Sunday, 28 August 2011

Story behind the photo - Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon

As you might expect, in London there are many different tour companies that offer trips to various places around London and England. To help me in my goal to explore as much of the UK as possible, one company I've used is called London Walks . They offer a wide range of walks in London, and also run 'days out' by train. How these work is: you travel by train from London to your destination. You do a guided walk in the morning, and another one in the afternoon. There is free time for lunch and after the second walk. In terms of costs, you pay a set amount for the walks, then a variable tariff which covers the cost of train tickets, entrance fees, and use of a bus (if required, sometimes a bus is used to get you from the nearest train station to your destination). I've done several walks with them now, and generally really enjoyed them, and found them to be good value for money.

Now, onto the photo. This is a photo of Warwick Castle, located in the town of Warwick, England. Since being built in the 11th century, it has been used as both a castle and a stately home. On the day we were there, there was some medieval displays set up - the one with the owls/different birds was a highlight. The castle is owned by the same people who own Madame Tussauds - if you've visited Madame Tussaud's before you visit the castle, then you'll see what I mean.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Story behind the photo - Oxford

Oxford is the other major university town that many people have heard of and (I think) want to visit when they come to the UK. I have to admit, when I visited I didn't enjoy Oxford as much as Cambridge. This is most likely because, on the day I visited, there were graduation ceremonies going on....and it was also an alumni weekend, so there were many more people in the city than you might expect.

This photo is of the Radcliffe Camera, which is part of the Bodlein Library - somewhere I wanted to visit, but wasn't able to go into. The photo is taken from the Carfax Tower, which was part of a 14th century church that was demolished over 100 years ago to allow for road widening. Its well worth climbing for the views of Oxford.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Story behind the photo - Brighton

Brighton. One of the more easily accessible bits of English coastline from London (its about an hour or so on the train), the town is a popular destination for hens' weekends - I think my friend and I saw at least 4 or 5 the day we were there. The town is also known for the Pier and the Royal Pavillion - both of these are worth a look.

Or you could go and try sunbathing on the beach, though I'm not sure how comfortable the pebbles are! To a girl who grew up in Australia, pebble beaches are just strange. The photo is taken down on the main waterfront area of Brighton, looking towards the Pier.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Currently listening to...

this guy:

I've been hearing this song on the radio for a while now, and really liking it. Then, after listening to a countdown on the radio last weekend - and really disliking what was at number one - I hit youtube to see what else he might have released....and was pleasantly surprised. Hope you enjoy listening as well, if you haven't already heard of him.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Story behind the photo - Hampton Court

Hampton Court Palace is a major tourist attraction in London. Located on the outskirts of the Greater London area, it is easy to reach by train (you can also get there by boat I believe). The palace's best known resident would be King Henry VIII, who expanded the palace so it could be used as a principle residence. Most people, however, are probably not aware that other monarchs also lived in the palace, the most notable of which are King William III and his wife (Queen Mary II) - they also lead a period of expansion. Today, the palace is noted for having two distinct style of architecture - Tudor and Baroque. Many people may have also heard of the maze in the palace grounds - I found it easy to find the centre, a lot harder to get back out again!

This photo is part of the palace kitchens - the kitchens have been set up to look as they would have done in Henry VIII's time.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Seen and/or heard while out and about, volume 2

I don't know about anyone else, but I love just watching people - it might just be the best part of travelling. Some recent things I've seen while out and about include:

  • Cashier at a store, after I hand over the right change for my purchase: "I get confused with lots of change"

  • Dogs (as in pets, not guide dogs/assistance dogs) on public transport

  • People thinking that bags need a seat on public transport

  • Random person at a tube station: Is this such and such station?
    Me: No, its this stationRandom person: *confused look on face*
    (PS - she was a long way from where she wanted to be)

  • People dressed in medieval costume, singing in the streets around Covent Garden (they were advertising a show on that day)
Now I'm curious, what else have people seen while out and about?