Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Wot no tigers!

Julia and I decided to celebrate our Ruby Wedding with a whistle-stop tour of South Africa. Yes it was rushed, yes there were lots of very early starts but in 16 days we saw most of the major tourist attractions. We went with Riviera Travel and they were brilliant. We had a great tour manager, Matt, and a very good Afrikaans guide Richard. We had two days in Kruger during which we saw the "big five" and went animal tracking, a day at the Zulu battlefields, the Garden Route, visit to a winery, whale watching at Hermanus, Cape of Good Hope, penguins at Simons Town, Table Mountain, Robben Island. There was not much that we didn't do.
About the only thing we didn't see were tigers; but then there are none in Africa as my granddad shot them all - or so he told my dad!
We really had a fabulous time - all we need now is a few days rest!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Fiel pero desdichado

The cognoscenti among you will recognize this as the family motto of the Marlborough Family and conclude that we have probably been to visit Blenheim Palace recently. You are absolutely correct! Part of our Ruby Wedding Anniversary present from Julia's twin sister Phil and her family was a voucher for dinner, bed & breakfast at the Feathers Hotel in Woodstock. This is an excellent hotel which is infamous for its Gin Bar having over 100 different gins. Julia's one complaint was that we were not able to try them all. We now have a new favourite Gin - No 3. It is from Berry Bros and Rudd, the wine merchants of St. James's Street. No 3 is an exceptional Gin, at £33 per bottle it should be, I doubt if we will be drinking too many bottles of it but I would encourage you all to try it - you will need a decent tonic water to go with it, something such as Fever-Tree or Q Tonic Water.

Blenheim Palace is exceptional; the day ticket can be converted to a year ticket at no extra cost and we spent two days looking at the house and grounds. If you have not been I do encourage you to go.

Whilst we were in the area we are went to visit the grave of Winston Churchill, a member of the Marlborough Family.