Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Sunken Cities at the British Museum

Lunch with an old friend today.  We had arranged to meet outside the British Museum, and as I now have a membership card, after we'd had lunch I decided to visit this exhibition.

I have to admit to being a bit underwhelmed.  It ought to have been fascinating, but somehow it wasn't.  Archaeologists had discovered two cities near Alexandria, called Thonis-Heracleieon and Canopus, and the exhibition showed some of the things they had excavated.  Which were good, especially the heads of two sphinxes, one of which looked exactly like my old headmistress....

The selling point was supposed to be the links between the Greeks and the Egyptians back in the day, but mostly they concentrated on who worshipped what, and how, which was very dull.  I'd have loved to have seen more about how ordinary people lived, and what they did.  But I suppose that sort of thing doesn't survive long immersion in the Mediterranean, whereas votive statues and so on do....

Ah well.  En route to the museum, I was amused to notice the signs at Tottenham Court Road station which will, one day, direct the traveller to "Crossrail" - presumably they are now going to have to change these as it's going to be called the Elizabeth Line instead!  What a waste.  Very slow journey home on the 59, there must have been a diversion somewhere as the Royal Mile down to Aldwych was gridlocked.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Wednesday 28

And so the adventure ended, as it began, in the aire at Calais.  We slept well, and then I did a big shop in Carrefour while the SW cleaned the van, and then it was time to head home.  We decided to lunch during the crossing, and after it I vaguely remember coming off the Shuttle, but fell so very soundly asleep that I didn't stir until we got to Forest Hill!

So home, and unpacking and putting away and tidying up....  and on Friday the van will go home to Sussex until the next time.  When and where that will be we don't know yet.  Probably at least one more holiday this year.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Tuesday 27

Our last full day, and we knew we had a long drive ahead, so we got up early.  We had spent the night in a campsite, which ok, there was electricity and free WiFi and services, but imagine or frustration when we arrived at the local Park and Ride to find it full of smash motorhomes who had spent the night free of charge!  And there were services. So we were most frustrated, but we will know for next time.

We took a bus into town and wandered round the sights, and then found a ReWe to do some last-minute shopping, and an Eiscafé so I could finally have my sundae, which was lovely.  But i don't want another one for a long time!

Then it was back to the motor home and a long, boring drive across Luxembourg and Belgium, stopping once for lunch and once to stretch out legs. We have now arrived at the Buffalo Grill in Calais for our traditional Last Supper before home tomorrow.

German Fairy-tale Tour, Monday 26

We did not hurry in the morning, as we didn't have far to go. Our first port of call was Bad Durkheim, just down the road, where they had a spa, and an extremely lovely park, which we both enjoyed walking through.but whose main claim to fame was a restaurant with an enormous wine keg!  We had lunch there, and I had more new wine, which was a failure as I then slept all afternoon and missed most of an (allegedly) scenic drive to Trier, where we spent the night. The SW went for a walk, as per usual, and then flaked out for an hour or so before supper.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Sunday 25

We decided that the little we had seen of Würzburg wasn't nearly enough, so we went back there this morning and had a proper look round this exceptionally pretty, even by German standards, little town. Slightly spoilt by the fact that there was a stall offering bottles of new wine (Federweisse, and I've also known it called Ström), but when we got there they said they didn't sell it like that and didn't have any bottles anyway (what were those in the fridge, I'd like to know?), which was disappointing.  In the UK I'd have reported then to the TSA for misleading advertising....

So we drove on along the Main valley and up to Worms, only I was asleep and missed most of the latter town.  Then down to Ludwigshafen and the most enjoyable hospitality of our niece, once more. Including her broadband. My phone has been shrieking at me to upgrade it for the past week, so I have done that and now have Android Nougat, but don't know what difference it will make.

And our niece kindly produced a bottle of new wine... Great minds obviously thinking alike. It was delicious!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour. Saturday 24

Not a great day. We started off in Bayreuth, which was lovely, and wandered down the main shopping drag, only then the Swan Whisperer realised he had mis-set the thingy you put in the windscreen to say what time you arrived so you don't outstay your welcome, which he bought one of the other day.  So he rushed back to the van leaving me to carry the rather heavy grocery shopping - and had we but known, there was a Netto much nearer to where we had parked.

So we set off to Nuremberg, and it would have been lovely. We found somewhere to park near the old town and had lunch and then we were just enjoying a walk in the old town when he suddenly said that we were parked illegally - which we weren't - and that we must leave at once, so we had to cut our visit to the town short, and I had been looking forward to funding an Eiscafé and having a delicious bowlful of something with whipped cream and fruit on the top. Plus I wasn't allowed to change my shoes - and my feet were hot - or spend a penny. I was very unimpressed and said so, in no uncertain terms, and then went to sleep.

We then arrived in Würzburg, which is a really lovely town but, sadly, the aire there was absolutely full, mostly of cars, so there was nowhere to park. But we had seen a place en route and went back to it, in the middle of nowhere but quite nice. Also busy, and rather noisy from a railway line nearby.  Oh well.

Friday, 23 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Friday 23

Today started off well with the most beautiful drive between Carlsbad and Marienbad (yes, I know they are called by other names now, but in Germany they are still known by the old names, and nobody minds if one says Vienna instead of Wien, or the Danube instead of the Donau....). It was on a narrow road through pine-forests, occasionally clearing into agricultural land. There's was very little traffic, and we reached Marienbad by about 11:00. We parked just outside the town and walked up a mile or so and had Kaffee und Kuchen in one of the many caf├ęs that line the main street.  I had one of those luscious Czech honey cakes and the Swab Whisperer had an Apfelstrudel, which he said was delicious.

We then walked back to the motor home and decided to call in at the local Tesco to get a sandwich for lunch, but the one thing Czech Tescos don't seem to do is sandwiches. There was, however, a Chinese restaurant in the complex, so we went there. And then headed off towards Bayreuth, where we are spending the night. But we had got about 35 km down the road and were well into Germany when I suddenly realised that there my cardigan wasn't, so we had to drive all the way back. Luckily I had left it in the restaurant, and they had kept it safe for me, but when we came away, we went a different route!

We are parked in a very nice aire, with services - that was another of today's worries, that we had run out of water, and when that happens the pump just runs, and if course the SW worried that it had broken. Which it hadn't at all, and soon stopped running once we had some water.
Then he went out for a walk, and then it was supper time.