Category Archives: United Kingdom

Alton Towers – fun and frivolity for all the family!


Alton Towers - a whole heap of fun

Alton Towers – a whole heap of fun

the UK’s version of the theme park…and what a hoot.
Daughter was well chuffed spending the two days upside down, round about, squealing, shrieking, and stopping for a breather occasionally.

Not only that, we were staying in the “chocolate express” room, which lived up to its name; decked out like a railway train carriage, with chocolate stashed in many places, waiting to be found.

And then of course, there were the rides. The big kahuna thrill rides had names like:
* Air
* Nemesis
* Oblivion
* Rita
* Ripsaw
* Spinball Wizard
with a couple slightly more delicate ones thrown in for good measure.

AIR - the ride, with Daughter dangling...

AIR – the ride, with Daughter dangling…

As you’ve no doubt guessed, a fab time was had by all. Daughter was very sad leaving, not only the park, but all her new found buddies as well. She has all these mates in England now. Good luck to her I say!

What Fun to Play with Mates...

What Fun to Play with Mates…

The reason we had this adventures “finale” at Alton Towers was because it was our friend Geraldine’s 50th birthday, and she obviously wanted to spend it as child-like as possible. Can’t be too serious @ 50 surely? As a result, we all got a chance for our inner child to come out for a mighty romp!

Excitedly enough, we’ve received an invitation to another 50th, this time to be held in Bali in May 2010. If this keeps up, we’ll get to continue to swan around the world just doing birthday parties… excellent! Aren’t we lucky we have such creative birthday thinkers/planners friends…

Leaving Alton Towers began our 6-leg journey back to Melbourne…

London and the 6 H’s….

Hyde Park
Hop On, Hop Off bus
High St shopping
Harrods and Harvey Nichols
Hard Rock café….
this list of “H’s” pretty much sums up our London campaign, this time around. To explain…

London; Hyde Park; Where to Now?

London; Hyde Park; Where to Now?

Hyde Park…
We are staying @ the Mitre House Hotel in Sussex Gardens, spitting distance to Hyde Park; which is also where we have spent much of day 2. Dawdling with intent, together with the horses. What a nice part of the world it is.

Hop On, Hop Off bus…
We sat in the glorious sunshine, up top, front and centre, of the infamous double decker bus, listening to one of the local geysers deliver some home truths (and some made up ones) in a rather entertaining fashion for most of the morning. Until we hit a traffic jam…

London; Hamleys; Oldest Toy Store in the World

London; Hamleys; Oldest Toy Store in the World

Eventually we got off the bus at the earliest convenience, and walked Regent St. Low and behold, Hamleys toy shop presented itself, with raining bubbles. Famous in London for 249 years (allegedly), and certainly now more famous for one 11 year old daughter. After a few doll house purchases (because we had already bought the fashion plate threads for Barbie in Paris! as you do) and much sweet talking, I/we finally made our escape.

High St shopping…
Then it was my turn! Into all the shops along Oxford St. My usual favourites featured ie Zara, Desigual and Banana Republic. Must say though the summer fashion, which will feature soon enough in Australia, doesn’t push my buttons at all (except for the first floor of both the following two emporiums of course!). blah blah really. So much for the “London Look”. One good thing about not being tempted though… saved using the cash.

London; Harrods; Oh What Shopping!

London; Harrods; Oh What Shopping!

Harrods and Harvey Nichols…
Don’t we love these stores! Difficult to extract both of us from either one, so we just took our time and savoured the moment anyway. No hurry.

London; Hard Rock Cafe - The Original

London; Hard Rock Cafe – The Original

Hard Rock café…
The original and the best, since 1971. Had to go there as it was one of the first specific Hard Rock café shot glasses I had collected (I collect them you see). Had a bite to eat there also. Hasn’t taken us long to get straight back into greasy finger licking scoffing. Spent time in the vault also. Many priceless memorabilia pieces in there.

All in all, a heavenly, hassle free, heavily trafficked few days. Not to be missed!

We finish off this adventure shortly, at “Alton Towers” in Birmingham, the UK’s version of Disneyland. Daughter can’t wait…

London – the final H = Heathrow

Our 6-leg journey back to Melbourne went something like this:
1. Carpool – Alton Towers (near Birmingham) to Stratford London (3 hrs)
2. Train – Stratford London to Paddington London (30 mins)
3. Mini cab – Paddington London to Heathrow London (45 mins)
4. QF10 flight – London to Singapore (13 hrs + 2 hr stopover)
5. QF10 flight – Singapore to Melbourne (7 hrs)
6. Taxi – Tullamarine Melbourne to Camberwell (45 mins)
Total travelling time = 28.5 hours. No wonder we’re exhausted!
Given we are both struggling to stay awake at 19:00 (actually daughter has already crashed asleep), I suspect it will be a very early morning wake up.

What a fine way to top off yet another fabulous adventure. What with…
the majestic of Spain
the magic of Morocco
the mellow of Lisbon Portugal
the magnifique of Paris France
the melting chocolate moments of Bruges Belgium
the movement of London UK
and the madness of Alton Towers
…what a wonderful way to spend 6-7 weeks of oné’s precious time. It’s always rather sad finishing off an adventure…

but then of course the next one is already on the drawing board!
Apart from Bali May 2010, how does Peru, Bolivia and Argentina sound? Want to come too? Go on, you know you want too…