This is where you think hold on, is this not a travel blog anymore? As will be explained later, the travel part of this post is when we advise anyone who wishes to throw themselves down an ice circuit on a glorified tea tray or subject themselves to extreme G-forces in a bobsleigh. We tell you where to go, but we neglect to inform you of how to get there and where to stay. Professional blog? Not from us, sorry.
Has watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi on TV inspired you to try out any of the sports? The BBC has been asking for photo’s on Twitter of people taking brooms to work in support of the Great Britain curling men’s & women’s teams. The response has been phenomenal, here are photo’s of the Army curling with a tank and the Scottish rowing team.
Click on any photo to enlarge.
And a link to a video of Southampton FC players ‘human curling’ in their dressing room.
Curling is a Scottish dominated sport in the UK, there is only one venue in England (Tunbridge Wells in Kent) and none at all in Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Tunbridge Wells venue
A lot of the participants seem to don fancy dress as part of a corporate event.
For some of the more adrenaline fuelled sports like the luge and bobsleigh, the UK has no ice track, so a trip to Europe will have to be made. The Europeans name for a tourist bobsleigh is a ‘Taxi Bob’. Ride the ‘Taxi Bob’ at up to 120kph and experience the turns at up to 4-5g……..
Igls, Austria (Fully booked for Winter 2014, Summer available) http://www.olympiaworld.at/en/sport_aktiv/eissport/bob_rodeln_skeleton.php
La Plagne, France – http://www.la-plagne.com/en/winter/plagne-experiences/bob-experience.html
Altenburg – http://www.bobbahn-altenberg.de (The link for Altenburg is in German only)
Or a ‘bobraft’ at Koningssee,
Oberhof – http://www.twz-oberhof.de/de/index.php?cs=2-3 (no tourist facilities?)
Winterburg – http://www.bobbahn.de/taxibob.html
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – http://www.nozio.com/europe/italy/veneto/belluno/cortina_d_ampezzo/destination_guides/taxi-bob.htm
Cortina track by flikr user – Chaps the idol
Sigulda, Latvia – http://www.bobtrase.lv/en/services/4-taxi-bobs There is an English language button, but everything is in Latvian at the moment.
Lillehammer, Norway – http://www.lillehammer.com/en/Product/?TLp=394702
Alternatively, there is a Summer version in the UK that runs on a metal track with wheels.
Toboggan runs in UK
Llandudno, North Wales
Also at Robin Hill theme park, Isle of Wight
Where to find ski resorts, snow centres, dry ski slopes and ice rinks, all year round, not just for Winter.
An interactive map of Great Britain, showing snow centres, dry ski slopes and ski resorts
Ice rinks – Interactive of map of the UK.
Snow Centres – A UK and Europe listing
Photo (below)link – http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/304213 – by Phil Williams
All of the venues above offer snow and ice fun to children from 3 or 4 years old. Including the popular sno-tubing a.k.a. donutting. Supervision from a responsible adult will probably be required, as will a deep wallet or purse as well.
Tips for travel
Put some photo’s of your home town/area on your mobile device. this is a great icebreaker at social gatherings on holiday. Or take some postcards, if you are technophobes like us.
Or just have photo’s of your family, or pets in cute positions, lol
Remember the taking pegs tip from a previous post? Why not add a long length of string for a make-shift washing line? Perfect for warm weather countries, as long as it’s not the typhoon, monsoon or hurricane seasons.
And Another Thing….
Sochi 2014 Olympic Park
By Atos International [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The cost of the Sochi Winter Olympics has been estimated at $51 Billion, more than all the other Winter Olympics combined, wow. That is a ridiculously high figure for what has become a Putin vanity project, to show the everyone the Russian ‘bear’ is still alive and still a major player on the World stage. Unfortunately, the reality is a rather different picture, composed of corruption, poor quality workmanship and shoddy mismanagement.
Adler Arena – Speed Skating
By Atos International [CC-BY-SA-2.0 Photo original use link -(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Just think how many poor Russians could of been assisted with all the money spent on the Winter Olympics. And the longsuffering residents of Sochi have been put through hell, with disruption or even cut off from gas, water and electricity supplies. As this ‘Forbes.com’ paragraph explains;
Meanwhile, many of Sochi’s 335,000 residents had to endure months without running water and power outages that occurred almost daily as major construction went ahead with minimal regard for local well-being. At least 2,000 families were evicted to make way for the Games. While promising the “greenest Olympics ever”, the government has shown consistent disregard to the environment. Thousands of hectares of forest were cut down in protected Sochi National Park, as well as in a nearby UNESCO World Heritage site. Predictably, critics of the despoliation are intimidated with arrests, trials, or similar abuses of power.
Quoted from the link below.
As is so often the case with showpiece events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, The elite are treated like Kings & Queens with money no object, in these supposedly austere times. The so called ‘common’ people are cast aside like unwanted rubbish, their need for housing and of heat, fuel and light within that accommodation cruelly ignored.
To President Putin and his Government I say this. Your spending of $51 Billion on a mere vanity project shames Russia, but shames you even more. You seem hell-bent on returning Russia to the bad old days of the ‘Cold War’. Why not focus instead on moving Russia forward as a manufacturing and technology giant? If China can re-invent itself as an economic powerhouse, after the famine stricken Chairman Mao years, so can Russia. After all, Russia has the resources to make major changes if it so desires. It just needs the will to do so.
Thanks for reading,
Mr & Mrs G