If you have ever wondered how a penny managed to find its way into an impossibly small bottle then the answer lies in the city of Sunderland. Sunderland’s association with glass goes all the way back to the times of the medieval monk Benedict Biscop, who introduced glass to Britain when he hired French glaziers to put windows into his nearby newly built priory in 674 AD. Then in the 18th century the glassmaking industry boomed on the shores of the river Wear as the great shipping links brought in a large amount of good quality sand from the Baltics plus there was abundant cheap local coal. It was even the British centre of revolutionary bakeware Pyrex for over eighty years. The National Glass centre in Sunderland is not only a celebration of the area’s importance in the history of making glass but also provides a learning zone and a creative hub for artists that love to use glass.
You’ve been bitten by the bug, swept up into wanderlust and become an avid traveller. You’ve worked hard, saved up and made extra spending money to be able to indulge in your hobby. You try and get away as often as you can as a budget traveller or love to live in luxury on one big vacation. Maybe your are the kind of traveller that spends time researching and planning your trips, or enjoys the excitement and mysteries of last minute getaways. When you travel, you explore new places, learn historical facts, enjoy new foods, meet wonderful local people, take part in exhilarating activities, discover alternative viewpoints, admire beautiful vistas, engage with nature and return a wiser person. You love to share your experiences in real life and online with your friends, family and colleagues. And then you get travel shamed.
The Mekong Delta is the rice bowl of Vietnam and one of the world’s most productive agricultural areas. It is an immense maze of paddy fields and canals covering an area the size of Wales. Three friends (Fiona, Kate, and Tomo) spent two weeks cycling around the Delta on vintage local bicycles and were completely won over by this area of Vietnam's charms. In this post, they tell you why, and how, you should do a similar trip!