I did say when I posted the Dover to Nottingham blog that this post may come as a bit of a surprise to some. It did to me! A classic case of looking at each City as a tourist and not a as a resident.
Monday and Tuesday were quiet days spent locally (by locally, that is with family, about two miles North East of Nottingham City centre), in the area in which I grew up. Some would say that I haven’t really grown up yet – and they’d probably be right. Dave and Sue went off to their regular line dance class and we met them at a local shopping centre that contains our favourite supermarket, that in turn has one of our regular cafe haunts. Basic food maybe, but cheap and excellent quality. A bit more wandering around the large shops then back.
Brother Dave generously presented me with a composite birthday and Christmas present (for several years), a “Kindle”. For those not yet into the know, this is an electronic book or books. You download the books from Amazon at prices from free upwards. Yes, free! It also stores PDF files from your computer and even music – though this is in the experimental stage.
Now you would think that down loading a book, would take forever, but surprisingly, most download in less than a minute as several of the full sized book files are only about 1660k! This means you can store loads of books on the very slim unit. Needless to say, this new toy meant a bit of time on line searching the ‘Kindle Shop’ to see what they had and what it would cost. I downloaded the book written by “The Stig” from Top Gear for I think, £2.99. Remember that figure... However, for many of the free books, you had to be in the UK, so I changed my location... Lots of amateur books too that can be discarded or retained. There is even a facility to store and play MP3 files. Thanks Dave. A real boon for travellers and I can see now why so many cruisers have them.
An excellent roast pork meal cooked by Sue and a quiet evening. Looking forward to a visit to the chiropractor (or Cairo Tractor as Dave put it...) tomorrow, though I suspect it will take more than 1 visit.
July 19th – Walkies!
After our coffee and toast we walked to what used to be our local park (Woodthorpe) still on the outskirts of the city. Walking as a tourist and with a camera in hand, as you would when on a cruise tour, you tend to notice monuments, buildings and the general scenery rather more than normal and I highly recommend it for residents of any city or town. The park is one I had been to all my life and although the 18 hole pitch and putt golf hasn’t changed much, nor the historic main house, the facilities such as kiddies playground are being updated (at last!) and a new cafe being built. A wander past the old railway line/tunnel that used to go through the park has been celebrated by a plaque and a train sculpture. Onwards and upwards to our old strip shopping centre and an excellent coffee and baked potatoes from – “The Cheesecake Shop”. Yes, they are here too...
A quick wash and off then to the chiropractor – but not before brother Dave had produced his large rubber mallet and offered to treat me for a reduced cost. When as part of the assessment, the chiro produced a rubber hammer, you can understand why I burst out laughing. This was of course just to test reflexes. An hour later I emerged, just £52 lighter and having had my neck worked over. Hopefully, the second visit will help even more, but at least the neck has been put back in.
With Stewart to pick up young Noah from the child minder where he goes a couple of times a week. He is not far from walking now (Noah, not Stewart...) and such a happy smiling child. Obviouisly hereditary.
July 20th Nottingham City – Day 57 if you are still counting.
We heard via the blogs that the Dawn Princess was unable to get into Amsterdam, so Garry missed out on his window shopping and Philip along with several others had to make their way to Bergen in Norway to board. No news from anyone yet regarding the engine rebuild either. The ship made it to Bergen, that I do know, but they are as far behind with their blogs as I am!
For several years now, all I have seen in the international newspapers is that the murder and gun crime rate has topped the charts and yet this has never sat comfortably with me. It has always been localised to a couple of state housing areas and the City centre itself is one I have always appreciated, from several viewpoints.
We headed down to the local shopping centre and parked the car And caught bus into town. Dave of course has a bus pass and thought that this was a Park and Ride site – but it isn’t, so instead of £4 for a car load – return, it was £3.40 each return!
Since my last visit two years ago, cars have been further banished from roads around some parts of the centre, but there are so many buses that it is almost clogged with them at certain places! Most seem to be from ‘every 7 or 8 minutes’ and our ‘link’ bus every 15 minutes. Routes are coloured on the maps and correspond to the colours of the buses. Unlike the major cities we have visited, rather than a hop-on hop-off bus, the inner link bus is free butr this is a very compact city centre. The tram takes you from the southern part of the city to about ten miles north (there is only one line at the moment) and the very heart of the city is now 100% traffic free apart from those modern trams.
As the kids break up from school next week, the Old Market square is being converted to a Riviera beach, complete with imported sand, a funfair and what looks to be a boardwalk beach cafe! Went to the cheap bookshop – Stig’s book? £1.90...
A pleasant wander around and the impression I really gained that apart from the traffic free centre - NO GRAFFITI! If Nottingham can do it (they obviousy have had graffiti but have cleand it up), why can’t Athens, Barcelona, Rome, Naples etc?
Oh, I managed to get a nest mate (or replacement) for Birdie - meet Mac! It will depend on Noah's reaction as to which one returns to NZ.