Saturday, June 4, 2011

Travel: London and Jersey, UK

At the very end of March, I took a trip with my dad, my uncle, and his wife. Here is the photographic evidence.

I didn't take that many photos in London! I'm not sure why - I was SUPER tired and my family was taking lots, so I figured I would let them snap away and they could send them along to me. Most of the London photos were waaay too boring for me, so I just edited a few to share.

Huge pooch (Olde Tyme English Bulldog - never seen one before!)

I got sick my first night there. It was probably a combination of eating airplane food (vegan, but not raw - I relented on this trip so as to compromise with what my family was doing), a huge raw meal including eggplant, which I am not used to eating, and then I was so thirsty I drank tap water...I was up for hours, exhausted from jet lag, and every time I went back to bed I had to get back up to go to the bathroom. I was sharing a room with my dad, I felt so bad for keeping him awake. I ended up staying in the bathroom and lying on the floor on a towel so I wouldn't keep running back and forth. It seemed like lying down just made me need to go again so I cut out the middle man and I actually fell asleep on the floor at one point, reading my book.
And damn, that bathroom was small. Eventually, I was okay.

One really cool thing that I wish I had photos of is me reuniting with my ex-boyfriend, David! I hadn't seen him in 11 years (in Seattle at Convergence 6 - a yearly net-goth gathering) but we were together in 97/98. It had been a looong time, but hanging out was cool! He met me the first day, we walked through Hyde Park (beautiful!), played with MANY dogs, and walked and walked...all the way to Buckingham palace. I don't know why I didn't bring my camera! Silly me.

My family and I walked around, a LOT. The street performers were ace.

My purse matched this guy perfectly!

THIS guy was hilarious. It was Mother's Day in England, so he was saying, "It's Mother's Day today! My mother was a bitch!"

We went to the Tate Modern, the Churchill War Rooms (I thought I would be hella bored, but it was really awesome!), but nothing else really touristy, other than seeing a few sites. We met up with my cousin Joanna who I haven't seen since 1987 (she was 1 at the time!).


Despite all my plans, I did not get my photo on the beach with my hair in a poof. I forgot bobby-pins, so my Jersey Shore spoof was a bust. Oh well.

Me and Adriana (my uncle's wife) arriving in Jersey:

Adriana at a lookout point:


My family (Uncle, Dad, and Adriana):

The whole point of our trip was to scatter my Nana's ashes off the coast of Jersey, since that is where she is from. Me and my dad traveled together from Vancouver, and my Uncle and Adriana came up from Rio de Janeiro, where they live. The ashes of my Gramps were also scattered there, as he served in the Navy. There was also a bench there with a plaque in his memory, so we went to that spot and changed the plaque to have both of their names.

We stayed at an awesome bed and breakfast overlooking the harbour.

The tide would go in and out twice a day, but really FAR out, so the harbour would be completely devoid of water and all the boats would be in the mud.

There was a lovely dog named Charlie, and a cat named Bagpuss. Charlie was 13 years old.

We hired a boat to take us out past Elizabeth Castle to scatter Nana's ashes. My dad lived at this castle as a kid. My grandparents operated a cafe there when he was really small.

Obviously I didn't take photos of the ashes, but it was emotional and beautiful. It was a perfect day - really warm, bright, full sunshine, barely even a breeze. I felt very lucky to have been present for this. I hadn't been to Jersey since I was 10 years old, and it's not somewhere a lot of people go. It's a really gorgeous place, I recommend it highly if you're in the UK.

This is where we released the ashes:

There is something about boats and harbours that just screams to be photographed. Here's a couple of my favourites:

Lookout photos:

Isn't she so pretty?? She's super fun, too.

Me and my wonderful dad:


Another lookout spot (we went to LOTS - there are many gorgeous views around the island):

My Uncle Jeff:

One of my FAVOURITE places in Jersey is Durrell Wildlife. I remember it fondly from childhood, especially having my hand licked by a lemur. Technically it is a zoo, but it is vast, open, and intrinsically a conservation and breeding place for endangered species. I have a major issue with zoos, but this one was not depressing in the slightest. There is a similar place in Greater Vancouver, called Mountainview Farms, though not nearly as famous.

Gerard Durrell is well known as a naturalist, but I think the main reason the place is world-famous is because of an incident many years ago with a gorilla named Jambo.

Check this out:

Jambo is no more, but there is a bronze statue in his honour.

The silverback gorilla at Durrell is now Ya Kwanza, and he is magnificent.

I LOVE this one:

Greens and fruit...and muscle.

This guy was really funny. A gibbon named George:

The orangutans were also amazing! They were given paper bags of their food, which they used as little tents - apparently they do this with leaves in the wild.

Beetroot lips!

They sure loved these bags:

I was also very lucky to see an Aye-aye being fed - a very rare treat as they are critically endangered and also nocturnal. Not many people would ever get to see this unless in a place like Durrell. I tried to take a photo but it was so dark it was just a huge blur.

Other than the zoo, my favourite spot was the west coast, where surprisingly to me, people surf!! I wish I'd known this - I don't even know why I didn't consider it, since it's an island. I saw a book in a shop all about it and then, with excitement, went about finding out where to go to watch some surfing.

Looks cold! But no worse than Canadian surf I'm sure. There is a surfer in this shot, in the center, but you can't really tell unless see the largest size.

Here's a few more shots around the island:

That little drake needs a ticket!

I guess this will have to do as my "Jersey Shore" photo. Picture me with huge hair, cleavage, and a tan, ok?:

Isn't this amazing??? It's all driftwood!

Me and some Jersey cow pals:

So that was that! Off to the airport!

At the airport in Birmingham:

And off to Paris!!

Looking at all of these is making me itch to travel again soon, and take more photos. Enjoy!

UP NEXT: Paris.

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