The streets of Belfast

I think that one of the best ways to get to know a new city is to walk. That way you get a better sense of what life looks like in the city and how everything is connected. And you can take some great photos.

I took a series of black and white photos last weekend in Belfast and here are a few of them.

Image above from the area near Windsor Park, the national football stadium.

Above: beautiful building across the road from City Hall.

McHughs is a classic pub and it is located in what is claimed to be the oldest building in Belfast. And of course, we visited the pub to grab a Belfast Lager!

The Bank Buildings in Belfast

I spent the weekend in Belfast with a friend and had a great time. This is a thriving city with a nice mix of both old and new architecture.

We really didn’t have much time for shopping so we just walked by this nice old building called the Bank Buildings.

Originally it was home to a bank, and because the four founders of the bank all had the first name of John, the bank was called The Bank of the Four Johns.

Now the building houses a slightly less prominent business – a Primark store.

Valencia – The City of Beautiful Architecture

Bridge above City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
Bridges above the City of Arts and Sciences

You have to give it to the people of Valencia, they sure know how to dream big. Home to the architectural genius of Santiago Calatrava, Spain’s third largest city hosts a range of buildings and bridges that are among the most spectacular you can find anywhere in Europe.

Already in the 1960’s, the city of Valencia made some big decisions in that the river Turia was diverted away from the city centre to the outskirts of the city. This was done in order to avoid further serious floodings. The remaining old riverbed was later on turned into a sunken park, Turia Gardens, that now stretches about 9 km through the city, giving locals and visitors large areas for recreation, walking, running or biking.

l'hemisferic valencia
L’Hemisfèric

Striking architecture
The old riverbed also houses the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), a huge cultural and architectural complex designed by Calatrava and Félix Candela. This complex was one of the main reasons why we chose to go to Valencia in the first place. It’s made up of several spectacular buildings like the giant eye L’Hemisfèric which includes an IMAX cinema and a planetarium, the open-air oceanographic park L’Oceanogràfic and the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opera house and performing arts cente and much more.

Shallow pools of water are placed in front of many of the structures which gives a magnificent mirror effect, especially at night when the buildings are lit up. It is simply one of the coolest places I have ever visited and a great place to take some stunning photographs.

City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

Travelling to Valencia from Sweden takes a bit longer than to some of the most popular tourists destinations in Spain, since there are no direct flights. We went from Stockholm with Lufthansa and SAS via Frankfurt which took between six and seven hours including transfer. But it is absolutely worth it.

L’Hemisfèric
L’Hemisfèric

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Fun at Adventure Cove Water Park, Singapore

If your idea of fun is to go down a high-speed water slide and land in a pool of water with a huge splash, then don’t miss Adventure Cove Water Park on Sentosa Island in Singapore. We spent almost an entire day, a total of six hours (!), at the park and had so much fun.

Adventure Cove Water Park Sentosa Singapore

Don’t bring too much stuff when you go there, you can rent lockers for your belongings and the smaller ones can fit a backpack and your clothes. I left the GoPro in the locker so I didn’t take many pictures during our visit. It’s not recommended to go down the slides with a selfie stick in your hand, so the day after I bought a GoPro wrist band. Next time, I will be prepared…

The park has both standard slides where you can race your friends down the slide, and more thrilling tube rides.

Fun water rides
Our favourites were the Riptide Rocket which is like a rollercoaster on water (“Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster”) and the Whirlpool and Spiral Washouts. I think we rode the Whirlpool Washout at least a dozen times. The first time we rode it we went into the funnel and then were sucked down the last part backwards. That was so much fun that we wanted to do it again, but it took several tries and some good advice from the lifeguards in order to succeed.

The park has a lot more to offer, like the Bluwater Bay with artificial waves and the Big Bucket Treehouse for the younger kids.

Read more about Adventure Cove here.