Sunday, August 13, 2006

Trafalgar Tour

Before we go any further into the trip around England I will put up the photo's and some of the stories from the bus trip. The trip took us from Rome, Florence, Venice and then into Austria, Switzerland and across France into Paris, over the puddle on the ferry and into London.



Grand Canal Venice Florian's cafe on San Marco Square

San Marco Basilica

Doges palace


St Stephen's Cathedral



Our bus and my favourite photo

Went to a farm and had apple pie, yodelling and whipcracking

The whole bus group was taken on two horse drawn carts through three Swiss villages

Some of the scenery around the villages


The painted buildings were fascinating and the golden balcony is spectacular

A few photo's taken at the Louvre. Recreation of the original Louvre Palace

All looks calm as we approach the Arc di Triomphe, but the traffic was very chaotic.
We also ate snails and frogs legs while we were here.

Palace of Versailles was visited

Then we headed for London

Yes we took the children to a matinee performance of the Lion King at the Lyceum theatre.

We stayed in Picadilly Circus, just around the corner from theatre land.

For more information about what we did in London, check In London or London Photos or Rainforest Cafe or Apartment in London

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Worst Experience

By far my worst experience was the stop at the Travelodge on the M4 East Bound at Delamere.

We were on our way to Bristol, but could not get accomodation there. So we took the first non smoking room we could find. As we were travelling west, the first thing we had to do was to cross the motorway, no mean feat and we had to ask in two different places until we got it right. We arrived tired and cross at nearly 10pm. Here is the link for Chippenham East DelamereTravelodge. Up to the room to find that there was no toilet paper, then there were no sheets for the second single bed, and finally no towels - it was all fixed but not what you want at that time of night.

We found that the Premier Inn at Ashford was much better.
Ashford North Premier Inn

J's worst experience was when trying in Chester to get out of the bus only lane he turned left into a one way street, going the wrong way!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Kent and SE England

After 6 nights in our apartment in London, we caught the train to Ashford, Kent. We did this because we were leaving from Ashford for France at the end of the English trip, and because my family used to live nearby, also I did not fancy driving in London!!!

We picked up the car (I have mentioned elsewhere how much we loved the car, not), and set off for Margate and Ramsgate, where we had a lovely late lunch by the sea. We then drove around the coast to the town I grew up in, Lydd. The annual fair, called Lydd Club Day was starting the next day and so there was lots of activity in town and the kids really wanted to stay. I spoke to someone in the general shop about Lydd and found that our old GP was still in town and still as cantankerous as ever, the clinic where my mother worked had long since closed. We went to look at my old school, it was tiny compared to what I remembered it to be. We drove past it once, as it was not as big as I had thought. Our old house seems to be a Bed and Breakfast place now and I plan to stay there next time we go - funny to rent a room in your family house. At the back of the house we had a huge garden and we loved the apple orchard. Now the back half of the garden has been subdivided off and has a new set of houses running across. It was good to catch up on almost thirty years of history.
Information on Lydd

We then headed for Dover - got lost in Dover and had to reverse for the first time. It took a while to find, so we spent quite a bit of time in someone's driveway and very glad that this was not being attempted on a busy road. We got a b&b in Dover. We were on the top floor of a tall building, with very narrow stairs and no lift. This was to be a theme of b&b's all over. The woman who ran the place was pleasant, but was not keen on the children. We ate in an Italian restaurant that seemed to be full of people waiting for the first ship to Calais in the morning.
The next day we headed for Dover Castle - amazing. We checked out the tunnels underneath as well, and they had been in continuous use up until the mid 1980's!
Dover Castle
We parked at Dover Castle and went in to see how much it cost, ended up buying an English Heritage for os visitors pass. At one point my larger handbag was put back in the car, and we went off to check everything out. If you get chance to visit, please do.

We were heading off from the Castle and had gone about an hour down the road, when the mobile went off (strange as almost nobody knew the number, we had an English sim) and when answered we found that it was the visitor centre at Dover Castle asking if I was missing a handbag? On searching the car and further conversations with the visitors centre it seemed that I had put my bag in the car next to our car (all cars look alike?) and the owners had come back to check the locks and had found my bag in there and handed it in. We went and retrieved the bag and thanked everyone profusely and went off again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Apartment in London

Our apartment in London. If you want professional photos of the place, check out the link.

This is where we found Michaela one morning (Andrew had kicked her out of bed)

The second picture is the view from our apartment window, down to the fountain where a lot of performers would gather each night, bongo drum players were the ones I remember the best as I last heard them at 3am one night.

Views to our apartment from the outside. Our apartment is on the third floor, on the corner.