Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter in Athens

I went to the NESA Conference in Athens on my way back to Mumbai, after my month in the UK.  I was there over the Easter weekend.  Luckily I had a little time to go and visit the Acropolis slopes on Easter Sunday.  I got the hotel shuttle to the Temple of Zeus, by the Arch of Hadrian, and walked up from there. 

The word "acropolis" is a combination of 2 greek words: akron (highest point) and polis (city).  The Acropolis of Athens is therefore an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city and it contains the remains of several ancient buildings.  

Although there were long queues for tickets, the actual walk up to the top wasn't that busy.  There were some lovely views from the slopes.

On the way up to the top you pass the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built in memory of his wife.  This theatre was used as a venue for musical concerts.  In recent times, artists such as Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and the Bolshoi Ballet have all performed here.

At the top of the Acropolis there is a monumental gateway called the Propylaea.   Ruins at the top are the Temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon (the Temple of Athena Perthenos).

Monday, March 26, 2018

My birthday in Kew Gardens

It has been many years since I've been in the UK on my birthday.  I stayed with Rachel the day before and then met up with Joal for a surprise day out.  My only instructions were to meet him at Earl's Court station.  We got on the tube and ended up at Kew Gardens.  What a lovely surprise and what an amazingly sunny and warm day we had for it!

Kew Gardens is full of lots of lovely planned gardens such as the Japanese Garden.  It's possible to wander round the whole day and still not see it all.

Some of the greenhouses and other buildings were not yet open - they were undergoing renovation.  We got some good views of them from the top of the Treetop Walkway.


We had lunch beside this lake.  Rachel had made me a lemon meringue for my birthday cake!

The day included a yummy cream tea in the Orangery!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Suffolk in the spring

I was in the UK in early March last year, and it was a bit early for the bulbs to be out.  This year I was hoping to see a lot more, though when I arrived in London it was the day the "Beast from the East" hit, followed later by the "Mini-Beast".  In fact there were very few days when I could get out and walk around Nowton Park, but on the days that I could I certainly enjoyed the spring weather and flowers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hi Dubai

On my way back from Vietnam I had a long layover in Dubai (9 hours) so my plan was to get out of the airport and see a bit of the city.  Originally I thought of taking a bus tour, but luckily for me an old friend from Thailand is now living in Dubai and she agreed to meet me for breakfast and show me around.

I got a taxi to the Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the world) where I met her.  We sat outside in a cafe right in front of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world).  After breakfast we went on a drive around Dubai to the beach where we walked for a while and took in a view of the Burj Al Arab, the luxury hotel built on an artificial island in the Persian Gulf (sometimes known as the only 7 star hotel in the world).  Clearly Dubai is attempting to be a world leader in many areas!  The main revenue now is tourism, as the oil is running out.  Manon later dropped me back at the airport for my return trip to England.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Suffolk in the snow

I took the whole of March off to spend time in the UK.  As I've decided to move there next school year to spend more time with Mum, I had a lot to sort out.  On the day I arrived at Heathrow, the "Beast from the East" hit the UK - with deep snow.  Even when we drove up to Mum's several days later, there was still enough snow to build a large snowman outside her new place.

One evening we went out to our favourite local pub, the Rushbrooke Arms, where we sampled different varieties of the local gin.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Using my flood voucher

Back in August I had to spend the night at school with students because of the flooding in Mumbai.  Because of this I was given a voucher for a night at the Renaissance in Powai as a sort of compensation.  It took quite a time for me to get the time to use it, but finally in February I had a lovely couple of days of relaxing in a lovely hotel.