A quick blog about England, Scotland and a long trail of Harry Potter movie locations. Look around if you've ever wanted to vist the UK, or are a Harry Potter fan and want to see the places I've been. And become Scot-lish. Like me.

Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Finally in my 20s, love reading and a huge Harry Potter fan

The current mood of Tazzu at

Monday, June 27, 2005


Today was our last day at the fabulous five-star hotel, and I decided, today was the day I was going to use the pool. We had tried to get into the pool room since the day we arrived, but the swinging doors were firmly shut to us. The doors had windows you could look through onto the pool, and it was like dangling candy in front of a child – this pool was incredible.

We finally discovered we had to go through the massage parlour, then down a long corridor with about 10 doors to choose from, then through the changing room, and finally we arrived… it was like stepping to something the Greek gods had created.

The pool was enormous and crystal blue. All around the room was paintings of cherubs and Greek pots and heroes. A room to the side was filled with pool-noodles and other fun pool-type toys, and hidden away in another corner was a sauna, steam room and aroma therapy room. I tried the first two – and nearly died from the heat, and the aroma therapy room smelt like medicine, so I chose to stick to the pool. It was only then that I found the Jacuzzi…

After about two hours of lounging around in the pool, I decided the morning had been well spent, and we went off to start the next leg of our journey. Just before we left, we took a picture of the manky wall behind our hotel – the one built by the Romans in like 200 BC.

Today we were going to find the Silverstone race track and Stonehenge. As we started off, we passed near Wimbledon. About 20 minutes drive away from the actual stadiums, people were using their gardens as parking places, and charging up to £20 just to park your car, and then walk for another hour!

£20 may not be a lot in England terms, but it sounded ridiculous to us! When we actually passed Wimbledon, I saw a few of the grandstands and the sign for Centre Court. People were queuing by the hundreds outside, just waiting to get a glimpse of their favourite tennis star. Glad it wasn’t me in line…

Next up, we reached Silverstone… and I was suitably unimpressed. It’s all very well being able to see the signs and the gates for the place, but what’s the use if you can’t see the actual track?

We begged the guard to let us in, but he was having none of it, so we had to be happy with what we saw… which was rather very little. At one point, we were even going to climb up some rickety old bridge thing, but we figured our lives were more important than seeing the track.

Making a pit stop to get some lunch, we found some interesting ‘goods’ in the convenience store – this is always the best part about travelling to another country, getting so see what they have that I’ve never seen before. There we found chocolate, in the shape of Pringles Chips, and toothbrushes that are the size of your thumb nail – it already has the toothpaste on, and you just chew it and voila! A minty fresh smile!

Along the way to Stonehenge, the next stop, we saw some really amazing scenery, mostly the rolling hills and wheat fields you expect, but we also saw a lot of poppy fields. We were wondering what exactly the English are doing with all these poppies – since what you make with poppies is mostly opium…

Another long while of driving, and then, there it was… Stonehenge. Now this was pretty impressive to me, although it seemed a lot smaller than I had thought.

When you get to the entrance, there are posters standing around explaining how the stones got there and what they’re composed of. There are also two of the actual stones there, and you’re supposed to touch them and feel how different they are in warmth – apparently one type of stone absorbs more heat than the other. My mom and I were amazed at this difference and that we could actually feel it. My dad said he didn’t feel anything, and looked at us like we were mad.

When you pay to get your ticket, you’re also given a long black thing that looks like an old cell phone – it has a key pad and a speaker at the top that you have to hold to your ear. This thing was going to tell us the history of Stonehenge, take us on a magical trip back in time to when men were savages and women were still in the kitchen, cooking the woolly mammoth… Except my cell phone gadget wouldn’t work, and kept repeating the same part of the story over and over. Stonehenge then seemed to lose some of its magic as I swore at the CP gadget and threatened to throw it on the floor.

Eventually, I gave up and just looked at the stones – it really is a beautiful sight. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I discovered you couldn’t go closer to the stones than about 15 metres, but hey, I enjoyed it anyway. When we left, I found a machine that turns a penny into this squashed out strip of copper with a picture of Stonehenge on it. You have to turn this lever that squishes the coin and imprints the picture – what the ‘daft tourist’ (me) didn’t know is that when the coin came out it would be flaming hot and singe my skin. So I now have a faint impression on Stonehenge on my left palm…

Along our travels, I took this picture, which I'm really proud of - it makes the balloon look so lost and desolate, definitely one of my favourite pictures:

And this is the name of a narrow, winding little road we actually drove on:

And suddenly, another day of our holiday was over. We stopped at our next hotel in Rugby – a Travelodge (these places aren’t too bad for the price). The best part of the night was that our room overlooked a field, a field that was filled with bunnies. When we opened the windows, it was like the whole countryside was moving as the bunnies all disappeared into the trees… this was just the kind of thing I had expected in England, and I was loving every minute!


Post a Comment

<< Home