London, Wales, Kent and Hamburg
05.02.2013 - 18.02.2013 0 °C
So much happens in such a short amount of time… Will try to keep you entertained as much as poss. I know Dre wanted bullet points so we may have to resort to that!
After escaping from the thugs in Ireland, we were obviously still a tad wary so hid our camera away a lot. Still managed to document the action in the past two weeks however.
London has stacks to see and do. We tried to get amongst a few hotspots with the help of our trusty companion – a hand-written guide penned by Alice and Seth (shout out to you guys – it never left our hands and lucky we had all the thyme in the world to decipher those dodgy maps).
Never the less, over our three days here, we followed three prescribed day trips, which paid off in dividends. The focus inevitably was food and we were very grateful to utilise the local foodie knowledge.
The bodyguard musical was on the list as Soph’s choice for birthday theatre… I had a preference for Warhorse, but of course she won out it being a b’day present and all. She even made me watch it on TV a few nights later (I think I have now reached my lifetime Whitney Houston quota.)
Also on the cards much to my delight was a couple of trips to Londons’ natural history museum (Skinny you would love it here I am sure). It is free for a start, which is always a bonus, but there were some amazing exhibitions for us to check out including the wildlife photographer of the year exhibit and real live dinosaur bones. Suh Weet Bix!
Big B and Hyde Park
Stalking Queeny and Henry VIII kicking about at Hampton Court
So with some excellent feeds under our belt and all the sights ticked off – Big Ben, Westminster, London Bridge, Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Kensington Garden, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court and some visits in to some wonderful family friends… We headed off to visit some of my long lost family.
Wales. Well we were in a little place called Pencoed, a short drive from Cardiff. The primary focus of the trip was to catch up with my Papa’s brother who I have not seen since I was 10. That was great to have some family time and to talk about the good ol’ days and be flabbergasted by uncanny family likenesses.
Whilst most of the time was spent chewing the fat, we did squeeze in some touristing; Cousin Brynn took us to St Fagans - an open air museum/village of replica Welsh houses from every era (as early as the Iron age to the 1980’s). We came away with a new appreciation for mod-cons such as windows and electricity.
Welsh coast and St Fagans
Next family visit was across to the other side of the UK to Kent which is where my Papa grew up and where the remainder of his family still reside. Folkestone was the destination and we stayed with Great Aunty Sylvie here. Was really good to see some old family videos from when Nan and Papa were alive (Soph saw where I got my cray cray personality from when she saw Nan cackling on the video). We took the opportunity while here to go and see the oldest cathedral in UK – Canterbury. Was also a good opportunity to catch up with Soph’s cousin Ant who works at the university there.
Sylvie, Mike and Hayley outside where her Papa grew up in Folkestone
It was then back to Cambridge to see how Izzie was going with her KPI’s. After a slow start she has surpassed all expectation and now resembles a good chubby baby as she should. Very pleased with progress.
In matching hand-knitted cardies care of Hayley
Chazz and Iz
With that we wrapped up our UK leg and jetted to Hamburg to catch-up with our old mate Brigitte to see how much swine we could consume in three days. The answer was – a lot. Anyone heard of pork knuckle?
A night out at Brauhaus with Georgia and Brigitte
Hamburg is, according to Georgia (B’s Schweste-in-law), Europe’s best kept secret. Having barely touched the sides of the continent, we can’t really vote, but it has to be in the running. We were well-impressed with grand ol’ architecture and plush apartments lining the canals and lakes. The German efficiency was a delight as well. A place where PT always runs to time. Exactly to time. Amazing.
Best fish dish of all time
Just your stock-standard town hall
Ice on the Alster
Stroll next to the Alster
Miniature wonderland - bravo!
Highlights of Hamburg:
• Miniature wonderland – has to be seen to be believed
• Swine and Steins
• Old buildings and stuff
• Friendship – yay Gits!
Next stop - Sud America