lizziec: (Granny's garden bee)
[personal profile] lizziec
We went on holiday to Norfolk this year, to this beautiful cottage called "Remus" in Larling, through this brilliant company who let holiday cottages in five locales, despite being called "Best of Suffolk" ;)

I was pretty excited about going, but didn't realise how much I really needed to get away from everything after the year we've had so far. And I really did need to get away, and feel miles better for having done so.

We left pretty late on the 3rd, having spent the morning being relatively relaxed despite having to pack and tidy in preparation for going away for a week. It didn't really matter because, apart from the holiday we spent at home last year, this is the closest we've been to home for our holidays, with travelling time of only a couple of hours. We got to the cottage at about 5pm, and were absolutely blown away by the presentation of the place - which also turned out to be extremely comfortable. Had dinner at The Angel in Larling, which was very close to where we were staying (in fact, we could get there just using private roads!) and recommended by CAMRA. It was very tasty, and a nice way for us to spend our fifth wedding anniversary :)

We spent Saturday in and around the cottage, just relaxing - mostly just sitting and reading (I finished all of the Discworld Watch books while away) or watching DVDs, which turned out to be just what I needed, and so I started to unwind. It was breathtakingly beautiful at the cottage, and during the nights it was clear you could see just so many stars. It helped that we were off the beaten track where we were, and away from any major sources of light pollution.

On Sunday we ventured out properly for the first time in our holiday. We did the Bure Valley Railway in the morning and Great Yarmouth in the afternoon.

The Bure Valley Railway is a narrow gauge one, much like the RH&DR in Kent, and time we spent on the train was lovely :) I took lots of pictures, of which the least rubbish are here.

Our train, which was number 8 - "Thunder".

Ben looking out of the window on our train.

The train that passed us on our way back from the furthest point of the line, number 6 - "Blickling Hall".

Great Yarmouth was great fun. We had Fish and Chips there for lunch, and then spent the afternoon wandering along one of the piers (and losing about £15 in 2ps to the arcades there ;)), eating ice cream and playing Crazy Golf (which I lost by a fairly significant margin). I also had a hair wrap done, which was awesome because I've not had one since I was about 12, but have had a burning desire to have one done. I thought most touristy places did them, but in all the time I've lived in Canterbury I've not seen anywhere. Possibly because Canterbury doesn't attract the right kind of tourist? Pictures of my particular hair wrap to follow when I can get Ben to take some. Found out while getting it done that my hair is now 25 inches long, which is pretty damn long (and made the hair wrap pretty expensive, since it was charged by the length).

No pictures from Great Yarmouth. Not much to photograph, and besides, I was too busy sucking at crazy golf ;)

Monday was the most awesome day of our entire holiday. We went to Banham Zoo, which was really very quiet on the day we went - I think because the school holidays had only just ended, so school trips are at a minimum. It's a compact little zoo with loads to see and was a brilliant day out. Not just because of the usual seeing animals stuff though (though that was brilliant).

For an extra fee you can hand feed giraffes! So we did, and it was right up there with awesome days in my life. The Giraffes were so gentle, with such long tongues :D And the volunteer who was there with us was very knowledgable about them, and took a picture of us for us to keep :) Which will be scanned in soon :) Totally and utterly awesome :D :D :D

We also saw their Birds of Prey display, which was brilliant to see, after which I got to hold a Merlin.

I can thoroughly recommend Banham Zoo for a brilliant day out. It really was the hilight of our holiday.

My pictures from Banham Zoo are here - not as many as I would like, as most of my pictures of the zoo were excellent pictures of various fences, sadly ruined by the blurry animals in the background ;). Hilights below.

The owl I called "Mr Eyebrows".

Giraffes, including the youngest giraffe, who was only born in July

A Giraffe.

An American Bald Eagle and probably the best shot I took all holiday.

A bird. I can't remember what these are called, but they were very beautifully coloured and playful.

A pair of penguins being adorable.

A seal being pretty cool in a grumpy sort of way.

Otters, which were pretty much my favourite animal of the day, with the exception of the Giraffes.

A meerkat - simples!

Tuesday we spent mostly relaxing at the cottage, but did venture out to sample the Toy and Model Expo at Snetterton Circuit. It turned out to be a horribly disappointing experience. It was like an enormous, but very depressing toy shop. As we went in further it got more hap-hazard and sad. The displays of trains were half working at best, and they weren't serving any hot food at the restaurant in the place. In fact, the only lunch type of food was one solitary and rather pathetic looking prawn mayo sandwich.

Much better was St Georges Distillery, which is England's only Whisky distillery. We took the tour, which was very interesting and enjoyable. I even tried some of their fruit liqueurs, which were pretty tasty.

On Wednesday we went to the IWM at Duxford. I've been to all the other IWM branches *, in some cases multiple times, but never been to Duxford, which happened to be every bit as awesome as I was expecting. But so huge!

I really enjoyed it, and can't wait to go back, because we couldn't do everything in one day. We did get to see a Messerschmitt Bf 109 taking off on the Duxford runway, apparently heading for Jersey. That was very cool :).

The only downside to the museum was that the hangars were all really crowded, so photographing things in them was difficult. And photographing the Stratofortress was actually impossible.

*(as an aside, since when were the Cabinet War Rooms the "Churchill War Rooms" - it's not terribly accurate, or descriptive. Suspect it's to hook in more tourists)

My pictures from IWM Duxford are here. Hilights below.

The Sally B, a B17 which played the role of the Memphis Belle in the 1990 film of the same name. One side of its nose is painted like the Memphis Belle, the other side is painted with its own scheme. Sally B's own nose artwork is NSFW.

I loved the American Memorial at Duxford. It was really beautiful. And I'm pretty pleased with this picture of it.

A B17 engine.

A Blackbird. Which is really cool, which is why this picture is included even though, frankly, it's pretty poor.

Thursday was spent in Norwich. We were only there for about half of the day, so that we could sort the cottage out before we went home. The object of the trip to Norwich was to visit Colman's Museum and Shop and to go to Caley's chocolate shop (and cafe). The Colman's thing was small but beautifully formed, and had some cool products. Caley's was tasty :)

Our final Friday was dull in comparison with the previous days - filled with cleaning and then driving home, but we did stop at Bluewater for lunch at Ed's Diner (their Milkshakes are awesome) and Krispy Kreme.

It was really good to be away, but it was quite nice to get home again.

The fantastic news, and a good way to round off our holiday, is this was our last holiday in which I had to do all the driving, because on Monday, Ben passed his driving test first time \o/ (though this does mean I now have to share the car ;))
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September 2013

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