Emily Bourne

Joined May 2019
  • Day15

    Thorpe Park

    September 14 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Thorpe Park was chockablock today, probably owing to the last (?) hurrah of summertime.

    Via online booking (standing outside the park) we cunningly avoided queuing for the entry tickets but thats where our fortune ended.

    With fast track tickets we cut the queues considerably, from 60 to 20 minutes in some cases.. but there were still queues for the fast track, queues for food, queues to pick up a map...

    We hit several of the big rollercoasters before motion sickness and mild whiplash set in. Top rides indeed!

    If only there was a way to book the park out for a private session..
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  • Day14

    Chedworth Roman Villa

    September 13 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We drove from Cheltenham to Chedworth Roman Villa, a national trust excavation site complete with mosaic flooring, saunas, underfloor heating and all sorts of interesting archeological finds. The surprising thing I learned today was that the Roman introduced the Helix Pomatia snail to the area, which was a culinary delicacy - of all the things the Romans introduced I like this one!Read more

  • Day13

    Shafted in Wales

    September 12 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We made the 1hr 10min journey into Wales to visit Mad's ancestral homeland near Pontypool. Mad's grandfather worked in the coal mines in the area so after visiting the house where he lived, we drove to the Big Pit National Coal Museum to learn about the mining industry. The pits were closed underground for maintenance but we had an excellent tour of the overground areas with some hilarious banter between the local staff.
    We have now settled in Chelternham for the evening and will explore options for dinner shortly.
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  • Day12

    Bathing in Bath

    September 11 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    We headed west to Bath on phase four of the grand tour. Our accommodation here is superb, a luxury 2 bedroom apartment close to the city centre, complete with mood lighting! We had a relaxing afternoon in the Thermae spa, a nice wander through town, a trip to the gin bar - a tradition for us when visiting this city - and dinner at a nice chinese restaurant. We finish our evening watching movies in the apartment!Read more

  • Day11

    Windmills!

    September 10 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    In researching options for our final day, we decided to ditch a formal tour and do it ourselves, so we got an uber to Zaanse Schans, a country village not far from Amsterdam where they have a collection of fully restored working windmills.
    The village itself is on the Zaans river and is full of traditional buildings, crafts and shops. The main venue is a bit of a tourist trap but we had a good time exploring a working oil mill, sampling free cheese from the cheese shop and watching a clog shoe maker in action. There was also a chocolate factory and museum on site but we started to get hungry and didnt want to pay an additional €12 each so we headed back to the city for some Italian food. Overall it worked out cheaper than the tours, plus we got picked up from our apartment door and could do what we wanted.Read more

  • Day10

    Lost in Amsterdam

    September 9 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Well not lost as such, but we spent the afternoon wandering the streets taking in more of the sights. The red light district was 'interesting' to say the least, we also mooched around a large flea market and saw the palace and the old church. After another siesta (the walking was a bit much for Emily), we ended our evening at an Indian restaurant in Jordaan.Read more

  • Day10

    Cruising around

    September 9 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We set off through the Jordaan region of Amsterdam, full of quaint and boutique shops and cafes. After a quick refreshment we headed to a boat cruise of the canals of Amsterdam. Our captain Robert told us interesting stories and more about the history whilst we relaxed with a wine / coke zero and took in the sights.Read more

  • Day9

    Lazy day in Amsterdam

    September 8 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We had a lazy day today. Our flight from Berlin was slightly delayed so we were hanging around at the airport s while. Berlin airport is useless, all the shops, food and drinks places are before security so we didnt buy anything because of needing to go through security still. But when you go through theres nothing on the other side apart from a small cafe! Anyway, Amsterdam greeted us with a small downpour but then the weather cleared and we went and explored. By explore I mean found a laundrette and a late lunch! After a rather long ciesta for Emily, and a chance for Mad to visit a few shops, we had a nice Mexican taco dinner at a local restaurant and planned the next day. Uneventful but nice to have a chill out day.Read more

  • Day8

    Berlin wall, games and spa

    September 7 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    On our final day in Berlin we headed to the Game Science Centre to check out some new technologies emerging in gaming. They had some cool games which tracked your vision or finger tips to control the game. We also built a mini New Zealand out of kinetic sand, where a computer mapped the exact topography of what we built - mum and dad would have liked this one!
    Next up was a trip to the remaining Berlin wall and the museum built on the old Gestapo site. Interesting reading in their exhibition, and we even found where Matt had tagged the wall.
    The boys then dropped me off at my spa retreat and headed for Lollapalooza festival at the Olympic stadium. The spa was very flash and I have been totally spoilt for the last 6 hours! The boys had a good time at the festival snd we have reconvened at base camp.
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  • Day7

    Currywurst und bier

    September 6 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    After a late night arriving in Berlin we have had a lazy start to the German leg of the grand tour. To limit excessive walking for Emily, and Mad's achilles, we bought a ticket for the hop on hop off tourist bus. Taking in the sites in the sunshine with an audio tour was interesting, and we were able to get off at various points to explore more.
    Brunch near the Brandenburg gate was nice - naturally we had to try the metre of beer on offer, plus some sausages.
    The afternion led us to the Hard Rock Cafe, which is becoming something of a tradition when in foreign cities.
    Finally, our night was topped off with a superb meal at Maximillians restaurant where we feasted on traditional Bavarian dishes.
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