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Originally uploaded by Simon Bradshaw
Since we all love pictures of cats, I thought I'd share this one from Mudchute Farm on Sunday. S/he was sitting atop the cages holding the exotic chickens, looking rather miffed - whether it was frustration at being kept away from feathered lunch, or annoyance at us for taking photos, we couldn't tell.
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It was a very odd morning yesterday, walking through Canary Wharf as the fog started to burn off. Photos via my trusty iPhone; click for bigger versions.

Foggy CW 1 Foggy CW 2
Foggy CW 3 Foggy CW 4
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Yes, I continue to be very slow about posting pics from a trip that was nearly seven weeks ago now. (Earlier instalments here).

Passau and the Austrian Lake District )
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The plan for Day 3 had been to drive north-east out of Regensburg to the northern end of the Bayerscher Wald, or Bavarian Forest, the national park that runs roughly north-west to south-east along the Geman/Czech border. It has a reputation of being very pretty, and probably is on a nice day.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a nice day.

I'd planned a route into the forest along what were marked on our map as the scenic roads. However, the forest is at an elevation of several hundred metres, and that's pretty much where the cloudbase was. Add rain that varied from drizzle to bucketing down, and most of our view consisted of narrow road, trees and the odd glimpse into bits of valley that would have looked lovely if not full of cloud. Also, very out-of-season looking ski resorts. We eventually stopped for a snack at a rather traditional-looking ski lodge, where we got to try the very nice Bavarian sweet Kaiserschmarrn - basically, shredded pancake with fruit preserve. Tasty and filling, but like much Bavarian cuisine probably not good for you in excess (where 'excess' is 'more than one portion a month').

We needed somewhere to stay, and on the advice of our guidebook had picked Zwiesel. Apparently, Zwiesel is the centre of the regional glass industry and, um, they make glass there. Oh, and have they mentioned the glass shops? It also had a hotel where the interior design was so 1970s it almost hurt. We quickly escaped to look around Zwiesel, which turned out to resemble a Bavarian version of [insert dull Home Counties town of your choice here]. In the rain.

There was a glass factory, where you could wander round looking at glass products being made (interesting for about ten minutes) and then exit through, yes, a huge shop full of glassware. Outside was the Great Wineglass Pyramid of Zwiesel, of which more in a moment.

About the only thing to see in the town itself was the Waldmuseum. It's rather odd, to say the least. There was a complete C19th pharmacy on one floor, and a huge selection of saws and other tools on another. The wildlife display comprised an array of the scariest stuffed animals I've ever seen. We fled.

After another look at the guidebook we drove a few miles to Frauenau, which was smaller but prettier and had a glass museum that was actually a museum about glass rather than a glorified shop. (Website, in German.) As well as a genuinely good museum about the history of glassmaking, it also had an art gallery of glassware ranging from "I'd love that!" to "Didn't H P Lovecraft write about that sort of artist?"

By now the weather was easing up a bit so having returned to the hotel for a nap we headed out in the other direction, to the hill village of Bodenmais. Bodenmais is everything Zwiesel isn't - mainly pretty - as well as being hilly to the point it makes Guildford or Edinburgh look flat. We ended up dining in the restaurant of the Hotel Neue Post, where the food was both excellent and (44 Euros for the two of us) very good value.

On the way back to our hotel we passed through the centre of Zwiesel again and got to see the Great Wineglass Pyramid as illuminated at night.

GlassPyramid1 GlassPyramid2

Yup, 94,000 wine glasses nicely stacked up. I worked out that if a normal portion of German white wine had been poured into each that would be about sixteen and a half tons of liebfraumich, which may be a disturbing image for some.
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I've been gently reminded that I am very slack at posting trip photos, to the point that I've still not done much with the vast number I took on our US/Canada trip nearly a year ago. So, as a start, let's get going with the Bavaria Road Trip that [ profile] darth_hamster and I went on last month...

Our plan was to fly in to Munich, take the train into the city and stay overnight before picking up our car on Sunday morning. Saturday evening we had a very pleasant wander around the city centre, culminating in what was to be the first of several very, very filling Bavarian meals. Bavaria's cuisine is great, so long as you don't mind having half a pig on your plate every meal. The following morning, before getting the car, we had another walk, this time getting a few pictures. (Click for bigger versions)

Munich Piccies )

On next to pick up the car. Now, this was meant to be what [ profile] darth_hamster had dubbed my Mid Life Crisis Holiday, with me renting a BMW Z4. Alas, when we arrived at the rental centre they were most apologetic, as the car reserved for us had an electrical fault. No equivalent was available, so they offered us an upgrade.

To an X5.

Yes, we had BMW's spiritual successor to the Tiger II. The first problem was getting this behemoth out of the rather confined courtyard at the rental pickup and through an access lane about an inch wider than it was. Fortunately the Beast was equipped with BMW's system that stitches together the view from all-round cameras to give you a simulated overhead picture of your car, complete with colour-coded sonar-like proximity warning and computer-predicted turn circles. (Also, much to our relief, the rental staff had signed off a prominent scrape where someone else had had real problems getting out.) This first challenge dealt with, we programmed the satnav for Regensburg and set off...
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Given that a lot of us are busy, or stressed, or both, I thought I'd share a few pictures from when I took a couple of hours out the other day to head over to Mudchute Farm and take pictures of cute baby animals.

Mudchute Sheep 3

Image hosted @

Zoo Trip

Mar. 10th, 2008 08:51 am
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Rhino 2
Originally uploaded by Simon Bradshaw
[ profile] ms_cataclysm, R and I braved the weather on Saturday afternoon (if you saw the England-Scotland match, we were a mile to the northwest of it) to wander around Edinburgh zoo. Conditions meant that I didn't get quite as many pictures as I'd have liked, but I did catch the following.

What did we see at the zoo today? )
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After a bit of a difficult morning I finally got around to taking advantage of today's lovely weather to head up to Loch Leven, about 40 minutes north of Edinburgh. It was a beautiful sight, millpond-flat under a clear blue sky, and I was able to get a fair few nice pictures. This is probably my favourite, a panorama made from three shots at the edge of the loch where the lochside path runs past a shallow marshy inlet.

Loch Leven Marsh Pan

More pictures from the set can be seen here.

On the way back, I drove over the Forth Road Bridge just as the sun was setting. The Forth Rail Bridge was a magnificent sight to my left, so I peeled off the A90 to go to South Queensferry and the shore near the bridge. More photos, of which this one came out best; it's a very long exposure to blur the motion of the water.

Forth Rail Bridge
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Sculptures outside the Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh.

Sphere Sculpture 1 Sphere Sculpture 2 Sphere Sculpture 3
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Down to the weekly Farmers' Market on Castle Terrace this morning, where not only can you buy all manner of organic and freshly-made produce, but you can even get your fish smoked in front of you:

Smoking Fish 1.jpg Smoking Fish 2

Smoking Fish 3 Smoking Fish 4
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As seen from the balcony of [ profile] purplecthulhu's flat; clicking will lead to a larger image.

Many Flying Things )


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Simon Bradshaw

September 2017



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