Wednesday 30 November 2022

National Archaeological Museum

) It was raining this morning when we woke up, and it's raining now and it's not too long until bedtime.

Instead of trying to see the outdoor sights in this weather, we set off to the National Archaeological Museum.

It should have been quiet inside, and they halve the price of tickets from the 1st November, but instead the whole place was filled with hundreds of Greek schoolchildren and their teachers. They certainly livened up the place although I couldn't tell if they were appreciating the art.

There was lots of things to see, but the most amazing thing was how old it all was.

This gold death mask was from about 1,500 bc, although Darren wasn't really impressed as the gold was rolled so thinly that it looked a bit like tinfoil.

This beautiful statue of a young boy on a horse was from about 140bc and was recently found in pieces in a shipwreck. It was pieced back together in 1971 and is called the Artemision Jockey. Note the school kids who possibly look impressed. 

After the visit we hoped for better weather and it did almost stop raining for a while, so we had a quick look around the shops, but tomorrow will be nicer and we will then be starting the sightseeing part of the trip. 

Tuesday 29 November 2022

On our way to Athens

The title says it all - we are on our way to Athens today for a little holiday.

The day started really well, as we are travelling in Business Class. We collected thousands of air miles during our self build, so this is a day to enjoy a bit of luxury after all that hard work.

We were allowed in the Airport Lounge for the first time. The breakfast was great and the free bar was open, so I had bucks fizz with a bacon butty.

Then we found the big comfy chairs and the High Life magazine.

The time flew by and all too soon we boarded the plane. This was the bit that I was most excited about as I was expecting a big seat, lots of leg room and luxury!

Down to earth with a thump as all of the seats on the plane were the standard size and three across. We just had a little cotton cover on the back of the seat, and the middle seat was left empty to give us a bit more room. 

The food was very good though and the staff were very friendly and helpful, so we got over our disappointment and tucked in. 

Our hotel is lovely, right in the middle of Athens and we are spending our first night here watching England play Wales on the telly with Greek commentary. 

Sunday 20 November 2022


Very pleased to see the sun out this morning as we hopped on our Bromptons and cycled to Bath Spa Station. There was an unfortunate sign behind Darren's head for the almost traditional 'waiting on the platform' photo.

We were off to London, the train was on time and we soon got off the train at Paddington, and then we cycled through Hyde Park to Brompton.

After dropping off the bikes at our hotel we walked through Brompton Cemetery on the lookout for the grave of Dr John Snow. He was an amazing doctor and in 1854 he discovered that cholera was infecting people through drinking dirty water, and he stopped an outbreak by removing an insanitary pump from a London Street.

We found him on our return journey, although his grave is quite modest compared to many around him.

All of the best graves are in the centre by an impressive building.

After the cemetery we turned right, and within a couple of minutes we reached the Fox and Pheasant, a posh pub owned by James Blunt. We met up with Tina and Matt and had high hopes of being told that we were beautiful, but unfortunately James didn't put in an appearance.

After a lovely Sunday roast we tried our best to look good while posing with a guy with a very bushy moustache.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Fossils and dinosaurs

We had a good day out in London yesterday. It mostly involved family visits, but we dashed from the tube and managed to get to the Natural History Museum 45 minutes before it was due to close.

I have never been before, but knew exactly what I wanted to see.

This is a fossil found by Mary Anning in the rocks by the beach in Lyme Regis in the early 1800s. I have just read a book about her life and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to see some of her finds, and this one is huge.

Darren's sister also recommended seeing Dippy the giant dinosaur. Dippy is short for diplodocus, and for the past five years he has been on tour around Britain.

He was completely dismantled which sounds painful, packed into boxes and visited about ten different places, where he was seen by hundreds of thousands of people. He arrived back in June and is looking good. 

Over time it was decided that his tail and head were in the wrong position, so now he looks forward and if he was a dog and wagged his tail, then it would knock all of the visitors flying. 

Disappointingly, I read more about him online, and Dippy is not real rock. He is actually a plaster cast of an original dinosaur that was found in America in the 1870's. It also turns out that there are lots of copies around Europe and South America, but it really is spectacular. 

After the Museum closed we walked up to the Royal Albert Hall where Darren's niece was performing. She is in her school steel band and they are one of the best bands in the country, so won their place in the Music for Youth Proms. 

Really good show, but very annoying presenters and they had written a very long song about getting back together after the lock down. They tried to it to teach the whole audience and promised that it would be a fantastic end to the concert. 

Unfortunately, it was all too much for us, so we nipped off before the end. 

Friday 4 November 2022

Brighton wander

We caught the train from Gatwick to Brighton with Dave just for an afternoon stroll along the seafront.

The weather was lovely and Brighton was looking glorious. We did a loop from the station to Kemptown, then along the promenade to Hove.

We stopped for lunch and a pint, and then headed back up in to the town where we found a new banner across the road - 'Brilliant Brighton'.

Then back to the station for the train back. Nothing more than this to report, but a very nice afternoon out in the November sun.