Blogs from United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Aberdeenshire » Aberdeen July 27th 2021

Dear All Greetings from Aberdeen! This is my second stop on my Scotland trip this summer, and like Edinburgh, I have used it as a base not just to explore the city, but also some of the wider surrounds. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Aberdeen, and this city is just right up my street – it is a big city with good amenities, is off-the-beaten tourist track, and has a fascinating background as an oil-production centre of Europe, and thus cosmopolitan enough to be welcoming. It is also unique in its granite-based nature of the city buildings, giving the urban landscape a stone-grey and imposing texture – the granite stones actually glisten in the sunlight, which is really quite cool! I arrived here on Saturday late afternoon, after having gotten two trains here from ... read more
Marischal College
Me, Glen Moray Distillery

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Wrexham July 26th 2021

What do you have to do to get something listed ? I wondered as I stood in the early morning sunshine . I was on my way for a swim before it got too hot to bother . Another day of Lockdown in Wales. Another day of freedom in England . The numbers of infections of Covid have dropped over the last few days . It is hard to know what that means anymore. I stood for a while and I was taken back to the summer of 1969. It wasn't one of those exceptionally hot summers. Nor as far as I can recall a particularly cold one . It was a non- descript sort of summer in a way. Livened by the building of the swimming baths I was standing outside and looking up at ... read more
The iconic roof
The roof falling to within a few feet of the ground
It mesmerises me when I look at it   60's modernist architecture  in a small welsh town

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Wrexham July 24th 2021

"A walk can make you bloody nosy " That is what the elderly gentleman tending his Petunias told me. I agree with him . I look in gardens . I compare them here with Wingerworth. I look at what grows both cultivated and uncultivated. I take pictures of the plants and of the wildlife and I probably notice more things than I ever did . Is that in spite of Covid or because of Covid I wondered ? It is Day 508 of Lockdown in Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland and Day 6 of English freedom . "That field across there where you live used to be a field " He said . Yes I agreed with him. I had noticed many photographs of the village in the 1950's and early 60's before the mass ... read more
Heading towards Englands 8th day of freedom
I wonder how many notice the benchmark in the wall ?

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 23rd 2021

Dear All Yay! Greetings from Scotland! I’m afraid this doesn’t add to my country count, I’m still on 81, as I count England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as one country: the United Kingdom. But I am in Edinburgh, this is my first time in this city, and it also means I have now visited each of the UK’s four capital cities– London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh, in that order. It is wonderful to be here, and to be back on the travelling road again. Crossing over the border from England to Scotland on Tuesday afternoon was a breeze, as the train connected me directly from Doncaster, not far from Sheffield, to Edinburgh in a mere three hours, but the landscape did seem to change significantly. Pulling out of Doncaster, the train passed first through the ... read more
View from Calton Hill
Forth Bridge

Botanic Gardens was our first stop on a beautiful summer’s day in Belfast. Close to the park was The Ulster Museum, designed in Classical Revival style and built in 1924-1929. The Brutalist extension was designed by Francis Pym and built in 1966-1972. The Botanic Gardens were established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park. The Palm House is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made from curved iron and glass. It shows how advances in glasshouse technology allowed horticulturists to grow exotic plant species during the Victorian period. Due to current Covid ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Somerset » Weston-super-Mare July 20th 2021

The British seaside is a national institution: home of fish and chips, & buckets and spades & Amusement arcades. On a hot summer day we went to the seaside with Ian and his sister Emma. The town's name is thought to derive from a mixture of Saxon and Latin words. Weston probably started out as 'west tun', meaning 'the west settlement'. The words 'super' and 'mare' come from the Latin for 'on the sea'. Ian is a great story teller and so full of information which he delivered brilliantly as we walked along the causeway, the promenade and then onto the Grand Pier. The pier was rebuilt in 2010 following a fire, which could have been more disastrous had it not been for an employee’s quick thinking to remove gas cylinders from a restaurant. “Oh we ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cambridgeshire » Cambridge July 20th 2021

We haven't had much of a summer this year. A grey cold damp winter flowed seamlessly into an equally grey summer, albeit warmer, with only a few sunny days. Our recent trip to Norwich had been damp and cold. Normally we would book somewhere with guaranteed sunshine but overseas travel has meant a confusing mass of rules and restrictions with countries randomly flopping from green to amber and back again. "The weather looks better next week, we could go to Cambridge," I said. "Okay," said Madam, "but I get to choose the hotel." I've always liked Cambridge. We even thought about living there for a while. Secretly I was always hoping that being amongst all those smart people would boost my own IQ by a sort of geographical osmosis. And there’s a lot of awfully smart ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 20th 2021

We had tickets to Les Mis for tonight and we didn’t want to miss this one theater that we still had reservations for. The theater was set to start at 7 pm so we did have the day to play. Zaya wanted to see the Big Ben and that seemed a good place to start. We went by the London Eye and decided that we could do that if we could finish up the other sites. We walked to Big Ben but it was covered with scaffolding, then went on to Buckingham Palace but the Queen did not come out to wave at us. Alas! As we walked from our hotel, there is a square where there always seems to be something going on. Today there was a guy who was juggling knives and then knives ... read more
Buckingham Palace
Les Mis

Europe » United Kingdom » England » South Yorkshire » Sheffield July 19th 2021

Dear All Greetings! I write this one from Sheffield this time. I don’t think I’ve ever written one from my home city before, though I guess times such as these are rather unusual and unprecedented. I write once more on the eve before a big trip – my biggest trip since summer 2019. I am excited to be getting back on the travelling road again, after such a long time away from it. I have indeed done some short trips over the last 17 months, but this upcoming one feels a bit more major, a bit more exotic, a bit more back to normal. Tomorrow I head to Scotland! In theory, I could spend the summer visiting a number of places around the world, as the world is starting to open up again once more to ... read more
Midge Repellants
My Travel Stuff
My Travelling Companions

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales July 19th 2021

The Cambrian Way looks an amazing walk, through the wilds of Wales. In addition to stunning and remote landscape the lack of signage and indistinct paths creating the need for excellent navigational skills could make this our most challenging walk yet. Unfortunately there are no ready made strip maps for the route, so we've created our own, marking the route on OS maps (all 11 of them) and then cutting them down to just the route corridor. To accommodate the 298 mile route we have planned for 18 walking days with 2 spare days for R & R. 12 of the overnight camps are wild camps, the remaining nights mostly on established campsites and possibly the odd B&B or pub. The longest day distance we have planned is 22 miles, the shortest 11. There's 22,460m of ... read more

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