A Travellerspoint blog

Northampton

rain 18 °C
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Today was a travelling day driving from Hereford to Northampton with a stop at Warwick Castle and the Heritage Motor Centre.

Warwick Castle was very commercialised and unfortunately it started pouring rain after the Birds of Prey demonstration so we walked through the Staterooms before taking our leave during a break in the rain – it was a 10 minute walk to the carpark.
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A short trip down the road was the Heritage Motor Centre which contains 175 from the 1896 Wolseley to the latest Aston Martin. Of special interest was the fact that it contained the first mass-produced Morris Mini in 1959 and, after 5 ½ million cars, the last classic style Mini which rolled off the line on October 4th 2000. This was really interesting for me but not so much for Liz. The Centre had some concept car – the Range Rover Stormer was pretty amazing.
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Posted by lizanddave 23:54 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Hereford

overcast 19 °C
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Over the past few days we’ve been exploring the city of Hereford and its surrounds. The city is full of history and the surrounds have a deep involvement in the production of cider. I’ve always been a cider lover and since arriving over here have done my best to sample many of the local brew, Liz has even become a fan of perry (pear cider).
On Saturday morning we had a guided tour around Hereford with a nice lady from the local historical society – this was a bargain as we were the only people on the tour. In the afternoon we toured the stunning and massive Hereford cathedral which oozes history and as part we also visited the famous chained library with books dating from the 8th century and the Mappa Mundi – the largest surviving complete medieval world map; it was amazingly detailed albeit in Latin. Fortunately, there was a replica written in English as well.

Herefordshire has a reputation as being an area of great walking trails. We’ve been doing some walks over marked trails; well they are supported to be marked. On Sunday we did a walk that was suppose to follow the Wye River upstream the only problem was the signs disappeared as did the track (check out the photos of this adventure below) and eventually had to give up and return very scratched. Hiking through blackberries anyone? However today we did complete a successful short walk south of Hereford that was marked and really enjoyable. Liz even managed the stiles with style.

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On Tuesday it was raining so in the morning I visited a local Laundromat to deal with the washing while Liz visited the County Records Office to do some family history research – no luck finding any links. We then visited Mookland dairy which produced some excellent cheeses, then continued on to Weobley for a walk. This will be remembered as another adventure for us as we followed some markers that we hoped were part of the Weobley circular walk –woops wrong markers!! It started pouring rain and the grass was waist high = totally drenched. We started down a lane and came across another group of walkers (a Ramblers group who do countryside walks monthly people in their 60’s) who informed us that Weobley was the other way. They invited us to join them for the return trip as they were parked in the same car park as us. Our walking shoes are now coated in red mud (courtesy of a farmer who had recently ploughed his paddock and drowned from the water in the long grass running down bare legs – they’ll take a week to dry!
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Posted by lizanddave 13:23 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (2)

Visiting Ashlee

sunny 20 °C
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Sunninghill UK

We’ve spend the last couple of days visiting with Ashlee. She’s doing well and has show us some of the local area – lunched at ‘The Stag’ in Ascot, walked around the Windsor Park Gardens with Ashlee and Dan (a Polish friend of Ash), and visited the local amusement park called Thorpe Park (about equivalent to our Dreamworld).
Last night we had a great meal at the Belvedere Arms. I’m beginning to get used to the cider with Aspinal’s being my favourite.
Today we visited Windsor Castle and we would have taken Ashlee with us except she needed her sleep. The GPS unit is showing its value, as we decided to follow the road signs to the castle and ended up lost. We turned the GPS on and found our way to the right spot no problem. Windsor Castle is massive and ornately decorated. It’s literally stuffed with artworks from the masters, lots of gild gold and history abound. Liz picked out a delightful gold chalice (cup) decorated with rubies and sapphires and said that if she was the Queen she would use that cup to drink from every day and not leave it neglected in a display cabinet.

Posted by lizanddave 14:00 Comments (3)

Here At Last

sunny 20 °C
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Camberley UK

Thank god for our stop in Dubai – to walk around, have a shower and relatively decent night’s sleep before getting going again was priceless. Dubai was bloody hot and humid but everywhere had air con. So it wasn’t too bad.
The flight from Dubai to Heathrow was pretty uneventful and only 6 1/2 hours – we did sit on the tarmac in Dubai waiting for an hour waiting while they off loaded a passenger’s luggage. Heathrow was huge and it took us 45 minutes to get through passport control but then we sailed through customs and headed for the Hertz counter.
We picked up our little car, a Vauxhall Corsa – 1.3 litre 5 speed manual 5 door, which looks just like a Holden Barina. Drives well but causes Liz much frustration as the controls for the wipers and indicators are on the opposite side to Australian cars. Liz gets flustered when she goes to indicate right and starts wiping the front windows – funny from my perspective because I drive European designed cars for Headstart so I’ve been there done that!
The GPS we brought from home with the UK maps card has been brilliant except the address for our accommodation didn’t have a street number so we had to drive back and forth along the same street until we spotted a tiny sign for the B&B we were looking for. The B&B is really nice and the owner friendly. All we wanted to do was get some sleep but it was only 5.00pm. So instead we called Ashlee and went to visit and with her help collected some groceries from a supermarket in Ascot.
This area is affluent! I haven’t seen this many luxury cars and houses in the same area ever. One of Liz’s favourite pastimes has always been to point out a passing porshe, BMW roadster etc. She quickly got tired of it within half a day here. She pointed out one car to me; she wasn’t sure what it was but she knew it was flashy – it was an Aston Martin.
Ashlee lives and works in a Restaurant/Pub called the Belvedere Arms in Sunninghill (Between Ascot and Windsor). It’s a really posh joint with Mercedes, Jaguars, Porches, Audis, Range Rovers and so on filling the car park and even at 5.30pm on a Monday have plenty of customers having a drink. Anyone in the market for a convertible Exaclibur?
Bloody sun is still up at 9.30pm as we try to get some sleep – adjusting to the time change was made a little easier by our stay in Dubai but we are still totally stuffed and the sun is still up!!!

Posted by lizanddave 11:55 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

On The Way

sunny 42 °C
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I’m currently sitting in the Golden Sands 3 apartments in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and its 4.00pm local time (10.00pm AEST). Both Liz and I are totally stuffed having been up since 3.00am AEST and completing a 15 hour flight. The flight was very crowded, not a spare seat anywhere in economy.
The good news is Emirates have excellent service, food and entertainment which helped the time pass – I ate and drank as I watched 6 late release movies.
The bad news was that when we arrived at Dubai airport every male toilet was being cleaned at the same time???? I eventually just walked around the guy scrubbing the tile floor in the fifth lot of toilets I encountered –I’ll say one thing those facilities were pristine.
I also have to give Ashlee Thomas at Harvey World Travel a big well done as our hotel transfer was a late model huge shiny black Lincoln Town car - you could have fitted Lachlan’s car in its boot.

Posted by lizanddave 09:00 Comments (0)

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