A Travellerspoint blog

LONDON - 24, 25, 26 & 27th

Out and about London, Leeds Castle, White cliffs of Dover & Canterbury Cathedral

Our last few days have been in London. Out and about, wandering taking random photos.

Yes, more bikes - we are seriously missing our bikes now -
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The Household Cavalry :

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In front of the National Gallery:

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The National Gallery is brilliant - no photos allowed - grrrrr.

and other stuff :

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On Monday (26th) we did a tour of the Tower of London complete with a Beefeater guide:

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Double barrelled Wheelock Pistol
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Today (Tues 27th) we took a Bus trip, 1st stop was Leeds Castle built in the 1119 (12th Century):

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King Henry VIII
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Lady Baillie purchased the Castle in 1926 to use as her home, massive renovations were required including installing plumbing and electricity.

Her personal bathroom - with Russian Onyx and underfloor heating - very rare in those days.

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Note the Black Swans - Lady Baillie purchased a pair after visiting Australia, and liked them so much she had black swans embroidered on all of her linen.

This is her personal toiletries case - taken on all journeys - and contains all her personal requirements. Obviously never had to "Travel Light" like we do !!!

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Next stop was The White Cliffs of Dover - and their "spectacular beach" of rocks.

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Final stop for the day was the Canterbury Cathedral - where prayer has been offered for more than 1400 years.

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In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and, when soon afterwards miracles were said to take place, the Cathedral became one of Europe's most important pilgrimage centres.

Murdered at this place now known as the Martyrdom, with implements like this, the spot is simply marked THOMAS

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Of course, amazing architecture and unbelievable lead light windows that tell many stories. Still amazing to believe these windows have been here for 1400 years.

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Tomorrow is the last day of our adventure which will include a frantic last minute dash to the shops.
When I get home there will be one last blog - could take a few days though - Jetlag will get the blame.

Posted by MKaye 27.08.2013 14:52 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

LONDON - 23rd August

The Eye and Ace Cafe

We spent yesterday walking around London just having a look around (and attending to some personal maintenance).
Today it was time to be a real Tourist so first stop was the London Eye. It is referred to as a Ferris Wheel but in fact the capsules are enclosed and climate controlled, they are also fixed to the outside of the wheel structure and are fully motorised. The London Eye is actually the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel. ( I read that in the brochure- sounded good to me !)

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When we finished our ride we walked across the Westminster Bridge, visiting the Battle of Britain war memorial.

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Missing our bikes now, so every bike we see, incuding Motorcycle cops are a photo opportunity :-

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We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the Monopoly board - ie : Picadilly, Mayfair, Oxford, The Strand.

This evening we decided to visit the famous Ace Cafe out in Stonebridge Park where Friday night is Bikers night, bikes were coming and going the whole time we were there.

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There was a Royal Enfield which had just arrived from India (2 up with all this gear on board).
And amazingly still on the original tyres from when they left home.

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The Ace Cafe is an experience we thoroughly enjoyed, also meeting the owner Mike who had quite a few stories to tell.

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Posted by MKaye 23.08.2013 15:19 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

BERLIN (Germany) - 16, 17, 18 & 19th August

A City still being rebuilt after the 2nd World War and the Cold War.

The capital of Germany - Berlin.

We arrived late on Friday after travelling by various means of transportation from Venice.
ie : Water Bus, Plane, Airport Bus, Plane & Taxi. That was enough for that day.

The last 3 days have been touring Berlin on foot and on the Bus. Here is some of the intereting stuff we came across.

We took a short cut walking through the Tiergarten Park and to our surprise their was a big Festival on. Not sure what it was all about but there was food stalls, displays and entertainment.

Ernst Reuter purchased this VW on 13th September 1922. We can't read German so have no idea of the significance but can only assume he owned it all his life. It is in mint condition.

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Next stop the Brandenburger Tor - Brandenburg Gate.

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The Berlin Wall - divided West & East Berlin for 28 years, finally came down 9th November 1989.

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The Train Station where Jews were transported to concentration camps - 9600 deportees from this point. Note the damage to the structure - bomb damage is still evident all over the city.

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Checkpoint Charlie -

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Victory Monument -

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The architecture is quite interesting, if you look closely you can see where a building was severely damaged, or areas where perhaps one building survived while all others in the area were bombed. We have heard various versions of the extent of the damage, they range from 70 to 85 percent of the entire city. Not very much remained. There is a lot of construction still going on. Also a large number of the buildings are typical 60s & 70s style so we assume that is when a lot of re-construction took place.

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Around the City we have spotted quite a large variety of transportation methods :-

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And Steve's favourite - the mobile booze bus - pedalling furiously as they raced around the city drinking beer.

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And just a few shots of interesting stuff-

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Posted by MKaye 19.08.2013 12:10 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

VENICE - 15th August

Murano - Torcello - Burano : Island Tour

Island tour day.
Our last day we decided to do an Island tour :-

1st Stop the amazing island of Murano, famous the world over for their glass, and a very pretty island as well -
(Yes, we have already seen it, but wanted to go back and have another look)

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Venice was originally swamp land, on our way to the next island we could see "unused land" amazing to think this is how Venice was before settlement :-

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2nd Stop was Torcello - very small island with 16 inhabitants, Torcello was the first island settled as the Italians escaped Atillah the Hun.

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Now quite popular with artists and tourists -

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my version of their view -

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3rd Stop - Burano, known for its Linen and incredible painted fisherman's houses, apparently they have to get Council permission before painting their house. Obviously the council love colours.

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The Linen is exquisite, a Table cloth can take weeks to make all done by hand, unfortunately the craft is disappearing as the "older" ladies pass on and young ones are not continuing the tradition.

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Personally, I found the houses so fascinating - incredible colours side by side.

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Back in Venice we treated ourselves to dinner on the Promenade, worth paying the price just to people watch.
This little girl impressed me - a budding Photographer ......

Hello lady, may I take your photo ?
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I'm asking really nicely !!!

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Take the camera back dad, another knock back - don't think I can do this....hmph.....

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And one last look at the Bridge of Sighs - now I know it's history it is even more impressive, can't help wondering if all the tourists lining up for photos have any idea what they are looking at.

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Posted by MKaye 16.08.2013 13:24 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

VENICE - Day 3 & 4 - 13th & 14th August

History & Art - Beautiful Venice.

This morning (Tuesday) I surprised myself by getting up early, intending to join a Photography Course which is based on a walking tour of Venice in the early morning. Not sure what happened but there was nobody at the designated meeting point, can only assume there were not enough bookings - luckily I never paid in advance. Not to be disappointed I decided I might as well tour the city on my own. Great experience and well worth the early start.
Hope you enjoy my photos of Venice.

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A beautiful young violinist - quite enchanting.

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Everybody's favourite - Gelati Delivery. There is a never ending demand in all of Italy, Gelati everywhere.

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Tuesday night we went to the Theatre to see the History of Venice stage production. The longest ever running show in Venice.
We were not disappointed, it was fantastic. A quaint small theatre with a small but very talented cast.
It helped us to have a greater appreciation of what we were seeing when walking around Venice.

Wednesday morning :-
Now it is time to indulge in some History - we visited the Doge's Palace (of course we knew all about the history of the Doge from last nights performance)

The courtyard inside the Palace, note the different Architecture.

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The Lion's mouth - where the citizens could post letters detailing crimes committed by others.

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The amazing stairway -

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The Bridge of Sighs - where the prisoners were taken over the bridge to jail, they would sigh as they peered through the gaps at their last glimpse of daylight and life.

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Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photos within the palace - very frustrating as it is truly spectacular.

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It has been raining all morning and Venice looks entirely different when wet.

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We visited the Peggy Guggenheim Art Exhibition - housing some very famous paintings.

Jackson Pollock -
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Andy Worhol -
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Pablo Picasso -
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And many many more.

Outside were some interesting sculptures.

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And more of beautiful Venice.

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Posted by MKaye 15.08.2013 12:11 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

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