Monday, August 31, 2015

Little Venice in Maida Vale, London

 London, still has a series of canals running in the center of it. They are still in use, probably not for hauling goods but more for houseboats. Little Venice in Maida Vale is where 2 canals meet, the Regent's canal and the Grand Junction canal. One can walk the whole length of the 2 canals but unfortunately I ran out of time. I got up early this morning, walked out in the rain and came here to this little corner, to Little Venice, the underground stop is Warwick Avenue and follow the signs.

Maida Vale is a very upscale neighborhood but right in front is the canal of Little Venice with all the houseboat dwellers. They make it as homey as possible. Then I hopped back into the underground for Soho to buy a Chinese roast duck. I took it over to my other aunt to see her and to have lunch with her and my cousin. It was a very nice visit. I'm leaving tomorrow for home. There's a bag of leftover toiletries in the bathroom with a sign that says, 'its been a great 5 weeks, here's some leftover toiletries, help yourself to what you need...' Well, its been an awesome 3 months. Thanks for the memories. I'll be back......very soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Home soon

 I left the hostel early this morning to explore some of the secret places of London. I've heard of this community garden near Covent garden. You enter through a little street called St Giles passage. I love it that in London there are maps of where you are everywhere, so you can figure out how to get to where you're going. I found this with no trouble at all. It is staffed by volunteers and they're always needing volunteers so this place doesn't look as hot as it can.

There were some blackberry brambles. I didn't eat these. I just took some pictures. Don't they look luscious? The season is surely changing. When I arrived 3 months ago these were just flowers. Today they are ripe for the picking. After this, I walked out and heard church bells. They were the church bells of St Martin in the fields. I attended church and even had Holy Communion. Then I went to have lunch at my Auntie Mary's house with her and my cousin, Rebecca. England is very special, to me.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

London again

The train strike in Cornwall put a little damper on everyone's travel plans but they squeezed us into a tiny train until Plymouth when they added a bigger train. I made it to London after all. It rained in the afternoon and I tried to go to Lambeth Palace garden but they were closed. I'll try to go again tomorrow after I've visited Auntie Mary. I'm in a hostel in London, nice roomies, boys and girls, a mixed dorm.

Friday, August 28, 2015

St Ives, Cornwall

 Well, every major endeavor starts with either tea and cake or a full English breakfast. I had the veggie breakfast yesterday but decided on a real one this morning. I had this in St Ives, Cornwall, I took the bus there from Penzance, it took about half an hour, through lots of country lanes, so narrow that only one car can pass at a time. Some of the houses practically have their front door right in front of the street that if you're not careful you could be run over just getting out your front door.

Lots of cute shops, it promised fine weather today and there was sun. Lots of English people were at the beach, this weekend being a bank holiday. St Ives was bustling and humming. I leave for London tomorrow. And for home on September 1. Its been three months and my legs are ready. I need a vacation when I get home.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mousehole, Newlyn, Marazion, Cornwall

 An early morning bus trip to Mousehole, up or down the coast from Penzance. Most people say to walk to it, not I, my legs hurt and it takes up too much time.
 Its an OK seaside town, lots of self catering cottages, English people rent them and stay for a short time, walk around town and eat in the little eateries or cook in their kitchenette.

 A look of Penzance from Newlyn, another seaside town from Mousehole.
 Marazion is another seaside town. It is directly opposite the island of St Michael Mount, a place very much like Mont St Michel. At low tide people can wade across but as the tide comes in, we have to use the boats. I took the boat over and back.

I didn't go up to the castle, it was too much a climb for me but I did stay and wander around in the huge garden.

Lovely Marazion, typical English seaside resort, busy all summer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Penzance, Cornwall

It rained this morning as I left Bath for Penzance, been here a few hours, still trying to figure out what to do and where to go. I got some great tips from another older lady in the hostel who has been WOOLFing in the area. She's from New Zealand. So tomorrow I will head out and explore.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stonehenge, England

 That is not the sun, picture was taken from inside the tour bus, its the light from my camera. In fact we never saw the sun today. It rained the whole time we were in Stonehenge. We passed through the lovely rolling green hills of Wessex county.
 It was crowded at Stonehenge. They're extending the parking lot to accommodate more tour buses.

 Imagine there was a moment when I had no one in front of me. I had a clear shot. It was a very nice visit. After hearing about it most of my life, I'm finally in front of it. Amazing.

Its my last day in Bath. Tomorrow I go to Penzance.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Roman bath, Prior park, Bath spa, England

 I decided that after breakfast I'll head out to take pictures before the tourist hordes arrive. I wanted to see what time the Roman baths were going to be opened and was I had to pass by Bath Abbey, I saw their doors were opened. They have a prayer meeting every day at 8.30am. I went in to join them. It was very meaningful. I always welcome any opportunity to attend church, whether a service or a prayer meeting. I talked to the lady pastor.
 Then I walked over to the Roman baths, they are just next to each other. The baths were very impressive, they were huge. One would think that the big size was because the town of Bath was huge. Bath was never very big. The Baths are huge because there is a source of natural hot water. Most if not all Roman baths even in Rome are not very big because they don't have natural hot water. They have to heat their baths and that is expensive. The water temperature was very comfortable. One can jump into it right now and be so comfortable. There was a fountain where we can taste the mineral water. It doesn't taste that bad but its not the most delicious water.

 Then I  took the local bus to Prior park. It used to be owned by Ralph Allen, a rich industrialist and upon his death he deeded the park to the National Trust. Today its opened to the public. It rained the whole day. I walked in the rain regardless.
 On top I can see the city of Bath down below and the beautiful Palladian bridge that Ralph Allen built over the river.
 I was tempted to come by the brochure advertising blackberry picking. Indeed the whole trail was covered with ripening blackberries and I ate to my heart's content. There were blackberry brambles everywhere. I was expecting blackberry picking and I got it.
There were plums too but they weren't ripe yet. This is a lovely area just outside the city of Bath and everywhere there are huge estates, gated estates. Its nice to be rich. I'd love to live in one of those mansions.