A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Jimpat


Off to Uzbekistan

Today was Pat’s birthday and we spent part of it in a lounge at Heathrow Airport awaiting our flight to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Our flight was over an hour late leaving London but we still arrived with time to spare at the beautiful new Istanbul airport. After a short layover in Istanbul we boarded our next flight to Tashkent. Our adventures in the Middle East will begin when we arrive in Uzbekistan tomorrow morning!

Posted by Jimpat 18:08 Comments (0)


A Day of Museums

After breakfast, we caught the Tube to the Victoria and Albert Museum. This expansive museum houses a huge variety of exhibits. In anticipation of our upcoming trip, we checked out the Islamic and Middle East Exhibit, which has some beautiful Persian carpets, as well as ancient pottery and tile work. We were very impressed by the Casts Court. This is a real focal point of the museum - apparently the space was designed around the artifacts, all of which are casts of well- known sculptures from around the world. Foremost amongst these are two massive sections of Trajan’s Column from Rome. There were also cases of the tomb effigies of famous kings and queens, and a full-size cast of Michelangelo’s “David”.
We then crossed the street to the Natural History Museum, and saw another small corner of this massive place. As it is Saturday, the place is very busy, and we don’t last too long.
We then head off by Tube to The Abington Pub and Restaurant. They are reputed to have the best sticky toffee pudding in London. After a light lunch, we each indulged in a portion of pudding. This turned out to be a bit indulgent, as it is so rich and sweet. But delicious!
After waiting for a sudden downpour to end, we caught the Tube back to our B&B. It is unseasonably cold in London at the moment - just 10 degrees C.
One of the entrances into the Victoria and Albert Museum
One of the exhibits at the museum
A cast of Trajan’s Column
A few tomb effigies
About to enjoy our sticky toffee puddings!

Posted by Jimpat 07:15 Comments (1)


Back to London

Today we drove from Cheltenham to Bristol to catch our train back to London. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent touring Cornwall, Devon, and the Cotswolds. It was difficult to stop to take pictures of all the gorgeous countryside as the roads are narrow and stopping spots infrequent. And if we could have stopped every time we saw a lovely view, we’d still be out there!
We dropped our rental car and enjoyed the short train journey back to London. We dropped our bags at our B&B, and headed to The Strand. Jim had long wanted to see the inside of the Royal Courts of Justice, and we were not disappointed. The building opened in 1882, and is lovely to behold. We even found a courtroom with a civil trial in progress, and we sat in for a while. Procedurally, it was not very different from what Jim was accustomed to. But seeing it in a historic old courtroom, complete with barristers in their wigs (oddly, the judge was not required to wear a wig), made it very special. We were really awed, until we noticed that one of the barristers had his robes on inside out!
We walked through Covent Garden, and down to Trafalgar Square. We continued on down Whitehall, where we watched the Household Cavalry doing some sort of inspection. Then down to Westminster, past Big Ben ( it’s almost completely shrouded in scaffolding at present), across the Thames to Lambeth. We continued to a pub near our B&B, where we stopped for a pint. Then on to an Indian restaurant nearby for a couple of very good curries for dinner.

Outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Busy London
Covent Gardens

Trafalgar Square
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square and National Gallery
One of the majestic lions at Trafalgar Square

A view of the London Eye from across the River Thames

Posted by Jimpat 06:40 Comments (1)

Gloucester, England

Another day of touring the Cotswolds

We started our day in the quaint and quiet village of Painswick. We enjoyed a lovely stroll through this pretty village before stopping for coffee at the only coffee place in town! The coffee shop had two of Rod Stewart’s gold albums hanging on its wall.
Then we drove through Stoud before stopping in Cirencester for a quick walk around. Cirencester is considered the capital of the Cotswolds.
We enjoyed more of the lovely Cotswolds countryside before stopping in Fairford for a light lunch. Then it was a quick drive to Bibury which is considered one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. We meandered through the little village and across a bridge to the much photographed Arlington Row. These honey-coloured seventeenth century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs, once housed weavers who supplied cloth to a nearby mill.
Our visit to the lovely little towns and villages of the Cotswolds has been truly memorable.

A lane in Painswick
A shop/home along High Street in Painswick

High Street Painswick
A lovely stone building and my handsome husband
A pretty lane in Painswick
A large stone home in Painswick
Cirencester High Street

Tudor building in Cirencester

Gorgeous Cotswolds countryside
Beautiful home in Fairford
Pat and a ginormous rabbit!
Homes in the village of Bibury
The iconic red British phone box in Bibury
Jim at Arlington Row
View of Arlington Row from the river
Picturesque Arlington Row

Posted by Jimpat 22:31 Comments (0)

Gloucestershire, England

The charming and beautiful Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are the largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. It covers 2,040 km and is the second largest protected landscape in England. The area is full of charming towns and villages, and scenic, rolling farmland. It is a perfect base for keen walkers as there are over 100 miles of picturesque walking trails. The name Cotswold is popularly attributed the meaning "sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides", incorporating the term, wold, meaning hills.
After a short drive from Cheltenham, we arrived in pretty little Bourton-on-the-Water. We had a cappuccino, and strolled the streets. Unlike much of Britain, with its miles of row houses, this area has cute little cottages built of the stone of the warmest colour, all with fabulously manicured gardens. Very serene.
Then we drove on to Lower Slaughter - equally pretty. We took a walk along a gentle stream and through pastures filled with new-born lambs, to Upper Slaughter, and back again.
We continued on, stopping to visit Stow-on-the-Wold, and Moreton-in-Marsh, where we had lunch of pasties and salad. Then we stopped in, OMG, Chipping Camden! This is probably the loveliest little town we’ve ever seen! Beautiful old stone buildings, and a 16th century Market Hall. And lovely thatch-roofed houses.
Through an afternoon shower we drove through Broadway, Snowshill, Temple Guiting, and Naunton, before returning to Cheltenham.
If, after Brexit, Britain can survive on cute, maybe it will get by.

An old Cotswold stone home in Bourton-on-the-Water
Old mill in Lower Slaughter
Lambs in a paddock
Yummy pasties for lunch
Beautiful old High Street in Chipping Camden was built by wealthy merchants between the 14th and 17th centuries
17th century market hall in Chipping Camden
Gorgeous thatched cottage in Chipping Camden
A few more lovely stone homes

Posted by Jimpat 10:59 Comments (0)

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