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.It’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???In 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 hit.It 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?
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 …Équihen-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.
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 …
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. A 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.The 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.Along 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.
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!