Monthly Archives: July 2014

A rainy day in Split

After my flight to Israel was cancelled for security reasons, I wanted to find a different holiday destination. I wasn’t going to let my summer holiday be taken away from me by a war! So I decided to go somewhere new, a country that I had never been to before. I found a flight to Split in Croatia and a hotel in Trogir. I’m staying here for five nights.

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of thunderstorms and heavy rain. It’s not supposed to rain on a summer holiday! So I decided to take the taxi boat to Split and do some sightseeing.
on the boat to split
view from the ferry to split
rainy boat ride in croatia
rainy croatian sea

And it rained and rained but I decided that the colourful umbrellas actually made my photos looks more interesting.

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I saw the cathedral which was small and full of obnoxious tourists who completely ignored the “no photography” signs. One even pushed me out of the way to get a better photo angle. What is wrong with these people?

In the Jupiter chapel I saw that Jupiter was making a rude gesture to exactly those tourists but they didn’t seem to notice.
tiny streets in split croatia

main square in split croatia

I left the Diocletian’s Palace area and luckily the number of obnoxious tourists declined.

It still rained heavily but a lot of people still had their laundry outside.
laundry hanging outside in split croatia

laundry in split croatia

scenic split croatia

Most of the market stalls were closed due to rain…
market in split

market in split croatia

market in split croatia

market in split croatia

But the streets looked nice and shiny in the rain.
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And finally the skies weren’t as dark anymore and the rain wasn’t as heavy.
rainy streets in split croatia

rainy streets in split croatia

rainy streets in split croatia

And the rain stopped! So I had (a terrible) lunch of Greek salad (on recommendation of the waiter) and prawn risotto and walked back down to the harbour.
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flowers in split croatia

Look at the tiniest stop sign that the traffic warden has. Hahaha!
traffic warden in split croatia

View from the taxi boat onto Trogir, where I’m staying.
taxi boat to trogir

view onto trogir

When I arrived I practically ran to the beach and jumped into the sea.

Blackgang Chine – the oldest amusement park in the UK

When we were on the Isle of Wight last weekend, we went to Blackgang Chine, which is an amusement park at the south of the island. It has been in existence since 1843 apparently, which makes it the oldest amusement park in the UK.

It has a hedge maze.

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The main rides are three water slides and a roller coaster. We went on all of them several times. And we also did the tea cup carousel ride, which left me very dizzy.

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This is the view from one of the areas in the park. Very nice!

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Other than the rides, there were different areas to explore, for example an area with paraphernalia related to nursery rhymes (which I didn’t know).

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And there was a Wild West town, which was probably my favourite. I also had lunch there.

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We made friends with a lot of the locals there.

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I don’t really remember in which context these two guys were displayed but they are so funny! Especially that first one with the beer…

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Overall, probably more aimed at kids but I went with the claim to fame of it being the oldest amusement park in the UK. A fun day out!

Trip to the Isle of Wight

I had never been to the Isle of Wight but last weekend that finally changed. We went a couple of days before the wedding to see some of the island.

The journey from London was surprisingly quick! It only took 2.5 hours in total. Why don’t I go to the seaside more often?

We took a train to Portsmouth and then the ferry to Ryde. It was only a 20 minute ride.

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Once in Ryde we took the little train to Shanklin. It was actually an old London Underground trains. It felt like stepping back in time!

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Shanklin station had the cutest newsagents.

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And once we had checked in, we made the short walk to the beach. It was a hot day and loads of people were swimming in the sea. We decided to swim the next morning. The water was only 17 – 18 degrees Celsius but it was so nice to be in the water and enjoy the views onto the cliffs from there.

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A classic car was parked by the sea front. Check out the driver!

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We also visited Shanklin Chine which is a garden with a waterfall (a little trickle on that particular day) in a gap in the cliffs.

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We had drinks and dinner in the Old Village in Shanklin. (Stay away from that Pavarotti restaurant. It’s terrible).

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All in all, Shanklin is a cute little town and the Isle of Wight is well worth a visit! Nothing beats swimming in the sea on a hot day.

All photos are taken by me on the Fuji X10.

A wedding on the Isle of Wight

I attended another wedding at the weekend. This time an English wedding in Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight.

It was a beautiful setting and the wedding was a lot of fun. It was a bit different from your standard English wedding. Planned with a lot of attention to detail and with great little events throughout the day that made it really special.

This is Appuldurcombe House from the front.

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The back of the house is mainly ruins, so it’s really not much more than a facade. The wedding dinner and speeches were held in a gazebo on the lawn.bDSCF0290 bDSCF0301

The wedding was 1920s themed and the groom arrived in this car. A lot of people had made the effort and dressed up in 1920s style clothes.

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When the bride and groom were gone for their photo session, the guests could enjoy a falconry display. It was fascinating. We were all sitting in the grass, drinking champagne and watching this guy play with some big birds.

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The bride and groom are both slightly obsessed with squirrels, so the little animals appeared here and there throughout the event.

In the dessert as a biscuit:

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As money that we could use in the casino after dinner. It was so much fun!

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I lost all my squirrel money at the Blackjack table.

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Kids playing cricket after dinner. So English!

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There was also a ‘secret’ Speakeasy bar in the basement of the building. It was only open for an hour and quite dark and dingy. Here’s what was left after the cocktails were finished.

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And this is the building illuminated after dark.

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A German wedding

I’m currently on my way to the Isle of Wight, for the second wedding this month.

Two weeks ago I went to a wonderful wedding in the German countryside, in an area called Uckermark (I find this word hilarious), about 1.5 hours drive north of Berlin.

The guests were a mix of locals and an international crowd from London and New Zealand. The people I knew were all from London, so I tended to hang out with the international crowd most of the time. And that made me realise how strange some of our wedding customs and even some of the food are!

If you think that liver paté is a bit odd, try raw minced pork for breakfast! Or ask the poor French people (several!) who put a big spoon of Schmalz (goose fat/lard) in their mouths and started gagging. The fun I had.

There’s also a tradition where the guests smash porcelain in the evening before the wedding and the couple has to sweep up the shards (shards are meant to bring good luck). Or the couple has to saw a log of wood as one of their first acts of ‘team work’ right after the ceremony.

It’s interesting to see those things through a non-German’s eyes. Having lived abroad for several years now, I can really understand how weird some of it must seem!

The venue was a really beautiful castle in the midst of massive fields growing all sorts of crops. There was also a lake really close by where we could go swimming. They also randomly had a Trabi car in which they gave the best man and the bridesmaids a ride as a surprise.

Some examples of the food – barbecue on the first night, then breakfast, lunch and the wedding buffet dinner (not pictured). Very nice!

They handed out personalised handkerchiefs to wipe up the tears of joy during the ceremony. After the ceremony, everybody received a heart-shaped Luftballon which we all let go at the same time. But the highlight of the wedding was that the bride didn’t walk down the aisle but road up on a horse! Hat off to her.

So let’s see how this week’s wedding measures up to this.

All photos are my own.