A Travellerspoint blog

May 19 2011 - Nice

Lots of culture

sunny 23 °C

The day started with a walk around the Old Town with a fascinating visit to the Palais Lascaris. If someone told you that this 17th-century palace had a harp museum and an orginal 18th-century pharmacy, you might not get too excited. But, this place was really a great find; the oldest trombone in the world (1581), the history of the Erard Harp manufacturers and a fine collection of both old harps and pianos, one of which is a Calderarpa harp played by a piano keyboard attached to one side. And free admission! Don't miss it.

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Then it was off the Matisse Museum which is free and just about worth seeing (his Louis XV armchair was my highlight)

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And finally the Chagall Museum which is a pretty high EU7.50 to get in. I am not a great fan of his religous works but Jeni loved it all. I did like the stained-glass and the tapestry that was commissioned by the State of Israel as part of three tapestries for the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. The Knesset Chagall tapestries were woven at the Gobelins, the “Royal Manufacture” created by Louis XIV. To this day Gobelins tapestries are not available for sale, they are only woven as gifts of state.

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Posted by kforge 06:41 Archived in France Comments (0)

May 18 2011 - Stansted to Nice

Off to Nice

sunny 21 °C

A slight hiccup as we were delayed for 2 hours before take-off due to a fuel leak in the original plane. Otherwise a good flight with Easyjet for only GBP41 each one-way. We had booked a shuttle-bus from Nice Airport into the city and they were duly there but with a limousine rather than a bus as there were only 2 of us - Nice Airport Shuttle for EU16 each.

We have rented an apartment for 3 days in a really good part of Nice; only a 10-minute walk to the noisy but interesting Old Town and just a 3-minute walk to the beach and the Walk of the English - EU117 per night for a very chic 1-bedroom apartment at 3 rue Dalpozzo with, very importantly, a very nice Lebanese/Armenian restaurant across the road with an excellent vegetarian mixed plate on the menu

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Posted by kforge 14:57 Archived in France Comments (0)

May 17 2011 - Oxburgh Hall

And yet another National Trust visit - definitely no more for at least a month, I promise

overcast 19 °C

Today a visit to the moated manor house called Oxburgh Hall built by the Bedingfeld family in the 15th century. They have lived there ever since and family members still live in part of the house. A really interesting place with a priest's hole and truly amazing documents from the 13th century; I asked if the originals were in the British Museum and no, these are the originals.

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Posted by kforge 14:47 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

May 13 2011 - Ickworth House

And another National Trust property - Ickworth House

sunny 19 °C

On the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds is Ickworth House; a strange building with a giant rotunda at its core. The property is pretty good but the real interest is in the history of the family (the Herveys) who lived at Ickworth from the mid 15th century to 1998 - family members were philanderers, gay, bisexual, bigamists, gun-runners, bankrupts and drug-addicts. Take a look at this Wikipedia entry; a great read but only gives some of the detail.

Ickworth House

Ickworth House

There is also a vineyard and for just GBP26 you can get a nice bottle of pink Champagne or a bottle of red for GBP15

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Posted by kforge 04:26 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

May 11 and 12 2011 - Melford Hall and Anglesey Abbey

A COUPLE OF DAYS ON THE NATIONAL TRUST MEMBERSHIP

all seasons in one day 19 °C

We paid about GBP80 for annual National Trust Membership last October and only managed a few visits before all of their properties started closing for winter; so now is the time to start using it again.

On Wednesday, we drove just a few miles from Cockfield to Melford Hall and what a disappointment this place is - just a couple of interesting rooms in the house and virtually no gardens. If we'd paid the GBP6.60 each to get in, we'd be very unhappy.

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On Thursday, we drove a bit farther afield to Anglesey Abbey just a few miles from Cambridge, and the contrast to yesterday's Melford Hall was remarkable - a really interesting house and contents and 25 acres of gardens that resembled a mini Kew Gardens. So you get what you pay for; the entrance fee is GBP10.50.

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Anglesey Abbey -  Lord Fairhaven's Shoes

Anglesey Abbey - Lord Fairhaven's Shoes

Posted by kforge 11:59 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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