Archive for May, 2006

Blakeney Point

Hello,

I am way behind with updating my blog, so I thought I would put some new photos online…

Last Tuesday I went to Blakeney Point with Johannes. He left Norwich for three months, so we decide to take this last opportunity to go somewhere! And this time we had a car ๐Ÿ™‚ Blakeney Point is north of Norwich. We left at 8:30, to get there at low tide. It took about an hour to get there, the last part on a very small road.

We parked the car on the car park at the beach of Cley next the Sea. From there, we started walking. This is what Blakeney Point looks like:

Blakeney Point

It’s about 4-4,5 miles to reach the far end of Blakeney Point, and it’s partly gravel, so heavy walking!! We saw some people, but we had the beach mostly to ourselves…

Blakeney Point

Our mission for today was to see seals, and that turned out to be a very easy mission, cause there are SO many of them at the end of Blakeney Point!! It was great to see them like this.

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

We couldn’t come to close, when we did, they all went swimming and it was funny to see all those little heads looking at us from the water. We planned to have lunch with them, but since they were too shy, we had lunch in the dunes. We were lazy for a while, resting from our long walk. But then it started raining! I told Johannes: you’ll see, as soon as I have my waterproof trousers on, it will stop raining. And indeed ๐Ÿ˜€ Johannes was wearing a very fashionable poncho, I couldn’t help laughing… Dracula visiting the dunes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

That last picture is the ecologist destroying the fragile ecosystem of the dunes… hehe ๐Ÿ™‚ From the top of the dunes we had a nice view towards the village of Blakeney (on the other side of the water), and some buildings nearer by.

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

When it was sunny we had another stop in the dunes, Johannes was sleeping and I was chasing butterflies ๐Ÿ™‚ Finally I managed to take this photo, if you click on it, you’ll see that another critter found its way into my photo, I didn’t see it while I was taking the photo! I also took some other macro photos of natures art ๐Ÿ™‚

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

apparently somebody took the trouble to collect all the shoes found on the beach:

Blakeney Point

Walking back it was getting high tide, and the waves were very impressive!! I wanted to go swimming, too bad I didn’t bring anything. We found a tennis ball and played with that for a while, since Johannes wasn’t always able to catch it, he had to save it from the waves every now and then… hehe.

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

There is this old rusty boat lying close to the beach, it’s really cool! In the background you can see Cley next the Sea, they have a nice windmill there.

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

We finally made it back, it was after 15:00 already!! We were exhausted, we walked a lot and it was not very easy walking. We thought we deserved some ice cream but the (weird) shop at the parking place had closed. So we drove to Blakeney and had ice cream there. You can see the seals from boat trips starting in Blakeney if you are lazy ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also took a photo of the place we bought our ice cream, these houses are typical for the Norfolk coast. I like them!

Blakeney Point Blakeney Point

After that, we drove back to Norwich taking all the smallest roads possible… They scared me a bit at first cause they are so narrow that if a car comes from the other side, you have to stop and find a way to pass each other. But I got very experienced after doing that all the way back to Norwich, and you get to see really beautiful places like that!

We came back home really tired, but it was a great day!! I even got a suntan ๐Ÿ™‚

In the UK Ascension Day is not a day off, but we have Bank Holiday on Monday, so we have a long weekend anyway. Veronika, Patama and me are planning a trip to the coast tomorrow, and we hope to go swimming!!

I hope to find some time to put more photos online soon!!

Hanneke

Cycling in Shakespeare country

Hello!

Last weekend I went on a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon with Veronika. We decided kind of last minute to take our bikes with us. They advise you to make reservations, but we couldn’t so we just took the chance.

Stratford

The train from Norwich to London has lots of room for bikes!

On the website of the London underground I found a journey planner that also let you choose a cycle route. So we decided to cycle from London Liverpool Street station to London Marylebone station, about 8 kilometers. We had very detailed maps (so detailed that we had often already passed the street we needed, cause we didn’t realize the scale). It was rush hour, so busy everywhere, and cycling between the double deck busses is quite a challenge! It was supposed to take 25 minutes but it took us almost 45 minutes. We still made our next train, that took us to Stratford. It was about 4 km from the station to the youth hostel, so we were happy that we had our bikes with us!

The next day we woke up early, at 7:30 (!!) and we started our cycle tour at about 8:30. We cycled from Stratford to Warwick, about 10 miles, it took us less than an hour. Very nice route, and the weather was wonderful!

Stratford

A house we passed close to the youth hostel

Warwick is a very pretty town! We were lucky that they were having a French market that day, so we bought some great food for lunch there.

Stratford

And raspberries!!

We visited the cathedral, that was quite impressive, especially all the graves of Earls of Warwick, here are some examples:

Stratford Stratford

One has a swan on his helmet, and apparently has his hands open so that he can look at Maria… the others have wide open eyes, strange!

Warwick is famous for its castle. It is owned by the Tussaud Family, and it costs 16 pounds to visit!! We didn’t think it would be worth the money, so we just looked at the castle from outside.

Stratford Stratford Stratford

It had started to rain in the mean time, but we still decided to continue to Kenilworth, to visit another castle. This was about 4 miles from Warwick, but we didn’t have a good cycle map so we just cycled along busy roads.

Stratford

The castle/ruin in Kenilworth

We then cycled back to Leamington Spa, which is right next to Warwick. To my surprise I found out it was linked to Heemstede, very close to where I am from in the Netherlands! Very surprisingly as well is the fact that Leamington Spa was a spa town ๐Ÿ˜‰ and we visited the free museum in the Pump House. Well most of the time we were relaxing in those chairs and eating chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚

Stratford Stratford

We went to the train station to see if we could catch a train back to Stratford, but we had just missed it and the next one was in 2 hours. So we decided to cycle back, it was only 5 PM so we had enough time.

We found these huge fields of rapeseed, very pretty! We couldn’t resist going into one of those fields to take some photos ๐Ÿ™‚

Stratford Stratford Stratford

We stopped for dinner at a pub in Wellesbourne. Good choice, we had a really good meal there and it wasn’t expensive. They played good music, so we stayed there for quite a while, enjoying the nice atmosphere.

The next day we cycled to Stratford-upon-Avon. It is a very touristy town since Shakespeare is from here. But it’s really pretty and it wasn’t that busy except with people coming for the (half) marathon that was taking place.

Stratford Stratford Stratford

The start of the marathon, some pretty houses and canal boats in the Avon river.

Shakespeare is everywhere in this town, you can visit the house where he was born, where his mum was born, where he died, where his wife grew up, etc… We also found this nice statues in the park.

Stratford Stratford

Veronika finally found her Prince, and I had a good conversation with Hamlet ๐Ÿ˜‰

We walked through the park against the half marathon people who were already finishing (in 1h20min, impressive!) This is the Shakespeare Theatre:

Stratford

We then cycled to Shottery, very closeby, to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Shakespeare’s wife). We saw many beautiful cottages in this area! Veronika wasn’t very interested though…

Stratford

Veronika looking for food ๐Ÿ˜‰

We didn’t visit the cottage but looked around for a bit, laughing at the tourists. They are useful though, we asked one of them to take a photo of us.

Stratford Stratford Stratford

Veronika was complaining that I didn’t give her enough breaks, she was exhausted ๐Ÿ˜‰

We left Stratford at 2 PM, this time it took us more than 8 hours to get back home!! London Marylebone was closed for the weekend so we had to change trains in Banbury. Somehow we got into the wrong on
e, and didn’t realize until we reached the final destination: Reading!! So from there we took a train to London Waterloo, it stopped at every 3 houses so it took quite long. From Waterloo we took the bridge to get to the Embankment tube station, so that we could get on the Circle Line to London Liverpool Street. Outside of peak hours you are allowed to take your bike on the tube (for free!)

Stratford Stratford

Posing in front of the Millennium Eye, and with our bike at Embankment

When we arrived in London Liverpool Street, they cancelled 3 trains going to Norwich, so we had to wait for 1,5 hour. We bought some food and went to a nearby park to eat it. Finally at around 10 PM we arrived home. It was a great weekend, lots of fun! I really enjoyed taking our bikes on the trip and will certainly do that again.

This week the weather in Norwich has been great, which makes it difficult to stay in the office. The lake and surrounding fields are sooo tempting!! There is a lot going on this week, courses, a symposium, and also the symposium dinner tomorrow night. Then there is also the Norwich Festival going on, so lots of things to do. More about all that later!

I also still plan to post the photos of the weekend that my parents were in Norwich! If I can find the time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hanneke