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Alyssa The Not So Brave
29 January 2008 @ 02:41 pm
So, where in the world was Alyssa Noel Markham? Salzburg, Austria - birthplace of Mozart and filming location for The Sound of Music! Congratulations to luthienofold for her correct answer!

Beautiful views and finding NarniaCollapse )

Finding Mozart, Christmas markets, and another ResidenzCollapse )
Current Mood: ditzyditzy
Alyssa The Not So Brave
29 January 2008 @ 04:31 am
This took awhile. No excuse other than I was very lazy.

So, where in the world is Alyssa Noel Markham? Munich, Germany! Congrats to luthienofold on her correct answer! Still need your address, honey!

Arriving and the walking tour (Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, Glockenspiel, Third Reich sights)Collapse )

The Residence and Haufbrauhaus - including men in lederhosen!Collapse )

Dachau - Hitler's first concentration campCollapse )
Current Mood: awakeawake
Alyssa The Not So Brave
22 December 2007 @ 09:46 am
So, where in the world is Alyssa Noel Markham? Brussels, Belgium! Congrats to savage_penguin and cereselle for their correct guesses!

Well folks, I’m both surprised and pleased to tell you that I made it to Brussels with absolutely zero incident. This is one of the first times I have ever had a trip go absolutely smoothly, even just one leg of it! The trip to London was dull, but I am proud to say I navigated the London underground without a hitch! The Eurostar was interesting for all of ten minutes before it got old (though the silence when we went under the water was pretty cool). I arrived in Brussels at 9:30PM and quickly arrived at my hostel. The first day of my trip is sadly uneventful as, after some lovely conversation with one of my hostel-mates, I went to sleep in my very squeaky bed.

The next day started early and after dressing I hurried down to the continental breakfast that, I kid you not, consisted of five pieces of bread, one slice of cheese, a bowl of corn flakes, a glass of juice, and a hot chocolate. The condiments included jam, butter, and chocolate frosting. I’m forced to agree with Lora, my hostel-mate, “When did chocolate frosting become a condiment?” And before you comment, no, it wasn't nutella, it was chocolate frosting.

With chocolate soaked bread warming my belly, I made my way out into the open (and freezing) air of Brussels.
Parliament and gay sex in parksCollapse )

Belvue Museum and under the royal palaceCollapse )

Graffiti and a churchCollapse )

Food!Collapse )

Nighttime adventuresCollapse )

More food and peeing little boysCollapse )

Goodbye Brussels!Collapse )
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Alyssa The Not So Brave
02 December 2007 @ 09:51 am
A bit long in coming, but better late than never!

So, where in the world was Alyssa Noel Markham? In Edinburgh, Scotland!

Congrats to twisterfairy, savage_penguin, slashfairy, and ailei on their winning guesses! Thanks to everyone else who guessed, too!

Edinburgh was one of the trips that I was most looking forward to. Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to go to Scotland. I'm part Scottish, I'm fascinated by the history, and, well, the accents aren't too bad either. For a weekend trip I ended up packing a backpack, throwing two coats into a pillowcase, and bringing my laptop. It was an eleven hour bus ride from the South of Wales to the North of Scotland, but, with movies, music, and good friends, it passed quickly.

Also sleep. Sleep helped.

Prince Street, The Royal Mile, Bagpipers, William Wallace, and moreCollapse )

Edinburgh CastleCollapse )

Food and misadventuresCollapse )

Ghost tourCollapse )

Night fun and more misadventuresCollapse )

The Edinburgh Library and Royal Scottish Museum including sillinessCollapse )

Haggis and goodbyeCollapse )

As always, there are a ton of pictures left out of this post. If you want to see them, send me an email or leave a comment.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Alyssa The Not So Brave
15 October 2007 @ 08:56 pm
So, where in the world was Alyssa Markham? In Bath, England!

Congrats to twisterfairy, cereselle, fisher_queen, and ailei on their winning guesses! Thanks to everyone else who guessed, too!

Bath is most well known as the site for the ruins of the roman baths that gave the town its name. These ruins are the most intact and largest bathhouse in all of England. However, that is not the only reason the visit Bath. The Bath Abbey is a magnificent church, dating all the way back to 1499. The Halbourne Museum is a breathtaking collection of paintings from the 16th century on, antique furniture, silver, and even Ancient Roman artifacts. The entire city of Bath is enthralling and, within two hours, I found I wanted to move there for good.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We left Fulton House at 8:00AM as usual and the two and a half hour coach ride was…decent. I tried to fall asleep, but didn’t manage until halfway through. We arrived at Bath around 10:30AM and were told…have a good day? This came as a shock to those of us who had expected some sort of tour. We all wandered around in a daze for a few moments until we found the maps. First on my list was The Roman Baths and I headed there straight away.

Bath was surprisingly easy to navigate. I had expected it to be similar the tangled knot of streets that was Swansea, but Bath actually seemed to have some sort of sense when it came to roads. Plus, it was sort of hard to miss the huge spire that rose above the entire Bath skyline.

Bath AbbeyCollapse )

There was a little heritage vault connected to the abbey and I checked it out. It was interesting, some good bits of history. Worth checking out if you’re ever in the area. It couldn’t hold my interest for long, though, not with the baths looming so close nearby.

Roman BathsCollapse )

After leaving the baths I headed to the pump room to try some of the natural spring water pumped into the baths. It was…not particularly good. People kept telling me it was vile, which isn’t true, it’s just not something I would regularly drink.

I was getting pretty hungry at that point so I walked down to Sally Lunn’s, which is the oldest housing in Bath and home of the famous Sally Lunn Buns.

Sally Lunn's Kitchen MuseumCollapse )

That was really all there was to see, though. Full and ready for some more walking, I went in search of the Jane Austen Center. Along the way I was waylaid by the Victoria Art Gallery, but I was not allowed to photograph anything. The photography exhibit that is currently up right now is amazing. They have the current years entries and also several entries from previous years, going all the way back to 1853!

I once more made my way to the Jane Austen Center and finally found it! Unfortunately, it was five pounds entry and I was running out of cash. Since I’ve pretty much decided I’m going to live in Bath one day and I plan to return soon, I decided to save that for another trip. Of course, that didn’t stop me from snapping a picture.

Jane Austen CenterCollapse )

I wandered around for awhile after that, looking for someplace cheap that I could enter. I went through back ways and alleys, found the fashion museum, declined to go in due once more the money, and slowly but surely meandered to the Halbourne Museum. Oh, but on my way there, I saw this:

HAHAHACollapse )

Back to the Halbourne Museum.

Halbourne MuseumCollapse )

When I left the museum it was around 4:45, so I decided to return to the coach. Even with a map, I got lost three times. I wandered and really got to get an appreciation for how lovely the city is.

Last few shots of BathCollapse )

Finally, miracle of miracles – I managed to find the damned car park. We left at 6:00PM and arrived back in Swansea, safe and sound.

I fully intend to come back to Bath and, hopefully, one day move here. I really just fell in love with the place.

So, that was my trip! I took tons more pictures, so if you want some, shoot me an email or give me a comment and I'll send some your way.
Current Mood: happyhappy
Alyssa The Not So Brave
14 October 2007 @ 12:41 pm
So, where in the world was Alyssa Noel Markham? Stonehenge and Avebury!

Congrats to savage_penguin, twisterfairy, infinity_plus_1, and stardustenigma on their winning guesses! Thanks to everyone else who guessed, too!

My trip to Stonehenge and Avebury doesn't have much of a story behind it. We were escorted the entire way, so there’s no interesting tales of strange twists and turns, nor did I get lost (okay, that’s a lie, I actually did manage to get lost. On a guided tour. In a town with a population of 80. Yeah.) So, I’ve decided to do this post thusly. I’ll give a brief introductions into the history and background to each site and then let the pictures do the talking, with occasional commentary.

First off was Avebury. As mentioned, Avebury is a town with an approximate population of eighty residents located about an hour away from Stonehenge. Less well known than its stone circle sister, Avebury is nonetheless just as impressive. Whereas Stonehenge has detail on its side, Avebury has sheer size. Enclosing an area of over twenty-eight acres, it’s circumference is measured at 1,100 feet around and, in it’s heyday, was a complete stone circle. Though many of the stones remain today, some of them were destroyed by towns people at the urging of the church. However, what does remain to day is still impressive. The stone at Avebury are also much older than Stonehenge. It dates back almost 5,000 years – nearly 200 years before the pyramids! Another astounding features of Avebury is the huge ditch that surrounds the stone circle. 1,381 feet long, 68 feet wide and 36 feet deep, this ditch was dug with only the tools of the time – namely deer antlers and hands. For all we do know about Avebury, there’s even more that we don’t. Why was it built? It’s true that the magnetic levels at Avebury are much higher than in other parts of the world, but why is that significant? How did they erect the stones? The questions outweigh the answers tremendously. One thing can be said though – Avebury is a captivating and awe inspiring place.

It’s also covered in sheep and sheep poo. Just warning you.

Avebury PicturesCollapse )

Next was Stonehenge. We’ve all heard of the great Stonehenge before – but did you know that Stonehenge as we know it today took over 1,500 years to erect? The amazing formation of trilithons that we see today started with a shallow ditch. The site was added too, started over, re-added and worked on over those 1,500 years before finally being abandoned. Like Avebury, we don’t know exactly why Stonehenge was erected or who, precisely erected it. We know it wasn’t druids and we know that the monument lines up well with some equinox events, but nothing concrete has arisen yet. There are two popular myths for how the stones came to be there. One is that the devil stole them from an old woman and erected them and the other is that Merlin used magic to moved the Giant’s Ring from Ireland to England. The circle is made up of two types of stone – preseli bluestone which comes from Wales, nearly 155 miles away – and sarsens, a type of sandstone. Stonehenge is currently roped off to the public, but it is opened on certain days, such as the summer and winter solstices. I’m going to try and go back during that time so I can give the stones a touch. The standing stones are not the only thing of interest at Stonehenge, though. In the surrounding area are hundreds of barrows, or ancient burial sites. These graves look like mini hills and on the ridge across from Stonehenge you can see several in a row. This is called the King’s Barrow Ridge. All in all, Stonehenge is well worth the trip. It wasn’t too touristy when I went and the stones really are a marvel to look at. Also, no sheep poo, which is a plus.

Stonehenge PicturesCollapse )

And that was my trip! If you want more pictures, I took tons, just email me and I’ll send them your way.
Current Mood: groggygroggy