I took the train to Bath on Friday, and have fallen in love with both travelling by train and the city of Bath.
I am staying with my second cousin Karen in her top story, 16th century, Georgian apartment. Its a beautiful house with lots of history, and Charles Dickens lived next door! Karen has been spoiling me, we went out for a meal at Jaime Oliver’s Italian restaurant and then she took me on a walk around Bath. The Georgian architecture is wonderfully elegant and the city centre is very well preserved, it didn’t take long for me to be convinced I could happily live here.
We went out to Jean and Ian’s, Karen’s parents, house in a little village for a BBQ and spend the night there last night. It has been amazing to meet them and Karen and see photos and hear new stories. The villages are pretty and I am quite taken by the thatched roofs.
While we were there we went out to Stonehenge, which unfortunately was a bit of a let down. The area was packed with people and the lines huge, it just wasn’t the experience I was expecting, so rather than wait in line and pay we just jumped a fence and had a look from across the road.
Today I hung out with Susan. We went to Canary Wharf and then on to the Westfield mall which was huge and very cool, much fancier than the malls I have been in. The shops are so great, unfortunately I cant splurge all my money on clothes! We had lunch from the sushi train at Yo! Sushi.. NZ definitely needs Yo! sushi.
Yesterday I met up with some other travellers, two girls from the States and guys from Argentina and Mexico. We all went to the British Museum then wandered around to Piccadilly circus, Chinatown and Soho. It was good to meet other traveller and hear their experiences and plans.
I also went to the National Gallery beside Trafalgar Square the other day. It in my favourite of the galleries have been to in London and definitely has the greatest collection of famous artists. My highlights were seeing my favourites Gustav Klimt and Giotto and the medieval section in general. The exquisite detail of the medieval work and the effect of the gold leaf is totally lost in reproductions.
I have had an amazing week wandering around London going to some of the popular tourist sights and to some quieter areas off the beaten track. Its been like 30 degrees which is lovely but exhausting when Im walking around all day.
I spent today at Bankside, where the Borough market and Tate Modern are. The market was very cool and oh so tempting. There was a festival on so it was extra lively and I saw Marie Antoinette running around. A highlight at the Tate was seeing Rothko’s Seagram panels, Rothko is a favourite of mine so it was awesome seeing them in the flesh.
And I saw my first squirrel! They are sooo cool. I also saw a squirrel vs dog stand off.
I survived the flight.. just (I may not come home so that I don’t have to do it again).
I’m staying with Sue in London at the moment which is great. She has been showing me the ropes and how to catch trains..
On Wednesday I spent some time in the sun at Hyde Park and then on to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I loved the V&A, especially my first taste of the old masters in the Raphael room. After they kicked me out at closing time I met Sue for a cocktail (some amazing minty cucumbery delight) and she snuck me in to “the world is your oyster” a party for event planning people showcasing the venue offerings of various countries. I imagine I was cramping her style a bit but I had a great time soaking it all in and the photo doesn’t do it justice at all.