We spent the Spring Bank Holiday in Durham which has some lovely old buildings combined with Greggs and Pound Shops. It is also over run with obnoxious students. But anyway, we only really had one day in Durham and spent the morning in the Cathedral. This is an impressive building from the 11 century and home to shrine of St Cuthbert. It has been expanded several times over the last few centuries and boyfriend was concerned that they’d never be able to fill it for the services. Still there were quite a few tourists like us wandering around.
You aren’t allowed to take photographs inside but you can get a glimps of the interior via this nice Lego reproduction on display in the gift shop. Yes there is a gift shop, and cafe, and toilets all of which are pointed out to you several times while you’re there. We also paid £7.50 each to look around the ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition. This houses various artifacts from the cathedrals history, as well as allowing you to see the old Monks dormitory and kitchen spaces. We spent a good few hours there before heading off for some lunch.
We had the shortest of all trips to London when we were traveling to a wedding in Sussex and had a 3omin walk through the capital from one train station to another. Hopefully, we can go back and have a proper mosey around because it’s been about 4 years since I went down there.
It’s a city of statues, as you can see from the above collage. Not photographed was the statue in honour of apprentice plumbers that was at Canon Street Station.
And some random photographs that I took whilst boyfriend shouted at me for wasting time taking pictures when we had a train to catch…men…You’ve got some possibly tudor, possiblr fake tudor buildings, a red bus, a plaque, a blue spikey thing, the undergound, some Boris bikes, the shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, a shop covered in grass, and the star signs on Bracken House. Basically, all London has to over.
And some selfies!
I really liked Rome, it’s a big bustly city with lots to see and do. The buildings are beautiful, and there’s lots of history you can see just by wandering around. The sunshine and yummy food didn’t hurt either. Here’s my Rome top 5:
- Roman Forum and Colloseum
I really liked the Roman Forum, I guess most people visiting Rome will head to the Colloseum which is worth a visit but the Roman Forum next door is an amazing example of the history of Rome.
Why is ice cream in the UK so lame compared to the Italian gelato? Why can’t we do it how they do, I guess that, in a country where 23 degrees is cause for celebration there is less of an investment of time in ice cream technological development than in Italy, but still. It’s worth going to Rome just for the gelato!
- Olympic Stadium
The former Olympic stadium is a bit out of the way, but I enjoyed my visit. A bit niche this one as it really for us Olympic nerds trying to collect stadiums but it was interesting to see all the old Mussolini propaganda in mosaic form.
- Rome Zoo
We spent an enjoyable few hours wandering around the Rome zoo, where all the animals were hiding from the the hot mid-day sun.
- The Vatican
It’s hard to avoid a trip to the Vatican, but the queues are pretty epic. If you’re planning to visit bear that in mind, entry to the Basilica is free but we paid to jump the queue and got an audio tour. The Basilica is very impressive inside but full of other tourists, and a few nuns being religious who almost seemed out of place in the tourist throng.
Not being able to drive, and not wanting to drop 150 euros each for the transfer we got the bus to the base camp at Refugio Sapienza about 1900m up Mt Etna. We got it from the bus stops outside the main train station in Catania, it leaves there at 8:15am (well its supposed to but was 15mins late) and we got to the base camp at 9:45am ish.
Just some views from around Catania in Sicily. We spent a day wandering around here, and another exploring Mt Etna. Continue reading
So I did got a bit selfie mad on holiday, as my new phone has an actually fairly decent selfie mode camera. It’s pretty clear to see that the real star of the holiday was my new summer hat (this is real love). The only time I wasn’t wearing it is the picture at the airport when we’d just arrived and it was squished into my rucksack (how do you transport a hat? I ended up wearing it all the way home, which looked a bit silly by the time we reached Manchester).
From our accommodation in Agrigento we were able to walk to the Valley of Temples, which is basically the reason to go to Agrigento. Firstly it’s not a valley but line of temples sounds less sexy, but they do date from the 5th and 6th centuries BC. You have to buy tickets, it was about 10 euros for entry, and we paid about 14euros to include the Giardino della Kolymbethra (garden).
I don’t want to bring the party down or anything but I thought I should mention the annoying thing that happened to Boyfriend when we were on holiday. We were traveling on the bus from our hotel in Palermo to the Palermo train station, looking like mega tourists with all of our luggage and pale skin. The bus was super crowded and every one was bashing into everyone else, after a few stops I realised that I was an idiot and we had got on the wrong bus (d’oh). When we got off boyfriend realised that his wallet was missing. Continue reading
Just a few shots of Palermo, the hustly bustly central city of Sicily. There were some beautiful buildings, many churches, theatres, statues etc Continue reading