Thoughts on Travels | Manchester 29-05-2017

It was a cloudy, rainy day today in Bradford, luckily for me, Manchester was just cloudy. Typical English Weather.

I headed out for the 9:00 train to Leeds (and a 9:30 train to Manchester from there) So I actually got to Manchester around 10:30. There were far more police around as you’d expect, which was a little scary, but it also served to remind me of the events that happened last week, and the precautions I ought to make.

Unfortunately, due to my postponement of this trip and the days the attraction is open, I was unable to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s house which was to be my first port of call. It was my sisters birthday on the 24th so I had planned to go there and buy her something as she loves North and South  but it was not to be. Instead, I walked to Manchester Museum. It was almost a 2km walk, but walking is a good way to see the city and a lot of interesting places you wouldn’t normally see from the window of a bus.

The Museum was amazing. It felt like an art exhibit and a museum all rolled in to one. They have such a large collection of Taxidermies. I watched a few videos on the Brain Scoop (Which you can too!, click here to see Emilie dissect a few animals, obvious warnings about blood and stuff). Maybe I’m weird, but I always find those videos really interesting, and so to see the finished product in a museum was really interesting for me.

It was about lunch time by the time I got out, so I had lunch and took a bus to the John Rylands Library. I also walked part of the way, but I wanted to, so that’s okay. I wish I could show you the books but I couldn’t take any pictures of them. I’ll just have to show you pictures of the beautiful building. Marley, I know you’d love this building. There are so many books, and while you can’t touch the books, it still functions as a library, there’s desks that students use and everything. It was just a religious experience.

After that I was knackered, and it was 1500. So I walked to the station, about 20 minutes and caught the train back home.

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Thoughts on Travels | Harrogate 25-05-2017

Today I headed out from Bradford Interchange and due to a series of literally just missed the train circumstances, got to Ripley Castle at 11:30. Despite leaving on a 9:00 train. I was alright though. I managed. The next available tour was a bit late in the day for me, but the grounds were free, so I walked around those for a little. It was very hot and I regretted taking my jacket. Or not putting sunscreen on. Seriously folks, the sun is a deadly laser!

Once I finally got back to Harrogate, my phone decided to die. So I had to organise all of that. (This new one has so much more data, I’m getting excited) then I headed out to Knaresborough for the afternoon.

First on the list was Knaresborough castle. Which was lovely and old. It featured amazing views of the rest of Knarsborough and was free, so that’s always a good thing.

After looking at the view, I realised that I could walk down the cliff face and walk to my next destination, which was Mother Shiptons cave. So I did that. It was a bit of a walk, but it was quite a nice one, despite the heat.

I ended up meeting someone on the walk to the attraction (which costs £7 – the attractions, not meeting someone) so that was nice for my smol loner heart. First up was the petrifying well. That’s right. You heard me. Now, it’s no Deathwater, or anything, but due to large quantities of minerals in the water and the way that the water drips down the side. For centuries, people have hung things from the well and watched them be coated in stone.

Secondly was mother Shiptons cave which details the life and times of a tudor era witch. She is said to have foretold the great fire of London among other things. This bit wasn’t as interesting. The audio commentary goes on for much longer than the cave and dark statue really necessitate. There isn’t anything else to look at so it just gets boring. Don’t get me wrong, the commentary is sort of interesting, I just would have preferred it on a plaque, maybe on the walk up to lead you there?

After mother Shipton’s cave, I had afternoon tea with my new friend along the river Nidd and we walked around before she had to get back and I had to get back. but hey, I got her number!

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Don’t forget to check out more information on my instagram revivalsword.

Thoughts on Travels | Leeds 24-05-2017

So Under the circumstances I decided against Manchester today. I will be going though, don’t you worry. It’s coming. Instead I did the rest of my Leeds trip.

I made good time to Kirkstall Abbey where I went straight through to the Abbey for free! I thought I was going to have to pay, I don’t know why I didn’t yet.

The guy at the front desk gave my a fancy map that he said I could keep even though it was on fancy paper. I didn’t. I figured that they were giving out these things for free, the least I could do was let them keep the map.

The Abbey itself ranges from 12th century to 15th century. The inner parts being older are, interestingly, the most well preserved. I would have loved to have learnt more about the history of the Abbey and how it came to be a few walls and no roof, but then again, I can easily find all of this out on the internet. Isn’t it a wonderful world we live in today?

It was really beautiful and if you’re around Leeds I definitely recommend you check it out.

After that I was going to go to Temple Newsam House. and then I realised that it would be a mile walk. And I just didn’t want to do that. Oh the Perils of not having a car. I’ll probably regret it later, but I get the whole point of holidays is #noregrets am I right?

By the time I got to where I thought I needed to go, it was lunchtime, so I headed into The Secret Garden Cafe for a lovely panini.

After that, I found my way to Hope Pastures to see some Horsies. A note, if you use the apple maps app on your phone it will take you to the top end of Weetwood Lane. You want the other end. It’s about a mile walk. It’s funny how life laughs at you. Also none of the horsies wanted to talk to me. I only wanted some animal hugs. I miss my dog.

After that fun time,  I made my way back to Bradford- where I’m staying – to go to the National Science and Media Museum. It was really cool. A lot of it was interactive which I think is the best way to get people to interact with science and media, instead of just watching and looking, you get to play with sound and play vintage video games. It was really good times.

I’m so boring after that I literally just walked back to where I’m staying. Good Times.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels | Leeds 23-05-2017

I left the house at a quarter to eight this morning as I was catching the train at 9:02. Got to Leeds and immediately set about trying to get to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. I tell you, the Leeds Bus interchange depot map/locations are confusing. Or is it just me? Anyway, I got there and only had to look at my phone a few dozen times. (speaking of which, don’t you think it’s silly that there isn’t any way to tell when your stop is coming up if you’re unfamiliar with the area and don’t have a phone?)

It only costs £2! It was rather awesome, I got to pat some sheep and I saw a few Donkeys and Llamas (or where they alpacas?) and then, when I went down to the small animal barn, I got to see some guinea pigs, a few Bunnies, and a whole lotta cute chicks! they were so cute I can’t wait for my mum to get some! They were all in the corner closest to the door and then one went fluttering away, and then they all followed! And then they returned! I resisted the urge to just pick one up the whole time!

After Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, I headed back into town to go to the Leeds City Museum. I have to say, it was good, but I didn’t find it as good as, say, the Birmingham Museum. Leeds sort of had this odd set up and I was never sure if I was going the right way and it wasn’t logical and I had to double back – I understand that they are also working with the building, but come on! And there just wasn’t as much. The places where there was a lot of pieces they were just overwhelming.

They had a new exhibit about the Seasons but it was really marketed exclusively to Northern Hemisphere children. I was expecting something about the history of people’s perceptions of the seasons over time. You could talk about when people first started settling down, and Persophone and Hades, and different Culture’s different Ideas. You could even talk about how when the Brits invaded Australia they were really unprepared to deal with the seasons as they hadn’t realised that they were opposite. They had nothing on the fact that in the Southern Hemisphere the Seasons are opposite. There was nothing.

After that, I found my way to Little Tokyo for lunch. I was craving Japanese food. It was very nice food, although I did find that the addition of the fork and spoon – without asking me – was a little unnecessary, I can manage fine with chopsticks. The Chicken Katsu Curry was nice, although more spicy than I’m used to.

And after that I literally walked around the shopping district. I was planning on going to Harewood House but the walk was just a little too far for my taste at the time. Instead I spent money. Which was not ideal, but now I shouldn’t have to spend money for a while. Yay!

Join me tomorrow where I head to Manchester.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels: Marlborough.

Let me tell you about Marlborough: There is nothing to do in Marlborough in the spring if you’re lazy. The merchants house is closed, so all you’ve got is the main street and the market. I’d shopped enough. There was nothing to do.

I stayed at this place called The Lambs Inn, which had the softest bed I’ve ever slept on. But the town was kind of meh. That is, in terms of travelling. It’s the sort of town I’d like to live in. But I wouldn’t travel there again on purpose.

There’s an old church you can’t go in, a bookstore, and a few cafes. The Green Dragon doesn’t have a single Lord of the Rings reference. WTH man!

I stayed here because I didn’t know what I was doing, and it was close, but different to where I had been. Plus trip advisor lied and anything of interest is a bit too far to walk. Anything interesting involved a car.

That said, there are no mistakes in Travel. (well they are, but they usually involve giving too much money to a taxi driver or something) It was still a good experience and it taught me to research a bit more before I blindly jump into a location. Rest days are fun, but they don’t make for good blog posts.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels | Highworth

So Highworth is about 10 minutes out from Swindon in Wiltshire. It’s quite a small town, boasting one high street and a market day on Saturdays. I spent about 3 days here between placements and I didn’t do much.

I stayed in the Inn above The Saracens Head pub. It’s a 400 year old pub. At that time I was still awed at how absolutely awesome it is to stay in a pub that’s older than White Australia. No biggie. Now I’m old hat at it. lol I’m kidding.

There’s a lovely old church that I was able to go into on my last day, unfortunately my camera (who I should really name) was already packed and so I couldn’t take any pictures. They were all set up for easter and they had this green house bit and stuff, which was pretty neat.

There’s a pretty large co-op in town, and a nice library, I spent a bit of time there.

It really got me started on the question of whether I should be spending all my time travelling or not. Because I need to have down time, but at the same time I feel like if I don’t spend my time travelling then it’s time wasted. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can do what I want, and I don’t have to travel every day if I don’t want to.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

The Lunar Chronicles | Marissa Meyer

Alternatively titled: Sometimes I play tricks on myself by assigning something and forgetting about it until I have to write it.

The Series

Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing. Unbeknownst to her she is the long thought dead Lunar Queen. If only her Aunt would let her be. Scarlet just wants to find her grandmother and work on their farm. If only Cinders Aunt would let her. Cress just wants to get off her satellite and be in love with Thorne. If only her queen would let her. And Winter just wants Jacin. If only her step-mother would let her.

The Plot.

– Possesses a solid plot. The story progresses at a good pace and I never found moments where I needed to know what was happening elsewhere when our heroes were split up.

– Although the “bio-electricity” felt a little like Marissa Meyer wanted to have this feature and had to think of a science-y way to do it. That was the weakest part for me.

The Characters.

– I love them.

– I felt that their character arcs were strong and they didn’t progress too quickly or anything.

– Also their relationships to each other is just… amazeballs.

The Conflict. 

– Occurred naturally without excess.

– I feel like the conflict was only necessary because otherwise there would be no resolution, but I don’t think you’d miss too much without it. If that makes sense. The book holds it’s own without it.

I know I’ve done these books separately before, but I wanted to do them as a series because it’s an incredibly well written quadrilogy and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new YA dystopia.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash