Our 25th Anniversary Special – Globe Trekker Season One!

Our 25th Anniversary Special - Globe Trekker Season One!

To celebrate Globe Trekker turning 25, we have a very special special offer – own the HISTORIC FIRST SEASON and watch it instantly for only £19.95!!!! 

Our classic adventures include trips to:

Indonesia – The Eastern Islands
La Ruta Maya
Morocco
Jamaica
Alaska
Pacific Islands
Southeast Australia
Vietnam
North East Brazil
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
Japan – Tokyo to Taiwan
North India – Varanasi to the Himalayas
Africa – Zimbabwe, Botswana & Namibia

A Revolution Centenary

A Revolution Centenary

November 2017 marks one hundred years since the start of the revolution that embarked to destroy the entire pre-Soviet world and create a new one from its ruins. The Russian Revolution made a profound impact on the thinking and behaviour of later generations, and how the outside world perceived these societies.

On 7 November 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin led his leftist revolutionaries in a revolt against the ineffective Provisional Government; workers, soldiers and peasants, indeed the vast majority of ordinary people colluded in shaking off a centuries-old monarchy, a few months later seizing power.

All this year, museums and media outlets around the world are exploring this monumentous period in modern world history, you can read our study guide about the period here.

Regarding our main image: a Soviet poster dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the October Revolution and IV Congress of the Communist International.

Posters played an integral role during the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War. At the time, very few newspapers were published, often a poster replaced the tabloid. Poster art was widely accessible to the masses, the images depicted were easily understood, accompanied by a short and energetic slogan stuck in the viewers mind, as a constant call for action. In time of Civil War, propaganda posters were sent to the front lines in the same capacity as bullets and artillery shells. They were posted on walls, in cities which were under assault by the White Guard armies and foreign interventionists. The bottom of the vivid, bright-colored poster usually contained a warning: “Anyone who tears down or covers up this poster – is committing a counter-revolutionary act”. The poster was a powerful weapon, and just like any weapon, it had to be guarded with utmost care. (source: www.sovietposters.com)

 

At the Borderlines

At the Borderlines

Following the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, also known as Brexit, and Donald Trump’s victory in the USA and his insistence on building another wall between the United States and Mexico, erecting barriers and borders to curtail free movement is certainly headline news.

But the world has a long history of erecting barriers and walls, rulers and governments have often tried to control
people’s freedom of movement. From the Berlin Wall to the Khyber Pass, join our hosts as they visit some of worlds most historic borders and walls. 

Click here to listen our Borderlines audio guide at Globe Trekker Radio

Be proud, be loud, it’s the Year of the Fire Rooster

Be proud, be loud, it's the Year of the Fire Rooster

New Year, or the “Spring Festival” as it is known in China, is the longest and most important holiday in China. The Chinese New Year 2017 begins on January 28, 2017. The Chinese New Year’s festivities end two weeks later on the 15th day of the next month on what is known as the Lantern Festival, you can watch the festivities here

The Chinese New Year 2017 of the Fire Rooster begins on the second New Moon after the Solstice. The Year of the Rooster is set to be a powerful one, with no middle ground when it comes to moving forward.

In a Rooster Year all of the Chinese animals can reap great rewards by tapping into Rooster traits: loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values, and top-notch appearances are just some of the characteristics that will be rewarded this year.

For our ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing of the rooster was significant, its announcement awakening people to begin their day. And so we better understand why those born under the sign of the rooster Rooster are almost always the epitome of fidelity and punctuality.

In Greek mythology, it is said the rooster has a special intuitive connection to predicting the future and therefore regarded as one of the god’s ambassadors. The people born in the year of the rooster are also attuned to foresight taking pleasure from good planning when dealing with circumstances bringing a certain unexpected ingenuity to problem solving.

Lucky Numbers: 5, 7, 8
Lucky Colors: gold, brown, brownish yellow, yellow
Lucky Flowers: gladiola, impatiens, cockscomb
Lucky Directions: west, southwest, northeast

Famous Roosters:
Mo-tse, Liu Che (Emperor Wu of China’s Western Han Dynasty 202 BC – 9 AD), Li Longji (Emperor Xuanzong of China’s Tang Dynasty 618 – 907), Zhuge Liang (Premier of Shu in China’s Three Kingdoms Period 220 – 280), Anna Kournikova, Anne Heche, Alexis Bledel, Bette Midler, Beyonce, Cate Blanchett, Diane Sawyer, Elijah Wood, James Marsters, Jessica Alba, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, Taylor Momsen, Catherine the Great, Amelia Earhart, Rudyard Kipling, Groucho Marx, Peter Ustinov, Tagore, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Mencius, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Jennifer Aniston

paper cut rooster

paper cut rooster

image: Chinese paper cutting of the Rooster 
by The original uploader 
was 用心阁 at Chinese Wikipedia - 
Transferred from zh.wikipedia to 
Commons by Shizhao using CommonsHelper
CC BY-SA 3.0 

Happy 25th Anniversary Globe Trekker!

Happy 25th Anniversary Globe Trekker!

It’s been a quarter of a century of travel, adventures, thrills and spills!

To celebrate we will be looking back at some of the highs and lows from the earliest Season 1 episodes: when Ian Cross and the crew visited Indonesia or Ian Wright hitched through Morocco, there are so many adventures and tales we can’t wait to share with you.

And of course, you can always share your favourite Globe Trekker moments here on Facebook.

Here’s to the next 25!

Ian Wright with almost everything but his head in the sand in Japan

Ian Wright with almost everything but his head in the sand in Japan

Martin Luther King Day, a lasting legacy

Martin Luther King Day, a lasting legacy

“I Have a Dream” was the infamous line given during American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr’s public speech delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States and for civil and economic rights. The speech was delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Martin Luther King was a vital part of the civil rights activist. As one of the leaders of the movement to end racial segregation in the United States, he was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was assassinated in 1968.

In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King died, a campaign was instigated for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions led the campaign for the federal holiday which was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although not observed in all states until the year 2000. In 1990, the Wyoming legislature designated Martin Luther King Jr/Wyoming Equality Day as a legal holiday.

We visited the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial  located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. , covering four acres and including a granite statue of King by sculptor Lei Yixin:

 

main image: c/o By ProhibitOnions – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16146667

High hopes for Saint Helena’s airport up in the air

High hopes for Saint Helena's airport up in the air

please note, we were sent this update from the Saint Helena government authorities:

St Helena Airport has been certified by Air Safety Support International, is open and operational.  In fact, there are currently two private charter aircraft parked on the Apron at St Helena Airport.

It has not yet been possible to commence scheduled commercial air services to the Island.  However, operations at St Helena Airport are underway and consist primarily of one-off charter flights.  21 flights have successfully landed so far at St Helena Airport including three vital medevac flights.

On 7 December 2016, St Helena Government released a tender for air services for a three year period to provide the best possible air service for the Island.  This tender process will determine the timeline of the commencement of regularly scheduled commercial flights to the Island.  The Royal Mail Ship service has been extended to guarantee access to the Island in the interim.

***

On Saint Helena, the tiny island  in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean where Napoleon died and was buried, the four  thousand residents celebrated when the British government gave the final go ahead to the construction  of an airport on the island.

After lobbying for the airport for decades, residents were jubilant when the airport finally opened in 2016, the Government having spent more than 400 million dollars on the project.

The frequent high winds prevent aircraft’s from landing, which was the main cause of the extensive delay. However, the project persevered because of the islands isolation, with nowhere else for planes to land; the nearest airport to Saint Helena being Ascension Island, nearly two thousand miles away

Unfortunately, all fears  have now been realised and the airport has been closed much to the frustration of the residents and the embarassment of the authorities and Government now accused of lavishing hundreds of millions on a ”white elephant”.

For the time being, residents and visitors to Saint Helena must continue to travel to the island  the way they have for hundreds of years – by the Royal Mail ship, Saint Helena, which leaves Capetown, in South Africa, every three weeks, the whole trip taking five days.

Now authorities and aircraft companies are trying to agree to plans allowing smaller aircraft, less affected by the winds to use the airport. However it is not  clear whether this will be an economically viable option.

Zay with St Helena's giant tortoise

Zay with St Helena’s giant tortoise

Check out Globe Trekker’s episode on St Helena in which Zay Harding embarks on a five day voyage from Cape Town on the last authentic British Royal Mail Ship to St Helena and checks out the sites  including Longwood House, where  Napoleon lived and died, the tomb where he was buried, the capital, Jamestown….. and the  controversial airport site.

Wonderous winter worlds at Stonehenge

Wonderous winter worlds at Stonehenge

Yesterday, thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise on the shortest day of the year when daylight on 21st December lasted for just seven hours, 49 minutes and 41 seconds.

Beneath a misty sky, blanketed with clouds, crowds of pagans and druids were among those to flocked to visit the ancient Neolithic monument late on Tuesday night.

The welcoming in of the Winter Solstice is the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time filled with ad hoc celebration bringing together England’s New Age Tribes including druids, pagans and Wiccans with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people – in droves! Anyone who has been witness to the breath taking energy that washes over the crowd drawing to an awestruck silent hush as the sky begins to brighten.

Stonehenge is carefully aligned following a sight-line that points to the winter solstice sunset as opposed to other sites such as New Grange in Ireland, which points to the winter solstice sunrise, and the Goseck circle in Germany, aligned to both the sunset and sunrise.

Newgrange by Shira

Newgrange by Shira

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC and it is thought that winter solstice was of greater significance than the summer solstice to the people who constructed Stonehenge as the pagan calendar marks the “re-birth” of the sun for the new year.

The winter solstice was a time when cattle was slaughtered (so the animals would not have to be fed during the winter) and the majority of wine and beer was finally fermented.

The solstice can happen on December 20, 21, 22 or 23, though December 20 or 23 solstices are rare.

Join our host Justine Shapiro as she explores the mystical site of Stonehenge

Main image: Stonehenge winter solstice in the 80’s

The Magnificence of Mayan Structures

The Magnificence of Mayan Structures

Rising out of jungle across the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico are the ruins of dozens of Mayan cities. Most of these ruins are at least 1,200 years old, dating back to the glory days of the Maya around 700 AD.

Discovered though largely ignored by Spanish conquistadors during their Aztec conquest in the 16th century, it was 300 years later, in the 19th century, when European explorers ‘discovered’,  and subsequently took the time to investigate and learn the ways to unlock the wonders of this fascinating pre Hispanic civilization.

Mayan structure

A great Mayan structure

Today the sites of Chichenitza, Tulum, Palenque and Uxmal are internationally famous but scores of other sites remain little known and visited.

One  such site, Coba, about two hours drive south of Cancun, and one hour west of Tulum, is home to the largest Mayan pyramid in Mexico, which visitors can still climb.

Coba was an important Mayan city, evidenced by the many raised stone roads linking its buildings which stretch out across a 120 square kilometre site. Here you can see two Mayan ball courts where the Mayans played their ingenious ball game, pelota. Then  bicycle or walk along enchanting paths encased by the jungle canopy to visit the imposing Nohoch Mul, at 138 feet the highest Mayan structure in the Yucatan.

Sak Ch’een, lord of Motul de San José c.8th century,[27] dressed as a ball player with a large yoke, painted deerskin hip guards, and elaborate headdress. He is dropping onto his knee to strike the ball, which is probably exaggerated to huge proportions. Photograph by Madman2001

Sak Ch’een, lord of Motul de San José c.8th century,[27] dressed as a ball player with a large yoke, painted deerskin hip guards, and elaborate headdress. He is dropping onto his knee to strike the ball, which is probably exaggerated to huge proportions. Photograph by Madman2001

For how long tourists will be allowed to clamber up the steps of this awesome structure remains to be seen as the Mexican authorities step up their efforts to preserve the wonders of this magnificent pre Hispanic civilization.

Learn more Mayan culture in our epsiode, La Ruta Maya

Look up, it’s the super super moon!

Look up, it's the super super moon!

Internet legend suggests it was astrologer Richard Nolle who first came up with the term supermoon, which he defined as “… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”.

Five years ago – when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011 – many began using the term supermoon, which we’d never heard before. In the following years, we heard this term again to describe the year’s closest full moon on May 6, 2012, and again on June 23, 2013, and again on August 10, 2014, and yet again on September 28, 2015.

Whilst supermoon is an astrological term, the scientific name for the occurence is perigee-syzygy, but since supermoon is catchier the media use it to describe our celestial neighbour when it gets up close.

Astronomers call it a perigee full moon describing the moon’s closest point to Earth for any given month.

Today’s event is the biggest and best in a series of three super moons, the first of which was on 16 October and the third is due on 14 December.

The moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

In addition to today’s moon making the moon appear bigger and brighter in the sky, there will also be a “low hanging moon” effect; an optical illusion caused by the moon being close to the horizon making it easy to measure against familiar landmarks or objects such as trees or houses.

The full moon story:

To observers, the moon will appear approximately 7% larger than normal, around 15% brighter – although to the human eye this is barely discernable.

As the Moon traces its orbit around the Earth, we see different proportions illuminated by the Sun. Once in each orbit, our satellite is totally illuminated – a full moon.

And as the Moon orbits the Earth every 27 days or so, it travels in an elliptical or oval shape.

This means that its distance from our planet is not constant but varies across a full orbit.

But within this uneven orbit there are further variations caused by the Earth’s movements around the Sun.

These mean that the perigee – the closest approach – and full moon are not always in sync.

But occasions when the perigee and full moon coincide have become known popularly as supermoons.

To observers, the differences between a supermoon and a normal full moon are quite subtle.

Generally, supermoons can be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter, but only when compared with the furthest point the Moon gets to within its orbit.

 

main image by: Monday super moon shot by Rob Pettengill as part of his Austin Super Moonset