Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The water jet of Geneva

Edinburgh through a cannon

Scotland and the land of chocolate and watches

Ello Ello

I am writing on a rainy day in Lausaane Switzerland.

Since my last check in, I have explored Edinburgh with my little travel buddy, and then took off to Switzerland on my own.
Edinburgh was fantastic, we even had a cute Scottish couple offer to give us directions the moment we arrived, but directions meant a personal tour of the city, telling us all the highlights and walking us right to the door of our hotel! That night we had a wonderful birthday dinner at a Scottish restaurant called Wild Fire which was superb, and across the street from a bar that had over 200 single malt scotches. Needless to say, it was a fantastic birthday. The city was great for toodling around in, and also for relaxing.
The castle as always was beautiful, and the beer was cold. We decided to go out with a bang on our final night and joined an organized pub crawl. We went to 5 pubs and 1 club - very fun! The crowd was a bit interesting in that is was a fine collection of eurotrash. One guy who was already dresssed to such an unbelievably pretentious level topped it off by wearing a plaid cashmere scarf out. Ridiculous.

Getting from Edinburgh back to London was a bit of a schmauze, but in the end we ended up with a place to stay, which is all that really mattered. Sunday morning was kind of sad leaving the boy, and as per usual, the travel gods laughed at us and ensured our flights were going out of two separate terminals of the airport.
When I arrived in Geneva, everything was closed. Walked down to the Lake (beautiful) and got an overpriced sandwich (11CHF = 12CAD) and a sunburn. I wandered around old town and also went to see the headquarters of the UN. There were some great fountatins outside the HQ and all sorts of cute kids running through them. Had an early night after the events of the day, and headed to Lausanne in the morning.

Now, Lausanne is spectacular! It is also on Lake Geneva, and has a beautiful waterfront. My french isn´t great, but I haven´t been drinking. I met a nice girl from Shediac NB who´s name was also Geneviéve, and we went for crepes and a beer.
Today was rainy, thus, a museum day. I visited the grand cathedral downtown, and the went to the Collection de l´Art Brut. This is a collection of art that was produced by pychiatric patients, prisoners, convicts, and hermits. The purpose of the collection was to express art that had no cultural influence as the artists were quite removed from society. I don´t think I have ever enjoyed an art exhibition so much! I´ll admit that some of it you would say "what a lunatic" but it was so unique.
Tonight I hope to check out a bar a friend suggested to me called the White Horse, which might actually be the only bar in town with a happy hour - should be fun! Tomorrow will hopefully be a lake cruise or else it will be a shopping day in the rain. Thursday brings Strasbourg and I get to see Mandy and Tim (hopefully) in Brittany on Saturday!
Until next time!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Northern travels

On the train again. An important note, if traveling between major British cities, book a reservation! Almost ended up standing all the way to Edinburgh as a nice birthday gift.

Since I last checked in, we have seen the cheerful city of Chester, the Williams clan in Prestatyn, and explored Manchester.

Chester was buzzing as it was a race day. There lots of proper British folk wearing their hats and heels or 3-piece suits. There were also lots of proper drunks making fun of those wearing the hats and 3-piece suits. That night was also the Heineken cup, so we watched that in a very lively bar.
Sunday was spent with he family in Prestatyn. We took a great tour through the Welsh county side, where everyone of my houses was pointed out (apparently we lived in a number of them). We also Walked about in Batisyy-swana (that being the phonetic way to pronounce the impossibly Welsh name. We also drove through Conway Castle (it's large enough to drive through) which was quite lovely.

Tuesday and Wednesday we spent in Manchester. We walked about the city, had a great night out with my distant Welsh cousin Scott, had the best Donair of life, and watched a ManU friendly vs Juventus. Old Trafford was pretty amazing and because captain Gary Neville was retiring, he invited back some old ManU players. This included David Beckham, who is just as dreamy on the pitch As off! Jamie thought so too! We really liked Manchester but felt that two days was enough to exhaust the tour.

We are into Edinburgh this afternoon, going out for a nice dinner tonight (thanks Mum and Dad)! Saturday concludes the Uk part of the journey and poor Jamie has to go home to work. So far the ash clouds over Edinburgh have been ruining travel plans, by they'll hopefully be all sorted by the weekend.

Cheerio for now

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Further travels

Hello again
Currently on route to Northern Wales. We had a nice visit in the South and Cardiff.
Wednesday was spent in sleepy old Bath. We managed to walk the city about four times in the span of a couple hours, found a great little pub for the remainder of the night, and no, no baths were taken.
Thursday was a beautiful day in Cardiff (I even got a small sunburn). Not a whole lot to do in Cardiff except see the castle (which was very nice and castely), walk about, shop, drink, and play rugby. Unfortunately the city was all booked up for the Heineken cup rugby final, so we weren't able to stay an additional few nights to see the game in the new stadium. Met some very nice people in the hostel, however, so had a great night.
Friday was Bristol, which had a fair bit of character. We stayed in a rowdy hostel called the full moon which was right off the area where the tesco riots had been the previous weeks. The highlight of the night was my visit with Tim and James (now Jim) Bale (very good family friends from when we lived in North Devon in the early 90's), and James' fiancé Sonya (who was quite lovely). Got to catch up on all the news and enjoyed a few more british beer. Everyone was in quite good shape, which is good because the men are attempting to follow a leg of the Tour de France in July.
Today we are off to Chester to visit a different part of beautiful Wales. We are hoping to go to Conwy Castle which is the only thing to do in Northern Wales according to Rick Steeves and Lonely Planet - should be a relaxing stay :)
Get to see he Williams side of the family tomorrow (my maternal Grandpa's cousins kids) who took care of us when we lived in Wales. Should be a lovely visit provided Jamie doesn't mention anything about manchester united (they are all diehard Liverpool fans).
Toodles for now

Ps the pictures are outside Bath Abby depicting the angels decent and accent into heaven (Jacobs ladder), and Jamie being locked up for silliness outside Cardiff Castle (over 2000 years old, the castle not Jamie ;-) ).

Thursday, 19 May 2011


What an amazing city! You could live here for your whole life and still find new things to do every day.
Shortly after we landed, we checked into the little flat that we were sharing in west kensington. The location was great - just two minutes from the tube station. Saturday we conquered the Borough market ( way better than Covent garden), had amazing chorizo sandwiches, toured LSE, were ready for a beer by noon, and went and saw Mamma Mia! in the westend. It was even better than the movie, and even though he was no Pierce Brosnan, I still had a crush on the actor that played Sam.
Sunday was shopping day! Oxford street puts robson to shame. Found a new love named topshop but managed to restrain myself, weird I know! Finished off the day with some piping hot Indian food.
Monday we visited the Imperial War Museum, which was spectacular, and went to the Phantom of the Opera, Jamie was singing the theme song for days.
Tuesday was our final day in London consisting of seeing all the touristy sites (buckingham, no royal spottings though, parliament buildings, Hyde parK and some more shopping) then capped off the visit with a lovely visit with Mr Fudge (now Mervyn considering I am no longer ten). Had a great dinner and got to hear all sorts of fun stories about my father, the type you don't get to hear until you are An adult.
All in all, a fantastic time in London. I am slowly improving my cobblestone walking skills, and have almost learned which way to look before jumping out into traffic. Yes, somehow I am still alive!
Next leg of the journey is Bath, Cardiff, Bristol (for the Bale men), and North Wales. Should be a time!
Xo for now