We decided that today was a great day to go to Hiroshima, unfortunately so did the G7. What was going to be a rather simple trip to the Peace Gardens and the A-Bomb Dome became slightly more complicated when the G7 decided to take over the Peace Memorial Park. Lots of waiting ensued as the security made sure no-one got anywhere near the park. Finally we got there and found the place mobbed with TV cameras all trying to mop up shots of the wreaths and talk to school children who had been there. Still we made it, and I got this rather predictable shot of the dome in Hiroshima.
So it's been a busy day. Up at the crack of dawn because the hotel was on a busy intersection without any soundproofing. I think it was strangely a good thing to happen as we were up and out and were actually at the Brandenburg gates just before 9ish. Let's face it, we're in Berlin for 2 full days, so we'll have to chock it all in.
next up was Checkpoint Charlie. Now don't get me wrong, I would love to see Berlin as a city (in fact I naively thought that I would) but ultimately when you go somewhere like Berlin, there are places you just have to go to. There's no need to come back to work and have someone ask you if you've seen Checkpoint Charlie for you to say... "errr no, we headed for the tractor museum.", which is the wrong answer.
Anyway, the next order of the day was the Topology of Terror. At this point I think I'd seen all of the Berlin Wall history that I needed to know, that added and refreshed by history knowledge from school. Despite this (my disinterest with the wall and everything with it) we then went to the Wall Memorial. This was OK and as you could have guessed I saw the same thing as I saw previously in a different form. I think the most surprising thing was the watchtower as we left the Topology of Terror, I believe it's the last one remaining, but that could be wrong, but it doesn't appear to be as big as you would imaging, but then again I suspect it didn't need to be.
Last thing today was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which was completely by accident. We were going back to the car and happened upon it. It's an impressive memorial, but I'm not 100 percent sure I understand it, though I suspect it t's supposed to look like tombs.Anyway, the picture today is of the memorial. There were a couple of pictures I liked and this is probably the best, but it's a close run thing, the other was of a single monolith itself. Perhaps I'll post it later on when I have time.
I did try and take a picture of this memorial in Victoria Park two weeks ago but the TYTN II was rubbish. At this time of year and this time of day the sun is behind the memorial making it impossible to take anything but a silhouette of it, the Pentax however allows you to choose the where to take an exposure reading from an then shift the focus. I still reckon that a simple film camera would produce better results.
With my arms and as my Wife reports my face coated in bike oil this Saturday this is the best you're getting I am afraid. The house now smells of citrus degreaser and bike oil from putting the bike back together. There is the usual trail of black oil around the house which as you can imagine gets me no brownie points. With more work to go tomorrow setting the bike up for the morning commute on Monday I'm sure the doghouse is getting nearer.
Going back to the picture, the poppies at the bottom of the memorial are to do with a service that happened last weekend which is connected to the fact that the Air Cadets were in Manchester last weekend but I still don't know what that was for. Any ideas?
It's been a busy weekend and half way through I thought. This will be a great post for Zamyatin, I had so many stories to tell but never noted anything down, but hey. I think you'd have been surprised by an interesting post.
The start of the weekend was all about a broken computer. Semi fixed we headed out to Hazel Grove of all places. I was happy to do this as I needed a break from trying to do a system re-shag. It was an uneventful visit, with charity shops and pound shops aplenty punctuated with a visit to a pet shop and then the peas of resistance which was a proper chippy. Once in we parked ourselves we were served up a rather average meal. Despite that I loved it. It's been ages since I've been to a sit down meal in a chippy, despite chips being under done, the sausage being pink in the middle, they had no bread so I had a barm and the pot of tea turned out to be a cup. Despite it all, it was fantastic.
Back to the picture. Just down from the Civic Hall there is a small park which seems to be dedicated to people who died in World War II. This is the Memorial in the middle which has this impressive (I think that's the word) grass cross on the floor. It's a strange place but quite nice. Just as we walked round the cross in the pic someone sat smoking roll-ups decided to start playing a clip of a cheap high energy classic from the early 90's. It was a strange situation believe you me.
The next in the series of crosses is the Oldcastle in the centre of... Oldcastle. Forget Dunsop Hill and Mevagissey here is the cross of Oldcastle, taken during lunch at the 'Hotel' the cross sports a yellow cabin which is the festival office for the joys to come next week in Oldcastle.
Another picture of the Culloden Memorial from afar. It sort of gives a an idea of the size of the battlefield except his is a view across the battlefield. As you can see, it's not exactly a straight run. The Government side is full of trenches which I suspect are natural and probably very useful. The Jacobite side is flat but all sides are full of the scrub of heather. Not exactly ideal easy fighting turf for the Jacobites at least who like a good run up.
Right in the middle of the battle field (I presume because the road truncates the field) this is sat as a memorial to the battle of Culloden. I'd recommend people to go there to a have a look and see if they fancy running in the scrub toward the enemy line because this field isn't just grass It's bloody awful. I'd recommend however that they didn't do it whilst it is pissing it down and whilst you are full of a cold.
Today's outing was to the Wallace Memorial and incredibly big memorial, not the usual rock or folly you see, this is a 5 floor tower with views of Stirling and the surrounding. I tool quite a bit of 35mm pics, but forgot to use the QTEK to take doubles of the pictures so I can show them here. I can show the prints later but much later if they turn out OK of course.
The tower is not for those even slightly scared of heights with the narrow stone steps spiralling ever upward with two way pedestrian traffic all the way up. Luckily you can take the free bus up to level one which does two things, first it saves your legs for the climb up the steps and since the driver appears to prefer bundling down the narrow roads at speed, it acclimatises you to the fear.
After this is was off to Stirling where I took a picture of the Wee Wallace Memorial, unfortunately the phone forgot that picture. Never mind, it wasn't that good after all.
Again for me a memorial. I seem to take a few pictures of memorials. The one is in Dunsop Hill for those who died in the First World War.
We got here because my wife told me the village was supposed to be really beautiful. We got there and it's rather difficult to understand what's beautiful. Don't get me wrong it's not horrible but there's nothing there. Aside from the attendant service petrol station, the post office and the flock of ducks looking for bread there's nothing there. Mind you it looked like when the weather is good people flock there so perhaps it's that we weren't into what Dunsop had to offer which is probably access to a good walk. Unfortunately for Dunsop we were looking for access to a good meal, so it was off to Clitheroe.
Just a quick picture of one of the two symetrical World War I memorials in Southport. In the middle is a needle that I don't have a good picture of. Maybe if this weekend mirrors another weekend to come (in that I don't think I'll have time for any pictures let alone any) then you might see it, however we may go back and I might be able to get a better picture.