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Around the world in a daze

The Motherland - England, Scotland and Ireland

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 17 September 2009 | Views [2366]

The past month has been a whirlwind of sight seeing, visiting family and friends and eating, lots of eating.

We arrived in London at the start of August to stay with my cousin Kate and her fiancee Paddy. We had almost a week there indulgining in those things we'd missed in south east asia – baths, newspapers, doonas and being cold enough to wear jeans. When plannning our first few days in the UK, most of the things we wanted were to do with the food we'd missed in Asia – roast dinner, spag bol, curry, fish and chips, etc...

Kate and Paddy beside Big Ben

When we weren't eating we managed to fit in the sights such as Big Ben, Tower of London, Greenwich, changing of the guards,

a west end show, and even a night in Brighton (unfortunately jet lag prevented us experiencing the legendary night life and we were in bed by 9).

The weather was great and Louisa was convinced all those people who had been warning her about English weather were lying.

After London we headed to Oxford to stay with my Auntie Adele and her family. It was good to get out of the city and spend sometime relaxing, having a bbq and attempting to punt. We got in a good walk around the countryside, pub meal, a look around the university and the Harry Potter movie for a bit of culture.

Auntie Adele and Uncle David

From one university town to another. We headed to Cambridge after a few days to stay with my Uncle Tod and his family. It was at this stage the English weather finally started living up to its reputation. We saw the city in the rain, which is probably the way it should be seen!

Tod also took us to Norwich, a very pretty town, and Great Yarmouth, a very ugly town. Great Yarmouth is an English seaside town. Unlike in Australia, where the beach is enough for a seaside, the English add amuusement parks, jumping castles, horse and carriage rides and bars along the road next to the beach and even on the beach itself.

uncle Tod at Great yarmouth

Next stop was to visit my Nanna in Matlock. We spent four days trapessing up and down the Derbyshire Dales and surrounds. It was great to get back to my “second home” and explore all the old areas, including the hotel I used to work at.

Nanna on the Derbyshire Dales

The next stop was Sheffield to visit Jef, a friend from home. We had a few days exploring the city, and its night life – including a pub quiz, where we lost almost as badly as we do at home!

Pub lunch in Sheffield

It was great to get to see everyone again and it seemed so strange to get back into the habit of backpacking, but we weren't on our own for long.

After Sheffield we headed to Edinburgh, where Jo met us.

With Jo in Edinburgh

We had three nights in the middle of the city during the Edinburgh Festival and we made the most of it. We saw some brilliant acts including a musical improvisation group, Facebook the musical and some great stand up comics. It was very hard to leave Edinburgh!

The Fringe Festival

Inverness was next, where Jo left us for a week and we explored Loch Ness for a day, but didn't find the monster.

After a day we flew to Dublin to meet Malcolm and Leanne, Louisa's parents.

Inverness was cold but Ireland was even colder. I kept thinking I should return to Ireland in summer, until I realised August is summer there.... I wore my scarf, jumper and raincoat most days, some days I even put on my thermal top! But we deicided the scenery was best viewed when it was cloudy, to keep it authentic.

Beautiful Irish scenery

We had a day looking aruond Dublin at churches, the castle, a walk along Temple Bar and the Liffey. In the evenning we saw an Irish dancing and music show while eating Irish stew. The next day we hired a car and headed south.

Our car

We spent about 4 days driving around and saw just about everything south of Dublin. It was a great trip and good to see Louisa's parents again too.

On to Europe main next for 2 months.

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