the beautiful city of Munich. If you can do it, then I would recommend it to anyone. It was the perfect way to see the city and all its beauty. The bike ride was about 40 mins (including traffic at the time, as well as the fact that we had limited knowledge to where we were going), but eventually, we reached our destination.

Oh! Did I even mentioned the weather? It was early October and it was 24°C and sunny. YEAH, SUMMER WEATHER (well at least for Canadians). I could not believe how beautiful the weather was, along with how beautiful the city was during the autumn season. I don’t know if I can express how much of an amazing feeling it was to ride freely through the summer weather, yet colourful autumn setting that had fallen upon the city of Munich that beautiful october morning.

We reached our first destination, which was the spectacular and gorgeous building located in what is called: Marienplatz; which is basically the central square in the city centre of Munich. I would recommend that this be your first place to visit if you come to Munich; it’s beautiful.
🙂

 


After seeing the historical buildings around marienplatz,such as city hall, and walk around a little, our next stop on our self-served tour guide was a really interesting farmers market called Viktualienmarkt. There was lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and baked goods available to buy, as well as Oktoberfest-themed foods, beverages and souvenirs!

We ventured back towards Marienplatz and waited in line outside the Saint Peter Church (or SanktPeter or Alter Peter; it has a bunch of names). Basically, you pay 1 euro and you have access to climb to the very top of this church, and the view from the top is UNBELIEVABLE. On a clear day like it was that day, you can actually see The Alps. The view of the city was spectacular. If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself. Hopefully my pictures do it some justice.

 

After the 306 steps up to the top, and 306 back down to the bottom, Savannah and I walked further away from city centre to another city square called Odeonsplatz. It was named after a former concert hall and was now home to a very musical scene. There was a music festival/show going on for local musicians and bands. The buildings surrounding the square were very stunning.

After making a few stops to grab food, visit the Munich apple store, and see a few more buildings, we eventually followed the crowd of drunken lederhosen-wearing people towards Oktoberfest. If you don’t know what Oktoberfest is, it’s basically a 16-day festival during late September to the first week of October, in which the germans celebrate an amazing invention: beer.

With such beautiful summer weather on the second last day of the festival, Oktoberfest was packed! I swear, there were millions of people; sober, half-sober and wasted. It was a glorious sight to have witnessed. With my surprise, there wasn’t just beer tents and beer gardens; there were amusement park rides, games, and so much more! It was literally like a huge amusement park! There were children, babies, elderly people, and just people of all different ages and ethnicity’s. (Not to mention little babies in lederhosen’s, which were the most adorable things ever).

We made it to our first beer tent by about 4:30pm and didn’t have to wait in line because the guys we were staying with worked in the beer gardens. The name of our tent was Bräurosl, where they served HackerPschorr beer; and boy was it good. I’m not the biggest fan of most beers, but this beer was so smooth and tasted so pure; you could almost drink it like it was water, it was that good. Not to mention the fact that the Oktoberfest beer is 2% stronger in alcohol than normal beer percentages and served in 1 litre beer mugs called steins. In addition, 1 litre of beer is equivalent to 3 normal sized cans/bottles of beer. Each beer went for about 9.40 euros, but you usually gave a 10 euro bill as you wanted to tip the people well so that they serve you again. 


In our surrounding table, we met some italians and turkish people, as well as became good friends with some germans! We spent the whole evening with them, talking, drinking and teaching us more about Oktoberfest, Munich and the german language. It was a great evening and I limited myself to only 2 Litres of Oktoberfest beer (2 steins) as I forgot that we would have to bike home in the pitch black through the unfamiliar streets of Munich. That was a journey and a half. We eventually made it home and found the buzzed ride home enjoyable and extremely relaxing; again, it was feeling like a wonderful summer’s night.

 

DAY 3

We woke up at a decent time and found that the beautiful, sunny, warm weather had vanished, and sudden, cold, rainy, october weather had taken its place instead. Savannah and I were not going to let the weather rain down our parade… I mean… festive activities.

 
We took the train into Munich and arrived at Oktoberfest before noon. The crowd wasn’t as packed as yesterday (thanks weather), and seeing as how it was the last day of Oktoberfest, the atmosphere felt more relaxed and mellow. Savannah and I decided to pick up a few souvenirs now, before the beer took control of us and could have potentially forgot about getting some; fair enough.

Afterwards, we decided to venture into our first beer tent of the day, which was called Hofbrau Festzelt. The beer was average, but the tent was much more lively and crowded with so many international people. We met some really nice Italians that didn’t know barely any English, and saw an old german man finish his 10th stein of beer of the day (and it was noon). I had much respect for that old man.
Cheers to the drunken old german man!

 Making our rounds, we came across some really cool Brits, who at first kept calling us Americans, even though you told them numerous times that we were Canadian. One guy said that Canada was apart of America and that he had been teaching geography for 10 years. They were pulling our legs hardcore but Savannah and I were starting to get aggravated because we thought they weren’t joking. They were completely pulling our legs and we came to realize how nice and funny they actually were. They told us that they were all part of a group for one of the guys’ bachelor party. If I ever get married, I want my bachelor party at Oktoberfest; hands down. We also met a South Korean, who pretended he was from South Korea, but was actually from Austria, and a professional chef; he was also very funny and nice. There were just so many genuinely nice people at Oktoberfest & everyone was just there for a good time.


After a good amount of time in the Hofbrau Festzelt beer tent, Savannah wanted to go on the Ferris wheel; I did not. As a waited for Savannah to go on her ride, I sat there and just watched the people; watched how much joy and laughter this one festival brought to everyone. It was a very surreal moment. I was also laughing  consistently over all the drunken people falling, tripping, and making complete fools of themselves; it was a grand ole time!

As the evening began to approach, Savannah and I decided to go back to our favourite tent that we had gone to the very first night. The atmosphere was incredible and the beer was fantastic. We ordered a chicken dinner, which I highly recommend when you go to Oktoberfest. It’s a tad expensive, but completely worth it. It was the juiciest, freshest, and most delicious chicken I have ever had (sorry mom)!

 After a few more litres of beer, a giant pretzel and some crazy table dancing, the night was coming to an end. At the end of the very last night of Oktoberfest, there is something that happens in the tents that is one of the most magical and awe-inspiring moments I have ever witnessed. Basically, they shut off all the lights in the tent, and every person is given a light, and as a trumpet plays this happy and majestic tune, thousands and thousands of people raise there hands with these lights and sway back and forth. It was almost like being at your favourite rock concert, except better, because it was Oktoberfest.


Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without everyone coming together, singing and drinking to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Savannah and I spent that whole evening with an amazing german couple who lived in Munich. They were a happy, and loving married couple that were a joy to have around, talk with, and share such a remarkable night with.

If only I could have frozen time and stayed there for a little bit longer; it was an amazing experience and highly believe that everyone should at least experience once in their lifetime.


Sleep deprivation, cuts from broken beer glass and moments of feeling infinite; Oktoberfest was a moment I’ll never forget. Good beer, great friends and an experience to cross off my bucket list! Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

~Ryan

P.s. Also check out Savannah’s blog for her experience & photos of Oktoberfest here.

Categories: Blog, Flights, Germany, Munich, Oktoberfest, Ryanair, Survival Guide, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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