Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford – Part 5

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An example for you:
 The area around the Salford Quays at the eastern end of the Manchester Ship Canal is a great example of what can be achieved by urban regeneration. Sleek low-rise blocks of flats line the waterways linking the docks. High-rise blocks overlook the docks themselves. Recently, the BBC has relocated many of its services to the Media City UK at Salford; not to be outdone Granada has moved in just across the water, close to the Imperial War Museum (North) – known as IWM (North) – designed by Daniel Libeskind. Five minutes walk away is the Lowry Centre a thriving arts and culture hub. Opposite the centre is a discount shopping mall with something for everyone. From here Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford, can be seen on the near horizon about ten minutes away by foot. Watersport’s enthusiasts practice their art surrounded by preserved reminders of the docks’ history such as cranes, rail lines, mooring posts, and anchor chains.
The Metrolink tram passes through the area and the journey to central Manchester takes about ten minutes. IWM (North) has welcomed over three million visitors since it first opened on July 5th, 2002. Like all National Museums in the UK, it is free to all visitors. Unlike most museums, however, the visitor should first have a good look at the outside of the museum and understand the inspiration behind the design. The IWM (North) was the first UK building to be designed by the American architect Daniel Libeskind. The building is clad in aluminium and the design is based on the concept of a world shattered by conflict into three interlocking shards, which represent war on land, water, and in the air. The most recent exhibit is Baghdad, 5 March 2007 by the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. It is a car destroyed in the bombing of the historic Al-Mutanabbi street book market in Baghdad on March 5th, 2007. This attack killed 38 people and wounded many more. It was seen by many as an attempt to undermine Baghdad’s cultural life and no one has ever claimed responsibility. The car sits in the Main Exhibition Space next to a 7-metre piece of steel recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Centre. Nearby
I watched an amazing information film about what ordinary families should do in the event of a nuclear war. The film was made during my life time and seemed to assume that radiation couldn’t penetrate the house. The family should live behind doors propped against a sturdy wall for around 10 days until the fallout had subsided. The family should only come out from behind the doors unless it was absolutely necessary. Their water supplies and all their food were to remain behind the doors too.
Over the water from the Imperial War Museum is the Lowry Centre with its cafes, bars, theatres, and art gallery that includes a permanent collection of the paintings, drawings, and pastels of LS Lowry. Not only are his classic industrial scenes depicted but also the less familiar seascapes, landscapes and portraits. A selection of works, Lowry Favourites, is permanently on display in the Galleries and admission is free. However, visitors should consider a donation towards the upkeep of the collection. The three theatres, The Lyric, The Quays, and The Studio are in regular use for touring productions and individual performers such as comedians, musicians, and famous people in conversation with an interviewer.
Should you have not brought enough clothes on your travels, the Lowry Outlet Mall could be a great place to buy a few replacements. Well known manufacturers such as Austin Reed, Gap, Cotton Traders, and Marks & Spencer are well represented. There are also homeware shops, children’s stores, jewellers, footwear sellers, and accessory stores as well as a Cadbury’s store and numerous cafes and restaurants. From the mall it’s a brisk seven-minute walk past preserved mooring posts to the Salford Quays Metrolink stop. Five stops later I was in the centre of Manchester with easy access to the G-Mex centre, Bridgewater Hall, and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford – Part 4

One of my travel books is on NetGalley.

Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford can be picked up here for free.

Or click on this link

An example for you:
The Settlement Exhibition is a fascinating insight into Icelandic history and can be found in the very centre of Reykjavik. The main attraction is a Viking-age farmhouse and its importance lies in the fact that it can be dated almost precisely. This is because in 871 a well-documented volcanic eruption coated most of Iceland in ash and the farmhouse was built very soon after this cataclysmic event. The farmhouse is 85 square metres in area and appears to have had a spring either underneath it or very close to one of the walls. The building is centred within the exhibition allowing various information boards around the edge to give indications and insights into everyday life around 1000AD. The most fascinating facts are given in some of the historic information that’s provided as background to the settlement of Iceland.
Studies of the mitochondrial DNA carried in the female line and of Y Chromosomes carried in the male line indicate that 80% of Iceland’s male settlers were Norse, whereas 62% of the women were Celtic, most of them coming from the Outer Hebrides, where it seems most Vikings heading for a new life in Iceland stopped off to obtain a wife. Researchers know this because two strands of mitochondrial DNA found in Icelanders and Hebrideans are unique in the world. A Haplogroup is an ancestral family whose distinct characteristics allow geneticists to study how humanity spread throughout the world. Haplogroups represent the branches of the tree for mankind and they stitch together so that every male in the world can be located on the tree by a test that looks for a rare mutation called a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP for short) on the male Y-chromosome. There are also two very rare haplogroups (C and Z) found in Icelanders that are of non-European origin; four out of every 1,000 Icelanders carry haplogroup C, which originates in Asia and is today found in Native Americans and Asians. It’s not possible to say which of these destinations the DNA comes from. Only two out of every 1,000 Icelanders carry haplogroup Z, which is found in the peoples of the Kamchatka peninsular in Russia and in the Sami of Northern Scandanavia.
This fact indicates that the ancestors of the Vikings travelled from Eastern Siberia to Northern Scandinavia before again moving on to Iceland. Just in case you believe that all Icelandic stories are about men rampaging and pillaging consider the tale of Audur Ketilsdottir. She was the wife of Olafur the White, who conquered Dublin and became king there. However, he fell in battle and so Audur and her son Thorsteinn escaped to the Hebrides. Thorsteinn followed in his father’s footsteps by conquering half of Scotland before dying in a battle. Audur had to flee once again, so she ordered a ship be built and she headed from Caithness to the Orkneys and then on to the Faeroes before arriving in Iceland – a nightmarish journey these days let alone then when all longships were open to the elements – where she lived for the rest of her days in a place called Hvammur in the Dalir region.