It was a windly old day in Barmouth when I took this, and when you get out into the estury it did get a little blowy but nothing as blowy as when you got to the ends of the bridge where walking ipright was difficult enough forget the idea of cycling which some people were happy enough to brave. Still it was a good walk to burn off some cake and chocs and avoid the dredful Christmas TV. It was also a good excuse to get some phone signal which was patchy at best in the house and in parts of the town, and phone signal was in abundance when you got to the other side at the station which wss overshadowed by a phone mast.
Another busy day with walking all over the place to the Pompidou Centre and joining a queue for something unknown just to get in to find that it was just the entrance to the place itself. Of course turn the corner and there's another entrace and it has no queue at all. You live and learn huh? We allso fitted in Notre Dame as well, so wilst these things aren't that far apart, collectively, it's been a busy day what with the trip from the hotel and back again. Add to that walking around a subterranean mall and you have yourself one very varied day. Of course now it's back at the hotel for a well earned beer or two.
This picture is of Ponte du Neuf where lovers attach padlocks inscribed with their names. I don't think this is te most famous place to do it, however this is a place and I have a picture of it so there. I think we passed the real one which I believ featered in a film that neither my daughter or I could remember the name of. Never mind, I don't remember it being any good.
… is not there today. In a fairly tiring day that lead us to all sorts of places, some of which existed, it was nice to get back to watching some CBBC, well I'm not but my daughter is. As usual, holidays for her are trying to just do the usual things that she likes doing and nothing else. I am pretty sure if I could get a conveyor of McDonalds fitted and make sure CBBC was 24 hours a day and plug her DS into the mains then that would probably be a complete holiday for her. I'm not sure when she would go to bed or if she would, perhaps she would just sit in the one place and nap/fester for a while. Unfortunately for her it's my holiday too, so I dragged her into the centre of Newcastle to have a look at bridges... yes you heard. Well not exactly bridges but I wanted to see what was there and of course the bridges are always good for a photo op. As you can see here, three reasonably well known Newcastle/Gateshead landmarks. The Tyne bridge, Millennium bridge and the Sage Centre. Lots of walking was required, I never knew Newcastle was so hilly, well it seems to have one and it's damn steep.
So after all this walking and bridge crossing and Sage Centre looking at it was time for something else, so I grabbed my GPS and asked it for the nearest English Heritage place to find it popped up with St Paul Monastery. So off we drove and then I sudden found myself committed to the Tyne Tunnel and had no idea how much I had or how much I needed. Luckily with enough change and a load of confusion due to roadworks we got there and were directed straight into the middle of what looked like a housing estate and then dumped. No Monastery there, so back under the tunnel and what's this directions for another English Heritage site. So of we went again, this time sign led and GPS in the off position as it's just bobbins. We ended up in Tynemouth and right at the doors of it's Priory, surprisingly similar to quite a few religious settlements on cliff faces, in that they end up being turned into forts with gun emplacements used in the Second World War after which they were decommissioned. Still an interesting visit but now we were completely walked out so it's back to the bit where I mentioned CBBC.
Well since it's a half term what better an idea than to go to Hull. Hull the place of... well the bridge and... ships and stuff. Having arrived quite late only to find that the room wasn't ready, by the time we got into the room (even later than that because of a faulty key card) it was even later. The trip was eventful in that a caravan drive was pounced upon my the police the style of one of those cop shows such as “Police, Lights, Camera and a Policeman's size 9's in your face”. We witnessed a T-Pack and a rolling roadblock... we were in the rolling roadblock and not the T-Pack I am glad to say.
Anyhow with little time we ended up at the Humber bridge and where else would we go on day one. As you can see the weather is marvellous, t-shirt and shorts as you can imagine. We did try and make it into Hull and got a little lost after the GPS diverted us down a bus lane but hey it keeps it all exciting.
The largest and the only bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice until they built the one until 1854. The first one was wooden but the stone structure now supports shops on either side similar to a larger bridge in Florence, however the one in Florence contains shops with expensive jewellery instead of the souvenirs as with this on.
Near here there are restaurants and Gondoliers lining the sides of the canal. We at last gave in to the calls of the Gondoliers and went for the longest trip which included the Small Canal and the Grand Canal, the Grand Canal trip alone was expensive but adding the Small Canal was only EUR20 extra so why not. It was indeed enjoyable but at the end of 30 minutes (5 of which was on the Grand Canal) we did wonder what little we would have got for the (not much) cheaper trip. Of course during the whole negotiation process of price I couldn't help thinking we were paying for an investigation into the ear or the gut what with the phrases Small and Grand Canal. Perhaps that's just me.
After getting here last time to find that my Wife and Daughter refusing to enter because it was raining, we turned up today to find it... raining. With grit and spirit they left the car in readiness to climb the hill to the castle. The journey in felt like a Top Gear “Buy a £1000 car challenge” with a one wheel bearing trying to give up and a few Instrumental Rob Dougan tracks ringing out on the stereo.
Beeston Castle is alright but nothing special and there wasn't that much info and nothing about the investigations into the well which I remember being on the regional news recently. The views from the top are sort of impressive if you like very little to obstruct your view for miles apart from flat farm land. A better trip all round this time as we did see Beeston Castle this time and last time I popped the bumper out of my car when I misjudging a verge on a narrow lane. All was well this time... apart from the wheel bearing of course and I can't blame anyone for that... oh hold on.
Just for completeness, (yes I am weird) here's the plaque at the start (or the end) of Stan Brewster's Bridge. I had a run through of my web stats and it looked like someone was looking for this so I'm putting this up just in case. After all I have an image of it, so that's why. Nothing about pictorial glory of course.
Not a great day for pictures. It was overcast and not very bright which gives a sort of overall lighting that provides no depth to anything, despite this we went to Torr just for a walk out. I think this picture at least gives you some depth. The picture here is Stan Brewster's Millennium Walkway. It's a really impressive walkway that swings round giving you a great view of the mill in the left of the picture. I did take some pictures of the mill but to be honest because of the light it was difficult but they may see the light of day on a busy weekend when I don't take any pictures. There is a plaque at the end of the bridge that explains that 5 years after finishing the bridge Stan Brewster was killed in the bombings in London on July 7th.
Also nearby there are remains of another mill and right next door what I would call a backward Archimedes Screw. Normally used for moving water uphill this Archimedes Screw is used to supply half the power requirements of the Coop. Water pours in the top and drives the screw around generating energy. If you want more info then you can if you really want to read the Screw's Blog though I think you have to be pretty interested to keep going back.
Update For those interested here is the Plaque at one side of the bridge.
Back to October because nothing interesting has happened for a while so I decide to post this little arty farty number. Taken with a film camera and partly ruined by the kind chaps at the print lab (the two splodges on it) but at least you can see what I was trying to get at. These pillars lead you from the outside bit of the Plaza de Espana into the fountain in the centre which as I probably mentioned previously was closed when we went. As you can see I was trying to get some depth into the photo which I may have done. From memory I'd arsed up the settings on the camera so I'm surprised anything cam out at all. It's a usual picture for me as it's all about repeated patterns.
As usual, the view looked better in real life from the Trinity Bridge in Manchester. What's strange is after the amount of time the bridge has been in Manchester, I have never been on it. From here you can see the Cathedral and to the left (which you cannot see) the wholly unimpressive structure of the Lowry hotel. As we walked across into Salford and back to Manchester we discovered the Sacred Trinity Church which I have never seen before but is a strangely nice sight to see in the midst of all the buildings. On the way out we did spot a few smokers inspecting the newly installed outside ashtray put up outside the Rover Returns pub (I think, some of the letters were missing) in the light of the new smoking ban.