Super summer holidays with my mummy!

July 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm (Travel)

Quite surprising really… but amazingly I’m on holiday again!  Who would have thought?  Mum and I have been travelling now for two weeks and are looking forward to our Mt Blanc Circuit Walk.  So a quick mid trip update for your reading pleasure.

I have to admit that the last week before heading off was very stressful.  Somehow I managed to pack up my room, say goodbye to my classes and find somewhere to live.  I am extremely grateful to everybody who supported me during this time, helped me out and put up with my mood swings.  (You all know who you are… but particularly Katha for picking up the pieces when it all got too much)

Mum and I met at Costa Terminal 1 in Heathrow without any hiccups, picked up our hire car (fondly nicknamed the BEAST) and made our way to Nottingham.  We spent two nights with mum’s university friend Chris and also saw mum’s aunt and uncle, visited the gardens of Chatsworth, (which Pemberly in Pride and Prejudice was based on) and went shopping.  Somehow we managed to purchase exactly the same pair of jeans… although I still think it is more of a miracle that mum actually bought jeans AND has been wearing them.  They look awesome on her, I must admit.

We said goodbye to Chris and headed up to Scarborough.  For those of you who don’t know, this is where mum grew up.  We stayed in what was originally my mother’s grandmother’s house with her cousin Christine.  Her other cousin Simon had kept both days of our visit for free for walking (I’m not sure what he does normally) so mum spent both days walking.  I tagged along on the first day and enjoyed a beautiful costal walk to Runswick Bay.  On the second day I spent time with my second cousin and her two gorgeous children.  We had ice-cream on the promenade and I practiced pushing the pram (even up a hill).  I think children are a long way off somehow!

With more family to visit we headed on down to Wales to see my Aunt Judith.  I’m actually the first of us children that she has met.  She lives in this amazing old barn conversion with an absolutely stunning garden and a gorgeous cat called Ting.  Mum and Judith look quite alike and they enjoyed reminiscing and talking about family.  Among other things, I learnt that my Great Grandmother worked at Macintoshes Toffees and that it is a great family mystery as to what my aunt Madeline used to do during the day!  We visited a lovely old church dedicated to Saint Melangell…. who is the patron saint of hares??!?  Mum and I also climbed the Aran, which is the sixteenth highest summit in Wales.  The views were well worth the effort and I rewarded myself with a box of barbeque shapes at the top.

Next up a few days in London with mum’s cousin from the other side of the family.  I hadn’t seen Frances and her family in quite some time so it was good to catch up with them all.  It was particularly fantastic to see Rosie, who is no longer a little girl but a delightful young lady.  In London I spent a full day with Suzie and her partner John.  We checked out an Australian cafe she had heard about and had AMAZING lattes, took a boat ride to Greenwich and walked through the market and saw a production of Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlow at Shakespeare’s Globe.  Seeing a play at the Globe has been at the top of my London list for quite some time now, but this is the first time it has been possible as I have always managed to be there in winter in the past.  (Last time I was there it snowed, this time I wore shorts!)

Mum and I also caught up with our last family member of the trip on our last night.  We spent the afternoon on a ‘Jonathan Random Fact Tour’, which I can highly recommend especially as it also included a visit to Hamleys.  Afterwards we had dinner with him and his gorgeous partner Kirrily, who just happens to come from the best country in the world.

After ten days in England we flew back to Germany to visit Damaris in Cologne.  She had us quickly back in training for the Mt Blanc walk, as she had organised a massive bike tour.  We rode from Cologne to Brühl and visited Schloss Augustusburg, Schloss Falkenlust and the surrounding gardens.  The two properties and the surrounding gardens have been UESCO Heritage Sites since 1984 and it is easy to see why.  The gardens are carefully laid out and extensive and are the best preserved Baroque gardens in the world.  The two palaces were also very impressive.  Unfortunately Schloss Augustusburg was closed but we visited the smaller Falkenlust and the adjourning chapel.  I particularly liked the tiling around the stair case which was made up of over 9,000 carefully laid out blue and white tiles.

On our last day we visited the chocolate museum, the cathedral, the Lego Shop (where we all made our own figure) and walked though the city.  We also took mum to a very impressive camping store and amazingly she walked out empty handed.  To finish off we had dinner at the Früh beer hall with my Cora one of the girls I play hockey with.  Kölsch beer is definitely high on my favourites list.

So now we are back in Darmstadt for one night.  I needed to swap clothes and organise a few things (like travel insurance for our Mt Blanc walk).  Tonight I’m leaving mum at home and taking my dancing shoes out!  Might need to be careful though… 6am train trip tomorrow.

So mum and I are definitely enjoying our adventures and of course enjoying each other’s company (let’s hope this lasts).  We would like to send a huge thank you out to all the people we have seen and stayed with.  You really have made our trip fantastic.!  Mum also sends her love and is particularly looking forward to Mt Blanc… as of course am I.

xoxo

P.s  More photos?  Check out https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150303467585589.377889.509745588&l=1e4f9486d7

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