Tuesday, November 27, 2007
All Hail King Benedict I and His Queen, Queen Shirley. This was taken at the Grand Hall of Stirling Castle. The views by the way, were amazing as the castle was built on high ground.
Finally a picture with Ming!!
Now, am I a King or a Bishop???
We went for lunch at a pub just below the castle. Ming said we had to try the Haggis appetiser. Well, I only took a little just to taste it. Tasted like corn beef. Shirley and Ming ate more of it.
Haggis: Scottish Round Sausage..... A Scottish dish made from chopped lamb's heart, lungs and liver mixed with suet, oats, onions, and seasonings, which is packed into a round sausage skin and usually boiled. Haggis traditionally cooked in a cleaned sheep's stomach, but artificial casings are now frequently used.
Hmmm... how delightful, isn't it??
After this, we went to the Wallace Monument. For those who watched BRAVEHEART, this monument was dedicated to him, or William Wallace. He sure looks like Mel Gibson!
Well, it was then a long drive back to Bacup for the night. Pizza was called for with some lamb I think and of course the wine!! Lovely!
We set off from Bacup where we were staying to Skipton first. A pretty place. The experience of these little towns was just great! Thanks Ming!
At Windermere, we chanced upon an antique car who got fined by the way!!
We took a photo by the lake at Windermere. By the way, this is part of the Lake District. Lovely scenery and weather!!
This was taken at Ambleside. If you look in the background, you see a little building over the stream. That is a little shop. Really little!
Another photo taken at Ambleside. Its so nice!!
I was starting to feel a little sick now. In fact I came down with a cold! Thank goodness it was a cold and not a flu. We finally reached Edinburgh, Scotland around dinner time. But we took the time to take some photos around the city centre and of course Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle at night.
We had an Italian dinner and headed to Livingstone where we spent the night at a Travelodge.
Monday, November 26, 2007
We visited the Man U shop and got something for Kevin. So much merchandise, no wonder the club is so rich!!
Windsor Castle, the weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Loved the place. Very well maintained. Better than the Versailles. Very aristocratic and "breeetish!"
This house was just outside the Windsor Castle. Our Scottish tour guide for the day told us to check out this house. A good photo opportunity she says!
Off to Stonehenge we went. This place kinda intrigued me. Loads of theories about these stones. The initial stones were brought from Wales they say which was like really far away. Well, we got the book about Stonehenge, but I have yet to read it!!
Was telling Shirley that we don't really need to take photos as they have this as a background picture on the windows os on our computers at work!
Notice anything about the stones?? Anyone smiling at you?
We then went off to our last stop. Bath. Specifically we visited the Roman Baths. Apparently, the Romans used the baths here when they were here a very long time ago. We could still see the steam from the baths today. Still warm. Unfortunately, the water is dirty as they have not treated it, but I hear the water is directed to a commercial spa/bath down the road.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Got into London in the early afternoon. After lugging our luggage all around their tube, we finally got to "OLD STREET" station where our hotel was. We checked into the Travelodge, a budget chain of hotels which you can also find in the USA. Hey! It was still not cheap by the way!!
Anyway, we dumped our stuff and made our way to Oxford Street where all the shops were. We were walking along and we saw these signs. Shirley found it amusing that these people were hired to stand around the whole day and they cannot move anywhere else because of the arrows. Have a look!!!
Finally we leave Paris for London. What I dreaded was taking our luggage onto the Paris Metro, changing trains and all just to get to Gare Du Nord station to get on the Eurostar. We had bought the tickets in Singapore. Boy, were they expensive. But we were damn lucky as the first class tickets were just a few dollars more than the economy ones. So we jumped at the opportunity!!!
It was an experience I guess. But I think we were so used to trains already. But we did get a meal, wine and champagne, which was nice, though I would not rave about the food. We were watching "High School Musical" all the way from Paris to London Waterloo Station. The whole trip only took 2 hrs 15 min.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The land the chateau was on seemed to go on and on into the horizon. Was just massive. I took a photo of part of the chateau from the outside:
Photo taken from the Arc de Triomph to see the Champs Elysees in the background. Of course we all know that this avenue is where all the high end shopping can be found. LV, Mont Blanc, Mercedes Benz, high end cafes etc., can be found there.
I found out about this Chapel from my granny. She told me that it was in Paris and that I should check it out. I researched it on the Internet. This Chapel is a place visited by mainly pilgrims rather than tourists. When we were there, we noticed many pilgrims and not that many tourists, which suited me fine. We went half an hour before the mass, which was to start at 10.30am on Thursday 25 October 2007.
It all began because a lady by the name of Catherine Laboure, now a saint saw Mother Mary 3 times in 1830. http://chapellenotredamedelamedaillemiraculeuse.com/
St Catherine's life is such an inspiration to me. she did not want to be in the limelight and she did what she had to do with the poor, the sick and the old. She also had a vision of a medal that she told a priest about it. He did not act on it at first, but it was only when Sister Catherine rebuked him, did he bring it up to the archbishop of Paris who saw no reason why the medal should not be struck.
I have attached the website for those of you who would like to read more about the history. All I can say is that, it was really great being there at the spot where the apparitions of Mother Mary took place. And the amazing thing is. St Catherine Laboure's body is at the front of the church to the right side of the altar. She had died in the year 1876. She was laid to rest. in 1933, her body was found still intact, and is now underneath the Virgin of the globe on the right side of the church when one enters the church. Her body is still intact! So amazing!!
We said our own prayers, rosary and bible reflection and stayed on for the French mass. It was great. So serene and peaceful. I wished I could have gone back again, but I believe that one day I would be back again.
We took the open tour bus and one of the stops was Notre Dame. We hopped off (something like our hippo bus in Singapore) to visit this catholic cathedral. It was quite crowded with many tourists inside. We stayed a while, saying our own prayers. Was nice, but not as peaceful as to the next day's visit to a chapel.
The stain glass of course is amazing! And to think that they managed to build such a magnificent building and create the stained glass so many years ago!!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Will post a few more photos of our trip to Europe. But let's start with Paris. We had just checked our baggage into our hotel Pavillon Nation and decided to go get some breakfast. But before that, we chanced upon a flea market. Here, this Frenchman decided to pose with Shirley. See that smile!!