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Michael Turtle
18,179 followers -
Time Travel Turtle: Global explorer and travel writer
Time Travel Turtle: Global explorer and travel writer

18,179 followers
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There is a really strange story about this column!

It marks the place where 19 samurai teenagers in Aizu-Wakamatsu killed themselves because they thought their city had been defeated in Japan’s Boshin War in 1868. (As it turned out, they were wrong, and their suicides were unnecessary).

But, even weirder, is that the Italian leader Mussolini heard about this story one day and was so moved by the honour of the child warriors that he gifted this column from Pompeii!

#Samurai_Aizu
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There’s always a harmony between the nature and the manmade at temples in Japan. You can see it perfectly here at this temple in Aizu-Wakamatsu at the famous Iimori Mountain, where cedar trees grow and a stream flows past.

I’ll explain soon why Iimori is so important (a hint: it’s a samurai story about both honour and tragedy!).

#Samurai_Aizu
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The city of Aizu-Wakamatsu, three hours north of Tokyo, was the last place in Japan to have samurai.

It was in this building - Tsuruga Castle - that they staged their final battle against the Imperial Army that was trying to unite the country under the power of the emperor in 1868.

#Samurai_Aizu
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Missile accomplished!!

I don't think I've seen more military hardware in one place than at this museum in Belarus, about 30km from Minsk!

It's called the Stalin Line and was once the fortifications on the western border of the USSR. Some of those original trenches and battlements are here, but it's also become a dumping ground for all sorts of other things!
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Belarus is... an interesting country. It's been described as "Europe's last dictatorship" and until recently was very hard to visit as a tourist.

I've just visited and was amazed by the capital, Minsk. It was much more vibrant than I expected, full of cool cafes and beautiful parks.

But there's also something a bit unsettling about it all. It looks a little too clean, as though it's just a veneer. Have a look at my photos of a few of the buildings and you'll see there's something grand but inorganic about it all.
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01/08/2018
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On a recent trip to London, I stayed at the very cool Wombats Hostels, which is in Whitechapel. It's a great area - full of street art, multicultural food, and fascinating history.

If you're thinking of staying here, I've put together this guide to help!

#WombatsTraveller
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The Latvian capital Riga is famous for its Art Nouveau buildings. In the centre of the city, about a third of the buildings have this style. The one in this photo is one of the most famous.

Just look at the detail - it's quite incredible to see how much decoration is in just one tiny part of the facade of just one building.

Most of the Art Nouveau that was built in Riga was done in a very short period at the start of the 1900s when there was a huge economic boom!
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Whenever I think of Riga, I think of Eurovision. I picture a beautiful Latvian woman with blonde hair flowing, looking down the camera saying, "Hello, this is Riga".

Well, as it turns out, the city is not too far off my Eurovision image. It is fun and it is beautiful. It is happy to let its hair down but it retains a degree of class.

Riga is different to many of the other former Soviet capitals I've visited - mainly because of the architecture. I'll show you what I mean in my next post.
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There are so many incredible things so close to Naples. Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, the Amalfi Coast... and a couple you may not have heard of (but are worth the trip)!!
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This is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible ancient sites you will ever see.

I've put together some tips in this post about how you can visit it yourself.
Pompeii: Frozen in time
Pompeii: Frozen in time
timetravelturtle.com
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