Thursday, 21 May 2015

On the Road: Liverpool - Ferry & U534

After Llandudno and Conwy Castle we set off for Liverpool for the next couple of nights. Sunday morning started with a big sleep in and a big breakfast. The place we stayed at offered a complimentary buffet breakfast and the girls went bananas. They packed away so much food and relished choosing treats like coco-pops, bacon, sausages and patries for breakfast!

We decided to take a trip on the Mersey Ferry first. The morning was clearing up and we had a lovely time on the boat, listening to the history commentary and seeing some of the iconic buildings along the waterfront. The ferry stops at a couple of points and we hopped off to see the U-Boat story. The U534 submarine sunk at the end of WWII. In 1993 it was raised up from the seabed and is now on display in four sections. The sections have glass windows that allow you to see the insides of the sub, along with many interactive displays. It has a fascinating history and we had a blast reading, exploring and playing.

Then it was back on the ferry and we hopped off again on the Liverpool side to go and find our lunch venue. We passed iconic buildings such as the Royal Liver Building with a clock-face that is still the largest one in the UK - bigger than Big Ben. The two huge 18foot birds perched on the top facing the water and city - not quite eagles but more like cormorants.  It is one of the "Three Graces" that are distinctive of the Liverpool Waterfront. The Port of Liverpool building is also one of them and simply beautiful.

After lunch we had a small walkabout and visited the Lego store -  a very dangerous place!  Luckily we had a bus to catch ;)

L xx

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Twenty/52


H: Grit and determination. Matter of fact. That is you. At school things are great and you are enjoying yourself immensely. Just like before, you are greeted by so many kids and people on the way to and from school, though you don't seem to know who half of them are. You are such a character.

L: You funny little peg collector. You whack the peg basket with a pole until they all fall out and then line them up on the stick. It takes alot of concentration and care - a very precise operation and one that is amusing to watch. You have been practicing more writing and clearly enjoy having this knowledge and skill.

A: Tired girl, hanging out in a tree. We are looking forward to this week before half term break. Lots happening at school and you are so excited. Last week we had gotten some more Rainbow Magic books out from the library and you were pretty much lost to us until you had finished reading them all. You cannot stop! I love watching your system though - first you read the books that are for "your sisters" but for sharing, before you move on to "your" ones. All the books will be read! In record time!

L xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

On the Road: Conwy Castle

Following on from our morning in Llandudno we decided to head to Conwy Castle, about 10 minutes away.  Oh my gosh... it was amazing!  The Castle is built on a rock and is a formidable fortress as you cross the bridge to Conwy Town.


Built for English monarch Edward I, by his master architect, Master James of St George, the castle was apparently the finest of a ring of 5 castle's Edward built to contain the Welsh. It is beautifully preserved and you certainly get a feel for it's age and medieval purpose when you walk around it. It was built over a number of years between 1283 to 1287. The Welsh briefly captured it at one point but over time it was abandoned due to various conflicts and civil war.

The town is encircled by huge walls with 22 towers, and the Castle itself has 8 massive towers with spectacular views. They would be more amazing on a fine day of course! Still though - it was such an experience wandering around the halls, rooms, towers, walls, and up and down the tiny winding staircases.

We had an absolute in our first castle. Such an experience! Even if we were soaked by the time we were done :) Walking on the castle walls and taking in the views from the top was my favourite parts. Imagining what went into building this fortress as you look down on the walls and the layout of the structure - the history, the lives that filled this place...

Once we bundled our wet selves into the car we set off for Liverpool.
To be continued...
L xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

On the Road: Llandudno

During the last bank holiday weekend we hit the road and drove to Llandudno in North Wales for a day.

We decided to take the scenic route to avoid some of the traffic and stopped at the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct on the way.  It is the largest one in Britain and absolutely fascinating and beautiful.  Walking over this 300m stretch is one heck of an experience.  A rail on one side, a canal on the other - almost 40m high.  L was not at all keen setting foot on that thing... so she waited with Dad while the rest of us walked on over. And then scooted down to the river.  It was a glorious evening and the views were spectacular.
That tiny blip in the shadow was us!

Driving through the countryside and passing through all the little towns was a delight.   Not to mention all the signs being in two languages - one forgets the Welsh speak a different language.  At was almost dark when we arrived in Llandudno, so adventuring commenced the next morning, with a trip in the Great Orme Tramway.  The weather was miserably cold and wet but we were pumped.  The Great Orme has a lot of history and things to see.  If it were a nice day we would have gotten about and seen them all!  But we had a look around, read up on the history, and headed back down - taking in the still awesome views.

After lunch and a stroll, we all had a ride on one of the merry-go-round's as the town has a huge carnival over this particular weekend.  Fun : )

To be continued...
L xx