This is a quick post simply to share these beautiful crocus’s from my local park. A warm spell brought them out in all their glory…
Last week was my birthday and usually I don’t bother too much with them for all sorts of reasons. But this year some lovely friends decided to spoil me and it would have just been rude to say no! So I spent a delightful few days in the beautiful Yorkshire city of York.
York is a city full of old buildings hidden gems and surprise views. You can get up high in the Minster, the castle and walking the city walls and each corner you turn expect a surprise view of something interesting. If you are at all interested in ancient history and archeology York is for you. We took a free tour starting at the art gallery at either 11.15am or 1.15pm every day which was interesting and very informative and lasted a good couple of hours. These tours are run by volunteers who are simply passionate about their city. York is quite a compact city especially the old centre it is very easy to walk everywhere and I would recommend that as you find all sorts of interesting things along the way. One of the friends I was with said that we needed to make sure we looked up while we were wandering as there is so much to see above eye level and you would miss so much if you didn’t.
Obviously the other important thing about a birthday is food. One of my friends recommended a place which she knew provided gluten free options and made scrumptious plates of goodness so I gratefully followed on.
Mannion and Co are found at 1 Blake Street very close to the minster. You can pop in for food or buy artisan bread and cakes to take away. It is clear that they are passionate about what they do and proud of the food they deliver and so they should be. From a gluten free point of view they were great as they could provide decent gluten free bread for any of their sandwiches and quite a lot of the other food was also suitable. Cake wise it varies a little day to day but there are some good options. I am not a big fan of a chocolate browny and am disappointed that this more often than not is the only GF option. Here they have a delicious pistachio and almond treat that melted in my mouth. They also serve the biggest ‘individual’ meringues with cream and fruit which in truth could feed a family! I would highly recommend a visit whether you are GF or not.
Finally I stayed in Hotel Indigo which is pretty central taking about ten minutes to walk through the centre to get to the Minster. It was chosen because it seemed to have the best gluten free options for breakfast of all the hotels we looked at. And I have to say it didn’t disappoint! It was the best selection I have ever had. The GF bread they offered was delicious artisan and brown, really good bread. There were GF muffins and the bread and muffins were on a separate table well away from the normal bread and a toaster was provided just for the GF bread. The sausages weren’t GF but you could substitute for veggie sausages instead. I had scrambled eggs and smoked salmon each morning which was plentiful and delicious. You could also freshly squeeze your own orange juice and fresh thick smoothies were available every day, definitely something for everyone.
The rooms were comfortable, beautifully decorated and themed around the local area. So a huge thank you to my friends (you know who you are!) for treating me I REALLY REALLY appreciated it.
Mandalay is much like any other big city for the most but there are a few gems to search out. One of those is Mandalay hill and the temples and pagoda which are situated on the way up. It also gives the best view around. We wandered off in search of the hill and found a few things along the way. To get to Mandalay hill we needed to walk round the Royal Palace complex that is surrounded by a huge moat. The walls are enormous over eight meters high and three meters which and stretch in a square for two kilometres each side. To be fair we didn’t quite appreciate what a trek this would be but the sun was out and the sky was blue so it was very pleasant to wander around the moat even if it did go on forever!
The path around the moat is lined with beautiful old twisted trees that make delightful patterns with their branches. At one point I looked up and realised one of the trees was full of hundreds of crows or ravens….never have been sure how to tell them apart.
Some interesting coloured and shaped properties. I’m intrigued to know what the open space at the top of these three houses is for any ideas? And bright pink is a bold life choice for your home!
And some people…I might have said this before but the Myanmar people are by far the most well dressed in Asia. Men in sarongs are a definite must they look so smart…Can you imagine British men in sarongs, it would be hilarious!
Finally it wouldn’t be a major city in Myanmar without a temple or pagoda every now and again.
We were also quite excited to find a range of excersize contraptions along the way which entertained us and what a lovely view to work out to!
The longest teakwood bridge in the world is the U Bein Bridge about half an hours drive away from Mandalay and is also thought to be the oldest to. It spans around three quarters of a mile across lake Taungthaman and has so far lasted […]