I was to find that in Warsaw apartments i had enough space to could move about with near-total freedom, and largely so in the old town apartments Krakow. In Romania, which regiments its citizens more than most of the other Eastern European countries, it was difficult to wander off the established tourist track. This was also true to some extent in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia’s biggest city on the Danube. Even Prague city breaks required several requests to pleasant but cautious officials. But once I had penetrated the numerous bureaucratic layers, I found Eastern Europeans invariably hospitable.
In Bratislava you can dine on caviar in a good hotel or go outside and see housewives standing in line to buy sausage. Signs hail the Communist Party while Gypsy musicians play American pop. Atop a high hill—a spur of the Little Carpathians—the earth holds the remains of 6,845 Soviet soldiers. A great marble shaft honors them for liberating Bratislava from the Nazis in 1945. There are always red flowers on the graves—geraniums, roses, or poinsettias. The effect of flowers, stone, and bronze, and of the history they convey, is powerful indeed.
Bratislava‘s skyline is singed by the gas flares of a sprawling petrochemical complex, and Danube fishermen sometimes complain that their catch has an oily taste. “Many of us are worried about pollution,” said a man I met by the river. He voiced a frustration I have heard at home: “The big industries are more powerful than we are.”
I wanted to tour the Slovnaft refinery but got only as far as the office of engineer Juraj Kuka, whose job is environmental protection. “We are strict,” he insisted. “After all, we also use the Danube for drinking.” The river arrives polluted from Austria and Germany, he reminded me, though he conceded that after it passes Slovnaft it is 18 percent dirtier. To house 360,000 people, a population that has more than doubled in three decades, Bratislava is flinging up apartments at the rate of 5,000 a year. I had no appointment to visit one, but with my guide’s doubtful aquiescence I knocked unannounced at a door.
Vendelin Trepak was at the TV absorbed in a game of ice hockey—Czechoslovakia versus the Soviet Union. My visit startled him, but with good grace he made me welcome. Mrs. TrepR showed me through the tidy three-bedroom flat. The room of one of the three daughters was decorated with pictures of musicians, including John Lennon. The kitchen held two small refrigerators. We sat down and the couple explained that they both worked, he as a manager of an apprentice program for a dressmaking enterprise, she as a trainer of seamstresses. “This apartment is very reasonable,” she said. “We made a small down payment and pay 293 crowns a month” (about $30 U. S.).
Mr. Trepan eye had returned to the TV. “Goal!” he shouted as Czechoslovakia scored. It made me think of Sundays at home. Downstream from Bratislava the Slovakian countryside spreads out a billiard-table after a time we began to buy machines and live better.”
Tourism and sightseeing are common in this district, and in the town of Phyongyang I have noticed the use of caustic lime in the streets as a disinfectant. The iron produced at YOngpyOn, fifty miles to the northward of the Split accommodation, which is reduced in the native way with charcoal, is remarkable for its malleability and purity. In as much as all these deposits are of very great extent and lie near the sea coast, and in proximity to waters easily navigable by larger craft, it may be assumed as probable that the time will soon arrive when the iron of Korea will largely supply the ship-yards and machine shops of northern China. Silver is found in at least four localities ; copper is worked in paying quantities in two ; galena is widely distributed; and zincblende has been found near the capital. Sulphur is said to occur in Kyong-sang-do ; no ore of mercury is known to the Koreans, who import their supplies of the metal and its preparations from China.
At the time of the opening of Korea by treaty, 1870-80, an impression seems to have prevailed quite generally that the country was extremely rich in gold, that great quantities of the precious metals were soon to be exported, or that mines of great richness would be found and worked – http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Rare-Earth-Metals-North-Korea-New-Trump-Card.phpd. The years that have elapsed since this date have partly served to prove the fallacy of these assumptions, yet the doubt is not yet fully removed. Gold is now known to occur in many places in moderate quantities : in alluvial deposits, from which it may be washed by simple mechanical process, and in quartz veins, from which it is extracted in small quantities by crude and laborious methods of rock-pulverizing and washing. A small constant demand for the metal has always existed, for jewelry and gilding—the latter quite a common decorative process, which up to the present seems to have required the use of pure gold even for the crudest applications. The mines remain for the greater part unworked, however, for three reasons : (1) the native dislike for altering the geomantic conditions of any locality by digging holes in the ground ; (2) the laws forbidding the search for the metal, for gold mining in Korea is a government monopoly ; (3) the inability of the peasants to find a market for the gold that they surreptitiously work. There has always existed a chance of disposing of it by crossing the border into China, and there has probably long been a small steady export in this way ; and a port has been opened near the capital where reside Chinese and Japanese merchants who must find a way of converting the Korean copper cash into some medium of exchange easily negotiable abroad, and who for this purpose have been known to purchase gold from the Koreans at a considerable premium. I have examined a number of specimens of Korean gold which had been brought to Che-mul-po and had passed into the hands of foreign merchants there. In several cases I found small pieces of quartz clinging to fiat laminated grains of the metal of considerable size.
In answer to inquiries that I made from time to time during a residence of more than a year in b&b dublin I was told by the Irish of a number of localities where gold was supposed to be abundant. I have endeavoured to show these collectively upon a small map (Fig. III) giving the Korean names of the towns and districts with their English equivalents and the names of the provinces of the kingdom in which the places are situated. I was told repeatedly that the metal was most plentiful at Tanchhon, in the Ham-kiung province. Concerning this locality our Korean geographer says, “at Ma-un, west of Tan-chhon, much gold is found. The mountains there are lofty and precipitous.”
Believe it or not, the freedom of the ocean waves on a five star holiday doesn’t have to be limited to a luxury cruise liner. If you love the exhilaration of being at sea but prefer a little more privacy and flexibility then a luxury yacht charter holiday could be the perfect option for you.
To Crew or Not to Crew?
If you have experience skippering a yacht then the idea of a week or two at sea probably doesn’t faze you. If you don’t have any previous experience by this point you may have decided that this kind of holiday is completely beyond reality. Fortunately this is not the case so do read on. Charter companies these days often offer several options to cater for all variety of prior knowledge. If you have never skippered a boat, perhaps barely set foot on one, it isn’t a problem. Crewed yacht charters are the way to go. By chartering your own crew and yacht you are giving yourself the ultimate in five star treatment. You’ll have the freedom to explore coves, islands and oceans under the care of a highly skilled crew which usually also includes a chef. With all your needs taken care of, you’ll just need to concentrate on enjoying yourself and holidays don’t come much better than that. If you are an experienced sailor and enjoy the excitement of setting your own pace and itinerary then opt for a bareboat charter, which in many cases is the equivalent of hiring an Aston Martin for a week or two. The luxury of a five star yacht, the freedom of the open oceans without the pressure of year round ownership.
Many people who enjoy time at sea may not have considered yacht charters before. The idea of having a luxury yacht floating gently on its moorings, complete with crew can sound like an expense that is for the likes of Hollywood stars and footballers. So many of us though would consider a trip on a luxury cruise liner a treat, but within reach. Chartering your own yacht through a specialist company, whether crewed or not, when considering cost per traveller usually works out a similar cost to that of a cruise. Considering the added benefits of exclusivity and flexibility that will certainly appeal to some travellers, this kind of cost begins to appear more reasonable.
The beauty of a yacht charter is of course the ability to dictate much of your own itinerary. You’ll need to start from a primary base though. Specialist companies usually have several bases across the world in key popular sailing locations. These may include destinations such as Caribbean and the Far East as well as closer to home in the Mediterranean. If you do lack international sailing experience, do work with experts to develop an itinerary that will suit your level of ability and confidence.
Though you may not have considered a yacht charter previously, they offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the oceans at your leisure. In a nutshell, the world could be your oyster.
Claire Humphries is a travel writer and experienced sailor. She has her own modest boat and moorings. Claire has chartered several yachts in her lifetime including for her father’s sixty-fifth birthday last year.
AVERAGE occupancies at five star ‘hotels in Manila were down slightly during the first part of this year compared with 1980.
The city’s 14 deluxe hotels with a total of 6,523 rooms (just over 60 per cent of Manila’s capacity) had an average occupancy of 68.03 per cent compared with 72.9 per cent last year. Four star hotels, which constitue 12 per cent of available rooms in Manila, had an average occupancy of 55.37 per cent a decrease of 5.23 per cent, and three star hotels (which make up 13 per cent of rooms available) 66.71 per cent occupancy — a drop of 6.98 per cent from last year.
Hotel occupancy rates have risen 20 per cent in the last year, but with yet another hotel about to open, competition will continue to be fierce.
THE $75 MILLION Bahrain Sheraton will be opened on October 1 by a manager who is more optimistic about its success now than he was a year ago when the hotel should have opened. General manager Carlo Perocchini moved into his hotel office at the end of August, just as the finishing touches were being made to the building.
He commented: “On any project of this size there will be problems which cause delays. And, inevitably, when there is a delay it is a major one because of the sheer size of the project.
“But I do not think the delay in the opening will be a major obstacle to the hotel’s success. I am now more confident than ever that we will make an impact on the hotel scene here.
“We have noticed an increase in the number of hotel rooms sold in Bahrain over the past year. The fairly significant increase of about 20 per cent points to an upward trend in the industry.”
Mr Perocchini said factors which could bring a further increase in demand for hotel rooms included the causeway project, a continued series of conferences and exhibitions and moves towards boosting tourism.
Mr Perocchini was unable to say to what extent his hotel was likely to benefit from these developments.
“But next year I expect to have an average occupancy of 45 to 50 per cent,” he said.
Mr Perocchini felt that the development of tourism in Bahrain may well be one of the biggest advantages for hoteliers, and he commended the government’s moves to boost tourism.
He said: “The government must do the groundwork, and then the hoteliers can step in to do their share by promoting Bahrain.
He thought the most natural advantage for the island would be in creating a good duty-free shopping area and also in turning Bahrain from a transit point to a stopover.
The head of state is the Amir H.H. Sheikh Isa bin Sulman al-Khalifa. He governs the country with a cabinet of appointed ministers. The Crown Prince, H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, is also Minister of Defence.
Arabic is the offical language of the country. English is widely spoken in most parts of the state.
Bahrain is a Muslim state but there are Christian, Bahai, Hindu and Parsee minorities who have, their own places of worship.
Regulations for Entry
Citizens of the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates do not require entry visas. Other nationals must obtain a visa from their nearest Bahrain Embassy. Transit visas for 72 hours can be obtained at the airport provided onward reservations are held and such visas can be extended.
Vaccination against smallpox is required and visitors arriving from infected areas should have yellow fever innoculations. TAB is recommended but not required.
With no currency restriction any amount of any currency may be freely imported cir exported. A duty free allowance of 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, half a pound of tabacco and eight ounces of perfume is permitted. For non-Muslims a reasonable quantity of spirits are allowed. Personal effects and trade samples are also duty free. It is forbidden to import pearls produced outside the Gulf, arms and ammunitions, and goods black listed by the Arab League Boycott office.
be produced for endorsement by the traffic licensing department in the police fort. There are two grades of petrol. Traffic keeps to the right.
TAXIS AND BUSES
There are private cars. taxis, service taxi and bus network covering all islands. A taxi from the airport to central Manama costs BD 2.000. Authorised taxi fares in the city and inner suburbs range from 400 to 700 fils. It is recommended to be firm with the taxi drivers and to agree the fare before setting off.
Bahrain has a good bus service to most parts of the island, with fares of only 25 or 50 fils.
ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD
Hotel accommodation is readily available in Bahrain. Most of the hotels have their own restaurants serving all kinds of food including Arabian, European, Indian, Chinese, Russian and American meals.
If a service charge is not included in a hotel or a restaurant bill a tip of 10% should be given. Airport porters should be paid 100 fils per bag, and there is no need to tip taxi drivers.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
In the heat of summer June to September, the weather is very hot and humid. Light weight clothing is necessary. Sports clothes may be worn in the streets and short dresses are acceptable. From December to March the weather is much cooler particularly in the evenings. Medium weight clothing is adequate and sometimes a sweater may be needed in this season.
Places to visit
Archaelogically, Bahrain is extremely interesting. In the late pre-historic period Bahrain, known as Dilmun, was inhabitated by people who traded with the Babylonians and the Sumerians. The most spectacular remains from this period are the Bronze Age temples at Barbar dating back about third millenium. There is also the sixteenth century Portuguese Fort built about five thousand year ago.
There is also the excellent museum in Arab Fort on Muharraq island where the most important artifacts excavated are on display. Besides, there are remains of the Islamic period among which the oldest is the Suq-al Khamis Mosque, with tall twin minarets, dating from the mid-eleventh century.
Architecturally, Muharraq island, capital of Bahrain before Manama, is quite attractive with narrow streets, court yards and suq-type shops. The government has purchased the Saidi building, a fine example of Muharraq architecture, for preservation.
The village of A’ali is famous for its pottery and kilns can be seen smoking from far away. Some are actually situated in the burial mounds itself. Red clay is shaped into traditional pots, bowls, water jars and dishes.
Also worth a visit is the Adhari pool, a popular place for swimming and dining, with camels grazing nearby. On Fridays in the season, horse and camel races takes place near West Rifaa.
The wildlife of Bahrain has been thoroughly preserved. The flourishing Bahraini Natural History
Society provides interesting and scholarly information of Bahrain’s rich wildlife particularly the bird and marine life. There is the Al-Areen wildlife sanctuary. where native and introduced species are protected and where the fauna of Bahrain is better preserved than elsewhere.
Bahrain has some attractive suqs where handicrafts items from oriental countries are well displayed. Jewellery is often locally made and gold items are among the best buys.
The famous landmark in Bahrain is probably the Bab Al-Bahrain, a monumental gateway, built some 30 years ago.
THIS, Mr Chisholm’s third book about places suitable for retirement rather than London apartments short stay, was written in response to correspondents who had read the earlier ones and asked for more. It is, he says, ‘purely devoted to the business of settling or wintering abroad’.
Being a sensible man, erudite, humorous and conscious of the physical handicaps of advancing age, his analyses of what is desirable and the best means of attaining it are sound, wise, and often entertaining. His three criteria in choosing areas are (1) a relatively warm climate; (2) a reasonably low cost of living; (3) a familiar or not-too difficult-to-learn language. Such considerations led him to concentrate his search on Andalusia, the Channel Islands, the eastern Riviera and Languedoc, Venice weekend breaks, the Canary Islands, weekend breaks Madrid and Portugal. Customs charges, relief claimable on income tax, the amount of sterling that may be taken, travel means and costs, statistics of temperature and precipitation throughout the twelve months of the year—all are remembered.
Mr Chisholm invariably describes his own experience of each ‘paradise’, and in doing so proves, perhaps unintentionally, how perfectly fitted he is himself to get the best out of life, even retired life. See, for instance, how he writes of Beziers in Languedoc: ‘Two glories of French culture are the theatre and the bookshop. Beziers has both. Facing the top of the Allees is a fine eighteenth-century theatre and next to it is a bookshop among a thousand. Having missed a performance of Giraudoux’s delicate fantasy about the water sprite, Ondine, I was at least able to buy a copy of the play and read it. A. dozen other plays were promised by two distinguished companies. One was from the Comedic Francaise itself . . . Lucky Beziers!’ Knowing that ‘cultural attractions are not everybody’s cup of tea’, he is equally concerned to give up-to-date information about other occupations and amusements, particularly about just sitting in the sun, and about material comforts and the price that has to be paid for them. He evokes the atmosphere prevailing in town and country places, and in their restaurants and cafés, encouraging and forewarning those who hesitate to commit themselves to a long stay or a life’s residence abroad. Awarding marks for the things he personally finds important in choosing a place to live in he suggests his readers should do likewise, balancing their own tastes against the amenities and conditions he has noted, and the pros and cons of living in hotels, rented houses or flats.
A BOOK OF AUSTRALIA – THIS new addition to Collins’s series of National Anthologies is introduced by Professor Moore, Associate Professor of Australian Literature at the Australian National University, who points out that it is not ‘a literary anthology, although it includes most of our leading authors. Rather, it attempts to give a representative picture of Australia . . . and the national ways of life and thought.’ He calls attention to the short span of time covered by ‘Australian creative literature as a national form of expression’ and to the paradox that though Australia ‘is the most highly urbanized country in the world’ a characteristic of its literature is ‘dominance by the Bush’. Only in the last decade, apparently, has the balance veered towards urban and industrial subjects.
Among world-famous authors drawn upon in his collection of verse and prose are Lindsay Gordon, with two poems, and Rolf Boldrewood with an extract from his classic Robbery Under Arms. There are three extracts from D. H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo.
The work of young Australian authors, as yet comparatively unknown outside their own country, covers a variety of subjects and moods. There are lively stories of drovers and the old pioneering days in the Bush, of explorers and miners, and the men who fought in both world wars. History, economics, agriculture and the effect upon the country of modern science are touched on, as are sport, and the struggles and romances of everyday life at a personal level. On the question of literary style one of these authors is quoted on what he calls ‘the linguistic currency of Australia’ which, as he says, reminds Australians that in spite of English and American influences they have an identity of their own and that ‘the spirit of linguistic rebellion runs deep’. The illustrations support the text in giving a fair impression of landscapes and human activities and aspirations. The book is small and compact, with an inviting coloured jacket that augurs brightness within.
New Ways through the Glens – A. R. B. HALDANE DLitt. A fascinating new work by the author of Drove Roads of Scotland—a history of Highland roads from the time when civilian roads were being built to replace the military roads of General Wade. This is a book which will appeal to the walker, the motorist and the lover of the Highland scene. Contemporary prints of the Highlands and a map of 1828 are reproduced. Colour frontispiece, 16 halftone plates and 1 tip-in map.
The Northern Isles – F. T. WAINWRIGHT This book provides a synthesis of the material from prehistoric times, and proposes new answers to such problems as Pictish Origins, the broch builders and many others. Many line drawings and halftones. Nelson’s Studies in History and Archaeology.