A Travellerspoint blog

Belgium

Merry Christmas :)

rain 7 °C

Brussels

And back into a foreign speaking country. We flew from Dublin to Brussels arriving at Charleroi airport- the budget airport which is an hour away from Brussels. We were a bit confused when we arrived- seeing the airport filled with middle eastern looking people- thought we landed in the wrong country. Anyway, a quick 1 hour express bus service into Brussels, pretending we can understand French, was a success. We checked ourselves into our awesome apartment and we're ready to start celebrating Xmas :).. Now we just have to wait for Wally (Blake's friend) to show up.

We started our trip with Belgium's famous dish: Mussels & frites; And bouillabaisse: (so yum..)
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Brussel Xmas Markets

These were the best Xmas markets we have been to. One was located just down the road from our apartment, another a few blocks away.. I suppose that's the reason why we chose to stay in the centre of the city.
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The boys (Blake, Wally and Cesar (Wally's friend from the hostel)) enjoying their 24 oysters & champagne!! And some very cheesy potato dish. When Cesar ordered the potato thing he said "not too much" and they heard "fromage" so gave him some extra cheese!
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Belgium Waffles: Michelle's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th waffles... Yum Yum Yum :)
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Amazing light shows: Every night the city puts on their Xmas light shows. It is so colourful and amazing :)
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Exploring Brussels

Grand Place: Many of the buildings in the square are 300 years old. Its beautiful at night when the buildings are lit up for the Xmas light show :)
The boys also found a nice bar on the corner of the square to get into some of those fancy belgian beers.
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Manneken pis: it is suppose to represent the spirit of Brussels. One of the stories behind the statue is that it was inspired who found a way to drive away invading troops (by peeing on them).Some also say that he was turned to stone by a witch for peeing on her property. Guess we'll never know...
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And clearly the waffle stores are taking advantage of this famous statue:
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Royal Palace & the park opposite it
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Atomium
The Atomium was built for the 1958 World fair. It's in the shape of a crystalline Iron molecule, though I think we all missed that lesson... The tour starts with an elevator ride to the top with a view of the city. You can then make your way by stairs and escalators around 5-6 other iron atoms. There are some interesting design ideas located throughout and it was a bit surreal in some of the indoor areas.
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Belgium Comic Strip: Belgium is the home of tin-tin & the smurfs. Unfortunately the comics in this museum was all in French!! So it was rather boring for us. Blake also got a little confused with his languages: Blake thought he was speaking French until i pointed out that he was in fact speaking Italian/Spanish to the ticket man. Nice one Blake.. LOL :) :)

Our stay in Brussels consists of lots of mussels & frites, Belgian beer and LOTS of Belgian CHOCOLATES!!!
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Christmas!!!

Santa (That is Wally!!) arrived just in time for Christmas. We were a little worried after his last few attempts to meet us.

We were kinda hoping for snow.. but unfortunately that didn't happen as it was way too hot (10 °C) . But it didn't rain.. till the night :).

We started the day with Christmas lunch: prawns, scallops, potato salad, thai mango salad, and roast duck courtesy of the local chinese restaurant:
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Follow by lots of 9-12% alcoholic beers & backgammon.. which incidentally I (Michelle) beat the boys.. not once by 5 times out of 6!! Oh yeah :) :) Unfortunately Michelle didn't know that this was her christmas present from me and Wally.
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The boys decided to rank their Belgium beers and this is the result:
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Once the sun went down, we decided to venture out to the Xmas market for some fun- rides & lots of shots! We then came home and had the left over food.
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Mischief inside the Xmas ice-monster:
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We spent Boxing Day recovering from Christmas Day. Lets say the Belgium beers really knocked the boys out!!

Bruges

Bruges is a really well preserved town about an hour from Brussels by train. It was pretty touristy in some areas but we did some exploring and found some of the quieter areas.

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We saw the Church of the holy blood and saw the blood of Jesus on a bit of cloth in a test tube. It was pretty cool but I'm not sure that we were entirely convinced. We just spent the day walking around looking at the old buildings and enjoying some of the cafes.

The church of Holy Blood:
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On the way home we decided, at the last minute, to go and check out the Ice magic festival. We were tempted to have a look when we arrived but the line was huge! The sculptures were amazing. It was the first time that any of us had seen so many brilliant ice sculptures! We spent an hour inside in the chilly -6 °C, climbing up and down ice castles and looking at 3m high dragon wings sculpted from ice. We finally made it to the play room at the end of the Festival and had heaps of fun doing dumb stuff with all the ice sculptures. We had so much fun on the ice slides and the ice bed :).

Our highlights of the Magic Ice Festival in Bruges:
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Merry Christmas Everyone :D

xoxo M&B

Posted by blake-michelle 07:07 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Ireland

Tirty tree and a tird.

overcast 4 °C

We left Belfast early in the morning to catch the bus to Dublin. Not too bad, 12E each so far better than the train. We arrived in Dubiln and walked to the car rental agency to get our fancy car. I admit, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer is nothing to write home about, but compared to the Toyota Tarago van we've been driving for the last month it's heaven! Half the size and twice the power, now we can overtake people and fit down these single lane roads far better. We passed on the sat nav to save some cash and it's been OK for us so far... It's easy on the major roads, just some of the citys' are a pain in the arse to navigate.

Galway/Salthill

We left Dublin around lunch time and made it to Galway in about 2.5hours. It was a pretty straight run and we found the B&B no dramas so we were happy. After we checked in we decided to walk to the nearest Irish Pub, Tom Sheridans. It's a beautiful 3 story bar with great food and good Guinness, so we were both pretty happy. We had our grub and beer and made our way back to the B&B in the misty rain.

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One of the best sirloin steaks we have had on this trip; lamb shanks; figs tarte tatin (Michelle's dessert) and Guinness (Blake's dessert)- a very satisfying meal :) :)

Blake's hill- near where we were staying in Salthill:
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Connemara

The next day was quite busy. We decided to go for a drive around Connemara National Park. We've worked out the best way to do a driving tour in an area is to get a brochure from a tour company and drive the majority ourselves. We skip some of the obviously boring sections but can spend extra time in the better places.

So we started off at Ross Errily Friary: a 14th century Franciscan friary of Ross Errily Abbey. It is apparently the most extensive & best preserved of all Franciscan friaries in Ireland. It was really nice to see the place entirely empty... Nobody was working there and nobody else visited whilst we were there so it was like having our own little 14th Century Abbey.
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Our Lancer:
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We then headed into Cong Village which is a quaint little town but with the most amazing castle called the Ashford Castle which has been turned into a luxury hotel, surrounded by a golf course. Sounds like a perfect holiday spot for us next time, once we can scrape a bit more cash together...
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We drove through the Lough Nafooey valley. Lots of mountain, lake & valley scenery. At one point we wondered if we were actually on the road that the tourist bus would take as people were driving sheep down the single lane roads...
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Then stopped in the most Irish of Irish pubs in a small town called Leenane. They were watching the gaelic football and they don't even speak English!! Just so happened that a local rugby club was having a few drinks there and they were an absolute crack up, when we could understand what they were actually talking about...

Finally the most beautiful place we have visited to date (in Michelle's opinion) - Kylemore Abbey. It is known as Ireland's most romantic building and built in the late 19th century. It is the home of the Benedictine order of nuns in Ireland. It cost money to go in the abbey unfortunately, and as per usual.. we didn't want to pay to go in. So we just admired it from the outside. I was gonna pick up some hitch hikers but Michelle thought they looked a little bit dodgy, plus we were still sight seeing for the next 2hours before we were going to head home.
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Last stop on our self-guided tour was The Quiet Man Bridge: It is just a stone bridge- apparently it starred in the John Wayne flick 'The Quiet man'. We found it kinda funny that we were stopping to see a small bridge from a movie that we had never seen nor heard of.
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The Connemara Giant: built for no apparent reason!! hahaha..
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The Burren

On our way to Dingle, we drove through the Burren to get to the Cliffs of Moher. The Burren is a really odd place that supposedly supports loads of rare irish plants and animals. All we saw were rocks and a couple of small shrubs. Still an interesting place though.
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Cliffs of Moher

Recommended by our friends the O'Briens we checked out the Cliffs of Moher- Standing 214m high and 8 kms long along the coast. . The views were amazing. We went there on a rather windy & rainy day.. but the scenery is still breathtaking.
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We also walked around the O'Brien tower just for you Jade (& Odhran) :). Hopefully you'll forgive us for not investing in the O'Brien trust (it cost E2 each to climb the tower!!).
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Dingle

After a very long drive- it felt like forever.. we managed to get to Dingle. It was sunset by the time we got there and Blake wanted a drink after a very long drive, so we popped into town- only to find that most of them were empty (at 6pm)!! Oh well.. it least it warm and cosy next to the fire :)
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The B&B recommended a restaurant in town called Half Door- they specialise in seafood. Apparently the seafood chowder is the best. The food was tasty. Unfortunately we went home with food poisoning. Luckily courtesy of my (Michelle) parents, we have 6 boxes of charcoal.. about time Blake stop teasing me about carrying a bag of charcoal around!! So that absolutely ruined it for us. What a way to celebrate our 200th day on the road :( :(.
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Seafood chowder; lobster bisque; duck confit; cod fish; apple crumble (the worst crumble i have ever tried :(); panna cotta

The ring of Kerry

Despite our continuous symptoms of food poisoning, we still drove around the ring of Kerry (well part of it) as planned.

First stop.. Michelle was desperate for the toilet, so we had to stop at The Kerry Bog Village: an expensive toilet!! Small little museum showing the Irish way of life, kinda like St Fagans in Wales (but that was free entry, whereas this was 5E each!).
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Irish wolfhound: Its huge!!
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And onto the Ring of Kerry (we think the Cliffs of Moher were prettier). We really didn't give the ROK much of a chance and probaly only drove 1/3 of it. Looks like it would be quite beautiful if we both weren't feeling so crook. Next time I guess.
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Cork

Blarney Castle
Here we are at the famous Blarney Castle. Legend states that anybody that kisses the stone will be endowed with the gift of the gab so we thought it would be a good investment. We thought we should get straight to the castle while the sun was still shining! Underneath is a series of tunnels leading into the dungeons. We had to almost crawl for a bit of it but most of the passage way is a bit over waist height so if you stoop low its not too bad. We then walked throughout the castle and up to the Blarney stone. It was nice to see all the signs saying "queue here, 15minute wait" and be able to walk straight up to the stone and plant a wet one on it. After that we strolled around the castle grounds for an hour or so then had tea and scones before heading into Cork.
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Inside the Castle:
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Michelle kissing the Blarney stone:
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Walking through the castle grounds. These gardens were some of the best we'd seen at a castle. They weren't as grand or as prim and proper as some of the english or french gardens, but they had a certain air of mystery to them.
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Cork City Gaol
This place was an absolute gem, when we actually found it... The signs to the jail pointed the wrong way up one way streets and into parks. They must have been for pedestrians I guess. Anyway, from the outside the place looked like a castle and on the inside it looked like the set of every prison TV show I've seen! Most of the rooms and cells had wax figures and they played eerie footsteps and old Irish whispers. At the end there was an audiovisual thing which showed some of the prisoners and their trials.
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Cork Christmas Wonderland
This is the first christmas market we've seen that has its own Christmas Wonderland. It was good fun strolling around the christmas lights. We felt like kids all over again...
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Dublin

We arrived to a full hostel which was a bit unfortunate. It's always nicer when you can leave your stuff lying around and spread out a bit more... We arrived before check in so we dumped our bags and went for a walk around. We ended up catching the first hobbit movie which I thought was OK and Michelle had a quick nap during the movie so we were both happy.

The next day we went on one of the free walking tours of the city. It was a good tour except that it dragged on for nearly 5hours (when it was only meant to be 3)... He was interesting but after spending 5hours out in the cold we were quite over it. I snuck in a cheeky pint of Guinness so it was all ok with me. We walked through Trinity College which was beautiful. Didn't end up seeing the Book of Kells (A hand illustrated gospel book circa 800AD) as it was 9E entry. A bit rich when we could see the Chester Beatty Library for free, which had tons of really old books.

Trinity College: part of Dublin university:
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Free walking tour:
Dublin castle; The 'wall of fame'- we don't know many of them?!?!
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The next day Michelle went off for some retail therapy whilst I went to Visit the Archaeology building of the National Museum of Ireland. It was quite interesting to see the Ireland of Old Europe which was full of monks and scholars. I then went to the Chester Beatty Library, which has a collection of mostly hand illustrated books from as far back as the 4th century AD. After that my inner nerd was satisfied so I walked to the Guinness Storehouse for a pint of the good oil. The tour was 16E which isn't cheap but included a pint (which I poured myself) and a couple of small tastings of Guinness' beers and food with Guinness in it. I personally prefer the smaller brewery tours where you can see the workings of the factory but this was still good fun.

Blake's Guinness tour:
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The Christmas markets in Dublin were rubbish. A small cup of mulled wine was 5E! It was 2-3E pretty much everywhere else we had been before this- so we boycotted the rest of the market. In fact Dublin was around 20% more expensive than the rest of Ireland. We didn't go more than 2km from the centre of town though so maybe all the cheap places are out in the bush.

For the last day we just walked around and caught a bit of Irish music at a pub with dinner and drinks. We didn't see any traditional dancing but the band let it all hang out. The guitarist held/holds the Guinness world record for playing the guitar for 114hours straight!!! We finished our trip of Ireland with some Sheep Liver and bacon speciality which went down a treat with a pint of Stout; And Beef & Guinness pie:

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Irish pubs:
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That's it for Ireland..

xoxo B&M

Posted by blake-michelle 07:48 Archived in Ireland Comments (2)

Belfast

Riots broke out the night before we arrived. Did they know we were coming?

rain 4 °C

Belfast

We flew into Belfast from London in the evening and took the bus from the airport straight into the city. After a quick 20minute walk we were in the hostel and ready to head out for a meal. As this is our first Irish town I (Blake) was keen to get a pint of Guinness so it was gear down and off to the bar. After a pint and some average bar food we were content and ready to relax.

The next day we walked around the main streets of town and got ourselves some mulled wine and roast pork. Half of the food stalls are German serving mulled wine, wurst or roast pork. I wonder if all the christmas markets in Germany are selling food from over this side of the pond? Will have to find out someday I guess... We continued through town and made our way over to the Titanic quarter to see where the Titanic was built. It was only 3 °C and there was a cold northerly so we walked quite quickly.

Christmas Markets at town hall
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Titanic Quarter

Well this is the area that the Titanic and its two sister ships were built and fitted out. We didn't end up going into the new "Titanic Experience" building as it was £13ea. The old pump house and dry-dock guided tour was only £7ea and as it turned out we were the only ones on it so was a pretty good deal for a private guide. The guide showed us where the original crane and scaffolding was that was used to build the hull of the Titanic. It was then floated around to the dry dock where the water was pumped out so that the ship could be fitted out and painted. The guide mentioned that there was enough of the interior fittings "borrowed" from the work site to build another titanic. Coincidentally all of the houses in the area were painted the same colour, which just so happened to be the colour of the ships...

Titanic dock & pump house
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The studio where the filming for "A game of thrones" was just across the road. Unfortunately the third (or turd, depending on your accent) season had finished filming a couple of weeks ago so no chance of us seeing any stars. On the topic of movies, the guide mentioned that the scene where Kate Winslet was hanging over the bow of the ship with her arms spread wide was less than likely. He said that temperatures in that area around April the night time temperatures would have been around -20 °C. Hope that didn't shatter anyones dreams... On the way down to the bottom of the dry dock we noticed that there were a bunch of Americans running up and down the stairs serving food to a bunch of actors. We just walked straight through their filming so maybe one day Michelle and I will be on a reality tv show. Don't think we'll lose much sleep over that. Michelle did see one of the contestants bring a large serving tray to a table of guests, put it on the ground and then serve people their food from the floor!?! Not sure if that would get them any points...

We then walked around the pump house and I spotted a couple of synchronous motors and the engineer inside me jumped for joy! It would have been even better if they hadn't replaced the original steam powered pumps as that would be something very different. Couldn't get a photo of those pumps so stood near these instead. Just like being back at work :)

Inside the pump house:
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Titanic exhibition centre
Cheaper from the outside. I think the bits on the side of the building are the actual size of the Titanic's bow. I suppose I'd know for sure if we paid to see the exhibition...
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Samson and Goliath, two of the largest cranes of their era
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Black taxi tour: History of Northern Ireland

This was recommended to us by pretty much everyone at the hostel and our tour guide from the Titanic pump house. It is a tour that covers some of the history of the conflicts between the Unionists and Nationalists. We were taken into both the Protestant unionist and Catholic nationalist areas to see the street murals and the areas of conflict in the past, including the massive wall that separated the Protestant and Catholic areas. The trouble was so bad at one stage that they built the wall and closed off all of the seven roads that passed through just to stop the shootings/bombings. Fortunately for us it's far safer now. The guide was very impartial and by the end of it we were discussing amongst ourselves as to whether he was Catholic or Protestant. The mural of the man with a gun in the balaclava was really well painted. The gun seems to follow you where ever you walk...

Anyway it was a really good tour where we had the opportunity to ask some of the questions that we probably wouldn't have asked people on the street or at the pub. It was £30 for the taxi so we grabbed a Kiwi from the hostel so we only had to pay £10each :). I'd say the best thing we did in Belfast. Pretty good timing too as there had been protests turning to small riots a day or so earlier.
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Michelle driving with her eyes shut :)
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Giant Causeway Tour

The weather today was better than the day before but still a bit rubbish. Ah well, not too bad as we're sitting in the bus for half of the day. The first stop was Dunluce Castle, supposidly where King William III's troops landed to back up the unionists back in the 17th century. It was a pretty impressive castle but after 6months in Europe it takes a lot for us to get excited about a castle...

Dunluce Castle
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We then headed on through a couple more sites with some fairly interesting commentary from the bus driver arriving at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This was used by fisherman to get across to the far side of the small island to get a better shot at catching Salmon. It was blowing a gale when we got there and they had closed the bridge but we still got some photos nearby so not a total failure. Think we would have both been a bit nervous crossing this bridge in the weather as it's a good 30m down to the rocks below.

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
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We then made a lunch stop at Bushmills distillery and I bought a small bottle of Bushmills Irish Whisky. I seem to be able to drink Irish whisky far easier than Scotch whisky. Just a bit smoother. Had a look around and we were ready for the Giants Causeway, the main point of the tour. For those that haven't heard of it just take a look below. Its a group of really odd rock formations with a whole lot of Irish storytelling behind it. Look up Finn MacCool the giant if your interested.. Anyway the pictures speak for themselves.
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A quick photo stop at another random castle:
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The Giants Causeway
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Belfast was far more interesting than I thought it would be and it still felt really safe when the protest were going on (even with 24/7 police stake out outside our hostel). The riots started out the front of the hostel we were staying at so we had to walk through them to get home. Fortunately for us it was still early and it was only really 10-15 blokes with flags and balaclavas :).

xoxo B&M

Posted by blake-michelle 10:52 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

London

No more car :)

overcast 3 °C

London

Well we said goodbye to our car in London :(. Great because we can stay closer to the centre of town but we can't see all the great things off the beaten track. Not really an issue for London I guess. Anyway a great relief to return the car without any scratches... We headed straight for the hotel and it was a really strange one. It can't be much more than a year old but it was like being back on site in a donger. The bathroom was cheap crap plastic, good for the next year or so but it'll be rubbish after that. Still in new condition, so all good for us :).

We started our London food journey with Michelle's parents recommendation of:
Salt Beef sandwich from Seifridges:
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Followed by the best chinese meal we have had on this trip, with Michelle's cousin to keep us company. We were too busy scoffing down the soft shell crabs, clams, lobster noodle & crispy duck, that we didn't take any photos.. But yes we did finish everything- just the 3 of us :).

We followed it up with a degustation at a two Michelin star restaurant

And..

Yummy roast duck:
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Our 2 Michelin Star Restaurant experience :)

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The Tasting Menu (degustation):
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The wine: They were all out of the £3000 bottle, so we settled on the £70 one :) Still a pretty fancy label though!
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The snacks while you wait:
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And here comes the food:
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Admiring some rather expensive cars on the street.. As you can see.. the restaurant it located in an expensive area.. so just imagine how much our Michelin star dinner cost?!?! Hehehe.. The most expensive meal we have ever had!! :)
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WICKED.. The Musical :) :) :)

Finally managed to take Blake to his first ever Westend musical show (and possibly his last.. hahaha). I've heard good reviews about Wicked (when it was in Perth), finally got a chance to see it :) :) We ended up with front row seats at half price as Michelle got up early in the morning and queued for the cheap morning door sales. Surprisingly, Blake actually enjoyed the show.. Looks like payback for the tank museum didn't quite work :(. There's more to come Blake.. there's still payback for the airforce museum :) :).

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Look what i found under the stage: the band..
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Every theatre releases limited tickets on the day at discounted price, and so I woke up early for this occasion and queued up at 9am, didn't get the tickets till 10am. Sure what worth it for discounted tickets!!

SHOPPING!!!

Yes.. Shopping.. posted a 5 kgs box of shopping home!! We gave Ms Credit Card a good work out on Oxford Street & Westfield in Shepherd's Bush. Unfortunately we couldn't afford anything in Harrods, so we just ride the Egyptian escalator up and down :)
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Blake did so well putting up with 2 whole days of shopping. He did sneak out to an aussie pub to watch the rugby- Australia VS wales, but that was after shopping for 4hours. Unfortunately the game was shown on the tiny screen as the England VS NZ game was on at the same time. It was really confusing trying to watch the Aussie's and listen to the England VS NZ game commentary.. The first few times I (Blake) heard the whistle I couldn't work out why the teams kept playing... hahaha. I really thought that the Walkabout pub in London would show our game at least as much as the England game. It is an AUSSIE PUB after all!!! Bloody disgrace!!

The London Eye & views:
We decided to take a walk in the sunshine to the London Eye. Along the way we found a laundry (washing is still a never ending chore... Especially when travelling) and walked through a graffiti covered underpass. The underpass was pretty dodgy, not too bad in the daytime but wouldn't want to go strolling through at night... The first thing we saw at the eye was the christmas markets lined up along the riverbank. We made our way into the chaos and emerged with a couple of glasses of mulled wine and some roast pork and potatoes. Just the thing needed to brave the long queues up ahead. We bought our tickets inside and went through the "4D experience" which is a 3D movie with bubbles and spray and smoke which is meant to gee us up for the eye. It was ok, wouldn't have paid extra for it but it was good for free. After queueing for only 30minutes (way shorter than we expected) we were in the carriage and on our way around. The view was great as the sun was out and there wasn't much haze or clouds around.
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Can you see Buckingham palace in the background:
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Thought we go and pay the royals a visit.. We arrived 10minutes before the changing of the guard started. There were so many people, we could hardly see anything. Plus I've seen it plenty of times on TV- better views on TV i reckon.. So we left everyone to it..
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Buckingham Palace

Dear London, you are a very expensive city. All you did was take lots of money from us :( :(. We have to pack and leave you because we will be very poor if we stay here any longer :(. Goodbye...

xoxo M&B

Posted by blake-michelle 11:39 Archived in England Comments (0)

Part 4: Roadtrip around England

Final journey of our roadtrip :)

rain 8 °C

Day 25: Shewsbury (where Charles Darwin was born)

We left Noreen's place in Cardiff and headed into the flood warning zone of Shewsbury. There has been flood alerts in pretty much the whole of England. People are drowning in the floods but we thought we take the chance anyway. The Severn river that runs through the town was pretty flooded, but the town seemd fine. We checked ourselves into a B&B which was away from the river. Our car survived the night :).. Phew..

Checking out the town in the rain:
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The river Severn- water level looks pretty high!!!
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Blake decided to take me down Grope Lane: Cheeky bugger!!
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Day 26

Ironbridge
This was the first arch bridge to be made of cast iron. Supposedly it was a bit of PR for the local smelter, which worked really well (it got us there anyway). Since this was the first iron bridge there wasn't really any standard construction design so they used lots of carpentry techniques like "blind dove-tail" joints and hundreds of others we've never heard of... We just parked up the car and went for a stroll in the rain. It was pretty hard to find somewhere to sit down as you can see from below.

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The river Severn in Ironbridge: as you can see the park bench is under water!! Hahaha:
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RAF museum
Once again I (Blake) managed to con Michelle into coming to a blokey museum :) Seen the tanks, seen the cars, time for the airplanes. There are three hangers in the museum with hundreds of planes, parts of planes and munitions. We even went on a cheap flight simulator that you sit inside of and it moves with the video footage played inside. Not the same as being on a plane, just good fun for £3! Here's a few photos of lots of planes, not sure of all the names of them though... (Paulyn, you dad would love this museum!!)
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Kids flight simulator. I had to kick all the kids out of the way to get my turn
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I'm pretty sure that these bombs can be loaded with nuclear warheads so that was kinda cool/terrifying. Obviously these ones aren't!
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Trying to look VERY excited...
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Day 27: Stratford-upon-Avon (home of Shakespeares)

First stop was Cadbury World in Birmingham. It was on the way to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Chocolate.. who could resist it eh?! :) :) I thought it was going to be like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, but it wasn't :(. We did get 3 bars of chocolate when we entered and 2 cups of warm melting chocolate during the tour :) Toward the end of the tour we sat inside of a cadbury car ride and went through some crazy chocolate land. It wasn't too bad except they put glitter on me (Blake) and I'm not the hugest fan.
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Too much chocolate, have to try and smile...
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Anne Hathaway's Cottage: Not the hollywood actress!!
I've (Blake) seen the photo of this cottage sitting over the kitchen sink at home in Busselton so it was kinda exciting to see it up close. They showed us a table that would have been there around Shakespeare's time which was simply a board sitting on a stand. This type of board was where the sayings like "above board" and "room and board" came from. There was also only one chair in the room which the man of the house would sit in. This is where "chairman of the board" and the like came from. Didn't learn too much about Anne Hathaway except that she was a bit of a cougar as she was about 26 and he was 18 when they got married!
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The chair is apparently where Shakespeare courted his then girlfriend Anne Hathaway. And that is their bed
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Day 28

Shakespeare's birthplace
This house is where Shakespeare was born. Not super exciting but good for a look around.
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Nash's house/ New Place
This was where Shakespeare live till he died. The house no longer exist.. There have been a few houses built on it since then. It is now just an excavated site:
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I'd say Anne Hathaway's house was the most interesting but if you made the trip to Stratford-upon-Avon you might as well see it all...

xoxo M&B

Posted by blake-michelle 14:09 Archived in England Comments (0)

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