A Travellerspoint blog

August 2010


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

After several decades of depression, the city of Liverpool has revived and now looks quite prosperous. We arrived late in the afternoon, and after checking into the Holiday Inn next to Lime Street train station, we headed to Albert Dock. The dock was once a major port and ship-building yard which has recently been re-built into a major tourist precinct consisting of a number of museum including the Beatles museum, the Maritime museum and the Slavery museum. On the first night we went out and had a cheap dinner at a pub then retreated from the cold into our room. The next morning we returned to Albert museum and visited the Slavery museum which was well done and had some emotion provoking exhibits. At midday we boarded the bus for the Magical Mystery tour, which is of course a Beatles tour, and went to several sites related to their Beatles during their lives in Liverpool. These included their childhood homes, Penny lane, Strawberry fields and venues they played at in their early career. The tour talked about the lives but could have gone into more detail. After the tour we returned to Albert Dock to visit the Maritime museum which was quite large and took us the rest of the afternoon to explore.

Posted by CJTaylor 01:44


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

We were very lucky to be able to stay at Exeter College, which is one of the colleges that is part of the University of Oxford. The university doesn't actually have a campus, but has 32 college and numerous faculty buildings spread out across the city. Exeter College was founded in 1314 and is the fourth oldest college in Oxford. The rooms had a lot of character, with furniture from the 1950's and 1960's, with beautiful views from the window of courtyards and amazing buildings. We were able to explore around the college and go inside the mid-19th centrury chapel, the early 17th century dining hall, and Fellow's Garden. Past pupils have included J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Burton. The best aspect of staying there was the absolute silence, which was very peaceful. We were surprised that we were only part of a handful of visitors in the college that during the semester houses a couple of hundred students. At breakfast, which was held in the Rector's lodgings, we sat with only 2 other guests. Whilst in Oxford, we did a walking tour and had a good meal at the Nosebag restaurant.

Posted by CJTaylor 01:39


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

We took a train into Wales and had a short stop in Cardiff before arriving in Swansea. Swansea is a small city, with a population similar to that of Townsville, popular for it's sea side bay. Our train was delayed, and we were worried that we would miss our pre-arranged meeting with Dr. Fry. Chris had written to Dr. Fry last year after receiving a history prize in which Dr. Fry is the benefactor. He used to work as a professor at James Cook University. A gentleman in his 80's, with an interesting background of being a Cambridge Scholar and a RAF WWII pilot. Dr. Fry and his wife had afternoon tea with us and took us for a drive around Swansea before dropping us off at Swansea University where we stayed for the night.

Posted by CJTaylor 01:35


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

On the 20th we arrived in Bath in the afternoon, and after checking into our accommodation at the University of Bath we prompty headed to the Roman Baths Museum. For £13 each, we received entry into this museum and the fashion museum, which included a really good audio guide, and a guided tour around the remains of the Roman baths. We both enjoyed the museums, which kept us occupied for 3 hours. The main bath (one of the largest outside of Rome), is still intact after two thousand years, and the drainage and pump system still works. The museum itself contains a number of items found at the site, and the displays are very well done. The next day we returned to the city and visited the Fashion Museum, which had a collection of Princess Diana's outfits. We walked around the city but were quickly fed up by the hordes of tourists and litter, which somewhat spoiled an architecturally wonderful city. We made our way to the River Avon and eventually found our way to the city canals. These were a great find and we happily spent the rest of the day walking along the canals, through the attractive hilly suburbs of Bath. Along a canal heading out of the city, we saw rabbits and a cat sleeping on a river boat, and found a great pub called the George Inn where we had dinner. For the most part, the weather was fine in Bath except for a couple of light showers in the mornings and evenings. Bath is probably better visited in winter when there is less tourists. However, we found the canals enchanting and largely ignored by the other tourists, except for English family's on their houseboats.

Posted by CJTaylor 09:41


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

We arrived in Salisbury by the National Rail train, which was fast and comfortable, and gave us the change to rest our sore feet. We checked into our accommodation early, a nice bed and breakfast called Wyndham Park Guest House. Prior to our arrival, we had called ahead to hire bikes from Hayball's Cycle Sports. On bike, we rode part of the Woodland circuit, and got the chance to see a bit of the English countryside. It wasn't very well signed, but after quite a few hills, and pushing bikes at certain times through fields, we came upon Stonehenge. The ride there and back took about 4 hours, including a stop at the Bridge Inn for lunch. One feature of the bike trip was viewing the clear water of the River Avon, which appears to be much loved by ducks. Still no hedgehog sightings. That night we rugged up and watched Sense and Sensibility, the background settings you see in those types of movies look unreal but are true testament to the English countryside. In the morning, we went to the large, Gothic style Cathedral - Salisbury Cathedral, which is impressive in itself but also has a copy of the Magna Carter and the world's oldest working clock.

Posted by CJTaylor 09:35

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 » Next