Thursday, June 22, 2006

Leeds - England

The Place: Martin gave me an awesome tour of Leeds! Took a walk through the city, stayed at his and his fiance Becky's place and watched the footy (Eng 2 Swe 2) bit of a useless 2nd half but great game (Leeds was congregating in the town square to watch it outside on big screen, head to toe in English paraphernalia - we were there beforehand but decided not to stay as started to pour).

Some features: Went to the snow dome just outside Leeds. Had a really awesome time snow boarding, though it was a steep and painful learning curve! Got the gist of it in the end but am by no means a pro ... yet. Martin on the other hand has it waxed.

Strange observation: Doctors snowboard on their days off!!!

Yorkshire Dales - England

The Place: Went to meet Martin on Mon (19/6/6) in Leeds. Took a trip to Bolten Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales.

Some Features: Very beautiful place, some amazing countryside with an old Abbey from the 11 hundreds! Took a walk with Martin (a friend from high school and a fellow Mooncalf)and his buddy James (both medical doctors)for a about a 7k walk round through the forests past the abbey and countryside and along the water past some mossy rocks (a part that they call the strid).

Strange Observations: Cautions signs of 'The Strid claims lives' heh heh and its just rock pools! (Though very mossy and slippery and yes it certainly is dangerous for most strollers (being an average age of 60) heh heh. Also in the stroll we came across old trees that were dotted with 2p to 10p coins wedged solidly into them. My SA brain said I'm rich! but sheesh they're pretty stuck in those trees - hammered in an bent. Never did find out why - perhaps something to the effect of paying a visit to the spirits in the trees from where the saying 'Knock on wood' comes from??!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Peak District - England

The place: Still in the Peak District - Fran Paul Karen and I took a drive to Matlock (Sat 17th) and today (18th June) had lunch at Eyre Arms in Hessop followed by a visit to Eyam

Some of its features: Matlock, really quaint and old, has cable cars up to the top of a cliff where you can explore caves and stuff, we kinda just took a walk along the river and round the town. The Hessop pub lunch is probably the most authentically English place I've been to in my life, from its decor to its food and drink. I had broccoli and cheddar soup followed by roast beef and yorkshire pudding with a Black Sheep Ale to wash it down while staring a stuffed owl and deer in the face.Eyam is one of the towns hit by the bubonic plague in 1665 and 1666 (the year of the great fire of London). Its a really freaky town cause it feels like you're in a time warp of 300 years ago. Saw some of the houses where people lost loads of relatives to the plague. There was one of those wooden blocks in the middle of the town for criminals' chain bound wrists to dangle through.

Strange observation: Matlock must have had and I'm not joking nor do I think I'm exaggerating about 8 fish and chip shops and 8 ice cream shops all next to each other along one road. Matlock also has probably the most people within a small town who have tattoos on there for arms! I think thats partly due to the fact that there are loads of bikers round the Peak District. Buxton has UK's most dangerous road (based on curves and visibility) so I think the bikers have a jol here. In Eyam people actually live in the plague houses that are on show! (You only view them from outside).

Manchester - England

Went partying last Saturday night (17th June) in Manchester.There are loads of cool clubs all within a walk away from one another and all with different themes. Good times! Here are some pics.

Buxton - England

The place: Starting up north in Buxton (close to Manchester) to visit Frances and her boyfriend Paul. Buxton is really quaint, its like a little toy town where you'd expect to bump into Bob the builder and Postman Pat. In the tiniest vicinity you find schools, churchs an opera house, a station, a market place, a pond, a park. Its actually a really scenic little town.
Some of its features: are Pooles Cavern (caves) which are really impressive and Solomons Temple which stands high up on a hill overlooking the whole town. Buxton's apparently the highest market place town in the UK (arb fact).
Strange observation: No black people (actually i did see one - after walking the whole town past schools shops coffee shops, parks etc). As a South African I miss the cultural diversity!