Posted by: Ian Briggs on 15th July 2011 at 4:44 pm
So we are almost two thirds of the way through our holidays and having not written anything on here for a while, I have some time to update on what we have done so far…
We started with four days camping in the Lake District and found a beautiful campsite right on the banks of Lake Ullswater. Great views of the distant hills and the relaxing hum of the steamer boats chuffing up and down the lake made this a nice relaxing start to the holiday.
We also did some good walking here including an 8-mile trek across the hills alongside the lake. However this was followed by a cream-tea so the health benefits were maybe wasted!
We then headed across to Norfolk and spent our wedding anniversary in Norwich – a city we really miss since moving away from England. On our way back to our hotel there was a fantastic firework display to celebrate the lord mayor’s show.
This was followed by some camping up on the north Norfolk coast and another mammoth 7-mile walk along Blakeley point to sea the seals. This was a great experience and although the walk was tough (having to walk on a single beach because the tide came in) it was well worth it. We were also treated to a surprise concert in Cromer of The New Squadronaires Orchestra which is an RAF Big Band. They were stunning and the lead clarinettist was particularly amazing!
So now we are in our old haunting ground in and around Cambridge and have been visiting places we never managed to go when we did live here…the botanic gardens and the wonderful Fitzwilliam Museum.
A week left of our holidays before heading on the big drive back up to Scotland to catch the boat…some more camping and meeting old friends is in store so we’re just hoping the weather stays good and that my hayfever goes away!
Posted by: Ian Briggs on 13th August 2010 at 8:55 am
Posted by: Ian Briggs on 19th July 2010 at 3:06 pm
We’re on the train to Boston as I write this. Turns out the train has Wi-Fi so I may as well fill the three hour journey from New York with something creative.
We had four nights in New York City and had a great time. The whole city has this mad feeling – it is just so busy and full of tourists that it can feel a bit overwhelming at times. Times Square gave us the best and worst of what New York is all about – brilliant sights and atmosphere but a bit dirty and full to overflowing with people!
Away from the biggest sights we did find some nice areas – lots of small parks in amongst the high rise buildings which have a surreal atmosphere with people playing fusball with the backdrop of skyscrapers, and lots of interesting cafes and bars to explore – including some that did gluten free food and beer for Ellen!
We saw all the main sights: Empire State, Rockefeller Centre, Chrysler Building and Central Park. But the area I liked the most was around the south of Manhattan: the financial district and Battery Park were great for strolling around and Battery Park in particular was a nice open space with great views of Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty.
We also ventured over to the World Trade Center site which was a really quiet area – everyone seemed to be feeling the same sense of sadness at walking around the building site. There were lots of memorials and plaques remembering those firefighters and police officers who were killed there.
While we were down in this area we also walked over the Brooklyn Bridge which gave great views of the city skyline.
Needless to say I have taken hundreds of photographs and filled up a couple of memory cards! We visited B&h photo in New York yesterday and it was amazing: the biggest store I have ever seen devoted solely to photography…it was huge but I had to restrain myself from buying things I couldn’t afford!
So now we are looking forward to a couple of nights in Boston and then we are picking up a hire car and heading to Cape Cod and then up into Maine for a few days by the sea…looking forward to it.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Posted by: Ian Briggs on 12th July 2010 at 10:10 pm
So we have had our first full day in Washington, DC. It really is a great city. Not too hard to get about in (the Metro system is pretty easy to use and the train ‘operators’ give a running commentary of the journey which livens it up a bit).
Today has involved a mammoth walk taking in all the major government sites like the Capitol, The White House, Lincoln memorial and Washington monument. They are all stunning buildings but the Lincoln memorial was particularly stunning – a huge 20ft sculpture of Lincoln sitting on a chair with his famous Gettysburg address inscribed on the wall – such a peaceful place despite the crowds of people.
We are off to the Smithsonian at some point before we go and to do some shopping in Georgetown – so should get to see the universities and the Air and Space museum which is one of the main reasons I wanted to come here (obviously-for anyone who knows me).
Overall impressions of DC so far are that it is an incredibly clean, safe, quiet city with enough to keep us busy but plenty of nice places to just sit and relax. The hardest thing to adjust to is the heat and humidity – it is around 35 degrees today with about 65% humidity (which feels like a lot!) but thankfully everywhere is air-conditioned so we can cool off pretty regularly.
We are certainly looking forward to exploring a bit more tomorrow before we head to New York on Thursday.
I’ll try and update my blog later in the trip (usually when Ellen is asleep…)
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location:H St NW,Washington,United States
Posted by: Ian Briggs on 2nd April 2010 at 8:53 am
Easter is here, and it is almost holiday time again. A few days off will be nice and we’re hoping to explore some of the Northern Ireland countryside.
Speaking of which, we were up at the North Coast last weekend with a friend of ours who was over from England. It doesn’t matter how many times we go there, it always impresses me. The Giant’s Causeway is a treat (even when the weather is as ferocious as it was when we were there), and the coastal drive back home is brilliant, winding its way through valleys, over hills and alongside cliffs.
We also had a sneaky stop off at Bushmills distillery, where, needless to say, a bottle of ‘medicine’ was purchased…it was on offer! The tour there is still good, and the guide was more informative than most – especially when he got asked stupid questions from some girls on the tour!
My surround sound system is now up and running – watched a film on it last night. As is typical, it turned out not to be filmed in 5.1 surround sound so we had to make do with 2.1…but watched a few minutes of another film that is in 5.1 and the sound was incredible…glad we don’t have neighbours too close!
The Belfast Film Festival is looming too – we have got our festival passes, so we can go to as many films as we like. Saves me narrowing down my list of films – there really is so much going on, it’ll be nice to head down after work and sit and watch something different each night.
So for this weekend, Ellen’s dad is over for Easter. In store for us is a trip to the brilliant St George’s market to buy some food for a Sunday lunch, enjoy some music and maybe a bacon bap. Then a lazy day in Belfast before heading to the airport. I’m even getting a haircut!
Then I am off next week, and I have my birthday in the middle of it, so lots of fun. In the meantime, back to work…