Oh to be in England now that Aprils here - NOT. It is cold, especially after the heat of Cuba, we even had to go and buy ourselves an extra jumper. But apart from that grumble we have been having a terrific time.
We went up to London and wandered about through all sorts of back alleys and lane ways that Dave has discovered over the years. We caught up for lunch with Andrew, one of our fellow travellers in Cuba, and had a delightful lunch in one of London's quaint pubs.
On another day we walked Headley Heath which is quite near to Pat and Dave's here in Epsom. The bluebells are out in force at the moment and it was like walking through a blue wonderland, just beautiful.
The last few days have been spent up in Birmingham where Pat and Dave's daughter has been for the last few years at university. Mike and I both expected a very industrial city, instead we found a city that has reinvented itself as a lively, trendy place with some amazing architecture and lots of great foody places. We walked along side one of the canals from the university into the city, a fair hike, but incredibly peaceful when we were in fact in the heart of the city.
We visited the library which is an amazing structure, it looks like a couple of cubes decorated with lazy daises from the outside but inside it is round. You can stand on the ground floor, look up to the 9th floor, each floor has floor to ceiling books (of course) and lots of reading and research areas. Through the middle and connecting each floor are escalators with bright lights which make the whole place seem quite futuristic.
The Birmingham Museum was another shelter from the rain, which like many city museums was a great source of info for the surrounding area. A few years ago a local person discovered what has become known as the Staffordshire Hoard - which is a collection of gold, silver and other artifacts from the Saxon days, The intricate work of some of the jewellery has to be seen to be believed. It is an incredible collection that is still being researched today as no one knows why the 'hoard' was there and exactly who put it there.
Today we will be heading out for lunch with some friends and relatives of Mikes, then on Friday we choof off to the Isle of Wight for a week. Fingers crossed the weather will improve as we plan to do quite a few walks on the island.
Annie, I will let you know which ferry we will be coming back on so that we can do lunch somewhere around Portsmouth.
Starting off in Sydney we head over to the US for a few days in Los Angeles, then Las Vegas and finally over to the Big Apple. Then off again, down to Cuba for about 18 days for some old cars, cigars and Baccardi. After that we head north, this time to Toronto in Canada for a whistle stop before crossing the Atlantic to the UK. One of the highlights there will be a week down on the Isle of Wight. Jetting off again we will then spend approximately the next two months driving around Italy and France. After all that hard work we journey over to Greece where we will island hop using the local ferry systems, with 3 nights on Santorini, 3 nights of Mykonos and 3 nights on Paros. Yep, we love doing the tourist stuff! Finally we begin the long haul home stopping off on the way in Honkers for a little retail therapy.