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|3rd September 2008, 11:28||#1|
UK -2007 - A bit of Wales, Kent and a lot of London
This trip happened early 2007. Due time issues and I could not be bothered to upload multiple pics to imageshack, any no excuses and Sara's travelogue reminded me to get going! I have three days of doing nothing so here goes!
It was time to show my daughter her "homeland", at least were she is a citizen although she is a staunch indian inside. Plan was to fly to Manchester. Join my cousin for a trip to Wales, hang out in Manchester, hire a car and drive to London, make a day trip to Kent, hang around London and return.
The only airline permiting us to do this was Emirates else we would waste money getting back to the point of origin.
Board the redeye to Dubai. Plane is cramped. Land in Dubai to a sea of people. Toilets, it is a case of Q4P or 20min to dump. Okay for a man but for ladies! Look around the shops. Except for booze, it is on the pricey side. Find some seats in a quiet zone and sleep. The girl runs around on the travelators within site.
Land in rainy Manchester, recover. Next day go to Trafford Centre to shop, everything is from India but my wife finds some killer buys. My cousin has to leave early so we take a cab driven by a virulent Pakistani. He keeps harping about the UK racisim etc. I tell him have you tried integrating or do what I did, get out and have a better lifestyle. He argues, I make more money, I say for what.
He comments on the destination, saying you people are millionaires, I say no, we bought the place when prices were low a long time ago. I just about get away with this. We get out, I pay him and
Toot, toot, mu cousin arrives with my daughter in the 911 Carrera
"Not millionaire, eh!" and he drives of in a huff.
Friday night, we go to Abersoc on the north Wales Coast. First go to a funky bistro in Altrincham for dinner. Go to the loo to find the urinal has a mirror in front so you can see not only yourself but others - the architect was kinky!
Anyway, pile into the X5 and off to Wales, jet lag overcomes me and I fall asleep. We reach there at 11 PM and are shown to our rooms. Decide the next evening, we will have a gourmet dinner out there.
Morning wake up and look at the view. Tia and I set out for a walk on the stony beach.
Views on the trek down
The hotel Porth Tocyn
View from our room
We see a baby rabbit struggling. Tia wants to do something for it but what?
(aside - old man murmuring the pic quality is not to his liking - this is good old filmy pics)
After a nice full english breakfast, we set out to tour the coast and the Lleyn Peninsula. Weather was rather chilly and we had another problem, my wife had a cyst on her leg which was getting septic. Spent the morning walking the beach around the Peninsula, looking at crab pools. Had lunch in a delightful seaside pub.
Wife is in some pain so we return to the hotel. Bank Holiday Weekend so no doctors available. Hotel suggests we drive to Pwefelli and try the hospital. A 10 mile drive. My cousin drives us there and the nurse is an angel and sorts her out. The doctor gives a prescription and there are no charges despite her being non resident. Proves the NHS system sucks but the people working there are wonderful if overworked.
Return and chillout. Hotel has a great play area for kids. They offer (rather prefered!) that we serve their early dinner over there as evening dinner is regarded as special. And it was, 6 course menu, fine wines, it was superb. Retired to the lounge and dossed up on a few liquers.
Last edited by ajmat : 3rd September 2008 at 14:19.
|3rd September 2008, 12:02||#3|
|3rd September 2008, 14:06||#4|
On the way back, we approach Chester and get to Crocky Trail
This is an adventure park made out of recycled material. Admission is 9 pounds - a bargain compared to Lego land and has more thrills. There are various things- activities and obstacles .
One is a narrow elevated path with rubber sheets swinging across your path swiping you off
King of the Castle - a mountain made of slippery rubber sheets which you need to climb only to get someone pushing you off
A similar smaller one that rotates throwing you off.
The best one is the Titanic - A giant tipper truck like device. It rises and you slip off, near the top, it will jerk to try and disloge anyone still up there. Note, if you have weight, you don't have a chance!
Some other stuff
This is not all. A stream runs around the park and one follows a trail. You have the easy way or difficult options of crossing the streams - string bridges, planks, pipes, there are mountain climbs, rope decents, the works. Suggest you go to the website and see for yourself.
What I liked was the simplicity of the place. You can bring your own food, the infrastructure is low cost. I found this more fulfilling than legoland!
Over the next two days, we were back in Manchester as I had to finish some personal work. Picked up a Mondeo and it was off to London. And a visit to Kent
Last edited by ajmat : 3rd September 2008 at 14:24.
|3rd September 2008, 19:49||#8|
Sigh, if you must, this was not a car trip, having been to Sepang during the previous month, cars were to be on low priority
The BMW that I used (2000 BMW 318iA e46)
(Ford Mondeo 1.8 Edge Hatch)
The X5, I used during my another visit (X5 3.0 d 400 mile test), the one for the trip, we used was its replacement
|3rd September 2008, 21:56||#9|
And so it was on to the Sarf.... the South after a few days of cocktail parties, dinners.
Pick up a Mondeo from Hertz, Manchester Airport. We pop over to Yorkshire to visit a classmate. Light was bad hence no pics but if you click on the X5 link, you will get an idea. Get to London to my cousin and the next day we go to Kent. We go to Tunbridge Wells to meet a friend of my Mother in Law. Long story but she has no idea how Bangalore has evolved since the 1950's and we do not have the heart to tell her!
The weather was good. This is Winnie the Pooh land and nice but narrow country roads. You need to know where you are going. We are to meet this lady at a designated spot. We see her old but immaculate Focus and follow her. Boy, she really presses on around blind corners. The Mondy struggles to keep up. Is it me or the car? I remember that early Focus's were like that.
Get to her house refresh and we are off to Penhurst Gardens where her grandchildren are to meet us. Not much garden as much as open grounds
We have lunch and move on to Hever Castle where Henry the VIIII 'th wife Anne Boleyn lived. They really preserved this house. The gardens are massive and they had a maze. We tried it, got lost and got to the centre!
The garden was in full bloom
After a nice tea, we went for a drive through what is the 100 acre wood. It is exactly as described in Pooh. It is a nice peaceful area to live, walk the dog etc.
Return to their house for dinner and the it's the M25 back to London. The city beckons!
Last edited by ajmat : 3rd September 2008 at 22:02.
|4th September 2008, 11:32||#12|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Thanked: 18 Times
Nice one ajmat! My son wants to go to Crocky Trail next year! Also like the idea of visiting the 100 acre wood. We seem to always stick to the south west, but hope to venture further north I'm going to post the pix from legoland now.
|4th September 2008, 12:22||#13|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Looks like you have applied too much of "sharpen" effect on these pictures. I am sure the pictures will look really good even without the effects
|14th September 2008, 21:42||#14|
Sorry for the delay - in laws took over the bedroom where my home PC with pics were
Continuing - first thing to do was to chop the Mondy in - we drive to Heathrow. They examine the car as if I had rallied it but find nothing. Get dropped at T2 to catch the tube. We thought of the Heathrow Express but it would be too expensive.
The only way to give the girls an immediate impact of London was to come up at Westminster.
We do that and they see Big Ben and I walk them across the bridge. 1st stop is London Eye. Pretty thorough in searching the pods for bombs. I buy a combo ticket which gives a discount to Madame Tussards.
Alas the sun was not on our side for great pics but the view is amazing. A great orientation!
Get back on the ground and walk around the Embankment - A lot of mannequins who stand still untill they hear a clink of a coin and do some kind of act - either a clockwork like dance or a mime etc. I always like to walk along the Embankment, stop at a pub, then hang out at the Tate Modern Museum. We did not do that today
We then walk past Big Ben and up White Hall. We see the Changing of the Guards at the Guards Mews by chance.
Reach Trafalgar Square - my daughter was always fascinated by Lord Nelson, now she meet him. We cross and walk up to Leicester Square. Time for lunch and plan out what to do for the week.
We planned Madame Tussards and the Natural History museum but these were reserved for rainy days. We also wanted to do two plays - Lion King and Mary Poppins. Of course, there was Buckingham Place and the Tower of London. Manage to get tickets for the Lion King Matinee!
But first was lunch at my favourite place - Waggamamma's
This is a Japanese Noodle House - everyone sits "Boarding House Style" at long tables. A waitress will take your order and it is transmitted wirelessly. A low cost filling operation. My daughter loved it!
We then walk around Covent Garden where there is usually small markets and all sorts of other things but alas, it is not as active as it was.
Only thing of note was an old fashioned roundabout
Make our way to Haymarket and watch the show. The Lion King is just like the movie but the costumes are amazing. After a great show, the little girl is tired so its time to go home!
|14th September 2008, 22:00||#15|
The Changing of the Guards
Today, it is time to visit Aunt Liz. She might have a special show around 10.3o.
We are running late. Get off at Green Park and run to th Place but the crowd is huge, sitting on walls , three people thick at the gates. Not looking good. We see the guards and band marching in from the Mews. The police hold up traffic.
We cannot see much in the front of the palace, suddenly the music gets funky, the Royal Guards are playing the Theme from Shaft while guards are exchanging positions.
If you do want to see the Changing of the guards - see it on a week day or get there early!
After lunch, we go home and my daughter wants to hang out with her cousins. we return to go to the Tate modern to see a special exhibition on "Gilbert and George"
Suffice to say, it is not an exhibition to take your kids to, involves two middle aged gay men and their interpretation of art using body fluids and even faeces yuk - morbid but fascinating!
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