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Not The Nottingham We Expected

overcast 15 °C
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"Why exactly did I decide to come here?" - Mark

Foodie moment

The Caribbean festival was in town, so what do we do...? We get with the culture and eat Caribbean style food! It was hard to choose, as there were plenty of options available, but we settled on barbecued jerked chicken and homemade chicken dumpling. I can understand why Caribbean food is so popular here, very tasty!

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Cultural moment

As mentioned above, the Caribbean festival was in town, an event that happens every year and is hosted in the open gardens in Nottingham. There were people from all walks of life (and I mean ALL walks) enjoying the live reggae music, food, rides and alcohol. Upon entering the festival there was a line of security where we had to be patted down for who knows what (weapons?) and although it was a family event, the demographic of the crowd suggested otherwise. Plenty of police were on guard which left us wondering if it was the type of festival that they were needed often. But even so, we had a good time, getting the chance to try home cooked Caribbean food and listening to the Bob Marley style music (while getting stray whiffs of strange smelling smoke). We headed off home as it got dark, not sure if the weather was going to hold out, feeling more culturally aware or Nottingham for better of worse.

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Wow moment

The central city of Nottingham is quite large in area, easily taking us an hour or so to do a full circuit. There are a lot of old heritage buildings and you can tell the area has a lot of history to tell. There are also plenty of modern parts to the city, like trams, but they don't take away from the beauty of the old style at all. In the middle of it all is the town square, which while we were there had been set up as an artificial beach with tiki bar, rides, sand pit and pool with fountain. It was nice to see that the kids of the area (especially in the lower income demographic) could still enjoy the sunny weather and play by the beach, even though it was man made. Having said all that, the reason people come to Nottingham is because of the literary hero Robin Hood. It doesn't take long to realise that the town has nothing to do with the story - Sherwood forest is ages away and the only mention of Robin Hood is a small statue and some plaques where you can read some of the story. Dissapointing!

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What we learnt today

Everybody seems to be in a rush on the roads in England, and we noticed it especially driving around Nottingham. There are speed limits, as far as I could tell, 70 mph on the motorways, but not many people tend to pay attention. 80+ mph is more what the majority of motorist do. I only ever saw one police radar in our entire northern UK trip. There are hundreds of speed camera traps, but they are all clearly marked and easily avoided. Speeding isn't just limited to the motorways either, inner town roads with limits of 30 also get the rush treatment, and hard breaking into intersections seems to be the norm. I wonder what the brake pad and clutch wear out rate is like here compared to back home.

Posted by travellinglise 07:17 Archived in England Tagged nottingham Comments (0)

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