Pompeii the Riviera Way!

The story of Pompeii is truly fascinating and gives us an amazing insight into just how the people of our ancient times lived.

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near Naples in Italy. It was destroyed in 79 AD when the mighty Mount Vesuvius erupted and engulfed the city in tons of ash, leaving it buried for nearly 1.500 years.

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The mighty Mount Vesuvius

 Pompeii lay hidden until its first rediscovery in 1599 and further excavated almost 150 years later in 1748.

The objects discovered were found to be well-preserved mainly because of the lack of air and moisture under all the ash.

 During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids under the ash where human bodies once were, which allowed insight into the exact position people were in when they died.

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The preserved victims of Vesuvius

Much of our knowledge about the Roman way of life, their social structure, class systems, habits and domestic arrangements have come from Pompeii.

Evidence of complex water systems, an amphitheatre, gymnasium and a port all point to a very high standard of living.

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Evidence of a very high standard of living

Some items are virtually complete such as the baths and various murals and mosaics. Some buildings even have graffiti inside them describing politics, romances and other gossip of the time!

They even had traffic calming measures and one-way systems in the very decadent Roman Pompeii!

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Evidence of virtually complete murals and mosaics

 Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years and now has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

It attracts nearly 2.6 million visitors every years, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.

Some sections of Pompeii have been closed off to the public due to deterioration, but the sections of the ancient city still open are extensive, and tourists can spend several hours and even days days exploring the extraordinary site.

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The magnificent Vesuvius overlooking Pompeii

Top 10 London Visitor Attractions!

When it comes to popular places to visit, London stands out as one of the best.

                                                                             UK SITE TOTAL VISITS
SOURCE: ASSOCIATION OF LEADING VISITOR ATTRACTIONS
1.  The British Museum 6,695,213
2.  The National Gallery 6,416,724
3.  Southbank Centre 6,255,799
4.  Tate Modern 5,785,427
5.  Natural History Museum 5,388,295
6.  Science Museum 3,356,072
7.  V&A, South Kensington 3,180,450
8.  Tower of London 3,075,950
9.  Somerset House 2,463,201
10.  The Library of Birmingham 2,414,860

1. In fact, London’s British Museum continues to be the most popular visitor attraction in the UK, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), and attracts in the region of 6,695,213 visitors to its doors.

 

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London’s British Museum

2. The National Gallery remains the second most visited attracting 6,416,724 people to see its fine works of art.

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The National Gallery

 

3. The Southbank Centre, with its iconic Undercroft skateboarding  cultural space, comes third with 6,255,799 visitors!

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The iconic Undercroft skateboarding space under the Southbank Centre.

4. Fourth is Tate Modern attracting a record 5,785,427 visitors to its doors and up by more than 6%. This may be due to its extremely popular Matisse exhibition it has at present.

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The outstandingTate Modern

5. The Natural History Museum will always be a big draw for people and comes in at fifth most popular.

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The Natural History Museum.

6. The Science Museum is another major tourist attraction welcoming 3,356,072 visitors and is also famous for organising many unique and fascinating events.

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The marvellous Science Museum.

7. The Victoria and Albert Museum comes in a respectable seventh place with 3,180,450 visits, a museum of art and design which has something for everyone.

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The Victoria & Albert Museum.

8. The Tower of London is the eighth most visited and saw a surge in visitors this year with the events marking the centenary of the first world war and the sea of red ceramic poppies that were installed there.

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9. Somerset House stands at number nine in the top attractions list whilst the newly-built Library of Birmingham sits at number 10,  the only one attraction outside London!

St Patrick’s Green Grandeur!

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its great beauty and vast amounts of green countryside.

However, on St Patrick’s Day, every one wants to be green!

But did you know that St Patrick was not actually from Ireland?

In fact he was captured and enslaved by the Irish for six years when he was just 16 years of age.

However, he used this captivity to  great effect by learning the Irish language and culture. After escaping captivity in Ireland, he was again captured and held captive in France! During this time he learned about French monasticism and had a vision of Victoricus (a martyr and saint) giving him the quest of teaching Christianity in Ireland.

 

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Symbol of Christianity

 

Using the knowledge about Ireland he had acquired previously, St Patrick brought Christianity and monasticism to Ireland and managed to have over 300 churches built and over 100,000 Irish people baptised!

 

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One of many churches

 

The colour green and the shamrock are still significant symbols for St Patrick, and you will find both of these in abundance in the evergreen country of Ireland!

 

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Gorgeous green shamrock

 

Did you know that there are numerous tours that can take you all the way around the stunning Beauty of Ireland? You can go full circle from Dublin to Killarney to Bunratty and back again.

 

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Bridge over Liffey River in Dublin

 

You can visit many places on the way including Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.”

 

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Blarney Castle

 

Drive around the Ring of Kerry  or take a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Even continue along the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of limestone that reaches nearly 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

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Stunnimg Cliffs of Moher

You can also travel north bound and  visit the Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner that traces the development, building and sinking of RMS Titanic through state-of-the-art displays –  a must see!

Also see the Giant’s Causeway, huge hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago.

 

 

There is so much to see and do in Ireland that it is difficult to know where to start, but the start of the journey is only the beginning of a deep and meaninful journey that will take you to some of your wildest dreams!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live like a Queen Bee with CIE!

CASTLES, CASTLES, CASTLES – LIVE LIKE A QUEEN BEE!

 

CIE Tours uses three classes of hotels – first class (3-star), superior first class (4-star) or deluxe (5-star) properties on all their tours. They choose hotels in central locations or scenic regions and  deluxe hotels offer luxurious features which are often in unique settings.

 room

 

 For a royal experience, choose one of the CIE deluxe tours where you can stay in 5-star properties including Ashford Castle or Dromoland Castle. Many other tours stay in 4-star castle hotels such as Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Clontarf, Cabra or Kilronan Castle, giving you the experience on a more moderate budget.

 

 

Ashford Castle

Cong

5 star hotel

This famous castle dates back to the 13th century and now is one of Ireland’s most luxurious retreats. There are 83 bedrooms to choose from which are all individually designed with stunning views. Dine on superb cuisine in the elegant restaurant or enjoy afternoon tea or a snack in the lounge. The hotel offers spa facilities, golfing, horse riding, fishing and more. 

 

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Enjoying Ashford castle!

 

 

Dromoland Castle Hotel
Newmarket-on-Fergus

5 star hotel

One of Ireland’s premier hotels, this magnificent castle Hotel offers guests every imaginable facility and comfort. Guest rooms are furnished to an amazing standard of comfort whilst the spacious public rooms are filled with numerous antiques. The Finest cuisine is enhanced by an impeccable service. You can relax in the spa and health facilities or play a round of golf on the lovely landscaped grounds with a lake and 18-hole golf course. 

What’s more, just down the road is Bunratty Village for an opportunity to visit Bunratty Castle!

 

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Enjoy a medieval feast at Bunratty Castle.

 

 CIE Tours also feature Bunratty Castle, as well as Knappogue and Cardiff Castle  on a number of tours offering Banquets.

 

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Amazing view from Cardiff castle!

Plus, all itineraries visit plenty of more castles throughout Ireland and Britain – WOW!

 

 

Edinburgh Castle

The majestic Edinburgh Castle!

 

Windsor Castle

The very Royal Windsor Castle!

 

 

 What’s more, on all CIE Tours’ holidays that visit Edinburgh during the Tattoo dates, prime tickets to this event are included!