12
Oct2015
1

We’ve been back in New Zealand almost a year now. In a few days, it will have been a whole year since we left Cambridge. Time has just *flown* by, but I’ll admit I’ve been avoiding this post, talking about Cambridge and leaving it behind. Cambridge was a beautiful city with beautiful sights to see, whether summer or winter. So maybe I won’t tell about what we will miss, but just show you instead. We enjoyed our lifestyle in Cambridge. […]

08
Feb2015
0

Vienna is a beautiful beautiful city. Despite the rain on our first day, we had another day or so of wandering around the grand buildings, wide clean streets and monuments galore. Really, it looks like what we thought Paris would look like before we went there! The Hofburg winter palace was one of the highlights of the trip though. I’d kind of forgotten that Vienna was one of the capitals of the  Austro Hungarian Empire ,which existed from 1867 to 1918 […]

25
Jul2014
0

We initially decided to stop off at Maastricht because it was on the train-line from Luxembourg to Amsterdam, but we weren’t sure what to see there. Despite that, we had a wonderful couple of days full of surprises. We started the day with a nice cup of coffee in an old church. The surroundings were lofty and striking and the coffee was great. From there we walked to the central square, with its impressive red bell tower of the Church […]

09
Apr2014
8

Over the last year or 2, I’ve been continuing to visit various Harry Potter film sights around the country (dragging Rob along with me). This post almost finishes the whole list of Harry Potter sights I aimed to see! Let’s start at the beginning. One of the more iconic sights from the first few films is Platform 9 3/4 – a brick wall between train platforms. However, for the first couple of years I was in Cambridge, Platform 9 3/4 […]

24
Dec2013
0

Before we get onto our next Istanbul adventure – MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone. I hope you’re all having a wonderful time with friends and family. Rob and I are hosting a group of friends who are away from home for Christmas at our house in Cambridge. Should be a good day! But enough of that – back to Istanbul when we visited back in September. Directly opposite the Blue Mosque was the even larger Aya Sofya – a building that used […]

03
Oct2013
0

So once again we were in Paris, but this time with my family. My parents, brother and his wife were over for my cousin’s wedding in Germany a week later. But before that, we decided to spend a week travelling around Europe. To start, we were only in Paris for one whole day so it was a whirlwind tour! In the morning, Liz and I dropped my parents off at the Louvre and since we had seen the Louvre last time, […]

30
Sep2013
1

Antoni Gaudi is an amazing architect, and his greatest masterpiece has to be the incomplete Sagrada Familia. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Familia’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Despite the scaffolding, it was an impressive […]

29
Sep2013
2

Our next Spanish trip was a long weekend to Barcelona. We’d been told by so many people what an awesome city it is, and they weren’t wrong. Firstly, there’s the old stuff, like the surviving Romans columns from a 1st century Temple of Augustus – the largest Roman temple in Barcelona. There’s also a 3rd and 4th century Roman walls and gateways around Barri Gotic and La Rambla. The 13th century Barcelona Cathedral dedicated to a young virgin who suffered martyrdom […]

12
Aug2013
0

Traveling around different cities and countries in Europe uncovers little surprises, and one of those for us was definitely Granada. We (Liz) organised a trip with our friends M + M to fly into Malaga and drive up to Granada. The weather was a lovely 30+ and the coastline was beautiful. We decided to stop off at a beach and sample some of the local food. Its a local custom to have large BBQ’s and eat various fried foods, like […]

27
Jun2013
0

We had a wonderful 3 nights in Wales, with delicious food and plenty of beers. It was time to go home, but we had one more sight to see – Gloucester Cathedral. This cathedral is stunning and very Gothic. It’s pretty amazing. Originally a Saxon abbey, a Norman church was built on top by a group by Benedictine monk in the 12th century. Then, when Edward II was murdered in 1327, the church was chosen as his burial place, making […]

28
Jun2012
1

My family and I visited Venice in 2005 on a holiday and it was our favourite city of the trip. It was as beautiful as I remember, and I was thrilled to show it to Rob.  I was enamoured  by a city with no roads. Apparently, the city is built on millions of pinewood piles driven deep into the compressed clay-mud base which, over time, petrified in the absence of oxygen. Then, a series of horizontal planks and marble like […]

19
Jun2012
0

Lonely Planet called Florence an essential stop on everyone’s Italian itinerary. We completely agree. The Renaissance architecture, statues and art is wonderful and everywhere and overwhelming. We had a fantastic few days. One of the highlights of our trip was seeing the statue of David at the Galleria dell’ Accademia. Hindsight is 20/20, but I *strongly* recommend you reserve tickets before you go here or to the Uffizi Gallery. We ended up waiting 2 hours to see David. We should’ve […]

08
Jun2012
2

Because my (Rob’s) cousin Caroline was getting married in Italy, we decided that it was a great excuse to see some parts of the country that we haven’t seen before. The first on the list was Pisa. We were told that Pisa can be done in a day, and I’ll revise that to say it can be done in 3 hours. This is not to take anything away from the views of the Campo dei Miracoli, because it is quite […]

24
Oct2011
0

And then comes the most famous church in Rome – St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. We made 2 attempts to visit this fantastic church before finally getting in. The first time, we didn’t have the correct dress code (knees and shoulders must be covered!), but still took a great panoramic below. St Peter’s Square was another location used in the Angels and Demons film. The square was full of people waiting for the announcement of the new Pope. However, it was […]

20
Oct2011
0

Rome is a city of churches. The Lonely Planet city guide alone lists 38 ‘must-see’ churches and basilicas. We weren’t going to that many churches, not by a long shot. So we went to 5, including St Peter’s Basilica (see next post), during our week in Rome. And 2 of them we weren’t going to see for the churches, but what was underneath them. But first, Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterno – Rome’s oldest basilica which was founded by […]

19
Jun2011
1

As many of you will know, I (that is, Liz) would attend conventions when I was in NZ and Oz. You know, sci fi conventions, and some expos too. However, for budget reasons and having time to spare, I haven’t been to one here. Until last month. Yea, I dragged Rob along too. One of the reasons we committed to the event was 1) James Marsters was attending and 2) the convention was in Northampton, a city we wanted to […]

29
May2011
0

Wiltshire is a region just below Bath that has several ancient sights to see. The two we wanted to see were Salisbury Cathedral and, of course, Stonehenge. But the cathedral first. Built in the 13th century, it’s the oldest church we’ve seen yet! It’s very typical early English Gothic style, which was quite cool to see. The outside was all darkened and decorated, but the inside was all simple and plain. The cathedral also has the tallest spire in England […]

20
May2011
0

Before we visited Bath, we thought we were going to walk into a city with Roman ruins dotted around and normal modern buildings everywhere between. We were very very wrong. Bath is *beautiful*. But in a completely unexpected way. It’s a Georgian city, meaning that most (i.e. 80%) of the architecture was built in Georgian times with Bath stone. It’s everywhere. And it’s amazing. The whole city is a World Heritage site, so any building built there now has to […]

05
Apr2011
0

One of my last hockey games was an hour North of Cambridge in a wee city called Peterborough. Now, we had been told 2 different perspectives of Peterborough. One was that of the tourist book – Peterborough has a stunning cathedral housing the grave of Katherine of Aragon and a pretty market square. The other view from Cambridge locals was that, well, Peterborough was a bit of hole and only worth visiting for the having the only passport office in […]

05
Dec2010
0

For at least the next year we’re in the UK, we’re hoping to have a long weekend away every month. In September we were setting up our new house and getting to know Cambridge and in October we went to Oxford. So the next trip in November, we decided to go south to Canterbury and Dover. It’s about a 2 hour drive down that way of the world, taking the M11 then the M25 and finally the M2. It was […]