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Entries about colchester

Colchester, Essex - the nice bit of Essex

Still a couple of fake-tanned teen mums walking around though!

semi-overcast 13 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town, and was for a period the capital of Roman Britain. It is also been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns.

Foodie moment

Barbara's signature dish, learnt during her years living in Spain, is her Seafood Paella. As always it is delicious, especially with the traditional crunchy bits from where it sticks to the pan...Yum!!


Cultural moment

Although in an expanding population there are always new houses built, the majority of houses in Colchester are over 100yrs old. Having said that, unless you live in a 19th century or earlier house, it is very unlikely your house will be heritage listed. Even so, you see very few houses being bulldozed, and modern houses being erected. The British home-owners seem to respect the history of their houses, the periods they were built, and they continue to maintain the details (particularly in terms of the tiling on the roofs). It is so nice to walk down the street and still see history in each building - even without laws forcing them to keep them that way.


Wow moment

Colchester Castle and Gardens are stunning. The castle's keep (tower) was the largest ever built in Britain and the largest surviving example in Europe. The building of the castle was completed in 1100, 913 years ago, but it still stands tall and strong. The gardens that stretch out below the castle are beautifully maintained and full of local wild life such as squirrels, magpies and ducks.


What we learnt today

Today, unfortunately, we learnt that just like all other councils around the world, Colchester is capable of making big errors when deciding to build attractions to 'attract' tourists (Yes Melbourne council, we refer to Fed square). In Colchester, it is the 'First Site Modern Art Museum'. 28 million pounds later there is a circular art gallery (as pointed out - not the best shape for displaying art) filled with the most random modern 'art' possible. Our favourites were a wall covered in blue tack blobs, an empty sleeping bag on the floor and a basketball in a glass vase.
The only redeeming feature in the gallery is the Berryfield mosaic (the only permanent exhibit). Discovered by a gardener in 1923 when digging a hole for rubbish, the mural dates back to 200AD and is in beautiful condition


Posted by travellinglise 14:02 Archived in England Tagged colchester colchester_castle Comments (0)

Hello the UK, welcome to Col(d)chester

Talk about climate shock! Don't forget your jacket!

sunny 10 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"The highest temperature ever recorded in England was 38.5 degrees in Kent in 2003"


So here we are, finally in England. After a 13 hour flight through the night, catching maybe 2 hours sleep in economy seats, 1 day of jet lag recovery and a bout of tonsillitis, we have our first blog entry from actually within Europe. We are currently staying in Colchester, at Lisa's aunty's house, 1 hour out of London, where we are being spoilt and are very very grateful for it.

Foodie moment

What do you want your first morning in England? A good old fashioned fry up - and that is what we got courtesy of Barbara!


First night off the plane, totally brain fried, we were taken to a pub in Colchester that had a £10 a head Gurka set menu, and oh boy it was amazing! So much food we didn't even get close to finishing it all. Absolutely great value for money! Curry, now the other traditional dish of England


A nice trip out to Mersea Island, Barbara took us to West Mersea Oyster Bar. So much amazingly fresh sea food, we had oysters, a seafood platter, cod and chips, and lobster. The best fish 'n' chips I've had!


Cultural moment

History and culture is something England definitely isn't short of. Most buildings here are hundreds of years old, something that is hard to comprehend when coming from Australia that is only 200 years old! The Peldon Rose, a pub in Colchester has been serving customers for over 500 years! The building is in original condition, and displays such ancient architecture as the entrance way which is only 5 feet tall, a common design of such times.


Wow moment

Mersea Island, an island on the coast near Colchester, is only an island when it is high tide. When its not, you can get to it by driving over the mud flats. We went on a nice sunny day, even so it was icy cold with the wind off the water. The beach, piers and boats make for a truly picturesque landscape. The below 10 degree temperatures didn't stop the kids from kayaking and fishing for crabs though. The food at the oyster bar was amazing. It was a really awesome day!


What we learnt today

Driving over here is pretty much the same as back home, except for a few differences. The biggest one that we still can't get used to seeing is parking on either side of the road facing any direction you want. You have cars nose to nose, or end to end on the same side of the road. It's perfectly normal to parallel park on the wrong side of the road facing the oncoming traffic. Doing this back home is a quick way to get a ticket, or the attention of the police pretty quickly.


Posted by travellinglise 10:43 Archived in England Tagged england colchester mersea_island Comments (0)

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