Travel through the United Kingdom in December of the 2013

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Travel through the United Kingdom in December of the 2013

@ Photos and travel story sent by Roberto Linares.

Wednesday, December 4

It's 6 in the morning and the alarm sounds. That unbearable sound in current days that becomes the sweet beginning of a new adventure when it is time to go on a trip.

You have to leave for the airport Málaga from where our flight will depart towards Bristol with the company EasyJet to the 14: 30 h. And I take this opportunity to thank the existence of lines'low-cost like the one mentioned and others like Ryanair o Vueling that allow us to travel the world despite being low budget travelers.

After three hours of travel from Cadiz We arrived at the airport with enough time to check in the larger suitcase, since we carried two more that met the size of hand luggage (50x40x20). And finally, with a little delay, the adventure of two travelers in the United Kingdom begins.

Two and a half hours later we are already in England and we can confirm it as soon as we get off the plane, because that cold is far from what we used to do along the Andalusian coast.

Once we recovered our checked suitcase, which had mysteriously traveled to the tape in Geneva, we took a bus to Bristol. From Bristol Airport we can take buses to other cities such as Bath or Exeter. It will be cheaper for you to buy a round trip ticket from the Airport to the center of Bristol if you take the plane back there, as the return journey is valid for more than a month.

Thirty minutes of travel to arrive and meet with our particular Spanish guide who is waiting for us at the bus station. My partner's sister will give us accommodation in their shared apartment and will accompany us for the rest of our trip. The number of Spanish emigrants in search of a new future in English lands makes us really ask ourselves about the effectiveness of the educational and labor system of our country, which is quite deficient in both senses.

Peroni beer

A short walk through Bristol (which we'll talk about on Sunday) and it's time to go to dinner. And what better place to dine than the restaurant where our partner works? The Aqua chain has several restaurants in the city and we start at one of them with a good Peroni beer.

Roast duck, veal with cheese and spaghetti, cheese batter and other delicious dishes will make you recommend this restaurant without hesitation. And to top it off, a brownie with ice cream to round off this calorie intake. With difficulties to walk after this dinner we go to the apartment to rest because the next day it is time to get up early to head to the capital of the country, London.

Day expenses (per person)

-Flight EasyJet Málaga-Bristol (1 suitcase billed between two passengers) .......... 120€

-Bristol-Airport bus ticket i / v ………………………………………………………… .. 13€

-Dinner Aqua Restaurant .................................................................................................  20 € (invitation)

TOTAL EXPENSES: 133 €

Thursday, December 5

Again you have to get up early to head to the bus station and get on the bus heading to London that leaves at 7.30 and will arrive at the capital at 10.30 h. With luck and without much traffic the duration of the trip can be reduced in half an hour.

Camden MarketIn one day we are going to kick the impossible to see as many things before our return bus leaves for Bristol. And the first thing we do is acquire a one day ticket for public transport (valid for subways and buses) from London in the Victoria station.

Our first destination will be Camden Market, that neighborhood transformed into a huge market full of cultures and trends with total freedom of expression and where you can find all kinds of articles. The magic of places like this lies in the fact that each individual expresses himself without any limitation and without caring what they think of them, which unfortunately only happens in big cities.

Its striking facades are known worldwide and it is well worth spending several hours touring its myriad of shops of all kinds. If you visit the area, prepare some tickets that surely you have behaved well and you deserve some whim. To highlight among all the stores one that caught my attention especially with psychedelic clothes and eye-catching colors and lights, Cyberdog.

They are the 12.30 and it's time to end our visit to Camden with several purchases, but not before recovering strength with a calzone to hold the rest of the day.

We take a subway and go to Piccadilly Circus, city center with a wide range of leisure and gastronomy. Probably here is one of the most famous advertising areas in the world and surely the most expensive.

Trafalgar SquareWe took a look around the area and headed towards Trafalgar Square. On the way to one of the most famous squares in Europe we find the well-known multi-storey M & M's store that is well worth a look, because more than a store it can be considered a museum. Curious representation of The Beatles as M & M's. It is hard to believe the type of merchandising that a great brand can market.

We continue our walk towards Trafalgar Square, built to commemorate the victory of the English in front of the French and Spanish navies. In the center of the square is the column of Nelson surrounded by four imposing lions. Around this we can enjoy buildings as diverse as the National Gallery or the South African Embassy.

This plaza has been a place of mass congregation in sporting events or political demonstrations.

After this area, it's time to visit the two emblems of the city bathed by the River Thames; the Big Ben and the London Eye. The group formed by these two attractions next to the British Parliament and the Westminster Abbey constitutes the brand image of the country and its symbol of distinction in the world. It means for London and England the same as the Eiffel Tower for Paris and France or The Roman Colosseum for Rome and Italy. Nowadays it is very necessary to recognize a place and a country with a symbol, and thanks to this its attractiveness will grow exponentially among tourist destinations. 

Big Ben, the largest clock in the world; the British Parliament that every good movie-goer saw explode in 'V de Vendetta'; Westminster Abbey, church of British monarchs and the London Eye, 135 meters high to have the best view of the city. One of the most important points in the world without a doubt.

Castle of the Tower of LondonWe had a good time in the area until it started to rain, which forced us to take a meter towards the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. The castle is one of the most striking areas of the city, as its history is really attractive and its functions have varied from prison or armory to its current function as the home of the Crown Jewels. Famous are the crows that live in the tower or the stories of ghosts that are told about the castle. Right next to it we find the Tower Bridge, the most beautiful bridge in the city and that has appeared in numerous films as Sherlock Holmes o Harry Potter. 

It is getting late and there are many places in London to enjoy but it is impossible to see everything that a great city can offer you in a single day. That's why we decided that our last two stops will be Harrods Stores and Buckingham Palace.

First we go to the neighborhood of Knighstbridge to enjoy the famous stores of all luxury Harrods and we walk along the avenue enjoying the many shops that this offers us. Later, we will go to the house of the Queen of England, Buckingham Palace, to enjoy it under the darkness of the early English night.

And so we said goodbye to this great city with the feeling that despite this and my previous visit of 5 days there are still countless places to discover in magnificent London. 

Day expenses (per person)

- Bristol-London bus ticket i / v ……………………………………………………………… 15 €

- London transport day ticket ............................................................................... 8.50 €

-Camden Shopping ………………………………………………………………………………………… 21.50 €

-Camden Calzone Food ………………………………………………………………………………. € 5 

TOTAL EXPENSES: 50 €

Friday, December 6

Bath Abbey

After sleeping a little six hours, it's time to get up again because we'll spend the day in the neighboring town of Bath. To travel to any city in the area, the nerve center is the Bristol Temple Meads, train station with a wide network of connections.

We bought a round trip ticket and at 10.00 we are heading to Bath. In a few 15 minutes we have arrived in the city and we will begin to visit the most special places that this university city can offer us.

First we go to the Bath Abbey, beautiful and even more adorned with a merry Christmas market that welcomes us. This abbey, founded in the 17th century, has been rebuilt several times and perfectly represents the English Gothic style. Odors of all kinds arise from the market that invite you to spend some time snooping between their stalls.

Right on the other side of the street market we find the famous Roman baths of the city that so many tourists attract year after year. Due to our low-cost policy we could not enter the hot springs with a slightly higher price (about 13 €). More than enough reason to return to the area in the not too distant future.

The Avon River

Once visited this area we went to 'The Circus', a Georgian circular square surrounded by houses. It is a place that is very worthwhile and as we can see in its structure it keeps several secrets to discover; For example, each house varies its style for each plant, mixing the three classic styles of Greek art: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.

We go down the street that will lead us to the river Avon, the same one that bathes the city of Bristol, but not before we find the house of Jane Austen, writer of works as well known as Pride and Prejudice or Mansfield Park.

Once we reached the river Avon we crossed a bridge in the purest Venetian style and we walked to the edge of the river, where it is forbidden to bathe since several have been the drownings produced when entangled with the plants in the background.

Next to its channel we find the cricket stadium of the city, a purely English sport. We continue touring the area until we reach the Royal Crescent, huge curved residential building built on a huge garden.

After this last visit in the city, it would be better to regain strength in a pizzeria and then continue with a second tour of the Christmas market, before taking the train back to the city of Bristol.

Day expenses (per person)

- Train ticket i / v Bristol-Bath .............................................. 5 €

-Meal in a pizzeria ……………………………………………………… .. € 12 

TOTAL EXPENSES: 17 €

Saturday, December 7

We have doubts about our destination this day, as we are debating between visiting Wells and its cathedral, Cardiff and its castle or the ruins of Stonehenge.

Finally we decided to visit the Welsh city of Cardiff and it was really worth it, because its castle is one of the most impressive and best preserved of which I have been.

Cardiff Castle

In keeping with tradition, we must go to the Bristol Temple Meads station to catch the train to our destination, with a journey of approximately 30-40 minutes. Once in Cardiff, getting to the Castle is really easy since you will only have to walk its main street in a perfectly indicated direction, besides that you can see it at a distance.

We acquired the entrance to the Castle, which includes audioguides in Spanish or in 'andalú miarma' as instructed by the person in charge. And we began our visit. I will share several photos of the castle to try to move to the place, since as it is well said 'a picture is worth a thousand words'.

As you can see, we spent so much time traveling from one place to another of the castle that we did at night there. First the Clock Tower, then the Residential Palace and finally the Defensive Tower with privileged views.

If I had to stay with a moment of the castle would be the climb to the top of the Torreón by small circular stairs that give you one of the best views of the city. Just behind the Residential Palace we can see the huge structure of the Millennium Stadium, football and rugby stadium of the city.

Although that moment is unique, the visit inside the Palace is not far behind and we can find rooms like these.

Undoubtedly, one of the most recommended places of this trip is this castle. When we finish the visit it starts to rain and we enter a Burguer to recover our strength. Once the rain stops we take the train back to Bristol where we will enjoy a little time for a small typical German fair that they put there every Christmas and in which we will buy a waffle that warms our body.

It is time to rest because the next day is finally to know the city that is giving us accommodation.

Day expenses (per person):

- Train ticket i / v Bristol-Cardiff ........................................... 8 €

-Entrance fee to Cardiff Castle ……………………………………… .. € 11 (valid student card)

-Food in the Burguer ............................................................. 10 €

-German typical German ................................................................ 4 € 

TOTAL EXPENSES: 33 € 

Sunday, December 8

To talk about Bristol you have to start by Banksy and all the artistic movement that accompanies the city. Banksy, one of the most famous graffiti artists in Bristol, has some of his best-known paintings and claims that the city has an air of social criticism through continuous art. Walking through its streets you can find numerous paintings of different artists on the facades, and some are true works of art.

One of Bansky's worksUndoubtedly, works of art that differentiate this city from the rest for its urban vindicating movement and the hippie feeling that is breathed in its streets. But Bristol is not just this. Bristol is much more, starting with the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The city has one of the most impressive suspension bridges in the world and with really wonderful views. From this area you can perfectly enjoy the show that takes place every year in which many balloons fly over the Bristol sky.

In addition, the city has really impressive buildings belonging to the University and a huge Cathedral founded in 1140. We also find the well-known Crystal Sphere in which you can take very original photos but which we could not access due to the installation of an ice rink in the area.

A rather curious anecdote is the figure of the legendary DJ Derek, a DJ from the city with more than 70 years that plays musical styles such as soul and reggae whose influence comes from his neighborhood of residence, the St Pauls. Precisely in this neighborhood was our accommodation.

To end our day in Bristol we went to the huge shopping center of the city and we were browsing in numerous stores after replenishing energies in a Nando's, chicken broiler chain. After this it is sad to say goodbye to the city to prepare for the airport, because our plane to Malaga leaves at dawn.

Day expenses (per person):

-Bus ticket valid for the whole day ………………………………………… 5 €

-Food in Nando's .................................................................................... 5 € 

TOTAL EXPENSES: 10 € 

Monday, December 9 

We take the bus that will take us to the airport to take the flight to Malaga at 06.00 h. With sadness it's time to say goodbye to the country to return to the routine but we leave very satisfied and with desire to return.
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