East, West, South and North

21 11 2010

Go get yourself a cuppa because it is time for a Lizzie catch up and what a busy month it has been, traversing the four corners of Great Britain. I did take more photos than appear below, a couple more are on flickr, I’ll add more when I get the opportunity.

East. Lincoln (England) 23-24 October. Lincoln sits in the East Midlands and is often overlooked in a London-centric England, which is a bit of a shame as it is a gem of a city.  It is one of the closest cities to where my parents live and as I was at my parents for both the obligatory birthday dinner (yes it is that time of year again), and as I had other necessary tasks to complete, a trip into Lincoln was required.  Sites in Lincoln that are particularly worthy of a visit include the Cathedral and the Castle, both of which originally date back to the 11th century.   One of my favourite places in Lincoln is Stokes, a cafe which sits on the High Bridge over the River Witham.  The bridge itself is the oldest bridge in the UK to still have buildings on it and dates to the 12th century.  From the windows you can look over the river (which is often decorated with swans) and the Empowerment sculpture (one of my favourite sites in Lincoln).  This shot is actually taken looking back towards High Bridge (which is obscured by trees) and the sculpture.  To add to the surreality of the moment the Merry-Go-Round was playing the Dambusters theme (617 Squadron were stationed in Lincolnshire, including at RAF Scampton which is not far from the city):

West. Caerdydd/Cardiff (Cymru/Wales) 30-31 October. I had no real plans when I booked my weekend in Caerdydd, other than a desire to return to the city since my trip last year for a Stereophonics’ concert at the Castle.  In I had a lovely time walking around the city.  The Welsh are high on my list of likes for a few reasons which are neither great nor grand but regardless are important to me, namely:

  • Ms Griffith. My teacher in 5th Form (History) and in 6th Form (Human Development).  She was originally from Cymru and was one of my favourite teachers at secondary school.  If I were to ever get into teaching it would be in part due to her, she was wicked cool.
  • Rugby. The Welsh take the game of Rugby Union as seriously and passionately as New Zealand and a Wales vs New Zealand fixture is always eagerly anticipated.  Unsurprisingly I am rather totally excited about the opportunity to go to the All Black game at the Millennium Stadium this Saturday.
  • Stereophonics. I’ve written about this band more than once and how much I like them, so enough said on this occasion.
  • Dr Who/Torchwood. Last time I visited Caerdydd I made a point of visiting Bae Caerdydd (where the fictional Torchwood facility is located) and the Doctor Who exhibition. I took many photos and was a total nerd.  It was great.  Here is a shot of Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru/Wales Millennium Centre taken on this trip (Torchwood fans will recognise it as the vicinity where the facility is located):

South.  Brighton (England)  7 November. I would say a day by the seaside, but a visit to the English seaside doesn’t really extend into Autumnal November.  Instead the day was spent hopping between cafes with a trip to the local museum thrown in for good measure. The museum was interesting, and had a rather eclectic, but enjoyable, array of exhibits. It was rather surreal (but lovely and heart cockle warming) to see a carved stern of a waka and a carved tiki from New Zealand amongst the artifacts.  Brighton is known, amongst other things, for its pier and seaside attractions, on an earlier visit I took this shot of a Merry-Go-Round sitting on the sea front before it was put to bed for the evening:

North.  Edinburgh (Scotland)  13-14 November. RUGBY.  That was the reason for the trip to Edinburgh: Scotland vs New Zealand at Murrayfield.  Scotland is one place that I have wanted to visit since moving here, and for some strange reason I hadn’t managed to get there until last weekend (though I had a brief wander around Jedburgh in 2008). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to really appreciate Edinburgh on this occasion, so I anticipate a return trip sometime next year. I will definitely stay at the same hostel though, it had the most crazy-cool decor, including a baby grand piano and bust of Caracalla in the Posh Lounge and pictures of Hendrix and Marley in the Cool Lounge. My favourite little guy in the hostel was this fella I found lurking in the stairwell:

The match itself was well worth the trip up north, and along with yesterday’s game against Ireland, served as hearty appetizers for New Zealand vs Wales in Caerdydd this Saturday (where I will once again wave the New Zealand flag with gusto and pride).