08 April, 2010

Day 5 & 6: - Bath and London

Firstly, apologies, but I have tried to purchase my Internet over here, but 3 will ONLY do online purchase IF you have a UK Registered Credit Card. So I have been living off free Internet and when we arrived last night, the Hotel's Internet was down, thus no Internet last night!

Day 5

So Tuesday saw us up early (again) to a lovely breakfast... The hotel there was really something smashing! Beautiful, large and very 'Grand' indeed! I want to go back there! So I purchased the tickets for the Roman Baths and the 'Hop on Hop off' bus from the hotel, to save time on any lines that there may be... A wise decision as soon as we got to the Roman Baths! There was a lot of people there as it was JUST opening! Here are some pics from within the Baths:

JMS Roman Baths, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Julie and Stella Claudius, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Grey Brigade Phone Home, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Next, it was a tour on the bus, first taking in the inner city and then onto a different tour of the outer city.


Hop on Bus Bath, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Bath River, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.


Bath Arch House, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Then it was off to London. This was a simple 2 hour drive, and thanks to Myrtle or TomTom got us there without to much of a hassle! Oh it was good to get to be that night!

Day 6

This was a VERY early start as we had to be in Central London for an 8.30 bus tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford. As we are staying out near Heathrow, it was an hour on the Tube, so an early breakfast of muesli, coffee and then some toast, we were off! The bus is at the door and off to Hounslow West to catch the Tube! Needless to say, we got there with around 30mins to spare, but it is better to be safe than sorry!

It took the coach around 45 mins or so to get to Windsor, and it was a VERY quick walk through the State Roms, viewing of the Changing of the Guards, and the St Georges Chapel, before having a stop at a cafe to get some lunch and back on the bus.

Mum Windsor Castle, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Windsor Castle Guards Band, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Then it was off to Stonehenge. Now I had a bit of a 'nap' along the way (its hard work making sure the 'Grey Brigade' are entertained...) but we were soon into the area. Now I had not been here before, and I did not really know WHAT to expect, (bunch of rocks in a paddock?), but I was surprised with what we saw!

Stonehenge BSMJ, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Stonehenge Mum, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Stonehenge 5, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Then it was another hour or so drive across to Oxford, which is largely a University Town, but it was also home to some of the Harry Potter movies with the Oxford University's Dinning Room being 'Hogwarts'!

Oxford "Hogwarts" Courtyard, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We were soon enough, back on the bus and heading back into London. As the bus was doing stops along the way, I asked if we could get out at the 'Queensway' and we went and had dinner at a little Italian Restaurant, which was extremely busy! Back onto the Tube to the Hotel, purchased Internet and mum is fast asleep behind me... I will be not long into bed myself!!!!


07 April, 2010

Nothing tonight, no INTERNET!

SORRY, but due to hotels internet not being available, I can't post. Be back tomorrow!


06 April, 2010

Day 4: - Wales, Castles and Bath!

Today, we headed down south, originally via Manchester and Birmingham, however (thanks to a couple of chaps in the bar last night) suggested we drve via Sth Wales! So I quickly got the laptop and planned my route... However, 'Myrtle' (our TomTom) thought otherwise, so I had to program her to fit into OUR plans! Doesn't she know that I want to go in another direction yet!??!??

So we head off early, and soon we were in the country side. Rapidly approaching a bridge very similar to that of our very own Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Cool Bridge, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

In no time at all we were nearing Chester, and I asked if there was anyone who wanted to stop. I have a car full of, "it doesn't worry me' so I made a somewhat executive decision (assisted by Julie) that we will stop! We were so glad we did!

Chester Shops, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cool Sculpture Chester, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mum Chester Elephant, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After looking through the bare streets as nothing was open yet, we headed for the Cathedral. Again, this is a stunning place, but have a look what mum found!

My father's name is very similar to this, so I will be sending a copy of it to mu aunt to see what she may or may not know about it...

Chester Cathederal JHProctor, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Chester Cathedral, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Soon, as we only had 90 mins here, we were off on the road again, stopped briefly for lunch at a roadside diner thingie. We stumbled across an old castle, and whn I can remember the name, I will post it then.

Castle Pano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Castle Side, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We stopped once more for a refreshment before the final leg into Bath, found the Hotel and having dinner...

Dinner Bath, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I am very tired after having driven all day, so I am signing off for now!


05 April, 2010

Day 3: - Happy Easter and a day of Cathedrals

Our day started with a crispness we are not becoming used to, and we were off to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Liverpool! This is a very modern building, and WOW, is it impressive!

Then it was off to meet up with Aunt Pat for Easter Sunday Mass followed by lunch with her friend Maree. This was a most excellent lunch, company and atmosphere!

Then it was off to Sefton Park to see the Daffodils which was simply AMAZING! The sheer amount of Daffs throughout the park is simply stunning and something we will never see in Sydney! We were told that the Daffs were planted for a pound donation!

As it was another particularly cold day we thought we would head onto the Anglican Cathedral to warm up...

So all up, another busy day, and some well earned rest is to be had! We are heading South tomorrow towards Bath. However, a slight change in plans is going to see us now venture into Wales and then back into the UK via Bristol!

Hope you all had a great Easter!


04 April, 2010

Day 2: - York

After an early wake-up to get the car OUT of the carpark (4GBP if out by 6am, otherwise 12GBP)we had breakfast and hit the road in our ride; a Vauxhall Insignia.

Vauxhall Insignia is our ride, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We headed across to York in a cold, misty rainy day... It took us about 2 hours to find it and the 'Park and Ride' to get the bus into the city centre itself! What a great thing we did this, as traffic inside the centre of town was horrid! So we walked around a bit, got the 'Hop on Hop off' bus which took us around town for about an hour... Just before we hopped on, we got some Pasties, nice and hot (I had the Beef and pepper so EXTRA hot!) to warm our cockles as it was an open top Double Decker bus! After the trip, we then headed to the Cathedral or as it is also know, the York Ministry. There was WAY TO MANY photos taken, so I will do a mosaic below (sorry) but it would take me hours to put them all up!

After the Cathedral, we then went to (after a suggestion from my neighbours Lynette and Denis) to make sure you go and visit 'Bettys' and so we did... I, on behalf of the Grey Brigade, wish to thank you Lynette and Denis for those extra kilograms we all put on...

Bettys, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Bettys Cream Tea, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We then headed back to Liverpool, got in around 10pm, with 3 very tired Grey Brigades and one very tired driver...

Happy Easter Everyone!


03 April, 2010

Day 1: - Liverpool

Today, after a GREAT sleep, we headed off on foot towards both the Liver Building, Royal Liverpool Hall and Albert Docks. However, Albert Dock will have to wait as we ended up walking around quite a bit and time ran short! We stopped in a Starbucks for a coffee and some lunch, but I had a Hot Chocolate which was divine! Mum and Julie both had Lattes and Michael a cupachino. Whilst mum and I had Mozzarella and Slow Roasted tomato panini rolls, Michael and Julie had Salmon and something! Towards the end of lunch, and we were meeting aunt Pat for a 3pm Mass, I thought it best to call the car rental place to see what time was the latest I could pick up the car... Now at this stage it is 1pm, and the chap said 1.30pm at the latest, YIKES!

So off we went (in a cab) to pick up the car, head to aunt Pat's and then back into Liverpool for dinner. The 'Grey Brigade' are now, no doubt, either preparing for, or already IN bed as everyone (incl myself) are beat! So without any further waffling, is are some pics of the day!

SMJ Liverpool Mall, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cheese Man, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
French Biscuits, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
MJS Royal Liverpool, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Royal Liverpool Hall, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Liverpool Docklands, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Beatles, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Liver Building, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Moving cows art, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
SMJ on art thingie, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
St Nicholas's Church, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Inside St Nicholas's Church, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Mersey from Church, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

02 April, 2010

Flights and Chilly Liverpool

Well, after 3 flights, 23.5 hours flights numerous security checks we are here in Liverpool! So here is a bit of a wrap up!

Departing Sydney for Europe, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After saying our farewells, immigration clearance was quick and easy, for some of us! Both Mum and Michael got a secondary security clearance in Sydney! We boarded the flight, Emirates 777, for the flight to Manchester via Bangkok and Dubai. BUT, when waiting at the hold point to enter the 16R runway, a Qantas A380 (QF32) landed and in doing so, had break issues and there was flames, sparks and two tyres blew up in spectacular fashion! Just what we want to see when holding? Anyways, after an hour, we were transferred over to 16L and were off like a bullet!

All the flights were good, looks of food/drinks and entertainment on ICE was great! I got a fair bit of sleep, unlike the 'Grey Brigade' I was travelling with! But transited quickly in Bangkok without issue! But, whilst transiting through Dubai, mum got an additional 'pat down' as the metal detector kept going off on her! Ended up being a padlock and keys! And due to delay in Sydney, we only had a 20min transfer and were rushing!

EK419 BKK-DXB, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
All Hanging Out in Dubai, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We eventually made it to Manchester and upon approach, noticed all of the snow on the fields... brrrr... Deplaned and joined the lines for immigration. I got through, got some luggage trolleys (thanks sis for suggesting I take the Pounds I had at home, I used them for the trolleys) and collected two of the four bags before the 'Grey Brigade' came through! Oh the joys of being a 'Dual Citizen'!!!

Boys in train MAN-Liverpool, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

And so, we got through with barely a look, across to the train and into Liverpool.

After a brief shower, nap and freshen up, we headed out to dinner. Good food, great company and we were warm, not the same for some people outside!

After dinner, and walking back to the hotel, a group of (very) drunk young lass's were about, and one of them (wearing something about the size of a napkin) started to 'chat-up' Michael! Pat repositioned herself, and Mum Julie and myself were some steps behind watching and laughing! She had a very thick scouser accent, and was TOTALLY harmless, but was so funny! I wanted to get a pic, but made the mistake of asking, DOH!!!

MJ Dinner Liverpool, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
PS Dinner Liverpool, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
BPS Dinner Liverpool, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Anyways, 6.30am here and everyone is asleep... What will the day bring?