Saturday, 28 January 2012

A day at Chase water and Stafford City Centre

On Wednesday, my daughter overslept and missed the 10.00 a.m. train from Manchester University to Stafford Train Station. Her boyfriend been to the station to fetch her but had to go back home  due to she was late. So we have to fetch her instead. We left our home early so that we can have some spare times to wander around the Stafford City Centre.

On the way to Stafford, we drive through Chase Water in Cannock.  Alway drive pass Chase Water and see the sunset reflect on the water. It is so beautiful. I could not resist to stop for a while to take some photos of this Chase Water.

Chase water is a reservoir in the parish of Burntwood. The reservoir was dewatered in year 2010 for repair  works to the eastern dams. The reservoir will refill to maximum level again in 2013.  Chase water is the third largest reservoir by volume in the county of Staffordshire and is also the largest body of open water in the west Midland. After taking some beautiful photos of the reservoir, we came into a ruin farmhouse which was abandoned and board up. Trixie agreed to let me take a few photos of her in this abandoned farmhouse.

Been to the Museum of Cannock Chase but they are closed. So it is a waste of journey to there. So proceed straight to Stafford. It take us about half an hour to reach there but my girl let me know that she will reach the station about 1.00 p.m., which I have a few hours to wander into city centre. Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England.

Directly opposite the train station is the Victoria Park. This Park is opened in 1908 and it is about 13 acre Edwardian riverside park with a play park, bowling green, bird cages and greenhouse.  This park had a new chidlren play area, new sand and water jet area and a brand new skateboard area. The river is full of different species of birds and all are tag at the foot. This river also attract lot of different species of birds. I have managed to take photo of 1 brown pigeon which wasn't tag at the foot.

Back to the station, my girl was right on time and was there waiting for us. Going to the town Centre for lunch. Walking along the town centre, there is Elizabethan  Ancient High House. This Ancient High House is the largest timber-framed town house in England. It is used as a museum with changing exhibition. 

After having our lunch at Costa and walking back to the car park. There was an old couple were busy choosing which pots of flowers to buy, when I look at their serious expression on looking at the flowers. I took a photo of them and amazed at the photo turn up, couldn't resist in adding this in to share with my friends.

Hope that I have the same spirit and energy like them when I grow old as them. I have to say that this is not a bad way to spent some times while waiting for someone whenever they are late by missing a train.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A day at Roman Baths and Lichfield Cathedral

I have been living in Lichfield for more than 10 years. Amazing is that I have never notice that this city is full of history. Till I have spent a day visiting the Roman baths in Wall then visit the Lichfield Cathedral.  Have no ideas that this day bring me so much pleasures and knowledge of the place.

It take about 15 minutes from my place to Wall. Where there is a Roman Baths ruins.  There is a car park which is free round the corner of the Roman Baths ruins. With the signboard showing you the walking paths which lead to this Roman baths ruins. This excavated Roman bathhouse used to be a important Roman staging post, also including Roman Inn and bathhouse.

After spending half an hour around this ruin, we have proceed to the Lichfield Cathedral. This Cathedral is also well known for *The three spired Cathedral* and it is one of last 3-spired Cathedrals in England. The three spired Cathedral is built in 1195 to 1934.  Lichfield have suffered severe damage during the English civil war.

During this English Civil war, in which all the stained glass was destroyed. In spite of this, the windows of the Cathedral contain some of the finest Medieval Flemish painted glass in existence.

The Nave of Cathedral was started in 1260. The octagonal Chapter House, completed in 1249. It is one of most beautiful parts of the Cathedral for charming stone carvings.

We have enjoy this visit to the Cathedral and proceed to the Lichfield Town Centre. But the town centre is like a dead town due there are more shops closed then trading. In the town centre there are lot of cafes and teashops where you can have a cup of tea or a all day breakfast at a price of £3.00 with tea or coffee. It is a value for money.

Near to the Cathedral, there is a park to wander around.  It is amazing that at this time in January, when wandering around the park, there is a cherry tree blooming glory that I couldn't resist myself to  take some photos of it.

I am surprised that this is the place where we walk pass almost everyday, but are not aware about the history of this place.  At least now, I take some times to appreciate the surroundings of this place whenever I am in town. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Travelling to Hong kong and Macao -2010-Part 2

I suppose to complete my part 2 of this travelling record 2 weeks ago. Due to trouble in my shop and have to stop trading within 2 weeks after New Year. At least now with a peace of mind, I am able to write again even though I am jobless now.

After taking our breakfast, we took the MTR to Kowloon station to take a ferry to Macau. The ferry fare per person is HK$150.00. This price is quite expensive if you book the hotel in Macau, which  comes with free package deals of free ferry tickets, breakfast and ferry tickets to Zhuhai,China.  A superior  room in a 5-stars hotel cost about HK$780 to HK$870.00 depending on the promotion. It is the best way to stay for a night or 2 so that there will be enough time to sight-seeing Zhuhai, China which is a beautiful city and worth a visit for shopping and food. The ferry trip took 1 hour to reach Macau.

Macau is a former Portuguese colony makes more money from gambling than anywhere in the world. It's home to the world's largest casino, The Venetian. When we reach the harbour. There are free coaches to take you to the Venetian which is free of charge. These coaches are to ferry visitors to the casino and hotel but they do not check whether you are their customers. All are welcome to go a visit of the The Venetian.

We spent about 2 hours in The Venetian which are mix of different hotels combine together with lot of different casinos around it. We are too hungry to carry on walking around the hotels and with children not allow in the casinos. We decided to take a taxi to the Senado Square. At this Square, where shops catering a fabulous of Portuguese and Chinese food. Many restaurants are expensive.  When you walk along the square there are line of vendors who are more than happy to give their food away for as tasters. From just baked cookies to crispy slices of super sweet fried pork. This is a great way to fill up and sample Macau's snacks.

We spent hours in this square where we buy the cookies and other snacks as gift for friends and relatives.  From this square all the way up there is the Ruins of St Paul's. It's only the facade remains of what was once the Jesuit Cathedral. The rest destroyed by fire. We can climb up and see the ruins from close quarters. Museum of sacred Art and Crypt near to site and it worth a visit.

This is the formula 1 racing track. Also free admission for the tourist attractions are A-Ma Temple and Gula Fort. After our shopping and sight-seeing, we take the taxi back to the The Venetian and City of Dreams Casino. The most impressive visual show of lasers of lights in a giant dome in the City of Dreams -The Bubble.

We are so happy wandering  around the The Venetian but due to we need to catch the ferry back to Hong Kong on the same night. There is a mad rush for ferry as everyone try to catch the early ferry back to Hong Kong. We reach Hong Kong about 11.15 pm and have to catch the last MTR and train back to Tai Po Market. We have manage to reach Tai Po about 12.00 a.m. and lucky there is still a food shop still open so that we can have our dinner before we take the mini bus back home.

Last day for my friends as their flight is in the afternoon, so we spent the morning in Tai Po Market to have Dim sum and then go shopping in Flower street again. Time for my friends to go back to Singapore.  Meeting up with an old friend Echo, I have not see her for about 24 years. We have dinner at a restaurant and thank to Echo for a memory night.

The next day, my sisters and nephew are going back to Singapore. We spent some times together before we depart to the airport.

Times are flying fast and then all my relatives and friends are back to Singapore. As it will be my last day in Hong Kong. This day, we spent some times visit my father-in-law and some of the relatives in Hong Kong.

Back home 3 months later, have a good new from Hong Kong that my father-in-law has recovered from his fall. He is home now and able to walk again. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law had a fall on 22.12.2011 and she is still in hospital. Wish her speedy recovery from her fall and awaiting to hear the good new for her recovery soon.

I would like to thank to my sisters, nephews, sister-in-law and cousins and all my friends in Singapore and Hong Kong whom make our these trips to Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau such happy memorable days. Three Cheers, Cheers, Cheers to all my relatives and friends.