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 our frustration when we arrived at the local Park and Ride to find it full of smug 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 cafés 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.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Thursday 22

One does not spend any time in Colditz without visiting the infamous castle, so after breakfast we drove up there and had a good look round. Party of it is a youth hostel, built as a hospital a couple of centuries ago, and part is now a museum. We didn't go in, but had a good look round the outside.

Then we drove to Meißen, what we also had a good look round. Unfortunately, the town was preparing for a wine festival over the weekend, so was not at its best, but it is still very pretty.  We didn't go as far as the eponymous porcelain factory, but still saw a good bit of the town.
And then finally to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic.  I wasn't sure what I'd chosen for us to spend the night in, but it turned out to be a very nice, shaded aire.  Unfortunately, it had no services - and our extra night meant the loo was a bit full!  We have services tomorrow night, but.... So came away and eventually found a camp site just outside the town, where we have been able to empty the loo, and the showers are free and hot! 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Wednesday 21.

The open-air banquet last night wasn't actually too bad - a rather loud band, but we quite enjoyed it, and it stopped at 10:00, so no problems with sleep.  And it was much warmer this morning than it had been the previous day.
The Swan Whisperer said he wanted to see more of Saxony, so we would go to Weimar, which is in Thuringia. I am not sure if the logic of that..... So anyway, we set off about 10:00 am and arrived at about 12:30.  We found somewhere to park, and went for a walk, seeing the statue of Goethe and Schiller, and various other sights, and bought ourselves a delicious Thuringian sausage in a bun to keep ourselves going until we stopped for lunch just before we got to the motorway.
We asked the Satnav to take us via Chemnitz, as we wanted to see what a town that had been called Karl-Marx-Stadt for 36 years of its life would be like.  Actually, much as you would expect - lots of buildings dating back to the Communist era and a very modern city centre.  And they still had their statue of Marx, which surprised us - Weimar had a place where a statue of someone like Marx or Lenin had been removed.
We couldn't resist spending the night in Colditz - not, alas, the allegedly escape-proof castle, but a car park about half a mile away. It was raining when we arrived, and by the time it stopped, it was too late for me to go for a walk if we wanted to eat, so the SW went by himself.  Hope to see it in the morning.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Tuesday 20

Another busy day!  We didn't get up as early as we meant to, but were away by 10:30, to arrive at our first stop, Wittenberg, in time for lunch. The town is really lovely, full of American - pilgrims, I suppose, as it is, of course, Luther's home town. We saw the church door where he may or may not have nailed up his 95 theses, and the Town Church where he was married.  The town is very busy preparing for the 500th anniversary next year, with loads of street art by Käthe Kollwitz, and all sorts of things in preparation.
All the same, the High Street was typical Euro high street, with familiar German and pan-European chains; I wished I could have seen it 25 years ago!
We moved on to our next stop, Leipzig, where we are spending the night. I don't think it will be a very quiet one, though, as the hotel next to the car park has an open air banquet for at least 50 people, if not more, all laid out!  The SW has gone for his usual walk.
Tomorrow we have a change of plan - we were going to go to Meissen and then on to Karlovy Vary, but the SW insists he said he wanted to go to Weimar, so we are going there instead, and then spending the night in Colditz (well, who could resist?) en route to Meissen and Karlovy Vary the following day, which puts us 24 hours late for the rest of the holiday. We had allowed for this (we will drive to Cité Europe directly from our last stop, rather than stopping in Belgium), but it means we won't see as much of our niece as we had hoped, although we will still park near her flat on Sunday night.

Monday, 19 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Monday 19

Today was all about Berlin. We got up early and were away shortly after 09:00, walking to the U-Bahn station at Alt Tegel to buy one-day Travelcards.  We took the U-Bahn to Friedreichstraße, and went to see if we could find a river boat, but the company we found offered 1-hour tours for €13.50, and 2.5 hour tours for €16, so we said we would go on the latter, and they said it left at 11:45. It was about 10:00 by then, so we went off down to what had been Tempelhof Airport (just!) last time we visited, but closed very soon thereafter. It had, I believe, been turned into a public park, but the entrance was too far away for us to get there in the time, so we went back a couple of stops to Checkpoint Charlie, which has a lot more museums and a lot less wall than it used to have! 
After which it was back to Friedreichstraße, only to find that the 11:45 wasn't running today.... They couldn't have told us that earlier?  I was not impressed, and certainly not going to pay €13.50 for such a short tour. In hindsight, we'd have done better to go to Alexanderplatz, where there were a choice of tours and tour companies.
However, that was later. For now, we walked up to the Reichstag by way of the Tiergarten, and then to the nearby Hauptbahnhof, where we made use of the facilities and then went to see which of the tour bus companies would give us the best discount. We ended up with one that took us all round the city, with live commentary in English, and then got out at the Brandenburg gate, whence we caught a bus down to Alexanderplatz, which we had not seen properly, and then to Potsdamerplatz, where we had a coffee, and finally to the Anhalter Bahnhof. Whereupon we decided we had had it, and took the S-Bahn and a bus back to the camp site. And then the SW went to do a load of washing and couldn't open the dryer.... And when he could, it wasn't quite dry. He has gone and got us a take-away for our supper, which I am now going to eat.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Sunday 18

Today was mostly housekeeping - changing sheets and towels - and driving to Berlin. SW went out for a walk when we got here, but I have done absolutely nothing except read, and have enjoyed it very much. Campsite crowded, but we knew it would be. Not at all bad for a capital city one.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Saturday 17

The actual Fairy-tale part of the tour is now over, but we are only half-way through our holiday.  It was raining this morning, and quite a long way from where we were parked to Bremen Town Centre, so we drove around, getting vague glimpses of the pedestrianised area, then did some grocery shopping and headed on. We removed the Sat-nav's prohibition on motorways and drove up to the Hanseatic town of Lübeck. It is in Schleswig-Holstein, about which I gather there is some question.....


The SW wondered why we wanted to go there, but after reading his guide book he was convinced.  We arrived about 2:30 and after a quick cuppa, we headed out. I had decided that we would do a city tour, as there was probably too much to see in an afternoon, so we found out where they left from, but there was 45 minutes until the next one, so we wandered up to the Petrikirche, and decided just didn't have time to go up the tower, so wandered back down another way. Then I discovered we could buy combination boat and bus tickets for a considerable discount, and there would just be time to catch the last boat after the bus tour. In the event, we had to beg the bus driver to put us down early so as not to miss the boat, which he kindly did.  Both tours were excellent, although we didn't understand most of the commentary - there was no provision for headphones in English or anything.  I didn't take as many photos as if have liked as my phone ran out of battery! 
When it finished, we were both very cold but still went quickly to visit the Rathaus, which the bus had had to miss as it was on a pedestrian street. It reminded me of one somewhere else - another trading city, could it have been Antwerp?  Anyway, back to the van via a very pretty side street, and cauliflower cheese for supper!

Friday, 16 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Friday 16

A long drive today, but that is partly because we eschewed motorways to finish the Fairy-tale route part of the tour here in Bremen. I went for a walk in Bodenwerder this morning which was yet another pretty little half-timbered town, whose claim to fame was that it was the birthplace of Baron von Münchhausen of legendary fame.

We set off about 10:30, and stopped in Hameln to shop, and then it was a matter of sticking as closely to the Weser as possible. I forget exactly where we stopped for lunch, and then we were on the outskirts of Bremen by mid-afternoon. The SW went for a walk, and I used the very iffy WiFi to upload photos.  The management have put up a notice apologising for the lack of bandwidth, but they can't get more from Deutsche Telekom.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Thursday 15

Today we visited Sleeping Beauty's castle and Rapunzel's Tower.
Both are now posh hotels, the former in Sababurg, and the latter in Trendelburg, a few kilometres along the route.  Disney has done Sleeping Beauty no favours by imagining her castle to be like Neuschwanstein; this one is far older, with a squat little tower. It would have cost us €4 to wander round the hotel grounds, so we didn't, but took photos from the front. 

At Trendelburg, the tower and hotel are right at the top of a hill, and we thought of having lunch at the hotel, but they didn't put a menu up outside and we reckoned that, given the locality, it would probably have been horrendously expensive. So we came away and drove to the next town on the route, Oberweser, and had lunch there, but what looked like a normal pub turned out to be a Greek restaurant. Delicious, but rather more than we wanted to eat at that time of day.  And they produced glasses of something aniseedy and alcoholic at the end of the meal, so I drank the SW's as well as my own, which wiped me out for most of the rest of the afternoon!
We continued along the Weser to here, which is a town called Bodenwerder, where the Wohnmobilstellplatz is practically in the town centre. The SW went for a walk, but it was still very hot. It has cooled down now, and we hope the front is moving in.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

German Fairy-tale Tour, Wednesday 14

Today was a rest day, and Hann. Münden a very lovely town in which to spend it. We have done very little, apart from walking round the Old Town in the morning, and a load of washing this evening. Also deciding that we want to stay on the FTR until we get to Bremen, so not going to Braunschweig tomorrow but to another town that is on the route, whose name escapes me, but where I gather we can park right in the town centre, and to which we can get to via various noteworthy sights.

It is still very hot, but the forecast tells us the weather will break tomorrow night. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

German Fairy-Tale Tour, Tuesday 13

My parents' 64th wedding anniversary - they are on a cruise on the Rhone, and Mum says it is very hot there, too.

After breakfast we went for a walk in Fritzlar, which was just as lovely by day, and visited the Cathedral and the tourist office, where I found a map of the Fairy-tale route.


So we wandered along it to Hann. Munden, calling at all sorts of pretty little towns en route, and wonderful countryside in between.

Then we arrived in Hann. Munden, where the plan is to stay for two nights. The campsite isn't very nice, and at first we thought it was going to be awful, but realised they'd misunderstood what we wanted and put us in the motor-home side, which was foul. So we moved into the campsite proper, which is much nicer, although not brilliant.  I expect the one near Berlin will be worse, but the weather will have broken by then we won't mind so much.

The SW went for a walk, and I sat out and read, and we both sat out until it got too cold and midgey, and then came back into the van for supper. We have drunk rather more than was necessary, but not, I think, enough that we will regret it later. 

I am looking forward to visiting the town tomorrow, and getting some washing done.  And relaxing.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The German Fairy-Tale Tour, Monday 12

Oh, it's hot!  Unbearably hot. Even now, when it's been dark for a good hour, it's hot.  Forecast is for another two days of this, then the temperatures tumble before the weekend.
We went shopping this morning, and then drove to Marburg, which was nice, but a bit of a failure as we had parked a bit out of town, and although we found the Elisabethkirche
, which was lovely, we then decided to walk down a street called the Pilgrimsstein, which we thought would be nice but it wasn't - all modern, roadworks all the way along, and a horrendous concrete block for the university library. So we went back to the motor home and had lunch, and then drove to Schwalmstadt, but it was too hot and I couldn't cope with it so stayed in the van while the SW took a brief look.
Final stop of the day was Fritzlar, with a nice aire, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the town in the morning, before it gets too hot. We had a bit of a wander this evening, and then a meal in a not-very-nice pizzeria, and so back to the van, which is horribly hot.  But the joy of this holiday is all the little German towns we didn't know existed.... So pretty, most of them.

The German Fairy-Tale Tour, Monday 12

Oh, it's hot!  Unbearably hot. Even now, when it's been dark for a good hour, it's hot.  Forecast is for another two days of this, then the temperatures tumble before the weekend.
We went shopping this morning, and then drove to Marburg, which was nice, but a bit of a failure as we had parked a bit out of town, and although we found the Elisabethkirche
, which was lovely, we then decided to walk down a street called the Pilgrimsstein, which we thought would be nice but it wasn't - all modern, roadworks all the way along, and a horrendous concrete block for the university library. So we went back to the motor home and had lunch, and then drove to Schwalmstadt, but it was too hot and I couldn't cope with it so stayed in the van while the SW took a brief look.
Final stop of the day was Fritzlar, with a nice aire, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the town in the morning, before it gets too hot. We had a bit of a wander this evening, and then a meal in a not-very-nice pizzeria, and so back to the van, which is horribly hot.  But the joy of this holiday is all the little German towns we didn't know existed.... So pretty, most of them.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The German Fairy-tale Tour, Sunday 11

The Swan Whisperer went for a run this morning, so it was nearly 10 before we set off to find the Park'n'ride to take us into Hanau.  Bring a Sunday, the buses only ran once an hour, but there were two going into town from where we were, and we didn't have to wait very long to catch one.
Hanau itself isn't very beautiful - it's mostly modern, although the statue of the Brothers Grimm, which is what we had gone to see, is older.  Also the Rathaus, just behind it.  We took photos and wandered around a bit, and then caught the other bus back to the van.
Our first port of call was also in Hanau, the Philipperuh palace, now a museum and restaurant.
   We had a look at that, and then drive to the town of Steinau, also associated with the Brothers. There was some kind of festival going on there but we finally found somewhere to park and wandered about the town a bit until we got to hungry, whereupon we went back to the motor home and had lunch.


Then we had a lovely drive cross country, along the Fairy-tale route (even the Satnav knew it was that!) to this place, called Alsfeld, I think, where we are in a proper aire, and have been able to empty the loo, which was getting urgent!  We also have electricity, and can fill up with water in the morning before we head on.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Gernan Fairy Tale Tour, Saturday 10

I suppose we still haven't really started on the Fairy-tale route, but today was all about Aachen. We got up early and caught the 09:14 train, which was of course late, to Aachen. We would have liked to have caught a bus up to the Cathedral, but we weren't sure which one or which way, so in the end we walked - it wasn't far. We stopped en route at the spa, where there is a display of the archaeology found around the area, from Roman times onwards.  When we got to the Cathedral it was closed for worship until 10:45, so we went and had a cup of coffee while we waited.  Slight disaster as we had sat in the seats outside one café and when we asked for Eiskaffee, the waitress explained that this was the café next door!  Oops!  So we had hot coffee instead.
I didn't really like Aachen cathedral, if I'm honest. Too ornately Baroque, or do I mean too Baroquely ornate, for my taste.  And it was too hot - I like my cathedrals to strike chill when I go in!  We couldn't see Charlemagne's tomb as it is upstairs, which you could only go to with a guided tour, and there weren't any just then. So we came away, and the Swan Whisperer said he would like to visit the Treasury, which was fabulous and I saw the reliquary holding Charlemagne's arm, which is what I really wanted to see!

Then we looked for a bus back to the station but just missed one, so walked, and then there wasn't time to buy a sandwich before our train back to Düren. This, for once, was on time and was a double-decker!
Once back at Düren we went to Also to pick up supplies for the weekend, including a not very nice sandwich each. Then we had another three hour drive to Hanau, or rather, Steinheim, on the outskirts, where we have parked up for the night. Tomorrow we visit the Brothers Grimm memorial and the start of the fairy tale route proper.

Friday, 9 September 2016

The German Fairy-Tale Tour, Friday 9

Today was more of a nightmare than a fairy-tale. It started off well, with a lazy start and I nipped over to Carrefour to buy bread for breakfast.
We set off at about 10:30, with the Satnav blithely telling us we would arrive by 14:30. Ha, ha, ha!  Belgian traffic is not like that, and we were stuck in jams for hours and hours, even being diverted through Holland (which didn't look any different to Belgium except a bit less traffic).  It was too hot to knit, so I mostly dozed.
We arrived in Düren two hours later than scheduled, although a lunch break helped with that, and decided it was too late to go into Aachen. We can't stay there as it is in a Green Zone and our van doesn't qualify for that.  Instead of the very nice aire we went to in the summer, we found a car park near the station, €3 for 24 hours and no prohibition on motor homes as far as we could see.  The SW went for a walk and an explore, and when he came in we had a cup of tea, which showed him we needed milk.  So we went out to find a supermarket, but the first one we found didn't have fresh milk. However, there is an Aldi (and a Netto) the other side of the station, so we went there.
Back to the van to eat butternut squash with tomatoes, corn and feta (and a little pesto that wanted eating), served on bulgur wheat. I only cooked the usual half cup that I do for rice or couscous, but it seemed to make masses more and I had to give the SW, who was hungry despite having had a slice of fruit cake with his tea, half my helping.  It was good, though.
The Swan Whisperer points out that, as it was after midnight, European Time, before we left the UK, we have technically been in five different countries today!

The German Fairy-Tale Tour, Thursday 8

Really, I suppose, today is Day 1, but we set off last night after a minor panic when the boiler valve came open and we had to re-top-up with water (all sorted now!), and had a very easy, and incredibly dull drive to Folkestone. It was too dark to knit, I was too cold to sleep, and I can't read in a moving car!  So I sat there feeling bored. The Swan Whisperer said he was bored, too.
We got to Folkestone at last, and were summoned through without too much of a wait, but then we had to wait ages in the holding area, and even longer on the bridge down to the platform. A man came round and said we wouldn't actually be loading for another ten or fifteen minutes, which meant, rather obviously, that we were going to be late. And, indeed, it was gone 11:00 pm when we finally got on the Shuttle - midnight, European time.  So I got ready for bed and then got comfortable and tried not to go to sleep - I didn't want ten minutes' sleep to then keep me awake all night. The Swan Whisperer, who had no such qualms, went to sleep anyway
At long last we reached Calais, and it's only a five minute drive from the terminal to Cité Europe, parked, turned on gas and fridge, opened windows, closed curtains, and bed within ten minutes. And now it is a lovely morning, and I'm going to get up and go to Carrefour for some bread and fruit juice, and maybe some biscuits as we seem to have forgotten them. We do have a fruit cake instead, though!  Then we will set off about mid-morning, I expect, to drive through Belgium, which will be very boring but at least I can knit, and I expect we will listen to music.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The German Fairy-tale tour, Prologue

This is basically a post to goose Networked Blogs so that my daily journal will be cross-posted to Facebook and bore you all! 

It's time for our long holiday - just under three weeks.  This year, we are following the German Fairy-Tale route up to Bremen, then to Lubeck, across to Berlin for 48 hours, then Saxony, and then a night in Karlovy Vary as we missed that on our Inter-rail trip three years ago.  Then home via our niece in Mannheim, and then Trier. 

We picked up the motor home on Monday as we had the engineer coming to fix the fridge - which he appears to have done very successfully, and it will now work properly on gas.  It's been getting less and less efficient since we have owned it, and on our last trip it was patently obvious that it was basically a waste of gas, and it was just a cupboard.  But a new burner has been installed, and it now lights properly and everything, so....

Anyway, most of the stuff we need has now been taken out to the motor home and put away, although there will be another couple of crates tomorrow - and the stuff from the fridge.  So we will be setting off after Grandparent duty, and spending tomorrow night in the Cité Europe car park, ready to start our adventure properly on Friday.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Back to the Museum

Today was the Last Day of the Holidays.  Actually, it wasn't, but both Nursery and School had INSET days, so the boys were free.  We picked them up from their father's chambers, and while we were there, were able to visit the Temple Church, something I had long wanted to do.

When we had finished there, we got on a bus for a few stops to St Paul's Cathedral, from where we walked up to the Museum of London, stopping on the way in Postman's Park.  I didn't draw their attention to the memorial plaques, as it's too much the kind of thing to give The Boy nightmares, but there was a fountain and a fish pond which they adored.


We then arrived at the Museum.  It is almost exactly three years since I took The Boy there, and I was interested to see how his brother would react.  Interestingly, to many of the same things - he also loved the model of the Roman port of Londinium, as did the big boy, and we spent quite a time answering their questions and discussing what the models might be doing.  

Sadly, the permanent exhibits of the Fire of London had been temporarily closed while the expensive 350th anniversary exhibition - which we were not going to go to - was on, but they loved the model of Old St Paul's ("It's a church!" said Boy Two), and then we walked on towards the more modern era, but just as we got to the Vauxhall Gardens display, Boy Too discovered he needed the loo, and as his control is still a bit precarious, we rushed him to the nearest one.  By which time it was fairly obvious that he had Had Enough, so we went to the café and had lunch before walking through the Barbican to Moorgate, and thence to Liverpool Street.  Boy Too fell fast asleep on the train to Higham's Park, and then history repeated itself as he, too, failed to ask for the potty when  he needed a poo!  Fortunately Granda was there to cope...

Next time I take the boys there, we must start at the Regency-era displays, as I haven't been through the Victorian shopping street for many years, and rather long to!  

But the memory that will stay with me today is talking about horse-drawn carriages with the Boy, and his anxious face as he asked, "But what if the horses get tired?"  I didn't know whether to tell him about stage-coaches or about Black Beauty.  In the end a little of both....