Thursday 27 June 2013

My visit to Canterbury, London and beyond

Frequent readers may note that the blog has been quiet as of late this month but don't worry, I have a perfectly valid excuse, at least from my point of view. This month, I had a hectic visit to the UK to visit some relatives and generally do a bit of sightseeing. I've been to the charming Cathedral-and-University-town of Canterbury in England's garden region of Kent for around 10 days, after which I took the train to incredibly-complicated and ever-so-noisy London (I admit, I favoured Canterbury better) where, as you can imagine, I loitered immensely at the museums there.

I don't usually do personal posts but I suppose it's been too long since the last one. Instead of presenting a wall of text, I'll post photos of the stages of my trips, from Bahrain Airport's departure till Heathrow's, and I'll try to keep it short (I took 400 photographs, incredibly).

Bahrain Airport and Departure:
I got the window seat and being the over-excited person I am, I snapped photos out the window. In my defence, it was a six-hour flight.

Morning flights are the worst.

Basra's river networks.

This is probably Basra. Probably.

We approached the mountains of Kurdistan

This is somewhere over Central Anatolia but I forgot its name.

Shadows of clouds!

Its shadow reminded me of Asia, somehow.

Still in Turkey, it's amazing how clouds look like from above.

The Romanian coastline, from the Black Sea. First time I see Europe.

Another view of the coast. Romania is green....

...and just as cloudy as Turkey.

Hungary and Austria were super-cloudy, I assumed it was flooding.

Spotted this monster cloud just south of Dresden (6 June)

I see German land for the first time!

Approaching the Netherlands

Final piece of continental Europe, Dutch land reclamation fully visible.
Train ride!
This was the first time I ever used a train so naturally, I was overly excited. The train moved so fast and at times, I thought we'd hit the train on the other side of the tracks! Note to self, never sit by the window ever again.

I think I now realise why Kent is called England's garden.


Canterbury is a small city located in southeast England and a popular tourist destination amongst the British (and generally anyone who likes really old buildings). The pride of the city is the majestically built Canterbury Cathedral that was first founded in 597 AD, which also hosts the leader of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Aside from that, the hub of the city is the seemingly never-ending multitude of ancient buildings lining up High Street, forming Canterbury's city centre. One observation I've made is that, as a person coming from a country were public transportation is neglected, the amazing efficiency of the bus system in the city came as a surprise. It was well maintained and reasonably cheap, I only wished this was the case in Bahrain.
Old Blighty lives up to its name.

Old and new Canterbury; the city walls - now a walkway!

Canterbury castle's walls were walking paths! How awesome is that?
A mound dating back to Roman times.

Found this close by (stupid graffiti)
One of the many ruined towers along the walls.

It goes on for a while.

To your left; trees growing in the adjacent park (I've never seen so much greenery)
To your right, asphalt.

These flowers were everywhere. Can someone identify them?

This was in the park, it looked stunning.

Amazing view.

I found so many pennies in the fountain

Canterbury's city centre! So busy and bustling with tourists.

And the first museum I visit; nicknamed The Beaney.

2:30pm 27/6/2013 - Well that is enough photos for now at least, due to time constraints I'll post more photos of my trip at a later time (making this one really long photo-post). Thank you for your patience and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section. 

10th of July, 2013 - Well that was a rather long break. To compensate, here are some photos from the Beaney.

From what I gathered, the Royal Museum & Free Library (cutely called The Beaney) is dedicated primarily to a Canterbury-born Dr. James Beaney, a Victorian surgeon in the British army who served in the Crimean War and later became a politician in Australia. In the building, there was also a permanent art gallery showcasing the works of the renown English landscape artist, Thomas Sidney Cooper, who had a thing for cattle.

A friend told me the place was basically the treasure house of a Victorian adventurer... he wasn't joking.

A donation from the public in the Cooper exhibit.

One of his works (apologies for the horrible quality)

It has to be said that this looks more impressive in person.

Upstairs in the building lies Oriental "loots", such as this camel skull.

And the obligatory ancient-Egyptian cat statues.

Medals belonging to Dr. Beaney (he was a busy man)

A letter written in blood, showcased on the top floor.

Trophies amongst others.

More loot from the Orient.

This was in the animal exhibit. A stuffed falcon, I believe.

More stuffed birds.

A fox... (Look away, bunny)

Stuffed red squirrels

Materials were also on display.

I've always wanted to see a badger...

Taj Mahal painting in the museum.

And amazing china.

If only I remembered to look at the labels.
A bust of Dr. Beaney, I presume?

These paintings were beautiful. More so in person.

Literally a letter in a bottle. Try to read it.

This is a seed! (Allegedly)

More medals for Dr. Beaney, I suppose.

One thing has to be stressed, the stained windows were gorgeous.
 This concludes this update. Next time, I'll be posting photos from the Canterbury Heritage Museum and if time permits, Whitstable! Ciao.

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