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Jumping Castle Hire Mildura

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016

Unlike other African destinations of the stature, cheap flights to Accra the capital of Ghana are more readily available. As far as finding a reasonable accommodation is concerned, you can get one in good price and the country is also getting more developed with establishing and opening of new and better standard hotels every now and then.

Tourism in Ghana mainly revolves around visit the beach and the historical attractions. The town of Elmina has them both. El-mina, has the famed Palm beach where relaxing in the African sun is unavoidable. Although, the township is locally known as Edina, its actual and official name is Elmina means the mine. The town got its name from the extensive gold mining that was carried out in the colonial era ever since European invasion.

The second, yet the main attraction of the town is Saint George’s Castle generally known as Elmina Castle located about 75 miles west of Accra. This humongous castle is situated in the coastal town of Elmina, in the Cape Coast area of Ghana facing the sea. The Castle of Elmina is most probably the oldest European-built structure in sub-Saharan Africa. It is the reason why most people fly to Ghana and pay a pilgrimage to the souls of those who departed for no return from this very place.

The History of this castle is full of pain, sadness and deep sorrow. Although, the Portuguese, who founded this Castle in 1482, erected it to protect the gold-rich lands discovered in 1471. At the time, it was named “Sao Jorge and Mina” and completed according to its original plan in 1486. The Portuguese navigators selected the castles site, as it was strategically located at the end of a narrow promontory bounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the Benya River or lagoon, providing easy access to the sea for trade. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese enjoyed a trade boom importing vast quantities of old and new cloths, blankets, linen, copper, brassware, millions of “manilas” (metal bracelets), iron kettles and bars in exchange for gold dust and ornaments supplied by Mina. However, the trade created a need for labor and soon, the castle of Elmina started to serve as a slave castle.

The Dutch conquered it in 1637 and continued to use it as a base for slave trade. They expanded the castle shortly after they took over and gave it its present shape and structure. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1871 when the fort became a possession of the British Empire

The Gold Cost as Ghana turned as one of the richest markets for slave traders during the peak of the slave trade, hundreds of thousands of people were captured and passed through Elmina and were shipped into the Americas and Caribbean over a period of around 300 years. The actual number of people killed, tortured, transported, sold and raped is unknown to date. The areas that were originally built for storage of commodities and gold were converted into dungeons for the captured slaves. Men and Women were kept in separate Dungeons and in small storage rooms, dozens of men were forced to live for months, on scare ration and extreme conditions causing half of them to die before even their shipping.

The castles tall stone walls, with chipped white paint and dull red roof confined within it hundreds of slaves at the same time. From outside, the wide courtyard, green and lush, tall palm trees facing the blues of Atlantic Ocean create a heavenly picture. But as soon as you step in, the horrific interior is quite the reverse. The castles narrow door with a skull and bones carved on the top, is called the Death Door from where the more rebellious slaves were sent to beheaded. The wide stone courtyard, is the place where the slave women were brought and their white masters picked one of them to satisfy their urges, the woman getting pregnant were freed, those who did not were made to live until they were shipped or dead.

The last door to see in the Elmina Castle, is the Door of No Return The narrow tunnel leading to this door only wide enough to fit one person, is the point from where slaves were loaded on ships and sent far off forever. Half of them, would die during the horrific captivity and tortures while those sent off shore, would barely make it to their destinations while kept in ships basement, with no food or waters for days.

The castle is a living monument of the limits at which humans can reach and harm each other. The extreme at which colors of skin can decide ones fate. Castle of Elmina, is a must visit for those daring to swallow the pain that flies in its air, to date. It is the burning heart of Ghana.

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Jumping Castle Hire North Brisbane

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016

Conwy Castle stands at the mouth of the River Conwy in North Wales and is one of the most majestic of all the castles in the region. The castle was constructed during the time of King Edward I of England as part of his ‘iron ring’ to enclose the Welsh uprisings from the mountains of Snowdonia. Conwy Castle was built on a natural rock formation giving it superior height over the nearby town and the castle consists of six towers enclosing the curtain wall. Access to the castle is via the Cadw visitor centre which is situated opposite the castle with access across a busy road via a foot bridge.

Although almost 1000 years old Conwy Castle is very well preserved despite numerous attempts to strip it of its riches over the centuries. Once across the access bridge there is a short walk up to the main gate and then into the castle proper. Inside the walls most of the original buildings have gone however you can see the layout from the remaining foundations and get an idea of what the castle must once have looked like from the useful tourist signs dotted around. A particularly well preserved section is located to the right of the main entrance and was once the great hall. Whilst the floors of Conwy Castle’s great hall have long since collapsed you can look around and really get a feeling for the knights of the middle ages.

The most fun in Conwy Castle comes once you start climbing the various staircases to get access to the towers and walls. You’ll get a terrific view of the town below and the Conwy river as well as the original suspension bridge which was built by Thomas Telford in 1826. Before the bridge was built the only way across the river was via a ferry boat that operated once a day making journeys across North Wales very long indeed. After you’ve done exploring the castle you can visit the Suspension Bridge which is operated by the National Trust. From the tallest of Conwy Castle’s towers you can see the distant town of Llandudno and its most famous landmark the Great Orme or in the other direction see for miles up the Conwy river as you began to truly understand the strategic importance of the castle at Conwy.

Whilst Conwy Castle is obviously Conwy’s largest attraction both in terms of size and visitor numbers there are many other things to do in the town. Conwy is one of the few fully walled towns in Wales where you can still get access to walk around the majority of the walls. You can start near the castle and follow the walls along towards the highest point. Unfortunately you’ll have to leave the walls for a while as you pass Conwy railway station and rejoin them as you ascend to the highest section. Take a breather here, you’ll probably need it, and look around to get a terrific view of the castle across the town rooftops.

From the highest point of the walls its all literally downhill as you follow the walls towards the quayside. Some of the best preserved sections of the wall are here and as you reach the quay take the chance to go to the very end of the walls and look across the river towards Deganway with its newly built marina. Getting off the walls drops you nicely onto the quayside for a pleasant walk along the waterfront. There’s plenty of places to grab refreshments along Conwy quay from ice cream vans to chip shops. If you fancy a drink after all the walking the Liverpool Arms is located on the quay and is a very popular pub especially in warm weather. Conwy quay is also home to the smallest house in Great Britain which you can visit for a small charge. The house has only two rooms and always has an attendant outside dressed in traditional welsh dress.

A little further along the quay side is the Conwy Mussel Museum which highlights the towns most popular fishing catch. Inside you can learn the history of mussel fishing in Conwy and take a look at some of the equipment used. If you fancy an alternative view of Conwy Castle and the river then hop on board the Conwy River Cruise which takes you out for a half hour journey past the castle and under the suspension bridge.

With so much to do you may be wondering whether you’ll have any time left to take in Conwy’s other attractions but if you do have the time then walk through the arch on the quay side and have a walk around the town. Close to the quay is Aberconwy House which is the only medieval house in Conwy that is still standing. The house is operated by the National Trust and dates back to the 14th century. Another historic building worth a visit in Conwy is Plas Mawr which are located just a short walk away. Plas Mawr was built during the 15th century as a large medieval hall by Robert Wynn, a well travelled courtier of the time.

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Jumping Castle Hire Sutherland Shire

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016

In 1956, the Tinneys paid $25,000 for a piece of real estate located on 675 Bellevue Avenue. Their Belcourt Castle, the third largest mansion in Newport (after The Breakers and Ochre Court) would become a lifelong labor of love. This medieval-style castle has been an ongoing restoration project since they took up residence. Harle Tinney put her home up for sale in May, 2009 beause she found it more and more difficult to maintain the mansion and oversee the weddings, tours and special events needed to keep it afloat financially after her husband Donald’s death in 2006. Therefore, Belcourt Castle remains open to the public. Although we may not afford the asking price of $7.2 million, we certainly afford a $25 admission fee for a 75 minute tour through a museum laden with antiques, rich in architectural splendor, and infused with social history.

Currently the sole owner of the castle, Harle Tinney frequently guides tours through her home and is often present to greet visitors when she is in residence. Having toured Belcourt Castle where I had the privilege to engage both Harle and Donald Tinney in a conversation about the stained glass windows, it gives me great pleasure to elaborate. Of the 60 rooms at Belcourt, over a dozen may be viewed during a tour: English library, banquet hall, chapel, grand halls, music room, Empire-style dining room, French Gothic-style ballroom, two main bedrooms, loggia, and gallery. All of the rooms are finished with pieces from the Tinney family collections which include furnishings along with art and artifacts from Europe, the Orient, and from numerous other Newport mansions. Open to the public since 1957, the Tinneys’ labor of love restored, renovated, and preserved Belcourt Castle while operating the state’s only stained-glass business.

In essence the tale of Belcourt Castle with its abundant suits of armor, vaulted ceilings, and stained glass begins with its first owner- then, eligible bachelor, Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, an avid collector of medieval manuscripts, stained glass, and armor. Inheriting 60 million dollars enabled him to hire renowned Newport architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the 60-room residence which was completed in 1894 at a cost of $3.2 million. Another “summer cottage” built during the opulent Gilded Age sprung up in the elite neighborhood.

This ostentation is reflected in the castle’s distinguishing feature of extensive stables on the ground floor where Belmont’s beloved steeds slept under monogrammed blankets, and carriage areas sprawled on the 3-acre site. Fourteen secret doors and a tunnel to the kitchens were located two blocks away for fear of fire. Artisans spent three years carving an ornate grand staircase. The Great Room features a 17th century Italian stained glass and a chandelier with 13,000 prisms.

However long it took for Belcourt to be built, Oliver Belmont fell for the wife of his best friend and business partner in no time flat– Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt, who happened to hostess Belcourt’s opening ball in 1895. That same year Alva divorced and betrothed Oliver. The Honorable Perry Belmont, the last surviving of Oliver’s brothers, took ownership of the castle and sold it in 1940. Belcourt changed hands several times between 1940 and 1956 when the Tinneys came along.

After plunking down $25,000 for the derelict property, they renamed “Belcourt” to “Belcourt Castle” and opened a museum in 1957. Through a labor of love, the family refurbished the mansion and filled it with a collection of art and antiques, 13th century stained glass, Renaissance armor, and a gold coronation coach. Just as Oliver Belmont fell in love with Alva Vanderbilt when she stepped inside Belmont, while a student at Brown Univesity, Harle Hope Hanson worked as a summer guide at the castle where she met Donald Harold Tinney. The two wed at the castle in 1960. Following Mr. Tinney’s death in 2006, a pending deal to sell the property fell through. Harle Tinney currently runs the castle with a staff of ten or so, places buckets under leaks sprung from roofs, and also leads guided tours.

Besides the splendor of vaulted ceilings, stained glass, and suits of armor, a law suit gathered steam as Harle and Donald Tinney fought a battle over his late mother’s estate with their former handyman who was adopted by Tinney’s aging mother when he was an adult. Though Harle and Donald won, legal wranglings continued over inheritance of the mansion. Never mind. Should you be fortunate enough to have Harle Tinney guide you along your tour, she much prefers to call attention to the coronation carriage which she assisted her late husband in building. As ghost tours and tours by candlelight are offered at the castle, she will also relate to you incidents of paranormal activity, particularly in the ballroom on the second floor-presence of an entity behind your shoulder, objects being flung in the air, furniture being displaced, the sound of footsteps, the drop and rise in temperatures, doors shutting without warning. Some individuals have experienced a wave of nausea and hatred while in the ballroom which disappears as soon as they exit. Two salt chairs in the ballroom purportedly have flung individuals attempting to sit on them. The spectral aspect of Belcourt Castle was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters.

Not as pristine as the other mansions in the neighborhood, Belcourt Castle stands apart from its staid neighbors. Privately owned, the structure is not under the auspices of a well-financed, nonprofit organization, such as the Preservation Society of Newport County, but constitutes a labor of love to maintain it. One might even go so far as to say it looks as though the maid has had a few days off. Nevertheless, do not let shoddy housekeeping or a leaky roof deter you from accepting an invitation to tour Belcourt Castle where both mistresses of the manor-Alva and Harle, met their knights in shining armor.

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