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Finished England post

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@@ -1,19 +1,21 @@
---
layout: post
-title: "England"
+title: "England, The Home of Real Ale"
date: 2014-02-15 16:57
tags: England, Beer, Nottingham, London, Stonehenge, Graffiti, Bristol, Bath
description:
published: false
-dont_cache_images: true
priority: 0.5
---
Flying into Manchester from Athens, the first thing that struck me about
England was just how lusciously green everything was. Yes, I've been to England
before, I even lived there for nearly a year some time ago, but I was still
-blown away by it. No other country I've been to has the rolling green hills like
+blown away by it. No other country I've been to has rolling fields and hills like
England.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842850784/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The green fields of England by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3703/12842850784_5691109e42_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="The green fields of England"></a>
+
+<!-- more -->
After landing in Manchester I got the train to Nottingham and went and met up
with my old friend Matty P at his local pub, the Vat and Fiddle. A few years had
@@ -22,13 +24,16 @@ try a few pints of Castle Rock's fine ale selection. We made a quick trip to
Matt's house to dump my bags then headed to Brewdog to try a few more UK ales
before heading back to Matty's place for the nights rest.
-<!-- more -->
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842515123/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Direct pipe to Fosters Brewery by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3669/12842515123_fd6c71161a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Direct pipe to Fosters Brewery from Brewdog"></a>
+
The next morning we sought out a proper, full English breakfast from a local
cafe; bacon and eggs, sausages, mushrooms and baked beans. So
damn good! Only thing missing was black pudding, but we dealt with that
omission at subsequent breakfasts.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842520403/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Real English Breakfast by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7302/12842520403_d7bb632171_c.jpg" width="709" height="800" alt="Real English Breakfast"></a>
+
After breakfast we headed up to Nottingham castle for the event that drew me to
England at this time, [The Robin Hood Beer
Festival](http://www.beerfestival.nottinghamcamra.org/). It's a "real ale"
@@ -38,6 +43,8 @@ ale to sample, and about 300 ciders for those with no taste (Sorry Amanda
"settling" so that when they're tapped they pour clear instead of being cloudy
with too much yeast.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842527873/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Me and Robin Hood by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3723/12842527873_578178e15c_c.jpg" width="800" height="571" alt="Me and Robin Hood"></a>
+
On arrival you're given a bunch of tokens, two of which buys a third of a pint
of ale. The best part is that you don't have to spend any tokens to try an ale!
The people working there want you to find a beer you like before you commit to
@@ -46,12 +53,16 @@ The volume of these tastes would often be more than you'd get at a beer tasting
event back in Australia, and there you'd have to be spending tokens for the
privilege. England has beer tasting all figured out!
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842551603/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Me and Matt at the Robin Hood Beer Festival by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7354/12842551603_ed49d9bbc1_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Me and Matt at the Robin Hood Beer Festival"></a>
+
The people working serving the beers seemed pretty knowledgeable, and had a
surprisingly good balance of the genders. Still weighted towards males, but
there were a lot of ladies serving too. The people working were mostly
unaffiliated with any particular brewery, and were just beer lovers
volunteering.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842468605/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Casks of ale by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3667/12842468605_11aedb31da_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Casks of ale"></a>
+
There was an amazing variety food available there too. I ate a zebra burger from
a place with all sorts of wild game meat (wild boar, kangaroo, etc.). More
varieties of exotic meat than at Carnivore in Kenya! I think England's
@@ -60,6 +71,8 @@ reputation for bland, boring food is well out of date these days.
Not long after lunch Amanda and Luke arrived and met up with us at the festival,
it was great to see them again, and to taste beers and discuss them with Luke.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842600093/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Amanda and Luke looking uncertain by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3686/12842600093_1e26711dc4_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Amanda and Luke looking uncertain"></a>
+
I worked it out afterwards, and I think I only drank about 6 pints over the
whole day there (8-10 hours of well paced drinking), but I got to try dozens of
different ales. So much better than the 1-2 hour tastings where you're rushing
@@ -68,11 +81,6 @@ relaxed knowing that trying everything was impossible. I'd done the sums
and worked out that even just a 30ml shot of each beer would have meant drinking
over 30 litres. Australians like to drink, but even we aren't that stupid.
-My favourite beer of the festival was [Bateman's Hazelnut
-Brownie](http://www.bateman.co.uk/our+brewery/our+beers/speciality+cask+beers);
-a sweet, rich syrupy beer with delicious chocolaty aroma. The name was pretty
-much spot on describing how it smelt and tasted. It was not a session beer, but
-it was nice to have a small glass of.
We left the festival in the early evening and made a stop in at [Ye Old Trip To
Jerusalem](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Olde_Trip_To_Jerusalem), one of
@@ -81,6 +89,8 @@ serving beer there since 1189AD. The pub is partly carved out of a sandstone
cave, giving it a cosy atmosphere. It's mind-blowing to think that people have
been drinking at that same venue for almost 1000 years.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842631413/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Everyone is surprised by just how old this pub is by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7392/12842631413_e3c00a92ed_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Everyone is surprised by just how old this pub is"></a>
+
Our last stop for the night was at The Canalhouse, a little craft beer focused
pub along the canals, which actually has a section off the canal that runs in
through the pub. Presumably it was for unloading casks of ale back in the days
@@ -93,15 +103,21 @@ rich part of town. I managed to score a good winter jacket for £8 and a dapper
hat for £6.50. Travelling without winter clothes worked out great for me this
time, and hopefully will again if I end up somewhere cold again in the future.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842559675/in/set-72157641676939995" title="I got a nice hat and coat for not much moneys by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2878/12842559675_936cbc06d2_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="I got a nice hat and coat for not much moneys"></a>
+
We did some scenic driving and had a nice long lunch at The Unicorn Hotel, a
traditional style country pub, where the Pedigree ale pie was fantastic.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842642093/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The Unicorn Hotel by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/12842642093_892b269298_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="The Unicorn Hotel"></a>
+
On Saturday we went back to the beer festival for it's biggest day. We didn't
have pre-bought tickets so we got there before the gates opened to try and
ensure we'd get in. There we found a line of people winding way down the hill
and around the corner, all the while with England giving us some of its best
weather. In other words, it pissed down with rain.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842696893/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Massive line in the rain to get into the beer festival on Saturday morning by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/12842696893_ed76d09210_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Massive line in the rain to get into the beer festival on Saturday morning"></a>
+
Once the gates opened the line moved quite fast (although it continued to grow
about as fast as it moved), but we all got in without much hassle.
@@ -109,24 +125,41 @@ We went straight to the table area and secured ourselves a table and then I got
some chicken tikka masala for breakfast. It is not sensible drinking without a
bit of "ballast" in our stomachs as Matty P liked to put it.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12843079154/in/set-72157641676939995" title="10am drinks, the right way to start Saturday! by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/12843079154_c01659c684_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="10am drinks, the right way to start Saturday!"></a>
+
This time we focused on the top tent where our table was, which conveniently had
the most different ales available. There was also a bottom tent, and then a few
other "renegade" tents with only one or two breweries beers available in them
two. It turns out you need a fair bit of space for 1100 casks of beer!
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842759953/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Even more casks today by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2883/12842759953_136d0e8363_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Even more casks today"></a>
+
+My favourite beer of the festival was [Bateman's Hazelnut
+Brownie](http://www.bateman.co.uk/our+brewery/our+beers/speciality+cask+beers);
+a sweet, rich syrupy beer with delicious chocolaty aroma. The name was pretty
+much spot on describing how it smelt and tasted. It was not a session beer, but
+it was nice to have a small glass of.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12842492655/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Mmmmm... Hazelnut Brownie by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3674/12842492655_54435b6aba_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Mmmmm... Hazelnut Brownie"></a>
+
After the beer festival finished up, Luke and Amanda headed off to
explore the south of England. I decided I wanted to stop moving for a while and
stayed put in Nottingham for a nice long time.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12843197605/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Matt reading important business news in the paper while having a nice ale by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7392/12843197605_f4b72d4e8b_c.jpg" width="601" height="800" alt="Matt reading important business news in the paper while having a nice ale"></a>
+
My days comprised of sleeping in, working on my Spanish and spinning poi. Then
when Matty got home from his crazy long days at work we'd go out and visit any
one of the many local pubs, trying as many different ales as humanly possible.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12843851254/in/set-72157641676939995" title="A barman pulling us a pint of Directors by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/12843851254_28ee0718ed_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="A barman pulling us a pint of Directors"></a>
+
It felt like a mutually beneficial situation. Matty got someone to help around
the house, some extra company, and a drinking buddy. I got the days to slow down
and relax without feeling like I was wasting my limited time in new city X, and
a great introduction to all that English ale has to offer.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12843460923/in/set-72157641676939995" title="And even more pump tags by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3786/12843460923_c49cc47b39_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="And even more pump tags"></a>
After a few weeks of this it was time to head to London for Amanda and Luke's
leaving Europe celebrations. Matty and I got the bus to Victoria Station, then
@@ -157,7 +190,7 @@ a T-shirt for ages before I stopped feeling overheated.
I'd love to say even in the face of all that I had a good time, but I didn't.
Pretty much everything about the night sucked. I was getting so mad about
-how poorly planned everything was that I got a yelling at from Nicolette about
+how poorly executed everything was that I got a yelling at from Nicolette about
how negative I was being. I completely understand not wanting to make a bad
situation seem worse than it is, but when the dust settled the next week I
don't think anyone had a positive word to say about the event. I don't know how
@@ -176,7 +209,7 @@ Andrew was heading off to visit his family, so we were sort of house sitting for
him for Amanda and Luke's last few days in Europe. Cards against humanity (The
UK version) was played. £65 of fireworks were purchased and set off in a nearby
field (45 seconds of non-stop explosions). Cheese, wine and beer was consumed.
-Good times were had.
+Good times were had. No photos were taken.
After our few days there, Matty drove Luke and Amanda to London. By the time we
got there, it was peak hour, so we stopped at a suburb in the outskirts and had
@@ -186,29 +219,35 @@ long drive back to Nottingham.
For my penultimate weekend Matt kindly sorted us out some transport so we could
go and check out the one real thing on my list of stuff to see in England,
-Stonehenge. I think the desire to see it actually stems from the movie European
-Vacation, which is kind of lame, but seeing the real deal is pretty cool.
-
-On the drive there we were buffeted with ice cold winds, dark clouds and rain,
-but the wind actually worked in out favour, blowing us a clear patch in the sky
-while we were waiting in line to get in, that lasted for our whole visit. The
-weather while we were there was stunning, probably some of the best I saw during
-this visit.
-
-Learnt some interesting stuff from the far too verbose audio guides (when the
-number plaques are only 10 metres of grass lawn apart, yet the audio companion
-blabbers on for 20 minutes, you might be going into too much detail for the
-average visitor). A third of each pillar is actually underground, meaning that the
-already quite huge stones are actually 50% huger than they appear; they have
-little pegs and holes to help keep the tops in place on the pillars; and the
-heaviest one is estimated to weight 45 tons. Another amazing construction
-project that nobody truly knows how they accomplished it, although they have
-some theories that sound pretty reasonable.
+Stonehenge. I think the desire to see it stemmed from the movie European Vacation,
+which is kind of lame, but seeing the real deal was pretty cool.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12844633393/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Stonehenge by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3791/12844633393_fd765e5877_c.jpg" width="800" height="450" alt="Stonehenge"></a>
+
+On the drive there we were buffeted with ice cold winds, dark clouds and rain.
+The wind ended up working in our favour, blowing us a clear patch in the sky
+while we were waiting in line to get in. The blue skies lasted for nearly our
+whole visit. The weather while we were there was stunning, some of the best I
+saw during this visit to England.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12844601435/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Matt watched a lot of "My name is Earl" and it affected his abillity to be photographed with his eyes open by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/12844601435_d5f7d734c1_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Matt watched a lot of "My name is Earl" and it affected his abillity to be photographed with his eyes open"></a>
+
+I learnt some interesting stuff from the far too verbose audio guides. There's
+third of each pillar buried underground, meaning that the already quite large
+stones are actually 50% bigger than they appear. They have little pegs and holes
+to help keep the tops in place on the pillars. The heaviest one is estimated to
+weight 45 tons. Another amazing construction project that nobody truly knows how
+they accomplished it, although they have some theories that sound pretty
+reasonable.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12844672655/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Me at Stonehenge by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/12844672655_ac96640f18_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Me at Stonehenge"></a>
After Stonehenge we headed to Bristol to visit an old friend, Jen, and to check
out some of the Banksy pieces around the city. I got an iPhone app guide to his
work around the city, which sadly a large proportion of have been vandalised and
-since painted over, but it was awesome to see the ones that were still there.
+since painted over. It was awesome to see the ones that were still there though.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12844779275/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Banksy, the mild mild west by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/12844779275_e4b4b10d23_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Banksy, the mild mild west"></a>
We caught up with Jen over a few drinks, then headed to a fancy little
microbrewery bar and had way to many more tasty beers, followed by an obligatory
@@ -216,95 +255,134 @@ going-to-bed kebab before sleeping in the van. I slept in the back (which I
found out was not exactly sealed from the outside air) and matt slept in the
cabin. I was glad to have a reasonable sleeping bag that night.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12844955595/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Live & Eat Pie. Words to live by. by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2828/12844955595_3b04620b9e_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Live & Eat Pie. Words to live by."></a>
+
+
The next day Matt and I both felt rubbish, so we wandered around trying to find
-somewhere that was open to get a decent breakfast, eventually finding a place
-called the Bristolian that had a great English breakfast, helping us both
-feel much much better.
+somewhere that was open to get a decent breakfast. Eventually we found a place
+called the Bristolian that had a great English breakfast, helping us both feel
+much much better.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12845833954/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The Bristolian by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7459/12845833954_0ca9a2621c_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="The Bristolian"></a>
+
+We spent the morning touring around Bristol some more, checking out the immense
+amounts of great street art that decorates the city. I highly recommend checking
+out the [Flickr gallery for this
+post](http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/sets/72157641676939995/) if you
+like graffiti.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12845219593/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Bristol street art by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7402/12845219593_e11b4bf64c_c.jpg" width="601" height="800" alt="Bristol street art"></a>
We decided to go and visit bath that day, a picturesque city full of beautiful
architecture. We walked around the city a bit, saw a stealthy bridge (shops
built on both sides of it hide the fact there's a bridge there at all), before
-making the very long drive back to Nottingham.
+making the long drive back to Nottingham.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12845536285/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Bath, the fancy neighbourhood by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3750/12845536285_afdcf35c21_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Bath, the fancy neighbourhood"></a>
I spent a few of my last few days of this visit to England in London, revisiting
-sites I'd been to a decade earlier when I lived an hour away in Ipswich; lots of
+sites I'd been to a decade earlier when I lived an hour away in Ipswich. Lots of
nice nostalgia.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12845626835/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The guards at Buckingham Palace by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3686/12845626835_a94756ef08_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="The guards at Buckingham Palace"></a>
+
I went to Buckingham Palace and the huge gardens nearby, walked over to Big Ben
and The Palace of Westminster, then walked along the Thames for a bit before it
started raining.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12845994175/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Palace of Westminster by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7304/12845994175_7a5c34b58f_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Palace of Westminster"></a>
+
I headed over to Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square and bought some last
minute tickets to see "The Book of Mormon" for that evening, a musical by the
guys behind South Park.
-I tracked down a very fancy London beard barber shop and got my beard shaped for
-way to much money, but you only live once. I got some good tips about shaping it
-myself (that I screwed up a few months later) and some tips on handlebar
-moustaches.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846419004/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Trafalgar Square by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2822/12846419004_90945b038e_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Trafalgar Square in the rain"></a>
+
+I tracked down a fancy London beard barber shop and got my beard shaped for way
+too much money, but you only live once, right? I got some good tips about
+shaping it myself (which I screwed up just a few months later) and some tips on
+handlebar moustaches.
I visited the London Transport Museum which was quite an interesting collection
about all the eras and advancements in public transport in London. Funny to see
signs from the start of last century for the same stuff that people need to be
told today (don't block the doors, move down the isle, let people off first). It
-seems like common sense may never have actually been common. I'd actually hoped
-the museum would have a bit more of a focus on the underground specifically than
-it did, nearly completely missing information about the many abandoned
+seems like common sense has never been common.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846238255/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The problems of old are the same problems of today by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2853/12846238255_2e59be8e50_c.jpg" width="673" height="800" alt="The problems of old are the same problems of today"></a>
+
+I'd hoped the museum would have a bit more of a focus on the underground than it
+did. It was nearly completely missing information about the many abandoned
underground stations, or 3d models of how the whole network and it's supporting
-escalators/lifts actually fit together.
+escalators/lifts fit together.
+
I went along to the Book of Mormon, which by that point was sold out completely,
but my seat was actually pretty decent on the ground floor with a good view of
-the stage. one of the advantages of breaking social norms and doing things
-alone. The musical was a funny tale of two Mormons who get sent to Uganda to
-preach, one of who is a compulsive liar, the other a "star" Mormon. The star
-loses faith so the liar steps up and makes up even crazier stuff than actual
-Mormonism to get the Ugandans to stop doing bad things, such as killing one
-another, or raping babies to cure their aids. I thought it poked a lot of fun of
-Mormons, while not actually crossing any lines as far as South Park normally
-does.
+the stage. One of the perks of going to the theatre alone! The musical was a
+funny tale of two Mormons who get sent to Uganda to preach, one of who is a
+compulsive liar, the other a "star" Mormon. The star loses his faith, so the
+liar steps up and makes up even crazier stuff than actual Mormonism to get the
+Ugandans to stop doing bad things like killing one another, or raping babies
+to cure their aids. I thought it poked a lot of fun of Mormons, while not
+actually crossing any lines as far as South Park normally does.
The next morning I went and saw London bridge, which is pretty dull but had a
-great view of the tower bridge, which I love to look at.
+great view of the Tower Bridge, which I love to look at.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846736544/in/set-72157641676939995" title="The Tower Bridge by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7355/12846736544_29eb123a9c_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="The Tower Bridge"></a>
-I looped around and visited the tower of London, did the tour led by a beefeater
+I looped around and visited the Tower of London, did the tour led by a beefeater
which I enjoyed just as much as last time. They have great delivery of their
stories and jokes making it both informative and enjoyable.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846375755/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Our beef-eater by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2822/12846375755_1554934914_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Our beef-eater"></a>
+
I went through and saw the crown jewels, this time looking out in particular for
-the big ones stolen from Africa and India that I'd learned about in my travels,
-which they don't make very much note about that side of the story and that they
-wont return them.
-
-An new interesting fact I learnt was that the tower was actually used as a
-menagerie at one stage, filled with all kinds of exotic animals. A lot of the
-animal husbandry back then left a lot to be desired, for example they had
-ostriches but didn't know what they ate, so they tried feeding them iron nails,
-which of course killed them; and they used to have a polar bear on a leash that
-could swim in the Thames.
-
-I went past the monument for the great fire of London, a very impressive pillar
+the big ones stolen from Africa and India that I'd learned about in my travels.
+They don't make very much note about that side of the story, or that they refuse
+to return them.
+
+An new interesting fact I learnt was that the tower was once used as a
+menagerie, filled with all kinds of exotic animals. The animal husbandry back
+then left a lot to be desired. For example they had ostriches but didn't know
+what they ate, so they tried feeding them iron nails, which of course killed
+them. They also used to have a polar bear on a leash that could swim in the
+Thames. Nuts!
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846518445/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Polar bear sculpture by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7347/12846518445_ea6aaae00f_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Polar bear sculpture"></a>
+
+I went past the monument for the great fire of London, an impressive pillar
mostly hidden by the large buildings around it, then got the tube to Camden
where I was staying for the night.
-Camden has some very cool culture, and attracts some very odd people. One
-example was quite a talented girl who was busking near the train station on an
-electric violin, while some douchebag sat metres in front of her listening to
-his iPod, moving only when someone tapped him on the shoulder and pointed out
-what an incredibly rude twat he was being.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846584095/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Fire of London monument by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3730/12846584095_65d308aebd_c.jpg" width="601" height="800" alt="Fire of London monument"></a>
+
+Camden has a counter-culture feel to it, and attracts some rather odd people.
+One example was quite a talented girl who was busking near the train station on
+an electric violin, while some douchebag sat metres in front of her listening to
+his iPod. He moved along only when someone tapped him on the shoulder and
+pointed out what an incredibly rude twat he was being.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846588055/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Girl busking while a douchebag listens to his ipod right in front of her speaker by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7301/12846588055_a845089266_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Girl busking while a douchebag listens to his ipod right in front of her speaker"></a>
I wandered around the markets, seeing loads of great street art, vintage and
Victorian (?) era clothes, and lots of other cool stuff to look at. I wish I had
-unlimited cash and no weight restrictions so I could buy a whole new wardrobe,
-try out a completely new style (or just _have_ at all style really).
+unlimited cash and no bag weight restrictions so I could buy a whole new
+wardrobe, try out a completely new style (or just _have_ a style really).
-I visited Cyberdog, which I'm told is practically mandatory when going to
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846680913/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Camden High Street by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7304/12846680913_f9e7fbede6_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Camden High Street"></a>
+
+I visited Cyberdog, which I’m told is practically mandatory when going to
Camden, a store that pretty much doubles as a night club. The lights are dimmed,
-the UV lights are on, there's a live hard trance DJ spinning records and everything.
-The place is full of rave clothes and cool trinkets, a Tetris night light that
-comes apart completely and the blocks light up as you stack them in whatever
-order you please, Pacman ghost ponchos. Quite an unique and wonderful shop.
-Sadly they don't allow you to use cameras inside the store.
+the UV lights are on, there’s a live hard trance DJ spinning records and
+everything. The place was full of rave clothes and cool trinkets. There was a
+cool Tetris night light that comes apart completely and the blocks light up as
+you stack them in whatever order you please. Also, Pacman ghost ponchos! Quite
+an unique and wonderful shop. Sadly they don't allow you to use cameras inside
+the store.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12847045074/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Cyberdog by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2893/12847045074_81f069cfc2_c.jpg" width="601" height="800" alt="Cyberdog"></a>
I spent the evening checking out my hostels open mic night, where the acts
varied from extremely talented, to please-stop-now, this is painful.
@@ -313,24 +391,29 @@ The next morning mostly got wasted at the apple store. The camera in my phone
had been showing some weird graphics distortions, which meant they were happy to
replace it on the spot. Unfortunately this mean I then had a blank phone and
needed to restore from iCloud in order to have access to any of my important
-stuff like maps and my bus ticket back to Nottingham. It turns out the wifi in
-an apple store gets hammered pretty heavily by all the people using it, so it
-took forever and then some to restore. Still, shiny brand new phone for the
-third time! It feels there's definitely been a drop in build quality from the
-iPhone 4 production to the iPhone 5.
-
-The afternoon was entirely spent at the science museum, full of fascinating
-exhibitions of aviation, mechanical computers, the materials things are made of,
-the human body and loads more. I spent 5 hours there before they kicked everyone
-out and closed, but I wish I had more time as there was so many more sections to
-visit.
+stuff like Google Maps or my bus ticket back to Nottingham. It turns out the
+wifi in an Apple Store gets hammered pretty heavily by all the people using it,
+so it took forever and then some to restore. Still, shiny brand new phone for
+the third time!
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12846804135/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Giant horse heads everywhere! by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7314/12846804135_2089d61ebc_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Giant horse heads everywhere!"></a>
+
+The afternoon was entirely spent at the London Science Museum. A place full of
+fascinating exhibitions of aviation, mechanical computers, the materials things
+are made of, the human body and loads more. I spent 5 hours there before they
+kicked everyone out and closed, but I wish I had more time as there was so many
+more sections to visit.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12847267844/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Rockets in the Science Museum by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/12847267844_c7cdef7132_c.jpg" width="800" height="601" alt="Rockets in the Science Museum"></a>
I met up with my old friend Andrew, who lived in Australia for a year a while
-back, and we went to a nice pub called "The cask" for some delicious ales and
-some very gourmet burgers, and a lot of catching up. We talked "shop" for a
-little while and it was reassuring to still be able to feel like I'm not too far
-out of the loop. I guess as quickly as tech changes, the things people enjoy
-ranting about change much more slowly.
+back. We went to a nice pub called "The Cask" for some delicious ales and some
+gourmet burgers, and a lot of catching up. We talked "shop" for a little while
+and it was reassuring to still be able to feel like I'm not too far out of the
+loop. I guess as quickly as tech changes, the things people enjoy ranting about
+change much more slowly.
+
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12847002555/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Now that's how you name a beer! by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3718/12847002555_508d328d95_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="Now that's how you name a beer!"></a>
I got the bus home late that night, which didn't make it into Nottingham until
around about 2am. I stumbled back from the bus station to Matty's place and
@@ -351,6 +434,8 @@ near the building which was used for Wayne manor in one of the Batman films, so
we checked that out too. It's an impressive mansion with a huge green grounds
surrounding it.
+<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasthenomad/12847030535/in/set-72157641676939995" title="Wayne Manor by Lucas the nomad, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7413/12847030535_e814905833_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Wayne Manor"></a>
+
The next day I was off to the airport bright and early to catch a flight to
Berlin, to find out just how large the gaps in my knowledge about the Cold War
really were.
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