As one would assume, we were completely exhausted after the 37 day tour, and spent two days in a hostel in London sleeping and not doing a whole lot else. We then decided it was a good time to pay our friends Tameela and Dan in Peterborough a visit, so caught a train (wow trains in the UK are so expensive) and stayed with them for a few days. Peterborough is famous for their cathedral. Now I've seen a lot of cathedrals in Europe, and this one definitely stacked up well against the best.
Tameela and Dan were great, and managed to entertain us well despite having busy work schedules. Many stories were swapped over pints at the pub!
My next mission was to visit my uncle and cousin who live near Manchester, so Brett and I hired a car for a week and drove north. It was a pretty bland drive (the scenic drives were to come in Scotland), and we stopped in Manchester city for a quick look around on the way. Manchester reminds me quite a lot of Brisbane if I had to try and compare it to something. I was to discover that if I wanted to choose somewhere in England I wanted to live (regardless of job opportunities) then I would choose Manchester. That said, I didn't visit Leeds or Liverpool, but from what I've heard I didn't miss anything anyway!
It was great to see my uncle and cousin, none of us could remember the last time we had seen each other but it was at least 10 years ago. My cousin has a very cute, very naughty little 3 year old girl, and a brand new baby girl that's only about a month old now. I became “Uncle” Mark :)
After spending a night with my uncle, we drove to a town called Blackpool. Blackpool is famous for having the whole town lit up with Christmas lights every year during September for a few weeks (yes they take them down before Christmas – go figure). It just so happened that the first day of the Illuminations as they are called, was the day we arrived.
So the streets were full of people, and there was a big carnival which I went on the best ride ever – some kind of giant swing. We also witnessed our first genuine English bar brawl! Plenty of entertainment afoot.
The next day we were off to Scotland.