Changing plans…

So again it’s been a while since the last update – I promise that I’ve been doing stuff over the last couple of weeks. But I can’t promise I’ve been doing much…

One thing that has happened – I’ve decided to skip South Africa. I couldn’t be arsed travelling there – so I am coming home at the end of the week. But I have decided to go skiing in NZ instead – hopefully heli-skiing for a day too – woot!

Sodden London…

But anyhoo, back to what’s been happening. I’ve been in the UK for the last couple of weeks.

Had a bit of time in London – if I had to describe it in one colour, it would be ‘grey’. Grey in weather, grey on most buildings, grey in the look on most people’s faces. God only knows how that many people live in such a depressing place. But I had a beer with a couple of expat mates over there – they seem to be loving it.

All the beers come in pints – so it’s pretty much impossible to just go to the pub for a couple of beers. You end up going through a coupla pints – England would be a great training ground for the Economist’s Challenge

From Last of europe…

The Tate Modern – one of London’s highlights for mine. Really great modern art museum – I took this photo in a moment between showers.

This photo is from the Cabinet War Rooms – where the Brits ran most of their operations for WWII from. I can’t think they’d have used this sign much – this sign told all working down there what the weather was like outside.

Buckingham Palace – what an absolute waste of space. I reckon they should make the Queen et al move into a much more modest residence. Unbelievable that in this day and age there is one family of inbreds hogging so much space in central London.

Into Wales…

I also spent a few days in Wales. Wales is wet – no two ways about it. I can see when Poms complain about the weather here, they actually do have something to complain about. Most of the time I was there (in Wales) it was covered in a giant dark rain cloud.

I went mountain biking for a couple of days with some friends I met while riding in Spain a month or so again. Good to catch up, but we did have one good day weather-wise for riding. We also had two days of significant rain, but the riding was still good fun – the trails there are built to be ridden in the rain. But skids are for kids. Being a big kid at heart – I certainly participated in that.

Some of the trails from Afan – there was one day which was really pleasant. Afan is a ‘trail centre’ which means lots of purpose built trails and a cafe in the carpark at the bottom. It has a really good setup, and the riding is great, if not a little boring at times. Great for getting people out there though – all kinds of levels and abilities out there having a ball.

More Welsh trails at Afan. They really are well constructed.

Looking muddy. And wistful. What a wanker.

I had a couple of days in Cardiff too – didn’t really do much there. But it is a nice town, if not slightly boring.

Cardiff Castle – I don’t think you can call yourself a small city in the UK if you don’t have one somewhere near the city centre.

And then Scotland…

I have also been to Edinburgh – again a couple of days there. Thoroughly enjoyed it – to paraphrase ‘The Castle’, it’s mostly about the vibe…

This is a ‘trick step’ – note that the third step is pretty much non-existent. Apparently these were designed to catch thieves out – they’d trip on the step and break themselves and be swept up by the old bill. Also pretty good at catching out drunk residents as well, one would imagine…

Another castle – Edinburgh Castle, would you believe.

Edinburgh is quite a pleasant town – and the weather wasn’t terrible. But was pretty cold – not that that bothers them here – people were out in shorts etc in force.

The Old City in Edinburgh – how’s the serenity….

The Scots also have their own parliament – while they’re still part of the UK, they do have the ability to make some of their own laws etc. This is their Parliament House – quite a spectacular looking building. But apparently it came in well over budget and has been plagued with problems. Another job well done within the public service.

To now and the next couple of days…

So I was in a small town in the north-east of England yesterday – Berwick-upon-Tweed. Not a lot of tweed there actually, I think the town’s name is a bit of a misnomer. But it is very pretty.

This is actually part of the town wall surrounding Berwick – hard to believe. Apparently, the Scots and the Brits used to fight over this place all the time.

I spent the best part of an afternoon reading on the bench in the foreground here. It was quite a pleasant spot – hard to believe that they do actually exist over here.

Today, I’m still in the north-east of England, in Durham.

Haven’t been to this pub, but I would imagine that the men’s toilets could be a bit of a battle.

Another pleasant spot – this river surrounds Durham’s city centre. Don’t ask me how that works – it just does.


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