A Travellerspoint blog

FELIXSTOWE (England) to PARIS (France) 6th August

Breakfast in Felixstowe,Dinner in Paris.

The second part of our big adventure commenced today with breakfast at the lovely Grafton House in Felixstowe.
Nougat found a new friend at reception.

Phone home...........

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Then we boarded the first train of the day - Felixstowe to Ipswich, followed by Ipswich to London (Liverpool St), Liverpool to Paddington, then a quick dash to the Airport express for train No. 4 to Heathrow Terminal 5. Sounds scarey but was actually quite easy.

Of course we arrived far too early to book our bags on so went to lunch, which quite surprisingly was very good.
Then a long wait until our plane boarded at 16:40. Paris to London is 1hr 15mins, so very quick flight.
We took a Taxi to our hotel which is just near the Arc de Triomphe, after a short walk along the streets nearby where there are lots of Restaurants, spoilt for choice we decided on a very nice one - forgotten the name, something to do with salads. (No snails thank goodness)

After a short walk around it was back to our hotel.

Quite a spectacular view of the Arc from our balcony.

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Posted by MKaye 13:17 Archived in France Comments (2)

FELIXSTOWE - Our last Bike day ! 5th August 2013

A sad farewell to our faithfull little bikes.

Sunday morning we rode through from Cambridge to Felixstowe on the motorway - very boring but necessary.

First I had to throw out my faithful gloves - It has been a big trip !!!

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Before we could say goodbye to our fantastic BMW F700GS bikes they had to be thoroughly cleaned. Australian customs are very very particular.
Therefore our first task at Felixstowe was to visit the car wash where some Bulgarian/Albanians (we think !!!) do a very efficient pressure wash & polish. Supervised and double checked by us. I earnt the nick-name "House Boss" as I was keeping a very close eye on them inspecting everything they did.

Before : -

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The big clean :-
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And finally it was all done - beautiful clean bikes ready to go.

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Today we delivered them to the warehouse where they were put on the Frame ready for shipment.

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Stage Two of our big adventure starts tomorrow. In the morning (Tuesday 6th August) we leave Felixstowe on the train to London, then we fly out to Paris tomorrow afternoon.

Posted by MKaye 13:56 Archived in England Comments (0)

STRATFORD to OLNEY to CAMBRIDGE (England) 1, 2 & 3 August

Shakespeare, Amazing Grace & Jamie Oliver

Before we left Stratford we had to visit Anne Hathaway's cottage, where William Shakespeare courted his future wife Anne Hathaway (and at 18 got the 28 year old Anne "in the family way") It is quite an experience to enter a house which people lived in 500 years ago.

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And the chair where William apparently courted Anne - who knows it that is actually true, but pieces of the chair were sold off as souvenirs over the years. The seat remains, but parts have been replaced. What was amazing is how small the cottage was when the Hathaways lived there, just two rooms, dining area which also doubled as parents bedroom, and kitchen which also doubled as bedroom for 7 children. Later the house was exanded to the size it is today.

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The Thames at Stratford-upon-Avon.

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After Stratford we rode over to Olney to visit friends - Bill & Gail. Olney is a lovely village north of London and one of the nicest we have visited.
We went for a walk around the village with Bill, down back streets etc and felt like we had discovered the "real England"

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Thatched cottage we came across.

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The Olney Church which stands magestically on the edge of town, completed in 1325, just another church in a small village, but this one is special as Olney is where Amazing Grace was written by John Newton & William Cowper. If you look closely at the stained glass window you can see the story of Amazing Grace.

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Olney is also home of the famous Pancake Race

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The Bull Inn where we may have indulged in a drink or two !!!!BAB876862219AC681777955B8A0C6D6D.jpg

Bill's collection - Steve was very envious of the R100RS -

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Nougat found a new friend

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We left Olney and went to Bletchley Park - home of the codebreakers.
Bletchley Park housed the British code breaking operation during World War two and was the birthplace of modern computing.
The Enigma machine, the German army used to code their messages, and the code breakers de-ciphered.

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The Bombe machine that was used to help decode the enigma machine.

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The worlds oldest running computer -

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Cambridge - University Colleges everywhere.

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The intriguing Corpus Clock -

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And my favourite little van - if only it would follow me around.....

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Followed by dinner at Jamie's Resturant ( the Jamie Oliver !!!) a yummy meal.

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Home to our house -

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Posted by MKaye 13:37 Archived in England Comments (1)

READING to STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (England) 28 to 31 July

Bikers, Education and The Old Bard

Sunday morning we rode out to Rykas in Box Hill (Surry) - the only place for bikers to be on any Sunday.
Well, thanks to the GPS and a ridiculous amount of traffic, we finally got there at 12.30. Apparently it is very busy in the morning, breakfast before a ride being the standard. Lots of bikes coming and going while we were there, must be chaos earlier.

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Monday we took a train "back to Oxford" to re-live our Uni days -
Oxford consists of various campus sites - Balliol was always our favourite !!!!

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Of course drinking goes with Uni and there is no shortage of Ale houses, If you are an Inspector Morse fan you may recognise the Turf Tavern, we discovered it down a little alley. Apparently some other famous people have been here.

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Another Inspector Morse Tavern -

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Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton performed here at the Playhouse, and later in their careers donated large sums to keep the Playhouse going.

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A few more photos and that was it for the day as the rain had set in.

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Tuesday we rested.
Wednesday we rode to Stratford -Upon-Avon home of William Shakespeare.

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After dinner we came home to find Nougat resting -

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Posted by MKaye 13:28 Archived in England Comments (0)

ABERGAVENNY (Wales) to READING (England) 25 to 27 July

The Cotswalds

Before leaving Abergavenny we wandered around the town, not much to see except the Cod Father Fish & Chips, then we went to have a look at the old Castle which was destroyed in 1233.

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And finally I spotted a thatched roof house.

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Arriving back in England we decided to discover the Cotswalds - all those lovely little villages and countryside you see in the English movies.
We stopped at Stow-on-wold to have lunch. Discovering it is a delightful little village we decided to stay, accommodation being an issue again as it is now the beginning of the English school holidays, yet again we got the last room available - but only for one night !!!

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Nougat found a new friend.

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After leaving Stow we toured around the Cotswald villages. First stop was Bourton-on-water.

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Then we went on to Chipping Campden, a very Medieval village, not spoilt by tourism.

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Sometimes finding ourselves on very narrow farmland roads in the middle of nowhere !!
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And then on to my favourite, Bibury, a very tiny village with the best row of houses in the Cotswalds. In fact the street is heritage listed.
Also known as the most photographed street in Britain. I made it just before several bus loads of tourists - obviously very popular.

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That was enough of the Cotswalds so we went to Newbury for the night.
After Newbury we decided a rest and some future planning time is required, and again seriously stormy weather is threatening.
We decided to stay at Reading for a few days, an old Industrial town, not that attractive, but we found great accommodation at a very reasonable price and the town has lots of shops and restaurants etc.

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The river Thames flows through Reading and has quite a community of House Boats.

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On our way back we came across Bridge Moto, a secon-hand bike shop. We called in hoping to get help to find somewhere to clean our very dirty bikes. Better than that Spencer will be able to clean them for us at a very nominal price.
Arrangements have been made Yayyyy !!!

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Posted by MKaye 15:12 Archived in England Comments (1)

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