Saturday Surprise — A Little Jaunt

Last night when I was contemplating how we should spend our time together this morning, I thought that it’s been several weeks since we’ve travelled together and maybe now, before the snows come, would be a good time for it.  So, I checked into some things and I think you’ll enjoy the places we’re going to visit today!  So, hop aboard the Filomobile and let’s go to …

Krong Ban Lung, Cambodia!  There is a simply gorgeous lake here, but also a couple of interesting tidbits.Yeak Laom-1It’s believed that 4,000 years ago, a volcanic eruption created a crater that, over time, filled with water. The lake was once surrounded by thick forest on all sides, but today only a thin layer remains, with most of the land having been farmed.

The waters of Yeak Laom are crystal clear, and they stand in stark contrast with the bright green in the background—if you visit during or shortly after the rainy season. Exotic birds and butterflies are common sights, and wild pigs may also come around.

Although the lake is considered sacred by the local people, swimming or playing in the water is common for both locals and tourists. Wooden docks with steps have been built to facilitate access. In 2018, bureaucratic procedures were started to register Yeak Laom and the land around it as state land to better protect the environment. Other measures to protect the lake forbid people from using detergents, gambling, or having arguments while in the lake.  Okay, now the detergents I get, but gambling or arguing???princess-thaiIn February 2016, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand was planning to pay a visit to Yeak Laom, and in preparation for her visit, as toilets are not common in the area, a special toilet was constructed for the princess to use during her visit.  An air-conditioned toilet.  At a cost of $40,000.  That she never used.  That was thrown away after her two-hour visit, during which the urge never took 10 labourers 19 days to build the eight-metre square toilet.  It has silver railings up its white-washed steps and an all-white tiled roof.  This area of Cambodia being a particularly poor region, I’m sure this toilet is far more luxurious than most of the homes in the five villages that surround the lake.  The building was allowed to remain after the princess’ visit, but the toilet was disassembled and thrown out.  Why?

“If you have a king—well, just, normal people can’t use the king’s toilet.”

Ah, arrogance is world-wide, isn’t it?  But isn’t this lake just beautiful?Yeak Laom-2

Next I thought we’d travel over to France … Équihen-Plage, France, to be precise, for I am told there are some interesting holiday homes made of boats.  Upside down boats, that is.  You’ve heard of houseboats, yes?  Well these are upside-down boat houses!  Ah … we have arrived … let’s take a look …boat houses-1Équihen-Plage is a fishing port and farming village some 3 miles south of Boulogne on the English Channel coast with a population just under 3,000.  The tradition of the boat houses began after World War I when old boats unworthy for the sea were dragged up to high ground and turned upside down. The hull, which now became the roof, was covered in tar to ensure that it was watertight. A door cut out on the sides provided entry, while windows let in air and light. Even then, the interior was dark and stuffy. The entire length of the boat served as a single room. Space for cooking and sleeping were shared.

During the Second World War, nearly all the boathouses got destroyed, but their legacy lingered on. In the 1990s, about sixty years after their disappearance, the village decided to revive the ancient heritage and erected a couple of upturned boat houses and fitted them with modern facilities to entice tourists. They can be rented now with prices starting from about three hundred Euros, or $340 USD.boat houses-2

boat houses-3

All this traveling is making me a bit hungry … what about you?  Ready for a little bite before we head to our last stop?  Let’s just pop over to Nottingham … yes, the place of Robin Hood and the evil sheriff, but that isn’t the theme of the restaurant we’re going to.  Remember the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Pit and the Pendulum?  My dad read that one to me when I was … oh, probably 7 or 8 … and I had nightmares for days … er, nights.  Anyway, in the town of Nottingham is a restaurant named The Pit and the Pendulum that sounds intriguing.

Wow … this place is creepy, isn’t it?  But it’ll be fun.  Let’s take a peek at the drink menu …drink-menu-e1543644452708.png

Y’know … on second thought … I’m not all that hungry after all … perhaps we can grab a pack of crackers on our way to …

The former mining town of St. Blazey in Cornwall, England, home of the world’s largest greenhouse. For fifty years, a clay mine on the edge of the English town had slowly been abandoned, until in the late 1990s when a new concept was proposed for the area called Project Eden. Eden-1A near polar opposite to the crater left by the old mine, the Eden Project was designed as a massive greenhouse complex, consisting of two biomes bubbling off of the ground and reflecting both a tropical and Mediterranean climate.  After the deep depression left from the mine was filled in with thousands of tons of soil, construction began and the two largest greenhouses in the world were created over two and a half years. Inside the hexagonally-patterned biomes are over one million different plant species, each one reflecting the climates of their respective biomes.Eden-2The Tropical Biome features rubber plants, bananas, and bamboo stalks towering above visitors in the nearly four-acre dome. The Mediterranean Biome is only 1.6 acres, but is similarly filled to capacity with olive plants and grape vines.Eden-3Along with stunning flora, cascading waterfalls and footpaths wind past massive boulders and ponds and even a few statues can be found carefully placed around the Mediterranean biome. Although the greenhouses are the central attraction of the complex, the grounds of the Eden Project are also covered in temperate plants that can grow in an uncovered atmosphere. Eden-night

And now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired and ready to go home, perhaps for a 10-minute nap, a hot cup of coffee, and a bit of time spent with a good book.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our little jaunt today … we’ll do it again soon!  Have a great weekend … don’t forget, just 24 days ‘til Christmas … better get shopping!  I have mine mostly finished … no muss, no fuss … all done online! Amazon-Xmas-gifts

15 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — A Little Jaunt

  1. Dear Jill,

    I went to my favorite store Barnes and Nobles which I just love. I managed to pick up quite a few things to purchase. As I remained in line for too long when I wasn’t feeling great, I gave up. I’ll be following your lead by ordering any Christmas gifts on line.

    The waters at the filled in crater Yeak Laom Lake do look inviting. I’d put up with some odd rules.

    I love that brilliant creative idea that the folks in St. Blazey in Cornwall, England came up with to turn land that had been an eyesore due to mining and turning it into a gorgeous garden under huge dome greenhouses.

    I’ll skip the fare at The Pit and the Pendulum in Nottingham.

    I do find the concept of upside down boathouses in a port town, 3 miles south of Boulogne, interesting.

    What a waste of monies to destroy a perfectly good potty fit for Thailand royalty.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gronda — I’m like you and love to spend a few hours browsing in Barnes & Noble, but be advised that if you order from their website, everything is MUCH less expensive!!! I often browse for an afternoon, then re-shelve all but one book, go home and order online!

      Have a great week, my friend!!!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Jill, you must be reading my mind (not really, but I can relate to some of these travel places.
    Thai Royalty (and probably most Royalty in Asia) are treated as sort of extensions of God… Yes even now in 2018.
    In Thailand, whenever one of the Royal family takes an excursion out of the Palace, a whole cavalcade of Gold cars (only royalty have them) along with a train of police escorts are to be seen. Every road on their journey is closed several minutes before until several minutes after the cavalcade passes. The logistics of stopping traffic (especially in the monumental traffic chaos of Bangkok) requires extraordinary amounts of manpower. It might only be a nephew or niece going in a wee trip, but it is done in pomp and ceremony with Thai flags waving on the cars. At 6 am and 6 pm every day, the national anthem is played in large public spaces, like transport stations (bus, train, airport) and such. All Thais (and foreign travellers) must stop what they are doing and stand to attention out of respect for the King and Country.

    Nottingham is where I was born. And most of my family genealogy were within the county. As such, it was no surprise to me to find that a 5th cousin 6 times removed (and really a step-relative from the 18th century split of family), is infamous within the halls of justice museum in Nottingham. Housed in the former Nottingham Gaol (Jail), one John Fenton was hanged at the last publicly viewed hanging in England, for the heinous murder of Charles Spencer, his half cousin. The spectacle was like a grand fair and the hanging a ribald and hateful despatch by the gathered mob.
    I have actually studied all the transcripts from newspapers and first hand accounts of the time, and I know the village well where it took place. I am pretty sure that this was a robbery gone wrong and that Fenton had an accomplice that was never revealed. Fenton claimed to his last breath that he was innocent of murder but would not reveal the identity of who was. Interestingly, several Great, Great Uncles, gave testimony of their whereabouts and actions upon the start of investigations… I think they knew more than they let on too.

    So, horrors surround Nottingham. Did you know that in medieval days, it was called ‘Snottingham’ – basically meaning Place of the ‘Snotts,’ a rather violent lot of people.

    Not the greatest of legacies to have. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah! Most of the time these days I cannot even read my own mind accurately! That is fascinating information about Thailand! I would have loved to visit there, but I don’t think living there would hold much appeal, unless I could live out in the boonies and avoid all the traffic snarls and ‘pomp & circumstance’.

      One of the many things I love about you is that you always add something to any conversation … I think there is nothing that you don’t know something about … Roger (woebegone but hopeful) is much the same and I call him my walking encyclopedia! So, you are famous, in a roundabout way! This is fascinating, although I cannot keep up with the genealogy … never understood how cousins got ‘removed’! You have quite a family history … 😀

      Thanks, by the way, for your supportive comments to Sha’Tara. She’s had a bone to pick with me for a while, though I never understood why, but I appreciate your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My Saturday was not surprising. I was raking leaves for the absolutely, positively, without a doubt, very last of the last times…does this have a familiar ring to it? Yet again, my yard required attention for several valid reasons : 1) Mother Nature has no respect for those who challenge her. 2) My neighbors that live up the road, several of them, have not either raked their leaves or had their lawn services do so. 3) Said leaves blow down the street and make themselves comfortable on my lawn. 4) The town added one more week for pick-up of leaves, that is this Wednesday for me. This past Wednesday the town had collected for what was to have been the final week of the year. Much to my dismay, Thursday was a day of high winds that brought more leaves from hither and yon to my yard. It disturbed me greatly! Finding that I was given another week could not be ignored and with heavy rain forecast for late tonight and through tomorrow…with clean rake and leaf grabbers in hand, out I went to do battle with the leaves. It took less time this week, there weren’t quite as many leaves and I am darn good at it now! As dusk descended, the stuffed bags went into my garage and await the last pick-up. I have discovered a few things : 1) Autumn leaves are more appreciated on the trees than on the lawn. 2) I may be a bit too OCD about leaves. 3) There is something to be said for hiring a lawn service. 4) In the words of J. M. Barrie : “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” That makes leaf raking WORK! Now that my work is completed, it’s time to board the Filomobile and enjoy my well deserved vacation. Many lovely choices, but St. Blazey in Cornwall, England is perfect. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WHAT??? WOMAN — cease and desist with the raking already!!! You have promised no less than four times that you were done, that there would be no more raking! And yet, here you are still raking! Let them turn to mulch and feed next years crop of grass!!! ENOUGH!!! Yes, you are more than “a bit” OCD about leaves … let nature take care of things … Mother Nature is trying to tell you something here, but you aren’t listening! Now, hop onto the Filomobile … I may just leave you in the Sahara for a bit, where there are NO leaves! 🍂 🍃 🍂 🍃 🍂


  4. This world-traipsing is getting to me, Jill. What kind of vehicles are we travelling in? What are the airports and roads like? Are we supposed to take sunscreen? What do our meals consist of? All these questions, and you just take us around like these things are of no concern to you. No concern? Are you not worried about Monty’s Revenge? Or yellow fever? Or frostbite? Yiiiiiiii!!! Do we even have travel insurance.
    Oh my poor head!
    But thanks for the guided tour. It was fun. LuL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are traveling as a guest in the magical Filomobile! No airports or roads … just a direct transport to wherever your mind, your imagination takes you. When you travel with me on these jaunts, there are no worries … only fun and a bit of learning snuck in. No Montezuma’s revenge, for we bring our own bottled water. Now relax, dear Jerry, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths, then think of being in the Alps … in a small chalet … just you and Gail, with the smell of a pot of _________________________ (fill in the blank) simmering on the stove. No noise. No tv, internet or phone. Just quiet. Breathe. LuL

      Liked by 1 person

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