The Girl in the Red Coat

Posts Tagged ‘trips

{photo by me and edited with the wonderfully distracting picnik}

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Budapest

Posted on: September 1, 2010

I actually returned from Budapest over a week ago, but went straight into a week’s work experience, which kept me 800 different kinds of busy, and was then followed by a wonderful weekend seeing friends and celebrating my birthday! I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by, and what a fantastic summer it has been – fun with friends, rewarding grades, travel and even an unexpected romance! The last few months of 27 have been fabulous, here’s to an even better 28th year!

Without further ado then, here are some pictures I took in Budapest… It’s a fabulous city which I wholeheartedly recommend you to visit if you get the chance. Really tall, gorgeously-fronted buildings that you could easily imagine standing and being bombarded during the war. Heavy architecture and dark tree-lined streets with a few glowing lamps punctuating the darkness. Delicious food – paprika-spiced meats, pancakes, pastries. We were also lucky enough to visit during the St Stephen’s Day festival, when we watched the fireworks over the Danube and Chain Bridge surrounded by locals on a closed-off tram line.

{funicular railway up to the Castle District}

{eagle overlooking the city}

{view over the Danube and the Parliament building}

{Matyas Church}

{The Cave Church}

{Café Girbeaud}

{Beautiful during the day, but possibly even more beautiful at night}

{St Stephen’s Day is a national holiday, with fireworks over the Danube}

{the Central Marketplace}

{stairway down from the portico of St Stephen’s Basilica}

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Hever Castle

Posted on: July 20, 2010

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I spent a blissful day on Sunday wandering around the gorgeous Hever Castle in Kent – the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. After a chilly start,  the sun shone gloriously all day. There was an extra special reason for this trip – one of my best friends will be getting married at Hever this time next year and she wanted to show me the place in (hopefully) similar weather.

The castle itself is quite small and almost a mix of Tudor-style interspersed with 1920s-style rooms, from when Hever was bought and lived in by the Astor family. I loved it though and pictured myself in Tudor dress sitting in one of the window seats with a book or some embroidery, gazing out onto the moat and lawns below. In fact, I only recently read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ so had no problem at all revisiting the scenes set at Hever and picturing them through Anne’s eyes…not in too much detail though, that’s one historical figure I would rather not be!

The gardens are stunning – the usual elaborately-kept lawns and shaped trees and hedges, along with little ‘secret’ gardens filled with beautifully-scented roses, statues of mythical figures and fish-filled ponds. There were also two mazes – one traditional maze and the other a water maze. The water maze was particularly fun because, while you were trying to get to the fort in the centre, some of the paths you crossed were booby-trapped and fired water up at you if you stepped on them. I was going round with my friends, a little ahead of them, when a young boy stepped out into my path. I knew that the step ahead was rigged in a certain place and was hoping not to get caught by it but, having a younger brother and a whole horde of younger male cousins, I knew exactly what this kid was planning to do and he knew I knew too. He grinned, I leapt, he stamped down on the square and yep, water flew all the way up my back. Little boys eh! Well, we both had a good laugh about it and the sunny weather dried me off quickly so no harm done!

I’ll stop talking now and show you some more pictures. There was some kind of event going on that day as well so there were people dressed in Tudor outfits wandering around, dancing, jousting and practising archery in the grounds. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever this side of the world!

Okies, I think I’m going to make some coffee now to ward off the mid-morning sleepiness – we were evacuated from our house late last night because of a suspicious vehicle in the adjoining street. Thankfully it was a false alarm (or at least the problem was solved quite speedily – they didn’t tell us either way), the night was warm and we didn’t have to wait around for too long. It certainly brought the neighbours together though, the good-old ‘Blitz Spirit’ is still alive and well in London town!

yesterday…

Posted on: June 30, 2010

It’s been too long since I last went to a theme park but yesterday was spent doing just that! My cousin and his girlfriend are visiting from Australia at the moment so, together with my brother, we decided to head to Chessington World of Adventures for the day. Perfect timing with most of the kids still at school…although there were a surprising number of school trips there – I can’t remember ever getting a school trip to a theme park in my school days!

It was an amazing day, we didn’t have to queue for longer than 15 minutes (and that was just for two of the rides). Anyone who knows me in real life and, more importantly, has been to a theme park with me will be aware of just how much of a wuss I am but I can proudly say that I went on every ride! (Well, except two…but I have an irrational fear of log rides (no safety belts!) and refuse to be spun upside down (how is that fun?!)). So yes, everything else and I mean everything else – vampire ride (5 times!), the terrifying Kobra, Runaway Train, Rattlesnake, Bubbleworks, Monkey Swings, even the dodgems for some old-school charm.

Do you remember, back in my 30 before 30 post, that I decided it would be an amazing idea to get an adrenalin rush? Well, in a bid to try to cross something off that list, I went on the Dragon’s Fury ride (bottom left-hand corner of the collage above). Ahem, what a mistake that was. Allow me to set the scene. Dragon’s Fury looks like your average roller coaster ride with four-person cars  and which, according to the wonder that is wikipedia, reaches heights of 59ft and has a drop of 55ft. However! These four-person cars do not merely race round the tracks in a suitably adrenalin-fuelling way – they spin at the same time! In other rides that day, the vampire for example, or the aforementioned terrifying Kobra, which was a spinning platform travelling along a wavy track, I screamed myself hoarse quite merrily and the adrenalin rush afterwards was fantastic. On the Dragon’s Fury though, I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my entire life. Too scared even to scream. My brother found it hilarious, he was sitting beside me on the ride and apparently I gave a slight yelp when we started travelling upwards, then clamped my eyes shut and curled up as tightly as the limited space would allow. That’s not to say that I wasn’t proud of myself for doing it when I finally escaped from that hideous little vehicle but I think my shaking afterwards was more as a result of intense fear than adrenalin and wow, I am never doing that again!

Afterwards, I stood looking up at the ride so that I could take some photos and, as I was watching, one of the little cars on the highest track ground to a halt. A tinny voice was heard over the park intercom – “technical difficulties…shortly be on the move…” . My heart leapt into my mouth. Can you imagine?! I think I’d have done a lot more than the whimpering that was the soundtrack to my time on the ride if that was me stuck up there.

Still though, apart from the Dragon’s Fury, an amazing amazing day!

Next on my list of must-do (and more Cat-style) theme parks, who wants to join me for a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida?! If I start knitting my Ravenclaw scarf now, I might have saved enough money for the trip by the time it’s finished… Also, while we’re on the subject of Harry Potter, if you haven’t seen the new trailer for the Deathly Hallows yet just click this link here. I’m so excited!

I was up in the Lake District staying with a friend over the weekend, lucky enough to have gorgeous weather which was a perfect escape from studying and grim London. I’m back refreshed and ready to kick some revision butt over the next month, despite my freshly-cleansed lungs almost giving out after one breath of smoky air when the train doors opened at London Euston this evening.

S and I created ’30 things before 30′ lists, detailing (strangely enough!) 30 of the things we’d like to achieve before turning 30! I still have just over 2 years but should probably get started on some of them and this’ll be the perfect place to keep track of them! Will put my list up soon and let the adventure begin! (.^_^)v

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Welcome to the blogging adventures of a 20-something London girl with a love of travelling, music and laughing with friends. Feel free to join me on my adventures! (.^_^)v

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