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tomandsteph’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 15 Apr 2007

Location: London (mostly), England

MapOn St Patricks Day, we managed to get into O'Neills Irish pub in the city with about 35000 other people!! The Guinness was flowing freely and the mood of the crowd was enhanced by a big win by the Ireland rugby team in the 6 nations rugby and an upset win in the World Cup cricket. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone had a great time (see photos).

I spent the next weekend visiting my mate Kerr-E in Canterbury (usually about an hour and a half east of London, but on this occasion 3 and a half hours east of London due to a flat tyre on the bus!!). Managed to see a bit of Canterbury and the surrounding area, but am keen to take Steph back as there is a lot to explore including the Isle of Thanet (famous for cabbage I think!!??) and the White Cliffs of Dover (may not sound exciting, but quite spectacular)

Last weekend, a mate from home, Katie Hallinan spent her last weekend in London before returning to Oz and led both of us astray, starting with Steph, Min, Channy and Al on the Friday night when a couple of drinks turned into an all night drinking bender that resulted in huge branches of pussy willow being pulled from the trees, and me on Saturday night where somehow I ended up at The Ministry of Sound nightclub in East London.....

Armed with our 99p road atlas and 99p English Pub Guide, KerrE, Steph and I left London on Good Friday for a road trip. First stop, once we got clear of the city, was Stonehenge. It was an absolutely beautiful day and this added to the peaceful and intriguing aura surrounding this historic site. Despite not being able to get that close to the stones, the audio tour was very interesting and its strange having something you've seen so many times in pictures right in front of you. Luckily, after a few warnings from Nick and others, there were no Clark Griswald moments resulting in the destruction of one of the greatest historical sites in the world (Just get in the car Russ!!). After Stonehenge, we made our way to a lovely little pub tucked away in a picturesque ye olde English village. After a big lunch and quiet ale, we dragged ourselves away from the chatty locals and headed for the ancient Roman Baths in the aptly named city of Bath. Another amazing piece of English heritage, with the natural springs and original drainage systems still operating as they did when the Romans occupied the area some 2000 years ago. We spent the night at an old English pub in the Cotswolds and headed off the next morning (KerrE even successfully tackled the magic roundabout) back to London via Oxford, where we stopped for lunch and a wander around.

We returned to London on Saturday afternoon and for those of you who haven't heard, Steph and I got engaged!! Its exciting times and we can't wait to get home and celebrate with everyone later in the year. We're both really happy and a big thanks for all the messages and well wishing comments we've received from home. There are a couple of photos of the ring (or 'the precious', as it has become known) in the photo page for all those who requested a picture.

Easter Sunday was spent in Green Park on deck chairs enjoying the wonderful English Spring weather. A few champagnes, throwing of the frisby followed by a meal in China Town completed a fantastic weekend.

This weekend Min cooked Tom and I a special engagement dinner. We meet Min at Angel for a quick cider after work on friday, and then headed to her pad in Hackney where Tom and I were spoilt with a beautiful meal and lovely wine. With all the wedding talk and travel plans, the night got away from us and before we knew it the sun was up and we decided to call it a night - Thanks Minny.

Thanks again for all the messages. Can't wait to catchup with everyone.