Results tagged “Rivers” from UK and Japan 2010

Well the blinds in the hotel at Aylesbury were super awesome.  The sweetie got up to go to the loo and I asked him what the time was and he said 8:00 and I'm *gah* we have to go! heh

So got up and ready fairly quickly and had breakfast (very similar to last hotel but with actual real bacon instead of some weird pressed ham thing).

Headed out, our first stop being Stratford-upon-Avon.  Cute, if very touristy, little town.  Wandered up to see Shakespeare's birthplace building, but at £12.50 each ($50aud for the two of us to go in) we decided to give it a miss, as we weren't all *that* interested anyway.  Instead we went for a little walk down to the Avon river and saw a boat going through a lock and lots of birds and that was actually really quite nice.

Hedge trimming - large scale
Hedge trimming - large scale

Medieval buildings in Stratford-Upon-Avon
Medieval buildings in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Morris Dancers
Morris Dancers

Birthplace of Shakespeare
Birthplace of Shakespeare

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a canal town, so even the ice creams are sold from barges!
Stratford-Upon-Avon is a canal town, so even the ice creams are sold from barges!

Distances via canals and rivers to other towns
Distances via canals and rivers to other towns

Lock
Lock

Canal boat in the lock
Canal boat in the lock

Feeding a goose
Feeding a goose

Swan Water Fountain in Bancroft Gardens
Swan Water Fountain in Bancroft Gardens

Avon River
Avon River

Our next stop was Warwick, as we wanted to see the castle.  Found parking in the castle grounds by accident (although £5 which was a little steep we thought).  Castle itself was also pretty pricey (we got the cheapest option of £17.95 - as the dungeon looked pretty kitschy - and probably a good thing we didn't get it anyway as we were pressed for time enough as it was).  Had a bit of a wander around the outside of the main castle, down to the mill house and around the back to see the trebuchet (didn't get to see it in action though).  Watched the falconry show which was very cool, although I might have taken way too many photos ;) Then went into the castle and around the towers and battlements, which I really enjoyed but Stu nearly died on all the steps.  Then through the chapel, great hall and state rooms, making this one of the rare castles/palaces I've been into that let you take photos!! So quite enjoyed that.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Entrance to Warwick Castle
Entrance to Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Avon River and turbine room of the castle
Avon River and turbine room of the castle

Trebuchet outside the castle
Trebuchet outside the castle

Victoria, the Crowned Eagle, a new arrival at the castle
Victoria, the Crowned Eagle, a new arrival at the castle

This Golden Eagle is having a bath
This Golden Eagle is having a bath

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Inner part of Warwick Castle
Inner part of Warwick Castle

Inner part of Warwick Castle
Inner part of Warwick Castle

Kids in the stocks
Kids in the stocks

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

My parents have a photo exactly like this one from when they went
My parents have a photo exactly like this one from when they went

Inside the castle there's all these mockups of castle life
Inside the castle there's all these mockups of castle life

Princesses and Knights toilets
Princesses and Knights toilets

No Drinking Brew, or Eating Gruel
No Drinking Brew, or Eating Gruel

Model of Warwick Castle
Model of Warwick Castle

Chapel in Warwick Castle
Chapel in Warwick Castle

State rooms in Warwick Castle
State rooms in Warwick Castle

Armaments
Armaments

Knight on horseback
Knight on horseback

State rooms in Warwick Castle
State rooms in Warwick Castle

Bedroom in Warwick Castle
Bedroom in Warwick Castle

Entrance to the dungeons
Entrance to the dungeons

Entrance to Warwick Castle
Entrance to Warwick Castle

It was getting a bit late by then (4pm) so left and headed for Nottingham.  Did ok until we got into town where we kept getting stuck in the wrong lane and not able to follow the GPS, or having the GPS try and send us the wrong way down one way streets.  Went round in circles just trying to get to the hotel :(

So got in eventually.  The hotel (the Britannia) is a bit of a dump - we got a smoking room so it smells, everything is a little old and sad, no aircon to speak of, security on the door doesn't work at all, parking and access a pain in the posterior.  But it was cheap (£49 including breakfast) so can't complain too much.  It's only saving grace is free wifi, which sort of works if you look the right way at it.

So dumped our stuff and headed out again to go to Di's.  Again we had issues with the GPS and getting stuck in the wrong lane for where it wanted us to go.  Again we went around in circles :(  Was very frustrating.  But escaped eventually and got away without any further dramas, even getting a FREE parking spot right outside their door (first free parking we've had in this country! Unless you count the half hour we got near the hotel when dumping our stuff).  So went out to the local (the Stratford Haven) for a couple of pints, then back to their place for nibblies while Nick cooked up a storm.  Dinner was a high-class bangers and mash - absolutely delicious sausages, a herby mash potato that was lovely, and heaps of delicious gravy .. nom nom nom :) Chatted the whole evening, about all sorts of stuff .. a lot about travel, Paul had to get a mention, their recent dramas with M's mother, cameras etc etc.  Was a really lovely evening and I have a slight hangover headache to prove it :)

Di
Di

Nick
Nick

Kitty! Taken on one of Di's lenses
Kitty! Taken on one of Di's lenses

Made it back to the hotel in one go and collapsed into bed without blogging.

Geotagging - Day 15
Geotagging - Day 15


Photos on the Canon: 549
Photos on the Sony: 6
Photos on the Video: 69
Videos on the Video: 81
Steps walked: 12838
Pounds Spent: 69.29
Woke a bit before 8am. Only remember waking up once in the middle of the night so think I slept fairly well.

Got ready and went down for breakfast. This hotel does awesome breakfasts. They even had takoyaki!! Win!! (that's octopus balls for the uninitiated - an Osaka specialty.  Stu first introduced them to me the day I stayed home sick in this hotel last time.  And burnt my mouth on them last night when the locals brought us some to share with them heh).

Takoyaki for breakfast!
Takoyaki for breakfast! 

Small carparks, Japan style
Small carparks, Japan style, near Shin-Osaka station 

Came back upstairs to have a look at the Kyoto map I had done last time. Decided we'd head for the monkeys first and Kiyomizu-dera temple near Gion. And the tower.

So we caught the 10:13 hikari to Kyoto. Just about melted into a puddle waiting though. Have I mentioned how bad the heat is here? The train trip is so short (~15min) that I hadn't finished cooling off before we arrived.

Interior of Kyoto Station
Interior of Kyoto Station 

Astroboy!
Astroboy! 

Kimba!
Kimba! 

Decided we'd go up the tower first. It was actually pretty cool, and it was a lovely clear day for it. Could see all the way to Osaka in the distance. There were too many bits of the tower in the way to do a decent panorama - at least on the top level - the lower level was better - and no people in the way there either heh. Nowhere really to sit though (I've mentioned before the lack of seatage is one major gripe I have with this country).

Kyoto Tower
Kyoto Tower 

Kyoto Tower
Kyoto Tower 

View north-west from Kyoto Tower
View north-west from Kyoto Tower 

View west from Kyoto Tower
View west from Kyoto Tower 

View towards Osaka from Kyoto Tower
View towards Osaka from Kyoto Tower - you can see Osaka in the distance! 

Taxis outside Kyoto Station
Taxis outside Kyoto Station 

Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station 

So headed back down and back across to the station to find a map (I like having them on paper, and I'd stoopidly left the one I got last year at home. Went to the tourist information office (which had moved) and got some maps and the exact location of the Iwatayama monkey park.

Waited about fifteen minutes for a train, which thankfully was air conditioned.

Old steam train near Arashiyama station
Old steam train near Arashiyama station 

Wandered slowly down from the station to Togetsukyo Bridge. Then across it and wandered east along the Oi River. That was actually relatively pleasant as it was shady and there was a bit of a breeze.

Ōi River at Arashiyama
Ōi River at Arashiyama 

Togetsukyō Bridge
Togetsukyō Bridge 

Walk along the river at the base of Iwatayama
Walk along the river at the base of Iwatayama 

Canoeing on the river
Canoeing on the river 

Ōi River
Ōi River 

Canoes by the river
Canoes by the river 

Spent a little while there and had to decide whether or not to climb up to see the monkeys. Because, you know, EPIC HEAT!! In the end we decided we would make the climb. And it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was all in the shade in the forest, and definitely cooler than outside the forest. And when you get to the top they direct you to a "rest room" where they hand out refresher towels! Very cool :)

Walking up Iwatayama
Walking up Iwatayama 

So anyway, inside the building you can buy nuts to feed the monkeys and they sit around the outside with their arms stretched in through the fencing expecting a handout. Some of them took the nuts very gently, others a bit rougher heh.

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

After we cooled down a bit we went outside to look at the view. They also did a feeding and all the monkeys came from all over to feed.

Cooling off in the pool
Cooling off in the pool 

Looking across to Kyoto
Looking across to Kyoto 

Looking across to Kyoto
Looking across to Kyoto 

Baby monkey
Baby monkey 

Feeding time!
Feeding time! 

Feeding time!
Feeding time! 

Was a very cool place, glad we decided to go. Nat would definitely have gone nuts with photos there hehe :)

So headed back down. It was nearly 3pm by this point and we'd pretty much had enough. So found an airconditioned restaurant on the main road and had some nice food and a couple of very big Sapporo beers (633mL- yipe!).

We decided we didn't have the energy to go to Kiyomizu-dera so just did a bit of a wander up to the bamboo grove. It was very still air though which was a bit unpleasant. I was feeling utterly miserable by this point. I really don't like heat :(

Sagano bamboo forest
Sagano bamboo forest 

Train at a level crossing in the middle of the bamboo grove
Train at a level crossing in the middle of the bamboo grove 

So we hopped in a train back into Kyoto and a hikari back to Osaka and into a cold shower.

Three drivers?
It amused us that there were not one, not two, but three JR staff in the Kyoto trains 

Had some snacks for dinner. Then was quite distressed to find that Stu's laptop has an iec cable which we don't have a dongle for. So only a couple of hours of battery left on it, which is most annoying since I wanted to do some photo stuff on it.

Early night tonight!

Oh, I also fixed the comments on this blog.. so please leave a comment if you're reading :)


Geotagging - Day 2
Geotagging - Day 2 

Geotagging - Day 2
Geotagging - Day 2

Photos on the Canon: 323
Photos on the Sony: 115
Videos on the Sony: 2
Photos on the Olympus: 5
Photos on the Video: 1
Videos on the Video: 44
Steps walked: 16610
Yen Spent: 7400