My girlfriend Natasha and I took it upon our selves to go on a slight road trip for our 3rd year anniversary. We live near Cambridge so it was quite a trek! Here is our itinerary in detail as well as our packing list, so maybe you too can enjoy a similar trip!
We hoped to arrive in Nottingham by 11 a.m. leaving us plenty of time to visit and explore the city. We chose the Ramada Nottingham City Center as our hotel. The hotel was part of a chain but offered a really comfy room, lovely staff who were incredibly friendly and loved to chat and a delicious continental breakfast. We had parked in a near by 24 hour car park as there is not a lot of space to park in and around the city. This cost around £15 for the day and night parking. We left our bags in the car as most hotels you cant check in until at least 2 o’clock. By having our hotel quite near to the center, it meant we wouldn’t need to pay for all day travel on the tram as we were already rather near everything.
We headed to The City 0f Caves, which takes place on the upper level of the Broadmarsh Shopping Center. These caves are incredibly interesting and come with a free audio tour. The caves take you through a series of rooms which were originally from centuries ago. By following the tour round, you get a chance to see the old tanneries as well as an old pub. The highlight of the experience for me was walking down an old Victorian street, where the families used the backs of the caves for the houses. Sadly the street has been built on top of now to make way for the shopping center, however the remains I found rather amazing.
When leaving the shopping center we made our way to Nottingham Castle. We didn’t actually go in the castle but instead took a drink and had a light lunch in Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which was established in the 1100’s. The decor was lovely as was the food and their own cider. I would recommend taking a trip here. It is a little expensive on some of the things, but if you just want a sandwich or some nibbles then this place is excellent! They also sell merchandise. It is a good achievement to say you have dined in Britain’s oldest pub!
We followed this by a bit of shopping in the rather large Victoria Center, which caters for every shop you would possibly need! Its even home to an indoor market!
We finished our day quite early to instead go and see the spectacularly wonderful Jack Savoretti at Rock City. He was awesome. If you know him I would go and see him. If you dont, get to know him and still go and see him. Natasha didn’t know him very well, but cant stop swooning now! Rock city is a lovely venue and if you can possibly see a concert here then I would recommend it. This does take quite a big chunk out of your day however, meaning we had to have dinner after the concert.
Luckily, Nottingham is home to so many bars and restaurants, both independent and chain, so there is always a possibility for food. If you enjoy going out, there are also many clubs to dance and jive in, as the city is also home to two universities.
We left our hotel after breakfast in the morning. So maybe around 10ish. We would have loved to have spent more time in Nottingham. Other places I would recommend to go would be the Castle, which is not far to walk from the center. The adventure golf, which doesn’t close until 11pm. The Galleries of Justice museum which incorporates many live actors and finally the Kitty Cafe. This odd cafe allows for cats to roam around you giving you the chance to have a cuddle whilst sipping your coffee. Don’t worry though the food hygiene is five out of five!
We then drove up through the peak district and into Bakewell, where we hoped to get out and visit the bakery, only we had no change to pay for our pay and display. So moved on to the north, to a place called Hope. Here we encountered many sheep on the road as well as deer, which meant we had to drive very carefully. In hope we visited a cavern called Blue John. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their job. The trip lasted for around half an hour and we could ask as many questions as we could think of. The tour guide was funny and very calming for those, including my self who do not like caves. I was put firmly at ease and loved the experience.
We moved about five minuets up the road to a place called speedwell cavern. This was a lot more scary as to get into the cavern you had to travel by boat. The boat was in a 6 foot wide tunnel of a 2 meter high tunnel! The tour guides calmed us by telling us we were going to get trapped. All fun and games. We were on this boat for around 15 minuets each way, with a ten or so minuet stop off in the middle to spend some time in the giant open cavern. This was also a wonderful experience. One cave was completely natural, whilst the other was very much man made.
We left Hope to head to our hotel, firstly traveling through Chatsworth Estate, and Matlock. We stayed in a hotel called The Lion Hotel in Belper. This was a small village with not a lot in it, except this marvelous hotel. The hotel had wonderful service, and a bar and restaurant. However we decided to take a small trip out to visit a Harvester restaurant, which was about half hour away.
The following day we had a long drive hope, but we took another trip up to Hope, and going off the beaten track to drive in the hills and see the sights. We also took a little hike and took lots of photos. When in Hope we visited another Cavern named Treak Cliff. It was on the same hill as the first cave, Blue John, so had the rocks. Only in this cavern, there was much more to learn, and a lot more enthusiasm from the young tour guides who took us around both natural and man made caves, with huge amount of Blue John on display. The shop at the entrance and exit had many different rocks and crystals to buy as well as some of their art on show.
We finished off our weekend with a carvery before driving home!
The hotels were around £70 a night for two people. The Caves ranged from £7 to £11. But they do leave a tip box at the end, and I believed each of the experiences to be worth at least £5 more! They aren’t commercialized businesses so are proud of what they have! Each one lasting around 40 minuets to an hour.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Itinerary! I hope you liked it and maybe it has made you fancy a trip to this part of Britian! If you want any more information, head over to the contact page, and I will reply with in 12 hours. I hope to post a gallery of photos soon on the home page featuring photos from our trip taken by Natasha, whose Instagram you can find on the post below! We both aim to start up a shared blog soon! I’d love for some of you to get into contact! Back again tomorrow!
Long post. About me. Sort of. Keep reading!
So it was Me and my Girl friend Natasha’s 3rd year anniversary on Friday so we headed to Nottingham to see the singer Jack Savoretti. He is a folk/acoustic/latin (sort of) singer who was wonderfully incredible to see live. Its amazing to see a smaller artist in a venue where they work so hard for what they love. Their talent really shows off in their singing, song writing and instrument playing. In comparison there are some major, major artists who would rather dance on stage instead of singing their own songs, more from that another day!
Photo of Jack Savoretti here! Taken by my wonderful girl friend Natasha Fowler.
Whilst there Mr. Savoretti said something to us, the audience, that was incredibly worded. I wrote an article on Thursday that explained that we should not run away from news, only instead we should embrace it, and at this time in our lives, we need to stand together as one. But Savo said something that contradicted that in a way, but made so much sense. He said
“27 years ago to the day, the Berlin Wall came down. Marking the end of the war, and this divided continent. 2 days ago, the leader of the free world, claims he wants to build another one.”
It was really put in to perspective at that point.
Taken by Natasha Fowler, Friday 11th November, tash_fowlieNatasha (Who would much rather be called Tash!) and I both on Saturday and Sunday traveled ar
ound the Peak District in the sort of north, but sort of center of Britain. Having not long passed my driving test, it was going to be a challenge to maneuver up and down the hills, but it proved an exciting one. We took a hike up some of the hills as well as taking tours into the caverns and caves near the village of Hope. If you live in the UK or are a tourist coming to the UK, I would highly recommend visiting a series of the cave
systems here. They are wonderfully interesting and are rather cheap. One cave in particular is home to a rock named Blue John. The name originated from being called the Blue and Yellow rock. But when it went over to France to be sold it was changed to Bleu Jaune. Not many of the residents of the peak district during the 19th century could not speak french so the name was instead translated to Blue John – What a wonderful fact!
It sparks me to think that so many people, especially Brits, believe their country to be amazing and as a massive tourist spot. But dont actually see much of their country. I know a family who will go to the most exotic of locations, but have barely been out of their home town in their own country. There are so many lovely places to visit in your home countries. Like so many. It was wonderful to be free and to see the places that we wanted to see with our own vehicle meaning we could explore as we wanted.
This was more of a short post to tell you of my live over this weekend. A simple like would enthuse me to write in further detail about this weekends adventure. Maybe it could also inspire you to visit one of the most visually pleasing places I have been. We are stepping closer and closer to Trumps rule and we seem to be in a hard place at the moment as a world. Stay smiling everyone. This weekend coming I have been inspired to create a post of many things that make me smile, and hopefully will you too.
Twitter asks me everyday; What is on your mind? Well I will tell you what is on my mind shall I?
This weekend me and my girlfriend Natasha will be celebrating our third year anniversary. We will depart to Nottingham this Friday morning to watch Jack Savoretti at Rock City. I enjoy a lot of acoustic sets as well as the rock, pop and rap stuff I am used to seeing! Simply because those singers who stand on stage with nothing but a voice and a guitar show unreal amount of talent.
We are then taking a trip the pair of us through the Peak District, situated in sort of the North of England. However, one thing is rather dominant in my mind today. That being the new president of the USA. Now I did mention Mr.Trump in a recent post about Trophy hunting. However I am going to tell you my opinion on the new president.
So the thing is, I'm not American, but I would have voted for Clinton. Clinton simply has so much experience in American politics and has been involved with it for years, which she makes quite clear, but why not make it clear when your rival simply hasn't had that experience. Some people will take the mic out of her dress or her look. But you know what balls to you guys, because she is a woman under a lot of stress who is trying to help the world. She fights for women and does what she can to let you have your own identity, so why not jog on! You can't say that Hillary falling ill shows she is weak, because she is simply of an older age and she isn't a god, just like the rest of us, she will fall ill.
Trump. Now he may well be a bit racist and bit, ummm, a bit 'mean' towards women. But both women and Hispanics voted Mr Trump in to power. So as a world we must congratulate him for that. He proved more popular and he is now the most powerful man of Earth. For those saying that they now need to leave America. Don't. America and the world needs to be more as one now than ever before. We should stand together and believe in the world and our lives. In this circumstance it doesn't take one man to change the world. It takes the world to change that one man. I haven't heard any one say they are pleased of the result yet, only negatives. But Trump won. So no matter what we must congratulate him on his tough win. Now to what happens next!
So I was going to spend today's post talking maybe the new smash HBO hit West World, or Marvels new Doctor Strange or maybe even last nights MTV awards. But instead I have decided to put forth a slight rant, that being Trophy Hunting.
So Trophy Hunting is where some one goes out, kills a wild but beautiful animal often from the African plains, they then take the head, or horns or another part of the body and pose with it. Trophy Hunting comes under a lot of scrutiny in the media and that isn't going to stop here either. The hunting isn't for the necessity of food, so isn't needed to happen at all. It is simply for a trophy. The methods used to kill the endangered beasts and rarely humane nor do they involve a quit bullet to the skull, but instead involves the hunter tracking the animals by the path of blood it leaves.This means that the animals go through agony and pain and do not have a swift death.
There is no skill in trophy hunting. A lot of the time a deer or another animal may just be simply standing before they are shot and used as a prize. That is basically the same skill as shooting a coconut off of a podium. You can eat the coconut too!
Hunter believe they are killing elks and other Serengeti animals to save them from starving to death. When in fact the animals with the large antler racks they are in fact killing are the stronger of the species, so they are really letter the weaker die anyway, meaning the species could potentially die a lot quicker than expected. How you could kill an Elephant just for the white material we know as ivory is disgusting. How you could go to the African plains at sun rise and instead of feel the warmth of the most magical animals in their natural habitat, feel the urge to want to kill one is beyond me.
The arguments for and against hunting will go on and on, it is unlikely we will come to a resolution any time soon. But with the presidential election this week, and Trump running as candidate, it has to be remembered that his two sons did in fact enthuse this act, and by searching Trump of Google, one of the top searches that appears is to do with the act of hunting. You can easily find the two cuddling a leopard they killed, hanging a dead crocodile from a tree of holding an elephants tail.
Whether you choose to believe in religion or science, you have to realise that we were put on this Earth as equals. If you believe in God, then you would know that we were put here on Earth along with all of the other species as equals and as precious beings. Under the skin whether you are black, white, disabled, homosexual, heterosexual, have diabetes, like certain music or films we are all the same. We weren't put on this world to take the lives of others. If you believe in science and natural selection then even more so you would believe that we are definitely all equal. We have fought and evolved to become the strongest and smartest species on this planet. Potentially, it could have been dogs, or lizards that evolved further. In a different universe we are pets to lions. So if we are all equal why would you want to take the lives of other animals. If this was reversed and a bison took you as a trophy to the rest of the poachers would that not be the same, or would that only cause more rage?
Some people believe that because we have always hunted, then why can't we carry on! One mans voice will never make a difference, but it's nice to express your opinion of something that is so important and upsetting in this world. I couldn't possibly put a picture of a hunter and its 'trophy' or 'prize' as the feature photo for this, so I had to simply find the greatest photo I could of the beautiful animals, look wonderful in their habitat as a family, enjoying their life, before one day they are split up by pain and prize.
It was a Thursday. I knew that for sure. I remember going out on the Wednesday, because I remember watching Sheffield play. I was with George. I had drunk quite a lot, Sheffield had indeed lost. I also remember that today, Thursday, was the day in which I was supposed to be driving down up to Hull. I was going to Hull, because it was there that I was to catch a boat that was going to take me through the North Sea, with George, my partner in crime.
I worked as a private journalist. Freelance I suppose. I had written all sorts of stories. I actually work for an agency that are based down in Canada square. I’ve written some quite big stories in the past. A lot of which are based on current affairs. I once took my own in depth investigation on this woman who murdered three of her children, with the help of her forth. It was quite a famous one. This was however was very different to anything I had previously done. George was a photographer and had been for as long as I had known him, he too was freelance, and I would take him where ever I was to be writing a story. His photos boosted readers for me, and my stories boosted viewers for George.
I arose from my bed to find that Debbie, my fiancé of 7 year had already left for work. She worked as a school teacher in a local primary school. She is a princess is my Debbie! Long blonde flowing hair, and the greenest of eyes. The only thing missing was patience. Her love for me had left some months ago it was clear to see. I picked up her coffee cup which she had left on the side. The milk had separated from the coffee. It had barely been drunk. I took a sip from it. Two sugars. It was mine. I had obviously asked her for a drink, but had fallen back to sleep not long after asking. It was cold. I put the cup back on the side and walked into the bathroom. I looked in the mirror. My neck was red from where I had been scratching it and my eyes looked bruised and tired. I took a few pain relief capsules and washed it down with the tepid water which I managed to encase in my hands from the holding them under the chrome tap.
The job I had been asked to do was an interesting one. It wasn’t for the Mail or for the Express or a tabloid, clearly not a sports or entertainment magazine, not a foreign broadsheet on spiritualism. But for an unknown source. My job was to write a report on a man. A man who claimed he had died and gone to the other side, before coming back some months later. It wasn’t something I would usually involve myself in. I was provided a boat to take me to my destination, which would wait for me at the island for my departure. I was given a small which would give me an element of security if needed. The job seemed pretty simple. Only the guy I was going to be writing on, seemed far from simple.
I pulled on a clean shirt from the floor nearby. I most probably staggered in last night and knocked everything I had laid out during the afternoon flying. I grabbed a pair of black trousers from my draw, keeping the same boxer briefs on that I had worn the day previously. They told me to bring my own camera however, but I just asked the man if I could instead bring my own photographer. He didn’t seem too fussed. I was briefed for the job by a man named Samuel in an independent coffee shop quite near the inner part of London city last week. The problem with that was the 2 hour train journey to get there. But I must say I didn’t mind paying for a train ticket after Samuel had told me how much I was going to be paid for the report.
I grabbed the mug again and walked through the hall and down the stairs. In the kitchen sat the toaster which Debbie had left out for me, alongside the bread and the tin of coconut jam. She would always leave the breakfast things out for me, she would always make me lunch too. It wasn’t that I was incapable, it was just she enjoyed doing it, and had done ever since we brought a house together 12 years ago. Samuel was a nice guy, he was older than I was I suppose maybe 61 or 62. I was good at guessing ages. I did it a lot when I was in the army. He told me that I was heading to an archipelago of islands above Denmark but below Norway called Occultum. Made of eight islands, all of whom were secret to the normal Earth resident. Apparently the islands were set up as witness protection and for those who were in trouble and needed to get out of the public eye. Occultum meant Hidden in Latin, which explains the background to the islands. They were government run and had been for around 32 years. The island of Siri was where I was to be going. Samuel wore a suit, whilst I didn’t. He told me he worked for the government, and that I was hired for the role to stop the arise of any suspicion. He told me I was going to be safe and everything I would need, I would find on the boat on Thursday. The Isle of Siri was my X on the map. One man lived there. That was clearly the guy I needed. That clever, clever guy.
In the kitchen I found my bag. Inside it carried what I called my essentials. A bag of mint imperials, a change of socks, my laptop, a note book, a passport, and my most favourite book, The Catcher in the Rye. I never went far without that book. I was a former major in the British army corps, and I would always read the book as a form of escapism. I headed out of the front door and stood by the door of my car. George was late. He said he would be here at five past ten. It is ten past ten. I missed breakfast for him. The guy I was going to meet was named Dennis. He lived in an Anderson shelter. He ran his own farm which was heavily guarded apparently. Maybe that was why the pay was so neat. As I stood there by the car, it came across me. Why did I have to do this? Siri was Swahili for secret.