Hello everyone! This post is going to be a bit out of the box for me- don’t worry, I haven’t switched over to travel blogging. Actually, in social class right now we’re doing a project where we have to write a blog post about two different countries and give our opinions on which one we think is better to travel to. So I was like YESSSSSS, might as well hit two birds with one stone and get a project and a blog post done at the same time. I don’t know how this is going to go, but bear with me here.
The two countries that I picked were the UK and Greece, which are places that I’ve always wanted to go, mostly because of their super cool history. I’ll be comparing their tourist attractions, places to eat, weather, culture, currency, and yes, I have to do a little bit on both of their economic systems because this is a social studies project. For each country I’ll also figure out what it’s best library is and let you guys know. You can’t go vacationing without a good book! Anyways, I hope that this gives you a little bit of travel inspiration.
Best Library: National Art Library, London
The United Kingdom has a crazy amazing history, and because of that there are so many cool things to do there. The Tower of London, Stonehenge and the British Museum are all sites that will transport you back in time, and there are many castles and palaces such as Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace or Hampton Court if you are interested in the British Monarchy. Even if you don’t like history, the Chester Zoo and the Eden project, which houses an extraordinary variety of interesting plant species, offer unique experiences.
Onto places to eat! (My favourite part). Fishers is a restaurant on London’s High Street serving fish and chips, a must-try when visiting the UK. Tom’s Kitchen is another fairly inexpensive place to eat in Chelsea, serving English comfort food. If you’re up for something a bit more international, there are many Indian and Italian establishments in the London area, including Taste of Nawab and Emilia’s Crafted Pasta.
The high season to travel to England is the spring and summer months, when the weather is the warmest. However, the winter in the UK is still fairly mild. This week, the temperatures range from six to twelve degrees celsius, although there usually is a fair amount of clouds and rain.
The United Kingdom’s culture is largely dominated by its historic past. Shakespeare’s plays are still being interpreted by different stage groups, and the English monarchy is still a big part of the country’s identity. People in the UK enjoy watching soccer, which is believed to have originated in England.
In terms of currency, the UK uses pounds sterling, with 100 pence making up one pound. One reason that people may be opposed to visiting the UK is the difference in value between our dollar and the pound, but honestly, I think that it is definitely worth it to visit a place of such historical significance.
Finally, like Canada, the UK is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the reigning king or queen acts as head of state, and the head of government is an elected prime minister (currently Theresa May). It’s economy is mixed, but it does lean toward market values. Most services are privately owned, except for healthcare and education. However, companies that provide water, gas and postal services are tightly regulated by the government. This gives the economy a balance between government involvement and individual freedom. Resources in the UK, which includes oil and gas, are owned mostly by private businesses with some government involvement. Manufacturing goods isn’t a major contributor to the economy, but foreign trade is very important to it. Overall, I would say that the UK has a healthy economy, mixing private businesses with government involvement to ensure the well-being of its citizens.
Best Library: National Library of Greece, Athens
With numerous beaches and historic sites, there is no shortage of tourist destinations in Greece. This ancient country really fascinates me with its temples and age-old cities. The Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens is probably one of the most popular attractions in Greece. It is an ancient temple that was dedicated to the goddess Athena in 447 BC. Santorini, an island off of the Greek mainland with iconic its blue and white buildings and red beaches, is another great place to visit. And if you’re interested in ancient Greece, Delphi is a UNESCO world heritage site and holds the ruins of the most important temple of Apollo in Greece, where pilgrims traveled to hear prophecies over a thousand years ago.
I absolutely LOVE Greek food. Tis Theatrou to Steki is a restaurant in Athens that looks like it has some absolutely amazing things to have for lunch. They don’t have a full menu, but rather let you pick individual dishes to share. Kalamaki Kolonaki is another place which has great souvlaki (meat skewers) and salads. Little Tree Books and Coffee is a cafe/bookshop (we need more of these in North America) that serves affordable coffee and pastries.
Greece has very hot summers and wet, mild winters. I would say that the best time to travel would be May through June, when the temperature is usually in the mid-twenties in degrees celsius. This makes for great beach and sight-seeing weather!
Greek people are very family-oriented and often gather at their local coffee shop to talk with members of the community. They enjoy the arts, such as theatre, and, as in the UK, soccer is a popular sport. Greece has a rich history that is still evident in its culture today.
The euro is the currency used in Greece; they switched over from the drachma in 2002. Unfortunately, one euro is equivalent to 1.5 Canadian dollars, but it is still less of a jump than the pound, which is worth 1.7 Canadian dollars.
Greece is a parliamentary republic; their president is elected by parliament, but his or her role is mostly ceremonial, as the prime minister is head of state and holds the power. It’s economy relies on exporting crops such as olives, melons and grapes, and other resources like marble and crude oil. The party in power, SYRIZA, is very left-wing, and so Greece right now is leaning more towards being a mixed economy rather than a market economy. They have public healthcare and education, but many students attend private tutoring after school, as public schools aren’t the best. The economy has recently suffered from recession because the country has a lot of debt to pay off. In 2016, the Greek government was 372.12 billion US dollars in debt. Because of this, there is a fairly high unemployment rate, but Greece’s economy is slowly growing.
So….. Which Country is the Better Travel Destination?
Honestly, I think that Greece has more to offer than the UK in terms of vacationing. In addition to great sight-seeing opportunities, there are plenty of beaches and amazing weather! Going to Greece would be the perfect mix between a relaxing vacation and an authentic travel experience. I think that in the UK your trip would be all about seeing the tourist attractions- which isn’t a bad thing, but if you want to take a break somewhere in between you wouldn’t have as many options. Our dollar is worth more in Greece as well, so you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck. In terms of traveling and getting to know a different culture, going to Greece would definitely be a more immersive experience than going to the UK. England is very modernized, and shares many of the same traits with Canada. I don’t think that traveling there would give you the same sense of being somewhere new that Greece would. In addition, the food in Greece would just be amazing. I’m sure that the UK has some great restaurants as well, but you can’t beat fresh caught calamari! Oh, and they have lots of chickpeas there, so I would fit right in;) To summarize: Go to Greece!!
I hope that you guys liked this post. I don’t know if I’m totally sold on the whole travel blogging thing yet though; that was a lot of research! Next week I’ll be sharing my 2019 Bullet Journal Set-Up, which I’M SO EXCITED FOR! In the meantime, have a great holiday season!
Yours Truly, MyDayIsBooked;))))