Tour Guide

17 08 2008

Strongy the Aussie has been down visiting me and the housemate and I have been acting as an unofficial tour guide.  As he wanted to go to some of the places off the normal tourist trail I had to have a serious think about what to do.

We have been to see quite a lot over the last few days and done some seriously heavy drinking, so I thought that I would give you a bit of a run through of what went on. 

On Thursday night we headed up to the George for a few drinks and introduced Strongy to real ale and fruit machines.  The cultural aspects of this tour are not based on these two things I hasten to add.  Anyway, the next morning we headed off to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door as the weather was so nice. 

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

We had a look around Lulworth cove and then walked up the hill and across the cliff at the top of Man ‘o War Bay and on to Durdle Door, where we sat on the beach and had a chat for about half an hour, and then did what most males do when they go to a beach and tried skimming stones.  The whole area of this coastline is a World Heritage site and has some stunning scenery.


After this the magical mystery tour went to Cerne Abbas where there is the chalk

The Cerne Abbas Giant, sadly ungrazed.

The Cerne Abbas Giant, sadly ungrazed.

giant on the hill, which shows up well against the grass on the hill.  Unfortunately there is the small matter of the lack of sheep that normally graze the area.  This means that the chalk is all grassy so you can’t actually see the whole image properly.  Its a bit of a dissappointment but there you go. 

It dates back to B.C and was probably made by those crazy guys the druids.  This area also has one of the horses made in the same way, and it is believed that at one point there were dozens of them on the chalk downs. 


As we were about half an hour away I decided to take Strongy to Stourhead

Stourhead Gardens

Stourhead Gardens

House gardens, which are part of the National Trust.  As I have been there before I knew that you could get into the gardens for free instead of paying the extortionate fee if you just walked around through the back gate.  These gardens are pretty spectacular and was the location used in the recent version of Pride and Predjudice starring Keira Knightly apparantly, we had a walk around the lake and went through the Grotto.  Once we had finished we then sauntered out through the front gate without a second thought.


Next on the list was Stonehenge as it was on the way home, but as Strongy wanted to go with his girlfriend when she comes over at Christmas we just had a drive by viewing.  I had already told him not to get too excited as it wasn’t very big but he liked it none the less.  We got some Fish and Chips on the way home to give him his first taste of traditional British food.

Strongy at the home of Cricket

Strongy at the home of Cricket

On Saturday we had another busy day of seeing stuff, I took the cricket mad Aussie to Hambledon Cricket Club at Broadhalfpenny Down, which is the oldest Cricket club in the world, and has a statue being the official home of cricket.  As luck would have it this is only about 5 miles from where I live.  Soon after this we went and had a knock about in the nets but as I had hurt my back on Thursday, Strongy was by far the better player, that and the fact that I have barely played for 12 years.  Still it was good fun.

In the afternoon we went to Southsea and Gunwharf and saw the Warrior and the Victory in the historic dock yard.  HMS Warrior is the world’s first Iron Clad Warship , while HMS Victory was the ship on which Admiral Lord Nelson was shot during the battle of Trafalgar.

HMS Victory

HMS Victory

The walk though Southsea was nice, if  little breezy and set us up nicely to watch the Sunderland Liverpool game.  It turns out that Strongy from Newcastle in Aus has decided that he will become a Newcastle fan in the UK, and is a bit of a football nut.  He has already joined our fantasy football league, although isn’t really sure of all of the players just yet.

In the evening we headed out for the housemates  Birthday which turned into a messy night.  It was fun and a good time was had by all.

As we had such a mad night we have pretty much stayed in all day today, watching the Olympics (Team GB, congratulations, not only are you doing incredibly but in winning more golds than Australia, pissing off a whole nation).

Tomorrow Strongy is off to York for an interview but is hanging around the UK for a good while yet. I think we will try and meet up again as its been excellent having him here.



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