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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Update...

Most days on this trip I upload photos we've taken during the day's sightseeing to the iPad and also most nights I work on blog posts. The tiresome thing I find about blogging with the iPad is inserting the photos I want to use, into the blog template... When the photo icon is clicked the photo 'montage' that pops up has the pics in a tiny sized formatt. Also photos have to be inserted one at a time. But with trial and error I can honestly say that it has got easier with practice! Most evenings I also write some blog posts and I have a number in draft form ready to publish. I do that so I can delete photos stored on the iPad and thus avoid those messages informing me that there is not enough 'storage space'. The images are still on the SD card and will get copied over to our portable hard drive when we get home. 

So having said all that, I will now get on with this post...:-)
The last post published was about our visit to Newcastle. Since then we have travelled south to York where we stayed for 3 nights. On the way to York we stopped at Whitby and Scarborough. After York we  travelled to Folkestone which we used as our base to travel to Dover Castle. Today we left Folkestone and travelled to Canterbury in the morning so we could attend the Easter Day service at the Cathedral there.
We got there very early as the service that we were attending was not until 11 am. However by being so early (9.45) we were able to park in the Cathedral grounds...for free!!

The staff supervising the parking suggested we walk through the grounds to the coffee shop near the entrance. Along the way I stopped to pat/scratch behind the ears the Cathedral cat?...a beautiful tortoise-shell cat. 


A better view of the Cathedral than in the last photo...


And what a lovely streetscape we found near the coffee shop...



Decorated shop windows...



We returned to the Cathedral long before 11 (10.15) as we could see the crowds of people walking in the gate...
I noticed people taking photos before the service so I thought I would too...I snapped this photo and then felt a hand on my shoulder...it was one of the Cathedral volunteers...oops? no photos please during the service ! I had had no intention of taking photos during the service but wanted this one photo showing people half an hour before the service. People are so generous...one man in front of me offered to email me  his photo as he thought I hadn't managed to take the photo...but I'm quick! 
The service was magnificent with the Archbishop of Canterbury taking the service. ( the Archbishop of Canterbury is like the Anglican Church's version of the Pope, even though the Queen, as the monarch, is the head of the church...confusing right?) 
The choir and the music were magnificent; the choir sang all the anthems which were in Latin...High Church you see. The BBC filmed this Sung Eucharist Service, so it was quite overwhelming all this pomp and pageantry...very different from our little parish church, that's for sure! 
We went out the West Door and there was the Archbishop of Canterbury shaking hands. I was wearing my parish name tag and said to him that we had come all the way from Australia...he said dryly that he had noticed...I was in a panic as I couldn't remember the form of address to an Archbishop..but 'Your Grace' sounded right! :-) 
The Archbishop is still at the West Door shaking hands...

After Canterbury we headed off for London, where we started this holiday on March 19. It had been raining lightly in Canterbury but by the time we got to London the rain was heavier and it was quite misty...you might have to squint to see those tall buildings in the distance as we drove into London. 


Approaching the Blackwell Tunnel...


We checked into our hotel where we will stay for the next 3 nights. Then on Wednesday we will head to France on the Eurostar. The hotel is in Kings Cross and is in walking distance of Kings Cross/ St Pancras Station where we will catch the train...so after we checked in we walked to the station to see where we will leave from...

The station is very swish with lots of caf├ęs and shops...and there were some entertainers who were playing pianos...and they were great too!
At one end there was this guy...

And at the other end were these 2! And then they swapped ends! The 2 young boys played honky tonk style and the other man played Beatles songs...including Imagine, one of my all time favourites.


Satisfied that we knew where to come on Wednesday, we then caught a train to Leicester Square. We bought tickets to a show tomorrow night, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, starring Robert Lindsay. Then we wandered around..
Nelson' Column in Trafalgar Square...

The National Gallery...l



DH suggested we walk down Pall Mall...


We noticed some vintage cars there...


Then we noticed people dressed in 'olden days' garb. It was a film set and we watched them doing the last takes for the day...


These 2 were in the scene...the girl had to chase the girl dressed in male clothing...here they waiting for the cue...after 2 takes, the director was happy and everyone started packing up...

The vintage cars being driven away...Admiralty Gate in the background...

On the way to the station we visited the Horse Guards. Lots of puddles at that complex !! 

The rest of our stay in London will probably be going to more museums...well DH deserves to do the things that he likes best occasionally...after all I got to see the Falkirk Wheel, The Liberty Shop and Portwenn didn't I? Lol

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our short stay in Newcastle...

After leaving Edinburgh, our next stopover would be Newcastle. The drive was beautiful and was on roads that meandered through green countryside...not the normal motor ways. 
This scene caused us to stop to enjoy...a viaduct near Leaderfoot...


And what about this gorgeous scene...? A highland cattle calf...so sweet!



It would be a short stay in Newcastle...an afternoon and the evening. 
We went for a walk around some of the historical district...in the photo the castle can be seen rising above the railway bridge...

The Black Gate which used to be the entry to the old city of Newcastle...

I've walked through the Black Gate here and this walkway will take me toward the castle...


In the next photo the repairs and renovations to the castle can easily be seen...



Then we came to this very old bridge which stated it was a 'Weak Bridge' and only taxis and buses could use it...and pedestrians. The plaque we found on the bridge showed the year and the contractors...note that famous name! 
The name of this very old bridge is High Level Bridge...over the years there has been restoration work on it. DH and I walked across and back...the wind was so strong and cold...brrr...but the view was great!



A familiar looking bridge came onto view as we walked across the High Level Bridge...

That greeny looking bridge looks just like the Sydney Harbour Bridge...and that is no coincidence as the Tyne Bridge plans was based on the Sydney bridge's design. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nationonfilm/topics/misc-work/tyne-bridge-construction-building.shtml
The bridge in front of the Tyne Bridge is the famous Swing Bridge...

Continuing on our walk back across the High Level Bridge we noticed locks clipped on to the mesh...apparently 'love locks' with messages on each lock.

Another view from the bridge...

One of the restored lights on the bridge...

An old church in the old part of the town...

Then we headed off to our hotel...as we drove up the hill we saw the huge sculpture, 'Angel of the North'....the photo below was taken from the carpark of our hotel and the people in the photo give an idea of the size of the statue. When we were on the 8 day bus tour of the UK in 2008, our bus 'flew' past this sculpture as all the passengers craned necks to catch a glimpse...


Our hotel was called the Angel of the North Inn...
Our room was in the Stables Block...


Next day we worked out which road to take to get closer to the statue...


That's me beside the Angel's left leg...
 

The statue is made of steel which has weathered to a red-brown colour. There is more information at this site... apparently this piece has not been without its share of controversy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_of_the_North

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Scarborough...another British seaside town.

The morning that we drove to York, we stopped at Whitby first, then we drove to Scarborough. I've written a few posts about seaside towns but this day was different...it was sunny and the temperatures were not icy...still mild but much warmer than it has been. 
So now some scenes of Scarborough...








Unlike the other beaches we have visited on this holiday, there were lots of people on the sand...

There were children having rides on the donkeys....

Some of the children were paddling on the water...remember it was still cold and windy...

Sand castle building...

Sun baking? Fully clothed?






We walked away from the beach along the Promenade...that Pirate ship was doing cruises...





My penchant for photographing signs has rubbed off on DH...he took a photo of this sign in the men's loo! 


A narrow alley way set of stairs leading to the Promenade...


Then we went back to our car as the time was up on our parking spot...we drove farther on but still in the Scarborough area...
There was a ruin on the hill in the distance here...


The waves were whipped up by the wind...



We saw this man sitting on a park bench overlooking the water...

We read about the man who gave so much to his community...

I stood beside the sculpture...

I wanted to sit beside Freddie but I just couldn't hoist myself up...I needed a little stepladder!


One more photo of those gorgeous donkeys...


The difference a sunny day made was amazing...people came in their hundreds to enjoy the beach, albeit in warm clothes. The ice cream sellers were doing a roaring trade...the mood was infectious and uplifting. It was great to see an English  seaside town as it must be during summer...great fun!