Cambridge

Saturday 21st, Reiss and I did a day trip into Cambridge. I have wanted to go for a while after having seen the cathedral from a distance. We took peoples advice and used the park and ride service which was brilliant. £2.90 each for the day and we didn’t wait at all.

I did some prior research and we had decided to visit some museums, have a wander around the market, see the cathedral and walk along the river and the backs of the colleges. We visited the Sedgwick Museum, which was full of fossils. It was really well laid out and I enjoyed it a lot. We also visited the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is an impressive building but sadly was covered with scaffolding. However, I did get this image of one of the pillars holding up the dome inside.

FitzWilliam museum 1

The main photography was done at King’s College Cathedral. It was a beautifully inspiring place. The grandeur of architecture amazes me.

kings college cathedral

Dragon

ceiling

cathedral

kings college cathedral 2

The outside was just as spectacular.

outside

cathedral b=w

Cathedral outside

Overall it was a good day, I also bought a book at the market (which I love) and we walked along the river watching the punters. It’s always fun to visit new places and get a chance at photographing different scenery.

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The Open Top Tour Bus

I have lived 35 minutes away from London my entire life. I have enjoyed many a thing in our capital but have actively avoided the tourist filled activities. However, I thought that maybe, with a friend, that an open top bus tour of London on a nice day might be good fun.

Not one to miss a photo opportunity my camera came along for the ride as well. I embarked at London Victoria coach station, onto a Harrods bus and we took a trip through to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, past St Pauls Cathedral and up Fleet Street. Past The Monument and over London Bridge, back over Tower Bridge and stopped for a while at The Tower. Then onto a Thames Clipper down to Embankment and back on to the bus to Buckingham Palace. A short break at the Palace and back to London Victoria. It lasted around 4 hours in total and was quite enjoyable. The Thames Clipper could have been missed out in my opinion, but I got some interesting views.

As you can imagine, photography wasn’t at a premium but I did achieve 3 that I was happy with.

City Hall

A view of City Hall from The Tower Of London

Golden

Sights around Buckingham Palace

Lion

Rome – Day 4

Our last day in Rome consisted of fitting in everything that we had left. Our flight wasn’t till the evening, so we had a good long while to explore the last of the city.

We started by walking to the Trevi Fountain. We had already visited at night but without cameras. It was breathtaking as I really hadn’t thought it to be as beautiful as it was. We had made a wish on the night we visited so this was purely for photography’s sake.

Trevvi top

Trevvi main

Trevvi pegasus

Trevvi water

Once we were finished, we walked to the Altare Della Patria. This is the monument to Victor Emmanuel II. Inside it houses a military museum. You are not allowed to sit on the steps!  Hehe. There are guards on duty all day and plinths with flames that are constantly kept lit. It is a very impressive and powerful building.

Horse statue

Lion

Angel

Chariot

From here we walked to the Piazza Navona. There was plenty to look at here. Street artists selling their wares, strange street performers and plenty of places to eat. It was a beautiful piazza with 2 fountains and an obelisk.

Navona

Fountain

obelisk

After this we sat in a cafe for quite a while as there was a massive thunder storm! Went on for about 2 hours. After this we wandered to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, which was right next to our hotel. The nuns inside were wearing cross with 2 strikes which I found really interesting. To gain access we needed to be covered.

Maria and I copy

However, despite looking idiotic, it was a stunning church.

Maria hall

Maria stained glass

All seeing eye

We were walking past a building when looking for somewhere to have our last dinner, when I spotted this courtyard. We weren’t supposed to be there, but hey ho.

random

I am very pleased with my trip and the photos that I have got. I have always wanted to go to Rome and it certainly didn’t disappoint. 🙂

Rome – Day 3

The third day was dedicated to the Colosseum. We had seen the structure lit up at night on our way into Rome and had walked towards and past it a few times since. It has been turned into a round a bout which was a little disappointing, however, it is a round structure…. The Roman’s themselves had a road around it and one leading into it.

It is an enormous structure, one that must have taken a great feat to build. Not all of it is left, and what is there is impressive enough. We didn’t have to queue as we were there earlier and went straight in.

I was impressed to learn that the outer ring at the top has been dedicated to artifacts found within the structure itself. I also learnt that the famous “christian baiting” was a myth. However, lunchtime was when all of the criminals sentenced to death would be “thrown into the lions den” a bit like feeding time at the zoo.

Inside 1

Side view

Side view 2

Inside 2

If we had pre-booked we would have been allowed to view the vault section in the middle. We didn’t know this until the day. However, it looked impressive from above.

Inside

The views from the inside out were quite interesting at points.

Archway

Shields

 

After we had seen all of the colosseum, we walked up into the ruins of The Forum, this was the political hub of Rome. As well as Palatine Hill where Romulus decided to found Rome. There were ruins of living quarters, shelters, roads etc. As well as the gladiator training ground, it looked to be spectacular for its day.

Forum

 

 

Rome – Day 2

Day 2 was set aside for The Vatican, I was looking forward to this the most. After fighting our way through a mob of people trying to sell us tours we joined a 40 minute queue around the perimeter of St Peters Square to enter The Basilica.

St Peters 3

St Peters 2

St Peters 1

Even our queuing route was grand!

Corridor

Lamp

For me, the inside certainly didn’t disappoint. The ceilings were spectacular, so ornate. Everything was decorated with finery you just couldn’t imagine. I couldn’t comprehend worshipping within the walls as everything was too distracting.

There is gold everywhere you look and statues everywhere. It still doesn’t feel over crowded as it covers a vast space.

Unicorn

Dragon statue

cherubs

lion

monument

Maria

Praying

Stained glass

This next one isn’t quite in focus, I wasn’t allowed a tripod and the light wasn’t great. However, I wanted to show you all how creepy this guy is!

Scary man

After viewing all of the inside and the vaults (which you are not allowed to photograph), we decided to walk the 549 steps to the top of the cupola. It is one of those things you must do in life.

Half way

cupola 2

Cupola

Mosaic 2

mosaic

After climbing the second half, in a maxi dress, with a shawl around me, a camera bag and the camera, at a slant! I caught my breath, and tried to stop sweating, to be greeted with rather a spectacular view.

The View

View

Weirdness, statues and m&m’s!

Well this will be a little bit different. So Reiss and I went out on Sunday to London. I had said how a lot of my photography seemed based on nature and I would like to try to test new things. Push my boundaries as it were. So we decided a city walk would be best. With no real route in mind we went up to the city and found ourselves at St Paul’s Cathedral. This is my favourite building in London. I have never been inside and got my chance to and what a wonderment it is. Completely fascinating in all its glorious, intricate design. Unfortunately photography is not allowed. However, when walking around the grounds some interesting statues caught my eye.

statues

Statue

After this no more photos were taken. However, what an afternoon! We went to China Town and Reiss bought some strawberry Pocky which I sampled later. We saw some odd-looking food ‘delicacies’ such as orange squid! From here we walked through to Trafalgar Square where we come across and restaurant called The Rainforest Cafe. A talking tree inside made me jump…. Next we walked past the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Building with an unusual animatronics band playing. After we went into Leicester Square where we went in The Trocadero. Lastly we stumbled upon a 4 storied M&M shop with so much merchandise it was unreal, alongside an extremely sickly smell.

All in all a fantabulous day was had.