Friday, 16 March 2007

Invading UK 4: St.Albans

On the last weekend before my mom flew home to Cairo and i flew to my vessel in Abu Dhabi, it was a sweet little visit to St.Albans.

Why St.Albans? My mother is a member of a forum that joins mostly russian and ex-soviet women married to foreigners, and via that forum she got to know one who is married to a Scottish guy and lives very close to St.Albans .

Where is St.Albans? It's a bit to the North from London, takes about an hour and ten minutes to get there from Gatwick.

How is St.Albans? Like most of the places arouond London and south of it (and most probably just all around), it's a small nice traditional English city with nice small streets, and walking lanes, gardens and lakes, shops and cafes, etc...In total, a very pleasant place.

What to see in St.Albans? All of it, you have to walk through the busy street market there and see all they're selling, you have to just walk around the streets enjoying the sight. The most impressive sight in St.Albans though is its old abbey, a huge old church with, amazingly comfortable and heart catching even for people like me not belonging to the same religion at all, beutiful wood works, the way the light falls from the long high windows, a purely peaceful feeling, after finishing with the abbey itself, walk down its garden to the lake and the old roman wall that used to surround the city in the old times, then come back up and sit in probably the most famous cafe there "Abigails'" and have some hot chocolate, that's real taste and the cream they put at the top is just pure pleasure, also make sure to get yourself some of the awesome Belgian chocolates in the store next door, they're a bit expensve but totally worth it !!

So...? If small European city with a welcoming nice atmosphere is your thing, St.Albans is surely worth a visit if you're nearby

Friday, 9 March 2007

Invading UK 3: Brighton

If you live south of London, thinking about relaxing, having some fun, and not caring a bit about anything for a while...Brighton is the perfect place for you.

Brighton is located at the south coast of England, just half an hour by train from Gatwick (1 hour and 15 minutes from London Victoria), it's so quick to get to....anytime!

It's a typical small European city, with small streets and old buildigs and it really makes you feel good just walking around there, looking at other people in the street, getting into her narrow alleys and down to the sea shore, a sight to perfect that picture.

This cuty has a lot of small cafes and restaurants where it's very nice to have dinner or just sit down for something sweet and a cup of tea/coffee enjoying the nice atmosphere there.

A must see there is the Royal Pavilion, this is a big palace built in an oriental style, it's said that it belonged to a man from the royal family somewhere who was deeply in love with a woman, the problem is....or to be more precise the problems were: 1- He's married. 2-His position in society won't allow him such a foolishness. 3- She was a widow. 4- She was older than him, the story says that they kept secretly meeting, later his wife died and he rebelled over everybody and decided to live with his beloved woman, so he built this great palace in a small city...Brighton and moved in there with the love of "most of" his life. The design of that place is really great, and if you get there during the day, it's worth it to go inside and take a look.

For me, Brigthon turned out to become the quick nice little runaway from the boredom and dullness of Gatwick, and yes, i love that place...