Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sat 14 March 2009: Honeymoon Day 8

I've been told that today we'll be doing a lot of walking in town as much of the town centre is gazetted as pedestrian area. No problem.

Our first stop of the day was one of the more popular colleges of the University of Oxford: Christ Church College. It is here that the writer of Alice in Wonderland served as a professor, got his inspiration for the story and wrote this fairy tale. It is also here at this college that the scene for Harry Potter's movie was set (in the Great Hall).

Unfortunately we were not able to enter the great hall today as it was being used for Parents' Luncheon by the university.

Nonetheless, we did manage to visit the other parts:

I used the timer function to take our picture in the university grounds and this spooky image was taken.

There's a great lawn area in the middle of the college.

Mother and Child statue inside the church.

Our tour of Christ Church college ended and we continued our walk to the town centre for some shopping. I didn't buy much except for a couple of souvenir t-shirts.

There was also a French Market in town so we had a look around.

By now I was craving for a hot dog. The only place we did find selling them were at this little cafe inside the covered market.

Lunch was so light, we had to have something else to eat. Fred queued up at Ben's Cookies. Must be good as there was quite a queue.

Yes, the cookie was great!

Having had our cookie, we head back to our hotel on foot, had a bit of rest and it was time to go out for dinner at a popular Inn: The Trout on Tadpole Bridge. It's about half an hours drive from Oxford and the almost all the tables were booked. We were so lucky to get 1 table.
Internet picture of the Trout on Tadpole Bridge. It was dark when we arrived there so we couldn't get a nice picture ourselves of its beautiful exteriors.

Trio of sausages for me

A juicy platter of halibut and seafood for Fred

Apple crumble and blackberry pudding with cream for dessert.


Fri 13 March 2009: Honeymoon Day 7

It's a week since we left KK for our honeymoon and what a week it has been. We've been having quite an adventure in realising new places, food, things to do, absorbing the English history and culture and above all... having the best time with each other.

This morning we had breakfast again at our hotel as there are no shops around Castle Combe except for the little Inns that people are staying in.

Breakfast for me today was smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.

Fred had full English breakfast with scrambled eggs. I stopped him for a bit to take picture and this is the face I get in return!

Before we know it, it was time to leave Castle Combe today and move to Oxford. Here are just some of the pictures taken during our journey to Oxford.

We stopped by at a little town and visited their market. Nice local produce were for sale.

That's the little open market there behind me. Really little!

We bought these huge strawberries at the market to eat on our journey.

We went to Stratford on Avon to visit Shakespeare's birthplace. That's his house behind us. Again, no photography allowed inside so I'll scan the brochure's pictures instead when we get back home in KK.

We had a big lunch in town at Mistress Quicky Traditional English Eatery.

Cottage Pie for Fred

Steak & Ale pie for me

I really like how the houses here were built with a river flowing on their back garden.

There's even a boathouse parked here!

When we arrived at Newton's House (our hotel for our stay in Oxford) at around 4.00pm, I was feeling so tired and went to have a nap. Fred on the other hand decided to walk to the Information centre in town. I woke up as Fred returned from his walk... with a red nose! It's Comic Relief here in the UK and most people are helping to raise funds for the less fortunate by doing something funny and making donations. Their tag line is "Do something funny for money".

Dinner was simple tonight: McDonald's Chicken & Bacon burger

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thurs 12 March 2009: Honeymoon Day 6

Breakfast was provided by our hotel. I settled for English breakfast again (I don't know, but I seem to keep on wanting big breakfasts these days), while Fred had Grilled smoked Kipper.

After breakfast, we started our journey to Bath. I've been looking forward to this town as so many of the movies that I've watched back home was filmed here eg: Pride & Prejudice, The Duchess, and Jane Austen.

Once we arrived in Bath, we went into the Visitors Information Centre to buy some postcards, a fridge magnet with a notepad and a map of Bath so we could explore this little town ourselves.

Every brochure that we took of Bath mentions about Sally Lunn's buns. So we thought we'd give it a try.
I ordered a savoury bun, it was covered in cheese; while Fred ordered a sweet bun. His was basically toasted bun spread with butter and a little dish of strawberry jam to spread. I wouldn't say it was an out of this world experience, but it was nice nonetheless. And hey, expensive. Our two buns and coffee cost around about RM60.

Our next stop is of course the famed Roman Bath - the namesake of this town. Many years ago, the rich used to travel here just to have a dip in the sulphur water which is said to have healing abilities. It was also a temple where sacrifices were made, the future predicted and hopes/wishes were granted.

This picture was taken outside the Roman Bath. What I have in that bag is Fred's new Royal jacket! He finally found a light jacket which he really likes. We literally travelled the world to find this one.

A visit to Bath isn't complete without going into the Jane Austen Centre they say. This centre is not the actual house where she lived but it is very much like her house and is located in the same street.

Recognise the background? It's a popular setting for movies filmed here in Bath. It's called the Royal Circle.
I like the name of this travel gear shop: Itchy Feet!

Another landmark in Bath, also a popular film location: The Abbey.

By 4.00pm we had enough of Bath and drove to Corsham and Chippenham. Here, we shopped, window shopped and most importantly....

... had dinner at Little Chef!

Something neat inside the toilet @ Little Chef. I thought: a fuzzy brush. You don't need to brush your teeth to clean your teeth, nor use a toothpaste. Simply chew these little fuzzy brush and you'll have clean teeth and fresh breath. 1 pound in the vending machine, and I get two fuzzy brush!

Wed 11 March 2009: Honeymoon Day 5

It's time to pick up our car from Avis, leave London and enjoy the English countryside.

After fiddling around and understanding how to use the GPS, we finally made it to Stonehenge. We paid our entrance fees, picked up our audio guides, walked through the underground tunnel and hello, that's Stonehenge in front of us!After a complete round of the hanging stones, we bought our lunch and ate in the picnic area near our car. We had shepherd's pie (as predicted, Fred liked this) and Cornish pasties (hmmm, brings back old childhood memories).Clockwise: Hot black coffee, shepherd's pie, Cornish Pasties.

It was then time to hit the road this time. On our way to Castle Combe, we stopped by at Devizes. It's a lovely little town with small streets, small shops, little town square. Look, things for sale outside the store. The crime rate here must be minute, if any, for the store owners put there wares out on the streets.This little girl is so cute. She's playing hide and seek with her mum. Of all the places to hide, she decided to hide under a "sandwich signboard"!

Welcome to Castle Combe, voted as England's prettiest village.

We could really see and feel why this little village is a favourite with the English - it's peaceful, beautiful, the people are friendly. We took a stroll in the village and found there are really no lamp posts here. It's like stepping back in time. On the downside, there's no handphone reception, but amazingly, they have really fast internet access.

This is our hotel: The Castle Inn Hotel which is smack right in the middle of the town.

Our very sturdy four-poster bed. It's so comfy but had to climb up the bed. Kind of feels like the Princess and the Pea (without the pea though). Fred likes this bed because it made him feel like the King of the Castle!

Our beautiful bathtub.

Yes, we did take time to have fun in exploring Castle Combe!

We even saw two swans, the only two swans in Castle Combe. Unfortunately, they're both male.

Dinner time at Castle Inn Hotel. Check out my huge platter of fish & chips. Fred had steak with mushroom sauce.

I was NOT unhappy with dinner. I was just concerned about how I was going to finish it.