Posts Tagged ‘excursion’

I thought, rather than try to cram all of the fun we had last week into one long, long post, that I would split them up and do one post per day. This way I can be detailed enough but also you don’t have a novel to read.

So, here we go – Europe Trip, Day 1

Basically all we got to do on the first day was take a flight, pick up our hire car and drive to the hotel. But, if you can believe it, this was all very exciting!

The flight was calm and quick, only two hours. There was some turbulence on the landing but I was too busy with my normal OMG I Hate Flying panic to notice.

We did get to fly over the alps, though, and S took some great pictures:

We bought a Sat-Nav before we left and we had it with us, and even though we had set the correct address for the hotel and we were following the directions to the word, we got LOST. A lot. We drove in the same small circle down the same side streets and alleys three or four times, and never went the same direction to get there.

Our hotel for the first four nights was in a town called Selvino which was 21 miles away and up the side of a mountain. There was a twisty road on the way with 19 hairpin turns. I thought it was terrifying. S did not. He loved it. Even driving on the wrong side of the road and having to shift with the wrong hand he still flew up that road. Honestly he must have been going about 3 miles per hour, but my seat in the car was closer to the edge of the road and therefore, TERRIFYING. The only thing I had to cheer me up was the fact that this was the one and only road to the hotel and we had to drive it twice a day for the next three days. Awesome.

We stayed at the Hotel Del Corso which was a budget hotel and we got exactly what we paid for. I am not sure whether the high season in Selvino is winter or summer, but either way the hotel (and the town) was dead. Seriously, the second night at the hotel we were the only guests.

This is our hotel:

This is the view from the hotel:

We had pizza for dinner. It was tasty, tasty, tasty. Yeah, OK it was from the take-away down the street which was run by an Egyptian, but it was cheap and delicious and exactly what we needed for the end of first day in Italy.

This is our pizza:

So, there was our first day in Italy. We had a flight, we got our car, we got lost, we drove up and very twisty road and then we found our hotel. We ate pizza. Our bed was comfortable, the water was hot and, all in all, it was a great day.

Tomorrow: Venice.

If you want to see the rest of the album, you can check it out at this link: HERE.



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S and I took a trip to Gothenburg for our anniversary this year. We actually went a week before our anniversary, but that still counts.

We had a fantastic time. The city was amazing. Everyone was so kind and helpful – in fact, I have to say that every single person we spoke to in a shop or otherwise was a pleasure to talk to. Also, the entire city was clean. It was fantastic.

We spent most of the weekend wandering around without a plan looking at the various sights throughout the city. On Saturday we walked through the old town, called Haga, which is now a very trendy section of the city filled with street side cafes and second-hand stores. The streets are laid out on a grid and most look like the one below:


We had dinner that night at a restaurant called Smaka which had traditional Swedish cuisine. S had elk but we were both unsure whether that would be enjoyable so I got plan beef just in case. The elk was wonderful and the beef was delicious. All in all a lovely meal, although for two main dishes and two beverages to cost nearly £50, the food had better have been good!!

Kristine Kyrka

There are two canals that run through the city, although being winter time I don’t think there were many boats on them. We didn’t see any, anyway.

Goteborgs Stadsmuset – Gothenburg City Museum

On Saturday as well we climbed a million stairs (read: 200) to get to the top of a hill located in the Haga district. On top of this hill was an old fortress, although it never got to fulfill its fortress destiny and is now a sort of military museum. We didn’t go in, but we did bask in the views looking over the red-tile roofs of the city. The weather was glorious so you could see quite far. It would have helped if we’d have had any idea what we were looking at or for, but we enjoyed it anyway!

Oscar Fredriks Kyrka

On Sunday we walked the length of the Kungsportsavenyn (King’s Gate Avenue) down to the where there is a horribly ugly statue of Poseidon wrestling a fanged fish in the centre of the Gotaplatsen square. Then S came with me to the Goteborgs Konstumseum (art museum) even though I don’t think he really wanted to go. It was nice but not spectacular – I think my favorite piece of art in the museum was Haystacks by Johan Fredrik Krouthen.

On the corner of Parkgatan & Kungsportsavenyn

From the Gotaplatsen we walked back through the city to the harbour and along the waterfront to the maritime museum which was a mistake. Worst. Aquarium. Ever. Then we walked back into town and wandered about for the rest of the afternoon. If you ask me we must have walked about 7 miles. If you ask S it’s more like 3. I think I am right.

Gustavi Domkyrka

The main transport for locals in a system of trams which runs throughout the city and can take you anywhere you want to go. We were too scared to try to get on them. Otherwise most people use bicycles. There was an alarming lack of vehicular traffic – you could basically cross any street anywhere you wanted to without having to worry too much about being run down by a car. It was wonderful.

On Monday before our plane left we walked around the northern part of the city. We visited the Kronhuset which is the oldest secular building in Gothenburg, built in the 1600s I think. It was beautiful, and much more stunning in real life than in the photograph below. We also found an antiques hall and wandered there a bit, but it was quite frightening, so we didn’t stay long.


So, in summary, I am glad we went but we probably won’t go back. It was just too expensive. Perhaps we’ll make it to Sweden again, but not to Gothenburg. I feel like we’ve seen everything we wanted to see. We walked the walks, saw the sights, had a few luke-warm “hot” chocolates in a few cafes, sampled their local cuisine and genuinely enjoyed ourselves.

I can recommend it to anyone wanting a quick city break, but pack your solid gold bars because everything is expensive.

I think that about does it!


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a very busy weekend…

DIY is not fun.

Maybe it starts out fun at the very beginning when you look at all you have to do and see only possibilities and what it is going to look like when you are done. About midway through the DIY everything changes and instead of seeing possibilities you can only see what is left to do.

I reached this point about a week ago halfway through re-decorating the downstairs bathroom.  The carpet was ripped up and S was tiling the floor when I decided I’d had enough with this DIY rubbish.  So S was left to finish the room on his own.  Which he didn’t mind because, after all, I’d done the kitchen on my own anyway.

So the weekend drew closer and we were deciding what to do.  DIY?  Again?  Yes.  Except with bit of a break on Sunday when we drove down south to Galloway Forest to the shores of Loch Doon and Loch Doon Castle. 

Built during the late 13th Century, Loch Doon Caslte was besieged, surrendered and re-built throughout history until 1936 when it was re-located from an island in the middle of the loch to the embankment so the level of the loch could be raised via Loch Doon Damn for Hydro Electric purposes.

The castle is an irregular shape, a polygon with 11 sides, and as you can see from my photos below and HERE, there is not that much left of it. 

double doors, originally uploaded by holepunchintheshapeofastar.

 What is left of it, though, looked more like a jungle gym than a castle.  So S and I decided to climb and clamber over it.  A great idea, really.  Especially since it was raining and very windy.  I did not want to climb it in the first place because, even though you can’t really tell from the pictures, it is about 7 feet high in its shortest place.  And I am not.

Long story short is that after S gave me a leg up and I walked about 2 feet around the perimeter I decided that I’d had enough and all that was left was the getting down part.  Easier said than done.  Very much easier said than done. 

S did not have a problem, because at 6’2″ it is not so hard to get down.  But any shelf of rock or outcrop that he could reach was a foot too far down for my legs.  So after five or six Holding On for Dear Life attempts I finally was able to lower myself down with the use of a still-standing door frame.  S stood by me, climbing back up to help me get down more than once.  Sweet, really, if he hadn’t been laughing at me the entire time.

I was filthy and freezing cold by the end of it so we decided notto stop at Turnberry for tea on the way home.

On the way out we stopped so that I could photograph an old burnt-out Land Rover which had been left at the side of the road.  The picture below is my favorite from the set, which can be found HERE.

bent & broken, originally uploaded by holepunchintheshapeofastar.

After stopping off for hot chocolate in Girvan (lovely, and less posh than Turnberry) we headed home.  With a stop at B&Q to get more supplies for the DIY.

On Saturday we’d ripped up the carpet and S had laid down the vinyl tile flooring while I painted the tiles white.  Sunday I painted the walls while S replaced the taps on the bath and sink. 

Which, of course, led to disaster.  And us having to go to his parents’ house a 10pm to have showers because we couldn’t turn the water back on at ours.  It is a long story that involves sawing through copper pipes to remove old taps and then suddenly realizing, at 8:15pm on a Sunday, that we don’t have the part we need to re-connect the copper pipe and that B&Q is closed for the day. 

S says he’s fixed it today and I believe him, but I am remaining pessimistic and psyching myself up to have another shower at the In-Laws’.

Once we finish the family bathroom it only leaves the hallway and the master bedroom en-suite bathroom to re-decorate (renovate, really, because the bathroom needs to be gutted).  For having only lived in the house for just over 6 weeks and having already decorated three bedrooms, one bathroom and the kitchen, I’d say we’ve done pretty good for ourselves!

Next weekend?  The hallway.

Will wonders never cease?


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