Doing a bit of Travelling Here and There – Part Four – Limassol Library

Well, it’s the final part of my travelling adventures around the World..Europe…few European cities. This week it’s my trip to Cyprus’ second largest city, Limassol. 

Arriving in the early hours of Monday morning you’d think it was off to bed, but instead there was a quick unpack and off to explore the city whilst having a beverage or two to shake off the jet leg. 

The one thing that I noticed on the first day was how deserted the city was. There were stretches of roads and land with little to no people occupying them. There were a number of derelict buildings that had broken bricks and smashed windows. It was a clear sign of how the recession has hit the country and how much debt they truly are in.  This was quite a sad feeling considering that not long ago the city was a thriving tourist hotspot with it now struggling to attract people and investment.  

Most of the days involved chilling by the pool and going out in the evenings. However, Limassol at night is a quiet as a library…many of the pubs and bars in the area didn’t really have many people in them which is surprising again given its tourism reputation. 

This meant that to go to a bar that had a bit of atmosphere we had to go out of the city to other places in Cyprus. This wasn’t ideal, but nice to explore some other areas in Cyprus apart from the one we were staying in. 

It wasn’t all relaxing by the pool, we did have an ‘adventure day’ that entailed a buggy ride, paintballing, go-karting and archery. I personally loved the buggy rides around the city’s hills and mountains, with such breathtaking views, it was an incredible experience. I also found a new potential hobby in archery, very enjoyable and a great test of your concentration and accuracy skills. 

Here’s a picture of the buggy rides. 

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A country’s tourism and holiday rating for me is usually based on the national beer and food…and unfortunately the beer was dis.gus.ting.  There wasn’t really any typical Cyprian food, although there were some great chicken based dishes! 

As you can expect the weather was hot hot hot with temperatures during the day never getting below the 35 degree mark. The air conditioning unit in our room was a life saver and ensured we actually got some sleep.

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The views across the seas and beaches were beautiful especially with the clear blue skies. 

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And here’s the view from our room…delightful.

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Overall my camera was quite redundant on many of the Cyprian trips mainly because there are only so many pics you can take of the same view or of the pool. But it was great to experience the Cyprian culture even if the area was quiet. 

And that’s my final instalment of my summer travelling. It was an outstanding summer visiting the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Cyprus, four places I’d not been to previously. What a summer it was! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed my travelling blog posts and please feel free to comment 🙂

 

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Doing a bit of Travelling Here and There – Part Two – Frying in Freiburg

Now it’s time for part two of my holiday adventures, and this blog is going to concentrate on my week-long trip to Freiburg in Germany.

The main purpose of the trip was to go and see my friend who goes to Freiburg University and who’ve I’ve known for about six years.

Over the week I engaged in many fun expeditions. The first of which was a nice tour around the city to get to grips with the local area, restaurants, bars and shops that I’d be visiting over the week of my trip. The city centre is one of incredible heritage and historical buildings with a modern tram system running through the city.

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(Freiburg City Centre)

The second day of my trip entailed going on a long hike up Freiburg’s many forests and green areas. This was a great way to see the city, and as you can see the view was simply stunning! Perfect photo opportunity!

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(Freiburg!)

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After a long day of hiking it was off for a BBQ Freiburg style at one of my friends’ friend’s house. This included A LOT of beer and lots of delicious sausages. Could you ask for anymore than that?!

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(The view of the lake from our BBQ)

After a late night the next day was once again more of a look around the local area…before the big event of the evening. At night hundreds of students descend on the city centre in one particular area… to drink! It was amazing seeing students just sitting on the floor in groups and drinking on a warm July evening. What made the experience even more thrilling was getting to drink some beautiful German beer out of an oversized bottle. You can buy the large bottle for something like €30-€35, and whenever you want it filled up it will cost you €5! That’s right you read it right, just €5 euros for like a million pints of fine local beer.

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(Lots of students congregate on the city centre)

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(HUGE BEER BOTTLE)

After another pretty late night (bit of theme occurring here isn’t there?!), it was off on the train and bus to Germany’s biggest amusement park and the second biggest in Europe, EUROPA-PARK. This is split by country, so naturally the first area I went to was England, or Britain in this case. With rides everywhere you look (and nice long queues too) it was the perfect place if you’re a thrill seeker for that sudden minutes rush on a fast rollercoaster. There were so many of them! Ones that were made entirely of wood (pretty scary), ones that were inside and in total darkness (pretty scary…again) and massive ones outside (very scary!) I managed to go on the second largest one in the park, with my head down and eyes closed for the entire ride.

And here is that monster rollercoaster

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 (Monster rollercoaster)        

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(Wooden rollercoaster..scary!)

There were more relaxing rides, and the occasional water based one where you got a good socking which was very appreciated in the mid 30 degree heat!

It’s pretty knackering going on these rides especially in such warm weather so it was nice to get back and…sleep!

One of my favourite moments of the trip came on the Saturday when I got to go to a football match. The game was a pre-season friendly between Freiburg and Athletic Bilbao. The whole day was a family fun day so there loads of food stands and competitions for children and their families to participate in.

The game itself however was a boring 0-0 draw. This was expected considering it was a pre-season friendly, but more so because it was one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures peaking at 38 degrees with it being considerably hotter on the pitch. This meant that the players had to take a drinks break every ten minutes which naturally slowed the game down. Despite the game being uneventful there was a superb atmosphere within the ground and it was great to get a sense of a typical German style crowd and the kind of support and songs that go on there

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(The ticket)

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 (Great atmosphere within the ground)

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 (The game)

The rest of my time in Freiburg was a mix of more sightseeing, drinking in bars and eating fine German cuisine. Overall the trip was incredible. Freiburg is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cites I’ve ever been too, and many of the people I spoke to consider it to be one of the best in Germany. With awesome food, very hot weather and probably the best beer in the world I’ve tasted, Ganter Beer, it was one of my favourite holidays ever. I’d definitely recommend it!

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment 🙂

Next time it’s my one stop tour of Basel!

More Pics

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(Ganter Beer…incredibly delicious)

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(Beer from the huge bottle brewed onsite)

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(Another great view)

Doing a bit of Travelling Here and There – Part One – Czeching out Prague

(Disclaimer: Not related to digital, marketing or business) 

Well it’s been 85 days since I last wrote a blog post, and this blog is going to explain why that’s the case. To cut a long story short it’s because I’ve been on a few holidays…and here’s some details on those holidays! So you could say this is a kind of travel review blog post. So let’s go with the first of these holidays, Prague!

So to begin my holiday adventures it was off for a weekend trip to the capital of the Czech Republic…which I didn’t realise a few days before I went doesn’t use the Euro, but the Czech koruna. A quick flight from Luton Airport on the Friday night and I was in Prague…and didn’t get to bed until 2am…and was up again at 7am for a long day of exploring.

The Saturday was a day of walking round the beautiful city which included a river boat cruise and visiting the numerous public houses and food establishments around the city. Though let’s just say the Czech’s aren’t known for their culinary delights…

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The famous Charles Bridge whilst on the river boat cruise.

After the cruise we took the Metro and did some more walking and found an Army Museum, that included many military displays and equipment…like this tank!

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A very fascinating museum to learn about some of the army history within Prague and the Czech Republic.

Lots of great photo opportunities here, my personal favourite was this one overlooking the city.

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The Sunday was dedicated to the ZOO! A great chance to see the best of Prague’s animals.

My personal favourites were these guys, Prairie dogs. Very cute and funny.

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After a day at the Zoo it was back to the airport for a flight to Luton! Overall it was a fantastic way to spend a weekend, and I would definitely recommend visiting the city. Lovely historical buildings, nice beer and beautiful views.

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Thanks for reading 🙂 Next time it’s Freiburg!

When in London…Visit The Apprentice House!

To continue with the theme of Apprentice blogs on Wednesdays, I will now tell you about the tale of when I went to see The Apprentice house that’s being used for this current series.

It was Friday morning, and I was pretty bored…so I decided to go on a spontaneous trip to London for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I got a Travelcard which meant the world was my oyster, even though I don’t own an Oyster Card (pun intended), so it was my golden ticket around London!

I decided to travel to London Blackfriars via London Bridge to have a nice look around the station which has been redevleoped over the past few years (still work in progress though). Then it was off on a random walk around London without any pre-planning on where I will go, just walking and walking and walking. So in my random walking to nowhere in particular I ended up in Farringdon, then kept walking straight and suddenly I was in Holborn. I’d read a few days ago that The Apprentice house for this current series was in Holborn, so my mission was to track it down!!!

I looked up and found the address, 6 Lincoln’s Inn Field (house valued at over £9.5 million!) and off I went!

And here’s a pic of the house!

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It certainly is a luxurious place to live, the BBC has splashed out this year! Incredible to think that all of this years candidates were living in there, arguing in there and discussing tasks in there back in the Autumn of 2012!

Enjoy The Apprentice tonight! I went to The Apprentice: You’re Fired again on Monday (1st July) so I already know who gets fired tonight….!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment 🙂

My Trip to see The Apprentice: You’re Fired

(An article about how Series 9 Episode 2 of The Apprentice: You’re Fired was recorded. Warning: contains spoilers)

To continue the theme of my Apprentice blogs on a Wednesday I will now answer the question that I’m sure many Apprentice fans have been asking…’I wonder how they film The Apprentice: You’re Fired?’. Well fear not, this blog will hopefully answer that huge question!

As previously mentioned I’m a MASSIVE Apprentice fan so every year since The Apprentice: You’re Fired began I’ve applied to be on the waiting list to be in the audience of the show…and this year I finally got through!

My tickets were to see the second episode in the series, the task where the candidates had to create a flavoured beer.

The Apprentice: You’re Fired is filmed in the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, and I recommend that if you go get there early as the queue to get in is very long! Although you have your ticket and they have your name on the list, it’s still good to get to the front of the queue to get a good seat.

I walked into the famous studio with The Apprentice boardroom music playing in the background which only increased the excitement! Whilst walking in you’re handed The Apprentice You’re Fired/Hired cards…one of the most important parts of the show!

The floor manager then comes on and rallies the audience by getting us to practice our clapping for when Dara Ó Briain and the candidate come on. He then introduces us to the cameras and warns us not to use our phones or else we’ll be asked to leave!

We then watch the entire episode in the studio on one of the numerous TV screens…although Dara Ó Briain and the panel on You’re Fired aren’t watching it with us unfortunately. Once the episode is finished the floor manager returns to remind us that we can’t tell anyone the result of who got fired as this would ruin the surprise!

There’s then a small break whilst the TV screens on the stage are taken away and the cameras wheeled in…then the main man of the show, Dara Ó Briain, is introduced to the audience to cheers and claps! Dara talks to the audience and makes us laugh before the You’re Fired panel come onto the stage. The three panellists for this particular episode were comedian Ed Byrne, broadcaster Sara Cox and co-founder of Brew Dog, James Watt.

The camera checks are done and the floor manager reminds us to be nice to the fired candidate who’s likely to be very nervous so give him a good reception! Then ACTION! We’re off and running the cameras are rolling! The fired candidate Tim Stillwell comes out to a great reception (probably because he was such a nice guy) which I’m sure relaxed him!

Then the show is filmed in full until the big moment for the audience comes as we’re asked whether Lord Sugar was right or wrong to fire the candidate. Hold up ‘You’re Fired’ if you think he was right or hold up ‘You’re Hired’ if you think he was wrong. I held up You’re Hired as I thought Lord Sugar got it wrong…and so did most of the audience!

The filming of the programme went on for about 45-50 minutes which meant they had to cut down a far bit to get it down to the 30 minute programme. Once the recording is done the floor manager tells us that some shots need to be redone, so he tells Dara and the panel which parts of the show they need to do again…and basically say the same thing they said before! We were quite lucky as only a few bits had to be recorded again.

Once the production crew are happy with the cut we are told to leave the studio section by section. However, before we go I had to get a quick photo of me with the You’re Hired card as a memento of the day. Then we leave the studio and unfortunately have to give the card back 😦 And then that’s it, all done!

So when Wednesday came I was sitting there whilst watching The Apprentice rather smug having already known who got fired! And here’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired episode I saw…but I don’t think you can see me in it though!

Overall it was an unbelievable experience that I’ll never forget!

And you can apply for tickets on the Lost in TV website to be part of the You’re Fired audience.

Thanks for reading my blog and enjoy The Apprentice tonight!

 

The Apprentice Quick Fire(d) Q&A’s

Due to my university exams and assignments I’ve neglected my blog for sometime…however now I’m making it my mission to blog a bit more!

With The Apprentice on tonight, and because I’m a MASSIVE fan of the show, here are some quick fire or quick fired questions and answers on my views of all nine series’ of The Apprentice. Let’s go!

Favourite Ever Series: Series 3

Favourite Ever CandidatesRaef (Series 4), Ansell (Series 2), Tre (Series 3), Lee (Series 4), James (Series 5), Tom and Susan (Series 7), Gabrielle and Nick (Series 8), Tim and Jason (Series 9)

Favourite Type of Tasks: Interviews, finding items from a list, design tasks, advertising, week one selling tasks

Favourite Ever Task: Series 4 – Buying a set list of items in the marketplaces of Marrakesh, Morocco

Favourite Winner: Tom (Series 7)

Best Firing: The double firing from Series 4 of Jennifer and Jenny during the Marrakesh task

Most Useless Candidate Ever: Noorul (Series 5) Absolutely hopeless!!!

Most Annoying Candidate Ever: Helene (Series 4) Think she was horrible to everyone…

Funniest Candidates Ever: James (Series 5), Jim (Series 7), Tre (Series 3), Syed (Series 2), Paul (Series 2), Jason (Series 9)

Apprentice Candidates I’ve Seen/Spoken to: Chris (Series 6), Joy (Series 6), Tim (Series 9), Kate (Series 5), Ricky (Series 8)

I’d love to hear your answers to these, or if you have any other questions, please do comment 🙂

Enjoy The Apprentice tonight!!!

It’s not just any Café. It’s the Bridge Café from The Apprentice!

020213 102From the outside it looks like your typical café. From the inside it looks like your typical café. And, well it’s actually just a café. But, for a fan of The Apprentice, The Bridge Café is one of the landmarks that the show is known for.

For those not familiar with the Bridge Café it’s where the candidates from the losing team from the task on ‘The Apprentice’ go to contemplate and discuss why they lost the task, and what went wrong, before one of them gets FIRED!

Located in West Acton, London, near Ealing Broadway, the Café is a family run business owned by Frank Marcangelos, and last year celebrated its 50th anniversary! Frank was incredibly welcoming, great to talk to…and makes a fine cuppa! His family were there also and were extremely friendly too.

Whilst I was there Frank wasn’t that shocked by my excitement or the fact that I took quite a few photos of the inside and outside. He says that he gets it all the time…in fact when I was there three other people did the same. I spoke to him ‘briefly’ about The Apprentice, as I’m sure he gets it all the time. He did say that the current series (likely to begin in late March) had scenes filmed there between September to late November, and he did say this years candidates were ‘a nice bunch’…

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For me, this was one of the places that I had to visit being such a huge fan of The Apprentice…and it was quite surreal actually being in there, even though, it’s just a normal café.

The décor of the café isn’t that glamorous, as it looks like a regular greasy spoon café, but it was absolutely brilliant being in there and did feel rather special considering it’s an iconic Apprentice place. Also contrary to popular belief it’s filmed inside the café and not a studio!

When I was in there I thought to myself that many candidates have been in here nervously discussing what went wrong on the tasks before one of them hears the dreaded words of ‘You’re Fired’!

I couldn’t leave without buying a memento of the day! So I bought an exclusive ‘Bridge Café You’re Fired’ flask. Quite an incredible purchase!

Before we left one of the family members mentioned that the taxi ride scenes when the candidates are fired were filmed just down the road. I had to take up the chance to see this! So I went and had a quick look at the building where the candidates walk out before getting the taxi home, again feeling rather excited.

It was quite a memorable day for me…and I can’t wait for the next series of The Apprentice to start now!

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Thanks for reading my blog. If you’re an Apprentice fan or just want to comment  please feel free 🙂 Also you can follow me on Twitter @digitalstuart.

Here are some more photos!

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