A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Flapper TD

Photos of Madam Tussauds

Just letting you know, if you go back to the previous blog you'll find some photos of the people we met at Madam Tussauds.

Posted by Flapper TD 02:59 Comments (1)

I am a slack dolphin

rain 9 °C

First of all i must apologise for the title of this blog, it is not something which i chose to type but was forced to by the humans who have been pestering me to write more blog. I must tell you that i was suffering from a severe case of typers fin, a condition suffered by dolphins only. Colin was also suffering from a condition known as typrs trunk. So that is the reason we have been unable to blog for the last couple of days.

Hopefully i can catch you all up on whats been going on over here in the wonderful world of england.

Sunday was spent rugged up indoors as there was perpetual rain outside along with wind and generally cold conditions.

Monday we decided to go shopping into a town called Chelmsford. It is the nearest major town to hear and contains many different shops as well as a a huge shopping complex. We spent most of the days looking around for christmas presents. Although we decided not to buy many things as we realised we could buy them a lot cheaper in australia. So we just wrote up lists of what we were going to get people. Then we headed over to the cinemas only to find that there were no good movies out.

Tuesday we spent relaxing, mainly because the humans couldnt get out of bed, talk about sleeping in. I say that when its dark you sleep, when its light you get up, but not according to them. They think its quite alright to sleep in until well after midday, talk about a pain in the a...i mean..what a pain.

Wednesday saw another trip into chelmsford and some more shopping. Although this time the cnema line up had changed. The latest release 'the golden compass' was on and jess decided it would be good to see. Matt isnt much into movies but seeing as it was freezing outside, the cinema seemed like a good place to be. The movie was, well, let me just say that if dolphins made movies, it would have been better. In fact, colin and i could have provided more entertainment for two hours at a much cheaper rate. The movie wasnt that great and it was one of those movies that didnt actually end, it just stopped in the middle and they expect you to go and see the sequel.

Thursdya was the best day of the week because we headed into london to see madams tasauds wax museum. For those of you who dont know, it is a big museum containing wax figures of numerous famous people from across the world. It was a really good display and some of the wax figures were really good. The pictures are great, although unfortunately i do not star in any of them. There isalso a chamber of horrors which contains gruesome figures and explains the nasy goings on that led to madam tasauds creating the wax museum, an interesting tory if anyone is interested. In the chamber of horror their are real life people too who jump out at you and try and scare you. Lets just say that i had to lead the shuddering humans through to the other side before they started crying.

Here are some pictures of the famous people we met on the day:
Matt was thrilled to meet Harry Potter himself!
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Today has been an organisation day, trying ot get everything ready for our move to keith. We now have a house their and our new adress will be 5 elm street keith 5267. So thats pretty exciting. The humans have also been preparing forms for their graduation and trying to get everything organised for that.

Tomorrow its of to see leyton orient against the mighty cheltenham town.

Posted by Flapper TD 07:42 Archived in England Comments (2)

Tower of London

sunny 8 °C

Friday saw Matt heading off to play golf, amazingly it didnt rain, which was lucky as matt didnt have his wet weather gear. He played ok, but i think i would have done a fair bit better than him. Jess stayed at home and watched tv, i think she is getting used to having lots of channels on tv, bring on fox next year.

Well today was a day of relaxtion for me and Colin as we were mistakenly (or so the humans tell us) left behind whilst they went galavanting off to the tower of London. They were granted free entry and given a free tour of the crown duels by a beefeater (a type of guard). This was arranged by uncle del through his contacts in the police force.

It was a really amazing experience (apparently) and it was very fascinating to see the many riches that are securely held in the tower of london. There are crowns, cutlery, containers, vases, jugs, rings, orbs and the sceptres. These are securely held in a special vault that is entered through extremely thick doors. The value of these objects would be too large to hazard a guess at.

The collection contain the worlds two largest clear cut diamonds. The first is 573 carats and the second largest is 394 carats. Its fair to say that these got the two girls most excited.

We then ventured into a room where all the kings and queens of england have theirname enscribed onto a wooden throne and the date of their reign.

Then it was off to the white tower, the tower that tsands in the middle of the high walls surrounding the castle. This is where the armoury is held and displayed for public viewing. This includes weapons that date way back into history. It includes many of the weapons and torture tools used by king henry the 8th. There was also an interactive area where you could practice your skills at certain type of warfare.

We also saw the beheading block and the tower where the many executions were carried out.

Tomorrow is unplanned as yet, so we shall see what happens.

Posted by Flapper TD 11:50 Archived in England Comments (2)

Dublin Zoo

overcast 10 °C

Today we visited Dublin Zoo, and we were all looking forward to seeing an elephant. The zoo was pretty much deserted, except for about 15 people sketching (we think an art class must have been there), because its winter and we got there about 5 minutes after it had opened. That was a good thing though, because there was no one to get in the way of looking at the animals. Also, a lot of the animals were still in their night area and Dublin was like London, where they had windows to look into those areas and you can see them much closer up than normal.

We liked Dublin zoo better than London. There were more of the big animals you want to see like Jaguars, Rhinos, Lions, Gorillas (which included a baby that Jess thought was so cute, and we watched these for at least 10 or more minutes. They behaved just like a family with a young gorilla pushing the baby out of his area and taking away the things he was playing with.) and of course Elephants!

There was a baby elephant too.
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We liked the elephants so much that we brought one home with us. His name is Colin, and we've become best friends already.

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After the zoo we went and had lunch and a big restaraunt called Supermac, which seems to be cross between MacDonalds, KFC, Subway and an Ice-Cream shop. Then we passed some time at an internet cafe, before catching our bus to the airport for our flight back to England.

Thursday will be spent probably relaxing at home. Friday Matt is going to play golf with Uncle Del, and thats as far ahead as we've planned so far.

For your interest, here are some photos: the first is of Belle the rottweiler

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The next, for those who wanted to see, is Jessie's new hair cut.

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Posted by Flapper TD 03:31 Archived in Ireland Comments (8)

Dublinia

overcast 9 °C

Dub what i hear you all saying.... Well thats the name of the place we went to today. It is a museum of the history of Dublin through the ages. It covers everything from the vikings up to the medieval times. It was thoroughly interesting. The display was set up so that you couldtry on old armour, play interactive games and be involved in what life was like back in those times.

We found out that vikings never actually wore horned helmets, but when we got to the end, we found that the souvenir shop was still willing to sell them.

Then it was next door to Christs Church, a cathedral that has been standing in the centre of the city for hundreds of years, although it has been knocked down and rebuilt overtime. We had just entered the church when we were told that we would have to come back later because there was a service about to start. When we went to leave we were aksed if we had seen everything, and then told that we could stay in the church, but had to avoid the service area. A lot of confusion, talk about Irish......

This afternoon we headed for the natural history museum, about half an hours walk away, only to find that the place had been closed until further notice.

There is a huge model railway in Ireland that Matt really wanted to go to, however this has also been shut for winter. These Irish dont like getting out in the cold much, know what i mean (hope your laughing mum and dad).

I should also add that in our dorm where we are sleeping there is this old guy who looks like an elf, and he snores really loudly. Jess was smart enough to bring earplugs, and i am lucky enough not to have ears, so Matt was kept up all night listening to Mr. Snoresalot.

Tomorrow its off to the Dublin Zoo becuase they have elephants and Jess really wants to see an elephant.

Posted by Flapper TD 07:32 Archived in Ireland Comments (2)

Ireland

overcast 10 °C

Today it was off to sunny Ireland and the land of clovers and leprechauns. We left quite early this morning (matt was wondering why we neeeded to leave so early) as we soon found out that traffic on the main roads can be quite stacked up. We were luck to avoid all major hold ups but it did take a lot longer than matt thought.

We were flying with Ryanair, the chep airline in the UK and the planes and quality of seating is very similar to jetstar, if anyone has had the pleasure of flying with them. You have to choose your own seat so theres lots of pushing and people trying to get good seats. Im just lucky that i dont take up too much room.

We arrived in Ireland just after lunch and were forced to walk out on the tarmac, now what kind of airport makes you do such a thing..... The weather is quite mild here and we didnt even need our jackets today.

We found our hostel, which is really nice, although very near a train line. We spent the afternoon relaxing and doing a little bit of shopping. They put a movie on every night so we sat back and relaxed and watched dragonfly.

Posted by Flapper TD 07:26 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Ipswich

overcast 6 °C

Today we headed into Ipswich, the major town near the small village of Somasham where we are staying. Ipswich is about the size of Adelaide and given the fatc that there was nothing much exciting to do there, it is actually quite a bit like Adelaide. Although it was a Sunday, so we shall give it the benefit of the doubt.

Jess got her hair cut though. It is quite short but it looks really good. I tried to get my hair styled to, but apparently they dont serve dolphins. I wasnt happy. Then the lady had the cheek to tell me that dolphin shouldnt have fur in the first place. I sure gave her what for....

We had a roast dinner at about 4pm, it seems to be the tradition that you have a late dinner on sunday and no tea. Its quite a good idea though. It doesnt bother me really, i stick to my fish and i eat them whenever i feel like it.

Nothing much else for today, except that Matt was chuffed by the fact that their were two live games of soccer on.

Posted by Flapper TD 07:22 Archived in England Comments (1)

Relatives

overcast 7 °C

Well folks, today it was off to Matts relatives house for a few days. These are different relatives to the ones that we are currently staying with. We headed off early morning and got our first taste of british motorways and although i thought it seemed quite busy, i was informed that this was light traffic. Pity humans havent discovered how to swim properly, there would be much less congestion on the roads.

Uncle Jim and Aunty Pat live about one a half hours north east of london in suffolk in a small country village called Somasham (i think thats how its spelt). We arrived to a lunch of ham sandwiches and matt was delighted to find that Uncle Jim has sky (which is like foxtel) with all the sport channels. This however did not seem to excite jess nearly as much.

So it was watching soccer all afternoon for Matt and Jess, although matt did let jess watch some other shows occasionally.

They live right near an old church which was built in the 1500's and there is a graveyard just over the fence which Matt finds quite scary, talk about soft.

It was a traditional steak, chips and beans for tea, followed by a late night for matt watching sport and an early one for jess who fell asleep.

Posted by Flapper TD 07:16 Archived in England Comments (1)

London

sunny 6 °C

Sorry that we have been lazy lately and neglected the blog for a few days. After a few days rest we have slowed down a bit.

Over the past three days (wed, thurs, fri) we have been using our London Passes which you buy and then it gets you free into lots of attractions, and if you do enough things you end up saving quite a bit of money. (Tuesday was just another relaxing day watching a DVD - Matt was going to play golf but it rained steadily all day!)

On Wednesday, we bought our train tickets into London (about $20 each for a return ticket, and this is for a 25 minute trip!) When we got in we bought Oyster cards, which are for using on the tube and saves a bit of money on buying tickets. But we just thinking about how much we are saving now by not having to pay for accommodation anymore.

It was then a bit of a run around (of course, nothing will ever o perfectly smoothly) to find where they would actually exchange the vouchers we had been sent after buying the Passes online in Australia before we left. Even though the instructions of the vouchers were to exchange at a certain place, apparently not...

The first place we visited was the Britian at War experience, which is a museum all about London during the war and in particular during the Blitz. There is a shelter you can sit in while various plane and bomb noises play around you and you can imagine how frightening it would have been sitting in there for real, when at any moment you thought a bomb could land right on you. There was also a recreation of a scene of what it would have been like during the blitz out in the street and in the underground. A great way to learn about it.
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We had lunch with one of Matt's friends who we discovered happened to be travelling and in London at the same time as us. Then we visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum, where they have created his house on Baker St. That was interesting and well done, even though we haven't actually read any Sherlock Holmes stories.

Thursday we visited the London Aquarium, which was a bit dissappointing, and not worth the price. We have seen better ones in Melbourne and Perth. The London Eye is right by the aquarium, and we went on that too. It was £15 a ticket though and not included in the pass. Because its bt British Airways, they talk about it as if you're on a flight. It was good though, and it took about half an hour to go right around. The views were good and we had an a man on there who used to be a guard in front of Buckingham Palace who pointed out a few of the sights to us.
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We then went to the Chelsea stadium for a guided tour around the complex. This included the press room, the change rooms, and going through the players tunnel. It was interesting even for me who can't claim to know anything about Chelsea football club.

We had a couple of hours before our train home so we decided to go to Saint Paul's Cathedral as well. Matt commented he liked Notre Dame better when we walked in, but I was impressed by the ceilings and the dome which is colourful, gold and sparkling. (Its difficult to describe it in a way that would do it justice I'm afraid.) You can climb up to the top of the dome here too. Jess stopped at the first of three levels on the way up, as that was quite high enough up a one way narrow staircase for her thankyou very much. Matt went right to the top, where you go outside the dome. You weren't allowed to take photos inside the church, but this is where the invention of camera phones come in handy! (To be emailed to the blog soon.)

Today we visited the zoo and it took up the whole day. It was quite a good zoo, with some interesting animals we hadn't seen before at Adelaide zoo. And most of the enclosures have a part where you can go inside and see the animals in the rooms inside. Which they need, as on a chilly day like today, most of the animals had taken refuge in the inside rooms. You get to see them quite close up this way too. It was only no good when we came to the walk through 'meet the monkeys' enclosure when normally you would be right among the monkeys, but they were all hiding in their beds. We were dissappointed also to find the elephants have been moved the animal park (a Monarto zoo type set up we assume). I suppose it is better for them though.

You never knew Flapper was so dangerous did you!
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Off to visit some more of Matt's relatives over the weekend and then we're in Dublin from Monday to Wednesday. We'll try and not leave the blog too long!

Posted by Flapper TD 11:13 Archived in England Comments (3)

Photos

overcast 7 °C

Another quiet day today, just resting. Managing to almost keep the dog under control and only momentarily getting stranded upstairs as she gaurded downstairs.

Due to the limited upload space for photos on this site, we have uploaded them to an online album, so you can have a look at them all. They will eventually come with captions too so you know what you are looking at.

Just go here to get to them:

http://picasaweb.google.com/a1120631/MattAndJessEurope?authkey=Fe6sqAogPBI

Posted by Flapper TD 13:21 Archived in England Comments (2)

Nothingness

rain 6 °C

Well today was just a relaxing day. We spent most of it sitting watching tv and relaxing. I managed to catch up on some sleep and it feels so good to have a proper bed to sleep in. I have actually managed to escape my backpack and seek cosier places.

We caught up with some more of our relatives and had a nice roast dinner.

The people we are staying with have a large rottwheeler named Belle and she is quite friendly to the humans but i am a little bit scared to go near her. I think she could swallow me in one mouthful. I dont thinkshe likes the taste of fur though so i should be ok. Its funny watching Matt and Jess trying to control her though, i have a good laugh sitting in the safe haven of my bedroom.

The next couple of days are looking quite relaxing too. We are travelling into London on wednesday, thursday and friday and then heading up to Ipswich for the weekend and then Ireland on monday so weare taking the chance to relax while we can.

Thats all for today, hope everyone is well back home.

Good to see some new people commenting, thanks nan and grandad.

Posted by Flapper TD 02:12 Archived in England Comments (1)

England.....at last

overcast 9 °C

Well it is with great pleasure that i inform you of our safe arrival in the land of her majesty the queen. We managed to avoid all rail strikes this morning and got to the eurostar without any problems. We were met at the airport by our relatives (Uncle Del and Aunty Carolyn) and they assisted us in returning to their home, eventually. After a nice home made meal for tea we are now sitting relaxing and soaking up the english weather, nah just kidding.

I feel very proud to be able to return to the place where i was born. Although many of you do not know, i was born in the United kingdom, Scotland actually but England is close enough. And after a ten year abscence its good to be back to my sleepy little hollow again.

I have been catching up on sleep, Jess has got a cold again so she is sleeping a fair bit too. This has given Matt a chance to finish reading Harry and he wasnt very happy with the ending.

Thats it for today, no other exciting news, but i look forward to reporting our adventures as they contine through England.

Posted by Flapper TD 13:49 Archived in England Comments (3)

Sacré-Coeur Basilica

sunny 6 °C

Well well well, another day, another day of train strikes, we havent had much luck in the old city of Paris. If only these two humans could swim like me, then we would be able to get everywhere much faster. As it is i swim on ahead and then have to wait for them to catch up, talk about dawdling.

Anyway; today we headed off to the above mentioned church; it is a huge church situated write on top of a hill that looks out over Paris, the view is quite amazing and well worth the many steps that we cllimbed to get there. (Editor: Matt and Jess climbed, Flapper laid back in his backpack). Yes Well anyway...... at the top of the hill the church rises high into the air and especially the towers that stick out from it. We had lots of fun trying to guess which parts of Paris we were looking at, until we found a sign that told us what all the buildings we could see were, ruined our game really.

Then it was back to the hotel to gether our things and head off to the train. For lunch we had a Doner kebab whiwh is the european version of a yiros, cept they give it to you in a roll and serve it with chips so its actually quite good value for 4 euros. So then we attempted to enter the train station near our hostel only to find that it had been closed for the strike and that no trains would run on that line all day. So it was more walking for Matt and Jess. Luckily the two main lines were running quite normally and the trains werent too crowded and everything managed to fit inside.

The hotel that we are staying in tonight is really nice, each room is decorated in a different style and ours is decorrated in Japanese. So i am hoping for some fish for tea, i think they should serve food according to your room. Pity the humans dont like fish.

Tomorrow its off to sunny England and the next pqrt of our holiday. We are all looking forward to remaining in one place for more than acouple of nights so that should be good.

Posted by Flapper TD 06:48 Archived in France Comments (2)

Stupid Trains

sunny 5 °C

Well in dolphin land we dont use trains and today is a perfect example of why we dont. Because when you hqve trains you need people to run them and that means those people can go on strike and then you can get nowhere. So that is the story of today.

We had hoped as i wrote yesterday to go to disneyland but because of all the striking it meant that there was no trains or buses to get us there. So after trying all ways of getting there and spending almost two hours on ridiculously crowded trains, we decided that it was not going to happen, much to all our disappointment.

So we got back on another crowded train and headed for Notre Dame, the cathedral made fa,ous by the story of the hunchback of Notre Dame. The place was huge and built magnificently given how old it is. I also got my photo taken on the star that marks the middle of Paris, quite a good photo if i dont say so myself.

So then we decided that we would head home, only to find that the train station we were attempting to enter was so full that people were actually waiting in the corridors just to get onto the platform. So it was more walking for Matt and Jess and another easy ride in the backpack for me.

This afternoon is going to be relaxing with not much planned. Tomorrow its off to the nice hotel that they booked for their last night in Europe. So hopefully it is actually nice. Also we checked that our Eurostar train was still running on saturday and have been told that Eurostar is not affected by the strikes, so thats one good thing

Posted by Flapper TD 03:46 Archived in France Comments (4)

Train strike

This is why we cant go to disneyland...
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Posted by Flapper TD 23:55 Comments (2)

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