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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Tale of two cities and other things!

We had an outing last Saturday - again we took the train to EXETER.

Where we decided to follow the City Wall Trail which is a self guided walk round the various parts of the wall which remain - 70% of it is still in existence.

This lovely mosaic was near the end of the walk - isn't it beautiful?  Do click on the photos to enlarge them as then you can see the details better.

Not just a pile of old rubble but part of the ancient wall - originally built by the Romans about 200 AD but repaired by others over the centuries although some of the original Roman work still exists.

 Another section of the wall is situated in a peaceful grassy area - really quiet.

This information board was at the South Gate which had at one time been a prison and I was fascinated to see where the phrase "living on a shoe string" came from!  You learn something new every day!

Having completed the trail we had lunch in the Real Food Shop which I would definitely recommend.

Then yesterday we took advantage of South West Trains offer of £15 day returns to anywhere in their region on Saturdays and Sundays till beginning of September and went to LONDON

I liked the monochrome scene with just a little dash of red in the boat.  I tried later to get the same view with a couple of red buses crossing the bridge but ended up without St Pauls in the frame!

 I wanted to go here where I purchased a pair of sandals and from there we walked along the Brompton Road towards Knightsbridge passing Brompton Square where at one time my aunt had worked in one of these houses and I wanted to see it again - I remember visiting her occasionally when she lived here (watch out I feel another memories post coming on!)

I love the architecture you see especially if you look up when walking in London - this is of course the V and A.

After lunch we parted ways and I went to Covent Garden where I hoped to find this shop having been unable to do so last time I was in London.  This time I was in luck and spent a happy time browsing and finally left with a purchase.  Everywhere I saw so many flowers like this - wonder why it is mainly pubs which do this though?

We met up again and then made our way towards the South Bank and Waterloo station.  We climbed up the steps to visit this lovely area of garden - who would believe that it is on the roof of a building on the South Bank

It had been on my list of places to visit for a while and I will have to go again as I have just discovered that there is more than we saw as it has been extended over to the Hayward Gallery as well!

We were lucky with the weather as although there was a shower it was whilst we were inside but on the way home the skies darkened and it began to rain but by then we didn't care!

On Tuesday we went for a walk - an AA (as in Automobile Association and not Alcoholics Anonymous!) walk Mr M had found on the internet which sounded just our cup of tea being about 5.5 miles and taking around 3 hours.  I made us a picnic and filled a flask with tea and we set off for Minterne Magna.

We had printed out the instructions and a diagramatic map but fell at the first hurdle as the path stated had been closed and now it started back at the car park.  So we had wasted a quarter of an hour before we got going!

The route was lovely although at times we couldn't understand the instructions nor the map and indeed we met a lady with a couple of dogs who happened to be doing the same walk who was also having difficulty.

We reached The Cerne Giant about 1.30 and made use of one of the benches in the little viewing area there to sit and have our lunch. Not every lunchtime that we spend viewing a naked man whilst eating our sarnies!!

After lunch we set off again and soon reached the pretty village of Cerne Abbas.  Where I enquired at the Village shop whilst buying a bottle of water where we would find the Pottery mentioned on our instructions only to learn it had closed 10 years ago!

This path was quite difficult to walk along being so narrow and I felt a bit like a mountain goat or sheep but less agile.  There were many lovely wildflowers including  delicate pale blue harebells which I haven't seen for many years along with soft mauve scabious and lots of bees and butterflies flitting about.  We met a group of about 20 ramblers going the opposite direction and had to scramble to one side where the bank was a little wider to let them pass!  It did give us a few moments to get our breath back though.

 By now we were lost and none of the things we were told to look out for appeared to be where they should nor was the diagram much good either - moral here is to ensure the stated route is up to date and to take an Ordnance Survey map along as well!

 It was all very scenic though and we did eventually find our way back to Mintern Abbas...
 ... see here is the house and gardens I had wondered if we might visit when we got back thinking it might be about 3.30 but... is the church clock showing 5.15!!  We'd been walking for 5 hours apart from the sit down to eat our sandwiches.  It was a lovely route and would have been even more enjoyable had we known where we were going.

On Wednesday we had thought of going to Salisbury for the day but after our tiring day on Tuesday we stayed at home though I did walk into town to pick up a library book I had reserved.

Speaking of library books here are a couple of recommendations you might like:

 If you like Victoria Hislop's The Island and The Return you might like this one - I hadn't known much about modern Greek history, I am ashamed to say, so it was educational too for me as well as an enjoyable read.
This one is written by a husband and wife taking turns to tell of their voyage down through France by canal to the Mediterranean.  They left London with their two small children and set off into the unknown - a really interesting read.  Check this one out here.

If you are still with me - you deserve a medal!  And to think I said I was giving up blogging!


  1. You do live near some lovely countryside Jane!
    Very interesting about the shoe string, I never knew that either! The bird mosaic is beautiful. :)
    V x

  2. heheee.... so glad you didn't give up blogging. I always enjoy going on walks with you! (I feel sorry for the poor folks who had to beg for food--that would be such a horrible situation to be in.)

  3. I really enjoy your days out, they take me to places I've never been to, so thanks. Glad you found the Gundrun shop, I've made a mental note as to where it is now :-)

  4. I wish I had known about the city walk when I was in Exeter.
    Your other walk sounds very confused - which AA did you say it was?
    Lovely all the same!

  5. Thanks for the lovely walks, Jane. Great pictures.

  6. A lovely post full of variety. That mosaic is really beautiful.

  7. A couple , or should I say a few, very full and interesting days there Jane.... and thanks for the book recommendations.

  8. Still with you, and very glad you didn't give up blogging :)

  9. Lovely photos again, Jane, I do enjoy your posts. In fact when I spotted the first two I thought we were still in Barcelona! Lx

  10. lovely atmospheric post, Marigold, thank you! Fancy you buying some Varca sandals, they are based in Sussex not far from me and I keep meaning to go for a look! C x

  11. Great post, fantastic photos:) Greetings

  12. Hi Jane, I'm so glad you did come back to blogging! You've been on some very interesting adventures and it's fun to go along with you through the photos and words. Those two books, especially the last one, sound quite interesting to me. There was a time when it seemed I read travel narratives almost exclusively, and they still hold a lot of charm for me.

  13. I am so glad to find that you are still blogging Jane. A great post with lots of interesting detail. I was up at Covent Garden last week and had no Idea that clothes shop was there. I will look out for it next time. I would have loved the walk you went on but I am useless with directions and the walk would probably have taken me a day!

  14. Thank goodness you didn't give up blogging Jane, although mine has almost dried up. Your days out are a real treat for a stay-at-home like me.

  15. I love Exeter, but I never saw the mosaic. It's so pretty.
    How nice to see you here in Blogland, I hope all is well with you Jane xx

  16. I love these posts. They are incident packed and rich with so much visual and written information. You are the proof that so many interesting places and experiences are not that far from home.

  17. Smashing walk but maybe an OS map would be a good idea next time! Love finding out meanings of well used phrases!

  18. Just to let you know that I've tried to read your latest post that popped up in my feed 'Summer in the city' but when I clicked on it to read it, it said 'page not found'. x


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