Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sweden - Stockholm

I have made it to Stockholm, Sweden, my home for the next few months while on assignment here for work, a country I haven't been to before.
Not much to show or tell yet, there is plenty of time for site seeing. The weather is all downhill from here, apparently last weekend was the last "summer" weekend and the cool breeze today is a reminder of how cold it will get.
When a colleague tried to confirm it didn't actually snow in Stockholm, the local laughed at his lack of knowledge of the Scandinavian Climate, and his hope it wouldn't occur. Snow starts in November, but for now it is still light until fairly late.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Edinburgh Tattoo

After spending last week with my grandmother in Cumbria, I have returned to Edinburgh to see my uncle. This city is amazing, it is the fourth time I have been here and each time I find it's history and buildings breathtaking.

I was so fortunate that my Uncle had organised tickets to the Tattoo held at the castle. For years I have watched this on TV in Australia on New Year's Eve and for him to be able to take me to this event was huge surprise.
It was spectacular, the backdrop of the castle is the perfect setting for this wonderful event with performers from all over the globe.

I feel very privileged to have been able to attend such a well known event. If I'm ever in Edinburgh in August again this is number one on my list.
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Sunday, August 19, 2007


After London I caught the train up to the city of Liverpool to see family.
While there I did a bit of site seeing with them

Williamson's Tunnels
was a remarkable thing to see. A philanthropist, Williamson didn't believe in just giving money away, men had to work for it. So what better other than to build a whole lot of tunnels around his area of the city to nowhere in particular. An usual story of these tunnels some only rediscovered very recently that network under an area of Liverpool.
They weren't just small tunnels but very large, sometimes three on top of each other with wonderful brick work. Here is the exit to one such tunnel.

Also went on to see the Atlantic War command in an underground complex in the centre of Liverpool. Here the battle was planned with hundreds working here at one time. A very interesting visit.
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Thursday, August 16, 2007


Yesterday I went out to the University town of Oxford.

This canal links all the way to London.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bletchley Park

Yesterday I took the train out to Bletchley Park, for me this was very significant as I had read in quite a bit about the cracking of the Enigma, and other, ciphers there durinng WWII. Much of it was kept secret until the 1970's and even more recently with some of the more advanced ciphers cracked with what is probably the world's first computer. It didn't get recognition because it was all classified until the last 20 years. Absolutely remarkable what they did there and it is estimated that it shortened the war by about 2 years!!!
All those invovled in this operation were sworn to secrecy, not able to share in the glory that troops on the front line were able to, yet their achievements were so significant. As Churchill said, they were the geece that lay the golden eggs but never cackled.

A fully recreated bombe machine used to crack Enigma.

The huts that all the work was done in.

A re-creation of the world's first computer to crack ciphers.

The Bletchley Park mansion. From what I could tell, not all that much code breaking was done there, but a grand building never the less.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Back in London

Back in the great city of London. Fortunately the weather was fairly good when I arrived.

Here are the Borough Markets, very much a local's market where there are some very high quality foods brought here from all over Europe.

This would have to be the most distinctive photo of everyday London, the tube trains and the words "Mind the Gap" on the platform. You can get just about anywhere with the tube, it is relatively expensive but very very good value. If any travelers to London do intend to use it, get an Oyster card, it will pay for itself in very little time as fares are almost double without it, yet I don't see many tourists using them.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Off to Europe

Today I leave for a relatively long trip to Europe mainly for work in Sweden but also taking the opportunity to do some site seeing. My work ends just before Christmas, however I may be back for a week or so during that time.
My first stop is the UK and London where I'll catch up with family and friends before heading north seeing more family and eventually flying out of Glasgow for Stockholm, Sweden where I start my work.
Plan to post photos / experiences here of my adventure.