Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My day in Bristol

Tom and I spent a day in Bristol, a city in the southwest, near the southern end of the Welsh border.  Bristol was always a different kind of city; it was regularly in conflict with the crown, had the first professional playhouse outside of London (used almost exclusively for touring companies) and is in the process of introducing its own money (in the hope to keep money made in the city in Bristol, since it can't be spent outside the city).

Banksy is a famous artist who is based in Bristol.  I don't know much about him, but apparently it is not well known who he actually is.  I heard he is designing some of the new Bristol bank notes.

The first Banksy we saw in Bristol.

When we were looking for a place to have lunch, Tom jokingly said "Want to see how good their Mexican food is?" while pointing at a Mission Burrito.  I LOVE MISSION BURRITO!  I introduced Tom to Jarritos. 

Our second Banksy, called THE WELL HUNG MAN.  It shows a man hanging out the window of a flat while his girlfriend's husband looks out suspiciously.  You can see the paint ball marks from someone who didn't seem to like the piece.  This is on the side of a sexual health clinic.

Bristol Cathedral!!!


The Norman style, square chapter house in the cathedral.

Not a great shot of the chapter house, but still beautiful

Self explanatory.  

Me in front of the former consulate.  

Tom with his manly beard. 

It was a great day out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Trip to the Highlands and the Islands (30 September to 4 October)

Tom is leaving for Russia for a few months in about a week, so he decided to go visit his best friend, Fee, and her boyfriend Keith, who live in Oban, Scotland.  I tagged along (well, ok, I was invited).  

Welcome to Scotland!
Tom went to the University of Glasgow, where he lived for five years.  He really wanted to see it again, so we made a quick stop to look around and have lunch.

Being given birth to at the University of  Glasgow.

Tea at a very hipster (but stll very cool) tea house near the university.

The university.  So much nicer than Birmingham.
Just outside of Glasgow is Loch Lomond.  It is pretty.

Loch Lomond, outside Glasgow.

Loch Lomond.

When Jamie and I came to Scotland in July we saw this stop, but not in time to take a picture.  This time I was prepared.

Tom doing the dishes in Fee's house.  By the way, her house is so cheap (as in a very good rent)!!!!

Fee and Keith said that last year in Oban is rained all but two days.  Given this information, I find the omnipresence of outdoor washing-lines to be wildly optimistic


The harbour at Oban.

The buildings for the Oban Times.  A very small paper for a very small town.  

I didn't realise how much I missed the feeling of seaweed covering my feet.  

McCaig's Tower, a Victorian folly above the town.

The Oban Distillery. Tom and I took the tour, which turned out to be the second best alcohol based tour I have ever taken (after Bacardi). 

The ferry ride to the Isle of Mull included some fantastic scenery and remote houses.  

This is why it is a bad idea to face into the wind and take a picture. Not only does your hair look, um, different, but in order not to blink you have to open your eyes REALLY wide.

Light house!!!! This is for you, Grandma Wissie.

And another!!!

Duart Caste on Mull.

The town of Tobermorey, on the Isle of Mull.  The steam coming from this stream was heated by the distillery of Tobermorey Whisky, where it is used to cool the mash before yeast is added.  

The town of Tobermorey.

Tom and I in Tobermorey.

Tobermorey Bay.

What a strange combo-shop!

This is a first.  An actual tap on the bar for adding water to your whisky.

Tom was a bit excited.  He REALLY enjoys whisky.

The Ferry.

Oban 14 is possibly my favourite whisky.


PRETTY + Tom and I.

Scotland uses the same money as the rest of the UK, but they have their own notes. 

Loch Linnhe.

Tom, Keith and Fee at Loch Linnhe.  

Conclusion:  FANTASTIC TRIP!!!!