A Travellerspoint blog


Portsmouth is Fun

overcast 25 °C

By James

The last place we went in England was Portsmouth. When we got to Portsmouth we checked in at our hotel and went for a walk along the South Sea prom. We walked along the prom until we got to the Portsmouth castle. Then we decided to take a detour through town to the city center to have dinner.

The next day Joseph and Nora came to visit us in Portsmouth and we went to the historic dock yard and went on the Victory, Warrior, and the Mary Rose. We also went in the action station and inside were two climbing walls, a shooting game and two helicopter simulators.

By Arin

Portsmouth is the largest naval base in Europe and a great place to take kids. Our lot turned up when all the British kids were in school (did you know that they fine parents for taking kids out of school?) and that meant no lines and unlimited goes on all the fun exhibits. What James didn't mention was how very cool the ships were.

The Mary Rose is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. Henry VIII’s favourite warship – raised from the depths of the Solent in 1982 and painstakingly conserved. The story of the Mary Rose is one of the most fascinating in naval history and the museum does a great job of telling the tale of battles fought against the French for over 30 years before it sunk off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545.

The HMS Victory was Nelson’s flagship from the 1860s. Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the Flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum to the Georgian Navy.

Finally, the HMS Warrior was Britain's first iron-hulled, armoured warship and pride of the fleet.

Of course, the kids only wanted to talk about the climbing wall...

Here are some generic pics, our photos will follow soon:

Posted by Arin MacDyer 09:33 Archived in England Tagged boats james Comments (0)

One day until my dads birthday!

sunny 21 °C

It is now one day until my dads birthday. When we first got back from Morroco we stayed one night at Uncle Andrew and Auntie Lizzies house and the next day went to a garden party with Angus, Lulu, Flora, and Bebe my second cousins. Then we went home with Grandma and Grandad. We stayed six days there then we went to Milnrow near Manchester.

Milnrow was where Grandma was born and where the most famous Dyer story takes place. The first thing we did whe we got there was look on the cellar steps for uncle Bobobs blood when he cracked open his head for the second time in five hours when he was a kid like me. Sadly there was no internet so we had to go to the library to get some. On our fourth day we went to go to see Wicked it was really good live performance and it was all about how the wicked witch of the west became wicked.

We spent six nights there but on our last day we saw a parade and went to the fun fair that was at the fun fair near the house. Then we stayed another 5 nights in Mayland. Now we are here at uncle andrews house and tomorrow is my dads 40th birthday all the family is going to be there but Joseph and Nora will not because they have chicken pox.

Posted by Arin MacDyer 03:48 Archived in England Comments (1)

The London

City of Clocks

sunny 17 °C

By James

When we first arrived in London we had to get on an underground train on the green line all the way to Green Park. Then we changed to the jubilee line and went all the way to St Johns Wood. Our flat was 1 minute from St Johns Wood underground station. Our flat was a nice four person condo with a fold out bed to accompany our grandma.

On our first day we had seen Big Bens clock tower Big Ben is the bell itself not the clock. We also saw Westminister abbey and the houses of Parliament. That after noon we went out to see Buckingham Palace or buck house. On our way back through St James Park we ran into a bunch of people giving out free bird seed and we got to hold pigeons while they pecked away at the seeds in our hands. The next day we went down to Green Park and then Liecster Square. We also bought tickets for my mom and grandma to go to a live theater. The next day we went to the Natural History Museam and the girls went to the V and A. The Natural History Museam had the fossils that triggererd the discovery of the dinosaurs. It also had the worlds biggest emerald and star saphirres.

The next day we went to the Tower of London and saw the crown jewels and the castle ravens, it is belived that if the ravens leave the castle England would fall. My favorite part of London was the Natural History Museam.

By Arin
London has changed a lot since we were here 5 years ago! Cleaner, shiny new skyscrapers have transformed the cityscape, and (wow) the trains were all on time. We nearly pounded our feet into bloody stumps as we covered the city end to end over four days. We ticked off all the tourist sites for my mom, made a whole day trip to Kew Gardens for me, and gave James hours to study the rocks at the NHM. Neve came along unhappily saying "I'm tired of history!". I think she's reached her museum/sight seeing maximum.

London was cleaner, greener and friendlier than we remembered It does seem that drinking and watching sports are the two most important hobbies over here. The kids enjoyed watching soccer fans boisterously celebrating their teams' trip to the finals outside a pub in Covent Garden then the next day crowds of celebrating the England cricket win over New Zealand up in St Johns Wood overtook us at dinner in the pub.
As we left London by bus (2 £ a person - thanks Andrew for the tip!) I noticed the the plethera of clocks in the financial district and then i loooked around and noticed clocks everywhere - from churches to shops have large time pieces. Simon tells me that the English conquered the world by showing up on time. I guess that explains the clocks.

Posted by Arin MacDyer 10:20 Archived in England Tagged james Comments (1)

Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

overcast 15 °C

It is brilliant go have a sister (Simon's) who lives in Bath. According to a guidebook we saw if you can only go go one other city in England outside London it should be Bath. Its also great that we get to hang out with family and meet our niece and nephew for the first time. We got the insider information, pooled it with TripAdvisor lists, and set off to tick off the good, family-friendly items. Here is our list of the top things to when you are in Bath:

1) Tour the Roman Baths and hotspring. The only place in England that you can get warm without fire (is it any wonder the Romans created a temple here?). Finish off your visit with tea and scones, or maybe a Bath bun, at the Pumphouse restaurant.
2) Take the riverboat upstream to the pub, have a lovely meal, then walk home along the canals. Check out all the long canal boats and the ingenious system of locks.
3) Explore Victoria Park, especially the gianormous playground and the botanical gardens.
4) Hike the Skyline Trail and take in the views off all the distinctive Georgian architecture that Bath is famous for. Leave time for playing at the woodland play area and searching for fairy and elf houses in the trees.
5) Scooter the Two Tunnels trail and stop midway along the second tunnel to listen to the melody created from the music pods embedded in the walls. When you get to Midford, stop at the Hope and Anchor for a glass of local cider.
6) Try Jimmy Spice's buffet restaurant for lunch when kids eat free. Delicious fresh naan bread and gormet ice cream cones made to order. To work off your dinner play a game of giant connect-four in the shopping district.
7) The shopping is good too - every mainstream store you can think of and a huge number of charity shops done up like boutiques.
8) Cheddar Gorge is a really scenic gorge and cave (yes, they also make cheese here). But the best part was learning about the 8,000 year-old skeletons found in the cave - evidence of cannibalism and DNA that was traced to a descendant that still lived in the village!
9) We purchased a National Trust membership to reduce the cost of visiting many historic sites and stately homes. The first visit was to Lacock Abbey - a beautiful abbey converted to a family estate that was used for filming three of the Harry Potter films.
10) Stonehenge - iconic site with a brand new visitor centre. Probably would have enjoyed it more if we didn't have to worry about hypothermia.

There really are a lot of things to do in Bath and the surrounding countryside. Our hosts pulled out all the stops to make sure we had a good time. Daily adventures and some great evenings watching movies, catching up on Game of Thrones, and both Simon and James got up at 4:00 am to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match with Andy. Neve got up everydat excited to play "house" - she was the mom, Joseph was the dad and Norah was the dog. It was a wonderful visit with friends and family.

Posted by Arin MacDyer 07:35 Archived in England Comments (0)

Coming to England

sunny 24 °C

We were staying in La Fleche for two nights. And then we were going on the Eurostar train across the channel to england. The channel tunnel was 280 baguettes depth under sea level that is 120 meters below sea level. There is not one but three tunnels one in the middle for service and one for each way. When we got here at the station Grandma ,Granddad and Joseph, auntie Hannah, and Norah were waiting for us with a big welcome sign. After we had gotten back to my grand parents house. We were all very tired. So we only had one hours play. The next morning me and Neve were up at six o clock playing with all my dads old toys.

To our surprise granddad and grandma had bought us scooters so we rode around the block for half an hour. Then we went for a walk down to the sea wall. When we got there me and neve were eager to go crab catching we flipped over just about every rock that wasnt in the black mud. On our way yhere our dad pointed out all the old skeletons of viking ships. We also walked along side the shipping yard. We saw ships of all sizes and ages my favorite was an old fishing boat that was set on a platform a little ways out. The next day we went to the big park in molden we brought our scooters with us. Most of the trails were bumpy and my front wheel kept twisting round we went out to the memorial of the soldiers waiting for the incoming vikings. Then we scootered all the way down the muddy beach to an ice cream place there was a swan on a nest with six eggs there was also a water hen nest in the reeds with six babys crammed in it. We got an ice cream each and we bought some bird feed for the ducks and swan.

The next day we had a four hour drive down here in Bath where Joseph and Nora live. It is not as much a treasaur trove as grandma and granddads house. But it does have a lot more toys. Bath was named after the roman baths. It is the only hot spring in england. The roman baths to the romans was a place to relax and worship the goddess of war. The most freaky part about the baths is that after the romans got out of the baths they would go into a steam room to sweat off the dirt. Then they would go into another room and their slaves would cover them in wax and olive oil. And then scrape it off their bare bodies with a metal utensil. And guess how much you got paid if you were a slave? Nothing!


Posted by Arin MacDyer 01:39 Archived in England Tagged james Comments (3)

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