Sunday, May 16, 2010

Market Harborough, Desborough & Rothwell

or about a short journey to the past and the next nice meeting...

I couldn't leave England without visiting my good friends who live in Desborough near Market Harborough. I went took a train form Nottingham to Market and then Monika picked me up from the station and took to her and MichaƂ's house. Actually, last time I saw them 2 years ago, right after they moved to the new house. Now a lot has changed. It was much more colourful and that's because of their little son, born last year in December. I had an opportunity to find out more about how young English mothers spend their time with kids. There are, for example, many various meetings for mothers and their children where you can learn how to communicate with your kid in sign language. Or the next interesting thing, not really popular in Poland - you can borrow books for kids from a local library. And these are not old copies with popular stories but quite new books with hard binding and colourful pictures. Of course, this was not the only thing we were talking about:) After delicious lunch we went by car to a park in Rothwell. Unfortunately, this time it was rainy and cold. But the landscape around was really nice - yellow rape fields with a green stripe above and greyish clouded sky... And groups of cows and sheep, gathered on a pasture. A calm, peaceful area. We walked a bit through the park but my time was over soon, so we went to Market to catch the train.

Driving through the town made me think about the time I spent there about 6 years ago. I stayed in the town 1 month and tried to find a job, but all in all I had just great holidays. The town hasn't changed much - some new shops and restaurants were opened and the rest remained untouched by the time.
Back in Nottingham I met Ivania again and after a short walk in the centre we were quite fed up with rain and cold, so we just got back home. And there the culinary journey continued - we had a home made pizza, salad made of carrots and beetroot, peanut butter with celery, and mango lassi.
Unfortunately, my journey through the tastes of the world finished the very next day. In the same way... Again the same distance, stopovers in the same places and the same means of communication. The whole day on the way and long waiting time between next connections...

Picnic in Nottingham

... or about nice weather and barbecue.

It seems that English people love barbecue. So no wonder that instant barbecue set is so popular there. We also joined to the BBQ fans and organised a picnic in one of the parks in Nottingham. The weather was finally really nice, I'd even say it was quite hot:) Everyone (three of us + Ivania's family and friend) brought some food and we had a real feast. There was a vegetarian barbecue, as well, and we had also many other delicious products.

More and more people were coming to the park to enjoy the nice weather, mainly family with kids or rebellious teenagers. The time spent with Ivania's family passed really quickly and when it started to rain we moved to the apartment of Ivania's mother. And we had to eat again...

This time Fabio (from Brasil) prepared tasty cheese bread - a meal from his country. After spending some time playing various games wit 12-year-old Jessica and 13-year-old Nuno, we decided to get back home. And there a small karaoke party started. Actually, it was really small, as it was only Ivania and me...:)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bakewell and Derby

... or about travelling by bus and good food.

My friend who lives in Nottingham suggested we should go to Bakewell and on the way back to Derby, as well. So, three of us - Ivania, her boyfriend and me - spent about 2,5 hours on a bus and finally reached the town. The weather wasn't fine at all, which doesn't really surprise me in England anymore.
Bakewell is famous for its local tasty pastries and tarts that can be found in every bakery in the town. Of course, we bought the famous tart and then a carrot cake, as well (I've never eaten it before:). Both were delicious and I'm still not sure which one tastes better.

The town seems to be quite calm, although we met some tourists in the centre. There's an old church built by Normans, surrounded by crooked tombstones. It's quite nice inside and when we arrived there, the wedding ceremony had just finished. Quite a strange time of the day, though (Friday, about 3 p.m.). There are also many narrow streets near the church with colourful little houses. And the river. With swans and ducks and an old bridge made of stone. We made a short photo session by the river side, and then also with colourful huts that we found in one of the shops.
Our visit to Bakewell finished in a pub, quite empty at this time of day, but that was not a problem at all.
After a while we headed for Derby. This time the bus was awfully slow and the driver lost his way once somewhere in the narrow uphill streets. Finally, we reached the city and it started to rain. So, our first stop was in a Chinese bar with quite good food. Then we made a short walk to the centre with a waterfall-like fountain and cathedral. I totally forgot it was Friday night, but the weird dressed party-goers reminded me about it immediately. ('Weird' means according to the style: 'well, I don't need a mirror, I don't care if I'm warm or not' :). And soon we were on our way back to Nottingham...

Nottingham and much more..

... or about visiting my friends in UK.

It really happens rarely that I can use so many languages (5) in such a short journey (5 days). And it also happens rarely that I cover such a small distance (1500 km) in such a long time (10 hours).

Here's the story:

First, journey by train from Vienna to Bratislava, then by bus from the station to the airport, then flight to London Luton and, finally, bus to Nottingham. Plus waiting for the connections... It all took even a bit more than 10 hours, I'm afraid. In every country I used the local language, which seems quite logical:) But I had an opportunity to speak a bit Spanish with my Portuguese friend, as well and then Polish with my Polish friends.
But first things first.
Well, actually I should start with Nottingham but I'm not going to describe the city once more, as I did it after my first visit 2 years ago. Anyway, I didn't have much time and opportunity to visit the city now, because my friends and spending time with them was more important. We visited few other places, though. What keeps on surprising me, is the huge number of Poles in UK and the ubiquity of Polish food in various shops. Oh, and one more thing: pedestrians tend to ignore the red light and somehow I can't understand the strange dressing habits of teenagers and party-goers. They're dressed as if it was at least 30 degrees, when in fact it's bit above 10. Brrr.... I met a lot of party freaks wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, mini skirts and it seems they don't find it necessary to take a jacket or anything more than summer clothes. Whether it's rainy or windy, freezing or not - party-goers are always on a beach.
What also strikes me, is the omnipresence of emo style followers. And they tend to exaggerate to another extreme - even when it's above 20 degrees they are dressed as if it was 10. But well, styles and tastes are not good topics to discuss, so I will just pass it over...
And now a short story about my visit to other English cities... In the following posts, of course:)