Throughout the centuries, the land of sand and pyramids has offered up a plethora of wonders. Ancient kings have been found perfectly preserved in tombs full treasure, whilst in the modern day, businessmen such as Mohamed Mansour branch their empires across the world – something the ancient kings never quite managed.
Although buried some four thousand years ago, could it be possible that the spirits of names such as King Tut’ are toying with society in the year 2013? It sounds crazy, and ghost stories aren’t always easily believed, but this one’s pretty hard to explain!
A Living Statue!
Lately, in the buzzing city of Manchester, UK, staff of the Manchester Museum have been left baffled, as almost every day they are finding one particular relic out of place. The 10inch tall statue is kept under lock and key in a glass cabinet, among other Egyptian artifacts, but couldn’t be any more different from the rest.
Without the aid of any living being or fancy gadgets, Neb-Senu, the stone trickster rotates within its cabinet without a care of who’s watching. Its mischief has been captured on camera and is now a viral video making its way round the world’s computer screens.
The mystery hasn’t been a simple one to explain, with some of the world’s most credible scientists being forced to give up with zero results. Brian Cox (TV’s favourite Northerner) is part of the team seeking an explanation, but could it simply be a matter of good old fashioned curses?
While a rotating piece of stone may not be considered the most menacing of curses, it’s a prime example and pretty solid evidence that tombs shouldn’t be tampered with!
Curse of the Pharaohs
It is believed that anyone who disturbs an ancient Egyptian mummy in its resting place will be inflicted with a horrifying curse. Unfortunately for us, curiosity always wins. Although the curses may not (yet) include horror stories of the dead returning to life to terrorise humanity, archaeologists have previously found themselves extremely ill and at times have even died following the interruption of a tomb.
Some people would say that illness would come as no surprise after handling thousand year old corpses, and in fairness it makes sense. Bacteria that has thrived on the slowly decaying flesh of the mummies would surely leap to the first living being it finds in a millennia. This does not however explain night terrors had by the un-expecting explorers and archaeologists shortly after handling the dead.
Is it possible museum staff today suffer from such hauntings?
The legacy of Ancient Egypt has left behind a wealth of treasures, with names such as Tutankhamun, Ramses and Nefertiti taking a firm place in history. Modern Egypt has also produced great riches with people such as billionaire Mohamed Mansour entering 670 in the world’s rich list.
Aside from the monetary wealth, the country also has a historical and cultural wealth spanning across 5000 years. Egypt has one of the longest histories over any other modern state. From the first paved roads, to the first written words of civilisation, Egypt allows us to see back into humanity’s past and gain some understanding of our history including the greatest achievements and the biggest mistakes.
The Giza Necropolis is an archaeological site where the three pyramids and the largest monolith statue in the world, the Great Sphinx of Giza (also known as the Sphinx) can be found. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the eldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to remain largely intact. Ancient Egyptians buried their treasures in the pyramids as it was thought they would take them into their afterlives. Now many of the riches can be seen at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, famously housing Tutankhamun’s collection, alongside treasures, statues, jewels and mummies. Both the pyramids and museum are worth a visit for an upcoming trip to the land ‘where it all begins’.
A popular way to enjoy the sights in the soaring heat of the desert is to take a camel ride, allowing tourists to experience the local transport (although it can be a bumpy ride)! Boarding a river cruise down the River Nile is the ultimate way to relax, visit the tombs and temples, and take a trip back in time to see the local Egyptians in their rural villages, who have adopted a similar way of life to the Ancient Egyptians.
After a day out in the heat of the desert, a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea is the perfect way to cool off. Many hotels and resorts offer private beaches, so you never have to venture too far away after a long hot day.
Egypt is high on the list of places to visit for the perfect balance of sightseeing and relaxation, so waste no time in booking a trip to the land of treasure.
Bingo! Loto! Tombola! Walk into any foreign language classroom and you’ll be sure to hear these words ringing out. Bingo games are an extremely popular and effective way of teaching numbers and other basic words to people who have just started to learn a foreign language. The instant appeal and easy rules of bingo mean that it reaches out to learners of all ages, and the element of fun it introduces into the classroom can make learning numbers quicker, more interesting and more engaging.
Bingo has become such an effective tool in a language teacher’s repertoire because it deals with a lot of numbers – one of the most important things to master when it comes to learning a new language. Whether it’s the price of a bratwurst in Berlin, the number of the bus that takes you to Paris, or the speed limit on the roads of Barcelona, a basic knowledge of numbers is necessary to get around a foreign country. And they’re quite difficult to teach too, because the number phrases in foreign languages often have a very different composition to their English counterparts. For instance, the English ‘ninety-eight’ becomes far more complex in French – ‘quatre-vingt-dix-huit’ literally means ‘four twenties, ten and eight’.
Bingo is so effective at teaching these complex number phrases because it’s able to mimic the experience of hearing, comprehending and reacting to numbers quickly (as you would in a bus station or supermarket), but in a much more fun and relaxed way. It’s far easier to engage and teach children, or anyone learning a new language, with a game rather than a dry comprehension test or potentially intimidating spoken exam. In addition, playing bingo in a new language introduces an element of skill into what is usually a game of pure chance. Players who learn their numbers are more likely to find their numbers, and so more likely to get a full house – offering an extra incentive for learners to master their numbers.
And as if all of this wasn’t enough reason to try out bingo in the classroom, it’s also a simple and cost-effective way for teachers to approach the subject of numbers. Bingo cards are easy to make at home or at school, and by using counters or coins to cover numbers on a card they can be used again and again.
Bingo’s cheap, easy and loads of fun – language classrooms are sure to be echoing out with the cry of ‘bingo!’ or ‘loto!’ for a long time to come.
When my Dad heard that the Apollo Bingo hall in Blackpool was closing he told me the story of his first visit to Blackpool in 1960 with his parents and siblings. I asked him if he’d be kind enough to share the memories of his 8 year old self with us here in a special guest post:
One of my earliest memories of going on holiday was when my father packed the family into our cream Ford Anglia and took us to Blackpool, for a traditional seaside vacation. From our home in Otley, Yorkshire, we travelled up the A59 and across the border into Lancashire because father didn’t trust what there was of the M62 at that time. Despite being an engineer, he remained steadfast in his belief that family cars were not meant to travel at over 50mph. So it was the A road tour of the North for us whenever we ventured out of Leeds and its environs.
My father was a Yorkshireman through and through. We had been to Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough on holiday before, but this time at the insistence of my mother and much to the chagrin of my father, we ventured out of the county, which for me was a first.
We stayed in a seafront bed and breakfast, my mother and father in one room, my brother, sister and I in the next. By day we would charge off to the beach to build and destroy sandcastles, skim stones and chase our dog, Chauncey, around in the surf.
One afternoon after a great morning on the Ferris Wheel, Magic Mountain and other rides on the Pleasure Beach, our parents took us all to the Apollo Bingo hall. I remember being mesmerised as I walked into this grand, regal hall, a man on stage calling out numbers and rhymes before we were ushered into another room to quietly play with other children there.
The rest of my memories relating to the Apollo are hazy despite us visiting on another three occasions that week, but my mother and father certainly seemed to enjoy it. In retrospect I can probably guess with some accuracy that my father won some money, as each day after the bingo he’d treat us all to a stick of rock and a slap up dinner. Once he even bought Chauncey some sausages, and believe me that is rare for a Yorkshireman.
I remember those times fondly as Blackpool was the one place outside of Yorkshire that my father would leave the car (until he loosened up a bit in the late ‘70s) so it saddens me to hear the fate of the Apollo, however I will always treasure the memories it, and Blackpool, gave me.
Hopefully you enjoyed my dad’s reminisces of my late grandfather, please leave your thoughts and memories on Blackpool and the Apollo in the comments section below.
It’s safe to say, food is a huge part of everyone’s lives, but what one man may call a treat, another may consider a nightmare.
As you make your way around the world, whether that’s on all inclusive holidays or a cheap backpacking experience, strange food will always present its self to you. All you have to decide is whether you are adventurous enough to try the weird and wonderful delicacies of the world!
To some, foods such as black pudding and haggis seem like some kind of witches’ concoction, but be warned, there’s far stranger meals out there!
A great place to start for some of the oddest meals in the world is China. Many people will proudly say that they enjoy a good Chinese meal every once in a while, but little do they know how different the average diet in China can be.
It seems everyone has had a bad experience with a rotten egg at some point. It’s all too easy to leave one in a cupboard or fridge a little too long, and when you crack it, it’s the wrong colour. In China, eggs are specifically fermented for months in a mixture of clay, ash and lime, and eaten once they are discoloured and the yokes are green. Century eggs (as they are known) are extremely popular despite their off-putting smell and appearance.
Other strange delicacies in China include Tuna eyeballs, and birds nest soup, which gets its distinctive texture and taste from bird’s saliva!
Goat’s Head and Tentacles
China isn’t the only place in the world with strange food. In South Africa, it wouldn’t be seen as strange for a family to sit down and enjoy a lovely hot, steaming goat’s head. Goat’s head is usually boiled with onions, garlic, tomato, chillies, ginger and various other ingredients.
Korea likes to take fresh food to a whole other level. We have all heard of those restaurants where you pick which unfortunate lobster you wish to eat, straight from the tank, but at least that gets killed and cooked. Sannakji is a dish not designed for the squeamish. Sannakji is basically live octopus, served with little seasoning as it attempts to wriggle from your dish. Even when the dish comes readily chopped, the tentacles often still move across your plate and are still very much alive!
Some dishes can sound completely harmless when you simply look at their name on the menu, but some dishes should be approached with caution! Balut doesn’t sound too traumatising when you read it from a menu somewhere in the Philippines, until you are served with a half developed chick still in its egg. Prairie oysters neither look nor sound like a bad dish. When deep fried, they look crispy and delicious, until you find out they are bull’s testicles!
Snow blizzards causes all inclusive holidays to be postponed in the U.K
Brits were found helpless and were forced to postpone those eagerly anticipated all inclusive holidays as snow crippled the roads and skies!
Over the course of a week, the UK seen a very sudden dip in temperatures. Snow blew over the majority of the country and the cities and towns were sprinkled with that pure, winter look. The trees were white topped, the fields seemed light and soft and the world just looked a cleaner place in general.
While the world may have looked a more pleasant place to live, many Brits found themselves frustrated and helpless!
The inconveniences of snow out-weigh the pros by far! The world suddenly seems to grind to a stand-still, for even the lightest of snow storms. Shops were emptied as many people panic bought, and companies were forced to close whilst their staff claimed to be ‘trapped’ in their homes (no doubt with a nice cup of tea and enough food to last months).
Yes, Snow has negative effects on many aspects of everyday life, but the main one is travel. Not only did commuters struggle to drive on the slippery roads, but aircraft and trains also became helpless.
Airports around the UK seen closure, or at least delays as the runways were blanketed with thick snow. As is easy to imagine, this angered people in and outside the UK, and delayed thousands of eager travellers. Unfortunately there is very little anyone can do about the weather, and it didn’t seem to change in much of a hurry.
The UK seen the next phase of this terrible weather, when the snow melted, or at least hardened and turned to ice. That is where the real danger lies and drivers have to worry about travelling. Black ice is always a problem after significant snow fall, and with the weather being so cold, it was guaranteed!
Off the road, the snow affected people who didn’t even need to travel. Sports events around the country, major and the not so important had to postpone their games and matches because the conditions were just too bad. As amusing as it would have been to watch a load of football players running around in the snow, the risks were just too high, and fans were forced to wait.
Many of these inconveniences only made some people happier however. It’s not hard to remember just how exciting snow was as a child, and that magic still exists. More than 2000 schools across the country had to close, meaning children were been given the perfect opportunity to have that well awaited fun in the snow.
If most people were to make a list of things they least want to see at 30,000 feet, sure enough snakes would most probably get a mention. And that is exactly what caught the attention of passengers on a recent flight.
Ten feet of snake caught the eyes of many on a passenger jet, but fear was as distant as the ground! Only sympathy was felt for the poor snake that was believed to have tried to seek refuge in the landing bay, before finding itself fighting for its life on the wing.
The snake that wanted cheap holidays was a scrub python, also known as an amethystine python, and is believed to be the longest snake in Australia. Specimens of scrub pythons have reportedly been measured at an astounding eight and a half meters! Although they may be big and scary, the passengers sharing the flight with the python had very little to worry about as it is a non-venomous snake, and obviously couldn’t harm them from outside the plane.
Passengers found themselves fascinated with the snakes fight for survival, and many recorded the ordeal with their mobile phones. Pictures and videos show the snake flapping frantically in the wind as it tries desperately to crawl its way back into the cavity from which it came however its attempts failed.
Snake looking for cheap holidays by clinging onto plane wing
Apparently, in-flight entertainment was not necessary during this trip, as for the whole hour and fifty minutes the snake kept flyers faces pressed to the windows. It seems that what people failed to realise, is that this individual snake could have been a distraction, whilst its family slowly crept to devour the weak and weary travellers. Or perhaps we have all watched one too many horror films!
Not all of the passengers were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the snake though. Many of the passengers towards the front of the plane were oblivious to the drama that was unravelling at the rear of the jet.
An Unfortunate End.
The 10ft snake fought for its life the whole journey. It managed to hold onto the plane whilst riding 250mph winds and endured way below freezing temperatures. Clearly the snake would have been under so much stress, it is truly amazing it made it to Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately though, the snake was found dead upon arrival. The speeding winds had repeatedly beat the snakes head off the engine, which by the end of the flight was covered in blood.
Whether it’s taking more all-inclusive holidays, or simply keeping track of your spending, there’s sure to be something you want to change or do differently in 2013. As the world dives into a new and exciting year, the same resolutions as from the previous years make appearances yet again, almost guaranteeing failure and disappointment for everyone. Making even the slight change can apparently make a big difference for those wanting to get a break away from home this year.
All inclusive holidays with a difference for your new years resolution!
Clichéd resolutions are a sure way to achieve nothing in the New Year, because lets face it, who really follows them? Ones such as losing weight and saving money are heard all too often, and it seems are far too difficult to stick to. Other unrealistic resolutions include:
- Getting into shape.
- Quitting those ever tempting death sticks. (cigarettes)
- Clearing all debts and having a clean slate.
- Making great friends with your liver, and stop abusing it with alcohol!
- Finding a better job.
Perhaps instead of aiming to drastically change our lives overnight, we should start with making slight changes to our daily routine and habits. Rather than expecting a perfect beach body to just appear overnight, or even forcing yourself to the gym on a nightly basis, why not just dedicate half an hour per night to light work outs and exercise.
The same goes with quitting your addictions. It is much easier if you just set yourself limits, and reduce your intakes. Just doing that will do you a world of good, and this is far more achievable.
For the super cool, and slightly more rebellious of you out there, the usual resolutions just aren’t good enough. If you’re one of the people that lives a debt free life, has a body like a temple and has the job of your dreams, you may be finding it difficult to think of a resolution, but worry not, we have thought of a few for you.
- Learn to skateboard
- Build a full sized boat, from matchsticks.
- Publish a graphic novel, complete with artwork.
- Become a crime fighting masked vigilante when night falls. (This may actually be against the law where you live, so please check first!)
- Sell your house and live as one with nature.
- Get a new tattoo every week.
- Learn to shave with a cut throat razor.
- Become a master in 5 different types of martial arts.
These are only a few of the crazy things you could hope to achieve by 2014. If you have any more crazy ideas you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
All Inclusive Holidays to Dubai
Over the last decade Dubai has become somewhat a city of gods. With all inclusive holidays to Dubai becoming as popular if not more so than anywhere else, it’s no wonder their economy is booming. Tourists from all around the world flood to Dubai to experience what it feels like to be royalty, even if only for a week.
The special treatment is nothing exclusive once you’re in Dubai, in fact you’ll struggle to find anywhere that has low enough standards to let you feel remotely unimportant. Whether you stay in an affordable modest little hotel, or the Burj al Arab, which labels itself the only seven star hotel in the world, your stay is sure to be memorable for all the right reasons.
Dubai has an astounding array of architecture on display, which is impossible to avoid. Skyscrapers pierce into the humid Dubai sky and create a skyline that rivals that of New York. One particular skyscraper stands taller than the others. In fact, it stands taller than any other skyscraper in the world, this being the Burj Khalifa, which is eight hundred and twenty nine meters tall. As well as the spectacular works of metal and glass that tower high into the sky, why not visit the columns of water that frequently climb up to five hundred feet into the air as the Dubai fountains display an elegant show of technology and power to the rhythm of a beat. A more modest example of Dubai architecture, but far from dull, is The Grand Mosque. The Grand Mosque is a majestic piece of architecture which draws a lot of attention not only from religious folk, but tourists just wanting to gaze upon one of the many amazing landmarks of Dubai.
If Dubai already sounds great to you, just wait ‘till you here this! Dubai is also home to the biggest shopping mall in the world! The Dubai Mall has one thousand and two hundred shops beneath its roof, which makes it the ultimate shopping experience. Imagine a shopping mall you could visit day after day, each time discovering somewhere new! Stop for some fine dining in one of the many food outlets within the mall, before commencing the next stage of your day of shopping. Inside the mall you are sure to come across the Dubai Aquarium. The world’s largest acrylic panel gives you better views than any other aquarium, right in the heart of the Dubai shopping Mall. That makes carrying those shopping bags that little bit more fun!