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Archive for July, 2008

Moving on..

From Portsmouth we headed west to Devon, more specifically Plymouth.
We arrived mid afternoon by train and jumped in a taxi to our hotel.

The joys of never being to a place before and not quite knowing exactly where everything is meant that our hotel was not exactly in the center of town. This meant taking a taxi back into town when it was time to go and get some food.

We headed down to the harbour area and found a nice pub for some food and a few drinks.
After dinner we wandered around the Hoe and took some photos.
We stumbled upon a whole street full of quite nice looking B&B’s that we will have to keep in mind next time we are down that way.

We stopped off for a few more drinks at the Walkabout Hotel (Aussie pub. YAY for TED’s), once they closed up we headed home to the hotel.

The following morning we jumped on yet another train (I have caught more trains in 3 weeks than I did in an entire year back home) and headed for the beach side town of Newquay in Cornwall.
When we left Plymouth station the sun was out and it was promising to be a beatiful day by the beach, then reality struck and the English weather did its very best to ruin our day.
When we arrived, the sun had all but vanished behind some rather dark looking clouds. The wind was blowing and it was not the nicest of days.
Yet people were still down on the beach swimming and surfing and trying to get some sun (they are english afterall).

We wandered up and down the beach looking for somewhere to get some lunch, we on a nice little pub at one end of what was probably the main street in Newquay.
Had some lunch and a couple of drinks (I think we are borderline alcoholics by now) and then set off for some more sight seeing.

By now the rain had finally started so the camera was put away and we spent most of the walk back to the train station jumping from shop to shop to avoid getting soaked.

We made it back to the station and then found we had over an hour to wait for the train. Since the rain was still coming down that meant finding indoor things to do.
A local arcade kept me amused for a little while and Vlads never ending quest for postcards (no I am not going to send any) meant the time passed quickly enough.
We jumped on the train and headed back to plymouth.

We had a quiet night as we were on a fairly early train to liverpool the next morning.

The next day saw us on another long train ride across the country side to Liverpool.
We arrived fairly late in the afternoon, checked into our hotel and then set about finding somewhere for dinner and to get a few drinks.
We checked out the details for doing a stadium tour of Anfield stadium (home of Liverpool FC) and then called it a night.

The next day we were up fairly early for breakfast so we could get as much time as possible out of our 1 full day in liverpool.
We jumped in a taxi and headed for the stadium.
The tour was great, we got to learn some stuff about the team and what goes on on a match day to put the oposition off. Took a load of photos, then after the tour was complete we went up into the museum and took a heap more photos.

We left the stadium and then went and got some food at a local pub (and some more drinks of course).

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around liverpool checking out as much of the city as we could on foot.

After dinner and some more drinks it was time to call it a night.

The next day we were sitting on a train headed for London, more on that later.

Photos from Plymouth, Newquay and Liverpool (Anfield) can be found in the gallery.

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Time to leave the beach..

Having spent 6 days in Brighton enjoying the sun it was time to move on.
During our travel discussions we decided to head for Portsmouth since it was also in the south of England and was within shooting distance of Stonehenge and a few other things we were interested in checking out.

We arrived in Portsmouth and eventually checked into our hotel (No I will not pay you 10 quid to checking 1 hour early thank you very much).
Since once of the semi finals for Euro 2008 was on that night we decided to find a local pub and have some dinner and watch the game with a few drinks (there is that magic word again).

After getting freshened up in our hotel room we set out in search of a pub.
There is no shortage of places to drink in Portsmouth and eventually we found a decent looking place with a reasonably priced dinner menu, the fact that it was getting close to kickoff made our decision THAT much easier.

We went in and ordered our food and drinks and sat down to discuss the chances of Russia ACTUALLY being able to beat Spain in the match.

During the game we drank some more and then eventually called it a night.

It seemed we had caught a big of football fever and since we were in the home of Portsmouth FC we figured we might as well go and check out Fratton park.
We rose kinda late and had some breakfast from the pub downstairs (2 for 1 meals all day made for a nice cheap place to eat almost daily) then decided to walk the 2+ miles to Fratton Park (it didn’t actually seem THAT far on the map).
When we finally made it we were told that as the ground is currently undergoing construction work that we would not be able to go inside. Well that sucks doesn’t it.

“Oh well, there is a sign over there pointing to the seaside, lets wander there and check it out.” I STILL regret saying that.
We walked for about another 30 minutes or so only to end up at the back of what appeared to be some form of swamp (in reality it was probably just a lake or bay that was at low tide but still), after deciding that this was crap and possibly the worst place we had been so far we headed back for home.
One small problem with that, we didn’t actually know where we were or how to get back to our hotel.
We walked in the general direction and eventually stopped and had to look up where we were and how to get home on google maps (god bless the man who invented WAP). We eventually made it home (some 1 hours walk later) and almost fell asleep right away.
We relaxed for a little while and then headed out for dinner and some night time entertainment (it was friday night, there had to be something going on in 1 of the pubs we had seen the previous night).
Sadly the “action” at the pubs in this part of town were mostly filled with all middle aged men/women and very few people that we wanted to socialise with.
We had a drink or 2 at a few of the pubs and called it a night early.

By now you are probably thinking “they MUST be running short of clothese by now”. You would be right.
I still had enough to last me a few days but Vlad was almost down to wearing repeat underwear (his, not mine).
It was time to do some washing. We set out for breakfast and to try find a dry cleaner/laundrette. The 100 or so that we had passed the day before were all far too far away to walk to so we asked at reception, we were given a map and the location of the laundrette was marked for us. A good 30 min walk down a very long street later we finally made it.
With fresh washing in hand we headed back for some lunch and a need to find something else to do for the night.
We checked our map and decided that the seafront that we had walked to the day earlier was in fact NOT where we wanted to be. We wanted to be at the harbour so we wandered down there.

On our way we could immediatly tell that we were in the right side of town, there was young people, more importantly there appeared to be stuff to do.
On the horizon you could see a huge tower, known as Spinnaka tower it is a huge sail shaped observation tower on the harbour in Portsmouth. We walked towards the tower and paid the admission to get to the top. The view was incredible, views of Portsmouth and surrounding areas from 3 sides, as well as a glas floor for those brave enough to walk out on it.

The rest of the harbour area was a significant improvment over the rest of the city that we had seen.
There was some sort of market going on in the pedestrian mall, along with countless restaurants and bars this was clearly the place to come drinking later that night.

After an enjoyable afternoon we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and some dinner from the pub downstairs (cheap food + free WiFi means we spent a good portion of our meals in this place).

After dinner we jumped in a taxi and headed back to the harbour.
The big sign that read “CASINO” was calling me so we went in for some gambling.
After losing some money on Blackjack, then winning some money on roulette we left the casino and headed for one of the various pubs.
Many drinks later it was time to call it a night, we did afterall have a big day coming up.

The next day we had a trip to Stonehenge planned.
Get up, get on a train and head for Salisbury then out to stonehenge.

We arrived in Salisbury, jumped on a tour bus and headed out to Stonehenge with a guided tour of the area.
Stonehenge was pretty cool, even if we couldnt get up close and personal with the rocks. Our tour took us back through Salisbury and we hopped off in the town center to check out the cathederal and other historical monuments on offer.
Since the rain was starting we headed back to the train station and made the trek back to Portsmouth.

That night we went back to the casino and I was luck enough to walk out in front.

Since we had a long train ride to our next destination the following day we called it a night and headed for home.

The next day we were up and heading for Plymouth (Devon). Details of that trip to come later.

Photos from Portsmouth and Salisbury/Stonehenge can be found in the gallery

More from me later.

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