Posts from the ‘UK’ Category
Today, Londoners are having their 4 day week end, celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Simple word from me: “I wish I was there…”. I am not British, but like many others around the world, we all like British Royals and especially the Queen herself.
I am lucky enough to be married to a “Brit” who just happens to be a royalist. The problem is we don’t live in the UK, thus for this very week, we were in Doha, watching the celebration on TV.
However, I managed to convince Keith to take us to London for a day, after a family wedding 3 weeks ago. I was sick and had a fever a day before, but I forced myself to go on that Saturday afternoon, as this might be my only opportunity to see the atmosphere first hand, just to go to London 3 weeks prior to the celebration. We were in the UK for a family wedding, not in London, but I persuaded Keith to go to London by train, just for the day.
London is a big city, as well as full of history, thus what one can do in London for a day? Well, not much really, however, there are some websites that give suggestions of what we can do for a day out in London.
Visit London, suggested to start the visit with the National Gallery just off Trafalgar Square, however, if you are a day tripper to London from nearby, (like we were), I think it’s better to go to London by train, and we arrived at Waterloo Station, which is nearby to the London Eye, and that is what we did. However, to do the London Eye, one needs to book prior, as it’s a very popular attraction. As I had been up there before, we gave it a miss. I also gave London Aquarium a miss, even though it’s next door to the Eye.
Yes, one can spend the rest of the day in this area by doing these attractions, but for me, as I liked the atmosphere and the life of the city, I decided to just walk across Westminster Bridge, and turn right on Parliament Square, down Whitehall. Looking to Downing Street, to the office and official resident of the Prime Minister. Funny enough, right next to Downing Street there was this demonstration on UK Police Racial Code and right across there was this pro Campaign for Palestine.
From that bit of excitement, we then passed by Horse Guards, where people can walk in and out of the Horse Guards Parade.
At the end of Whitehall we arrive at Trafalgar Square, where the count down of the 2012 Olympic games was located and where people sit around on the steps posing, watching an open air concert.
To the right of Trafalgar Square, we then walked through Admiralty Arch on to The Mall. On normal days, this place is quiet and uninteresting, but I bet during the Royal events, I bet hundred thousands of people will be marching through this place, and I could already imagine the bunting along The Mall, The Mall will look very alive and full of atmosphere for the Jubilee. But this time, this is my picture of The Mall.
OK, we did not stay on The Mall, as it is a pretty long road and ends up at Buckingham Palace, but instead we turn right heading for Regent Street. This is one of the posh shopping areas in London, where one can find lots of designer shops. This road is another long road that you could spend window shopping or real shopping for the whole day. However, off Regent street, there’s this interesting area called Carnaby Street, a pedestrianised shopping street located in the Soho district, that I think is worth seeing.
By the time we reach Oxford Street and Oxford Circus station, it was already late, around 7 o’clock in the evening, and we were already very tired and ready to go back to our hotel in Guildford, but I also wanted to see the London blue hour, thus we just headed back to the London Eye area to get ready for the sunset/blue hour. That concluded our one day visit to London.
When I planned to visit Bristol after a gap of 2 years I didn’t expect to see many changes. So I was excited and glad to be visiting Bristol again as I remembered so many good things in the city that had impressed me especially the feel of being a university city, not as special as Oxford or Cambridge but plenty of students and some quality bookshops to enhance the city.
Other things to appreciate when visiting Bristol are the great and varied restaurants as well as a good supply of acceptable pubs.
This was only my second visit to Bristol so I went on the internet to look for a good restaurant. Yes, there are award-winning restaurants in Bristol and plenty of other places, which seemed equally good to add to my confusion. But then along the way, somebody recommended us to go to Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant. She said it was very popular, even on weekdays, you cant make a reservation because they have a first come first served system in operation and with the advice to come early.
In the end and with so many restaurants to choose from, we went to Jamie’s Italian Bristol, located at the top of Park Street where the famous Blackwell’s book shop used to be, which was within walking distance from where we stayed.
I graded the restaurant ten out of ten for menu, quality of food, taste, interior design, atmosphere as well as corporate branding package. For ambiance I gave it nine out of ten as the lighting is a bit too dark for me. But I recommend Jamie’s Italian in Bristol for anybody visiting Bristol for a great meal and a good night out.
Here’s the map:
When I visited Scotland I was trying to take this image, but did not make it as the opportunity was not there. However, later that year I went back to UK; this time to Yorkshire Dale. It was only this time that I managed to see capture them, the Scottish Bull.
As usual, before we travel, I booked my hotel online thru various online booking agencies. When I tried St Andrew, I wonder why all hotel prices are above £ 80.- and from the pictures and the review it worth not more than max £60.-???
As I have no choice, and I don’t want to stay in a too shabby hotel, – this was supposed to be our honeymoon – I finally picked a hotel with a rather middle of the road price, not too cheap and not too expensive according to St Andrews’ standard (which is different from Edinburgh’s standard). Read more…
I was worried as one of my guest to my wedding who comes from London were driving all the way to Edinburgh, and as I mentioned before, none of us knows anything about Edinburgh at all. She might have been to Edinburgh before, as she said, but it was on business trip, and I am pretty sure that she was flying in to Edinburgh.
This time she had to drive to Edinburgh, I am sure she could find her way out when it comes to intercity driving, as the map and the signage along the way was very clear. I’ve done that (navigating from London to Bristol) relying on UK map and the sign post along the road – considering I am an Indonesian tourist. But when entering the city, Read more…
Ever since my relationship with Keith I have been visiting UK for several times now. The first time was by myself. I found it’s strange that it seems from time to time the UK airport had something to tell.
The first time was a bomb thread. I was in London, and that was just a day before my departure back to Doha, almost 4 years ago. This time, it’s the airspace havoc that cause by Iceland’s volcano ashes.
Yes, we are now still in Doha, nothing to worry about, but in 6 days time, Read more…
Ever heard of Gretna Green? It’s a small village in Scotland, UK with a unique tradition or rather myth – I don’t know which one comes first. Anyway, today this small town in the border between England and Scotland was made famous of couple’s destination to get married.
The tradition begun when in 1712 a young couple from England runaway to get married in Gretna Green as it was the first village in Scotland at the border between England and Scotland, and as the marriage act in Scotland allowed”irregular marriages”, which means that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. Thus even the black smith in Gretna Green allowed to marry young couple. On top of that, young couple as young as 16 could get married without parental consent; whilst in England the regulation was 16 with consent and 18 without consent.
But what attract Scotland more Read more…
Kota Bath memang menarik, tapi ternyata ada banyak kota dan desa kecil yang cantik dan menarik seperti Bath ini. Enaknya naik mobil adalah berkemampuan untuk melalui dan melihat semua itu. Dibawah ini peta perjalanan saya:
Dan kami mengunjungi semua tempat itu tanpa sama sekali masuk ke metropolitan London yang terkenal itu. Partner perjalanan saya tidak ingin mengunjungi kota London, karena dia pusing dengan kota yang “ruwet” itu…. hi hi hi, saya jadi membandingkan dengan Jakarta yang berpenduduk 12 juta orang itu.
Sebagai “Gadis Kota,” London bukan kota yang menakutkan, tapi bukan berarti pedesaan tidak menarik. Dengan Bath sebagai “base camp” kami, kami mengunjungi kota kota kecil disekitar Bath seperti desa Badminton, Castle Combe, Lacock, Avebury dan tentunya Ngarai Cheddar. Kami juga berkesempatan untuk menghabiskan seharian di kota Bristol, kota terbesar ke tiga di Inggris sesudah London.
Namanya memang terkenal di Indonesia, dan di seluruh dunia karena disinilah permainan olahraga Badminton diresmikan pada tahun 1873; atau tepatnya di Badminton House, di kawasan Gloucestershire. Tapi jangan harap tempat ini lalu menjadi modern dan dilengkapi dengan fasilitas gedung olahraga Badminton…. sama sekali tidak. Malah menurut pendapat saya, tempat ini mengecewakan. Cuma ‘hal’ kecil di desa Badminton, dengan kapasitas dua lapangan badminton saja, dan tidak ada bangku untuk penonton sama sekali.
Bangunan perumahannya, meskipun unik tapi secara arsitektur, ini sangat kuno…. dengan atap alang-alang yang sama sekali jauh dari bayangan Inggris yang merupakan negara industri. Rupanya mereka juga masih punya desa-desa “udik” seperti ini. Terus terang ini mengingatkan saya pada Kampung Naga di Jawa Barat….
Foto lebih jauh tentang desa Badminton bisa diliat disini
Desa cantik lain adalah Castle Combe. Populasinya, cuma 350 orang saja… tapi pemandangannya yang diciptakan tidak betul betul luar biasa, tetap asri dan pemandangannya tetap seperti ini sejak jaman abad pertengahan. Disini juga film Doctor Dolittle versi tahun 1967 dibuat, dan pemandangan seperti difilm itu, sampai sekarang masih saja sama…. tanpa menjadi semakin kumuh atau semakin modern.
Bagian desa cantik ini juga dilengkapi oleh hotel, Manor House Hotel, yang termasuk dalam rantai hotel mewah, Small Luxury Hotel of the World, dan dilengkapi dengan fasilitas lapangan golf nya. Jangan tanya berapa tarifnya untuk menginap atau bermain golf disitu. Kami hanya mampu untuk berpose di depan hotelnya dan minum teh saja disitu; tidak cukup untuk membayar makan siang.
Foto lebih lanjut dilihat di sini
Desa Lacock tidak secantik atau se istimewa seperti Castle Combe, tapi dia tetap masuk dalam daftar obyek turisme Inggris, karena Lacock Abbey yang kondisi ke asliannya tetap dipertahankan oleh institusi National Trust, organisasi swasta yang mengurus konservasi dan mempertahankan kehijauan alam Inggris. Disini juga ada museum “Fox Talbot”. Kurang terkenal mungkin, William Henry Fox Talbot adalah orang pertama yang menemukan teknologi photography. dan di desa inilah dia pertama kali merekam gambar tetesan salju.
Lacock Abbey ini masih tetap sama seperti ketika William Henry Fox Talbot ini menyempurnakan proses calotype yang menjadi cikal bakal teknologi photography modern.
Desa Avebury menjadi rumah dari peninggalan purba Inggris dan merupakan versi primitif dari yang lebih terkenal – Stonehenge dengan daya cakup yang sangat luas, jadi sangat sulit untuk melihat semuanya sekaligus, disamping mencernanya pun….. saya tidak bisa menggambarkannya dalam bentuk kata-kata….
Kayaknya komentar saya untuk peninggalan tua Avebury sama saja seperti komentar yang saya tulis di posting saya tentang Stonehenge.