Another hot day in Vegas but we still had our hire car so this time we headed out to see one of the areas man made wonders. The Hoover Dam
I don’t need to explain the history or the significance of this place and we didn’t see Superman fly past whilst we were there but it is still quite something to see it in the flesh
We have just returned from a couple of weeks in the USA. Our 2014 summer vacation.
The holiday was split into 2 parts with 6 nights in Las Vegas and then a few more nights in San Francisco. As you can imagine, my camera was never far from my side so here are a selection of pictures (the full set can be found by following the links to my photo album).
First of all Las Vegas itself.
It’s certainly larger than life, loud, brash and everything you would expect it to be. It’s tacky, it’s cheap (except where the hotels try and charge you for every single thing) and above all else, it was hot.
We stayed right on The Strip in the New York New York Resort but we soon discovered that all the hotels are pretty much the same. Loads to see and do but a couple of days is all it takes
The wheels keep on turning and this weekend we have headed over to the other side of the country to Telford in Shropshire and to Ironbridge.
This is where the industrial revolution began and what happened in this beautiful corner of the country impacted the world that we live in today in ways that you can only start to imagine. There is a good reason why Ironbridge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Whilst the main attraction of Ironbridge is the Iron Bridge itself, there are 10 main museums up and down the valley covering Iron making and all that it brought as well as the areas other claim to fame, pottery. The museum that you must visit if you do no others is the Blists Hill Village where a victorian town has been recreated with fully functional banks, butchers, bakers and even candlestick makers. This museum alone can take you a full day and is brought to life by an army of volunteers all in authentic costume. If can feel quite strange walking in through somebodies front door and finding them sitting in front of the fireplace knitting and telling stories about what has been going on in the village that day.
Many of the shops actually sell stuff and you can even change your cash into pounds, shillings and pence at the bank first to spend in the shops. There is a pub where songs are sung around the piano and real ale is served behind the bar. The fish and chip shop is certainly worth a visit and serves up some of the best chips (fried in beef dripping) I have had in a long time.
The other museums vary in scale with some taking literally 20 minutes to cover whilst others taking much longer. We purchased a family annual passport at £68 which covers 2 adults and up to 4 children which works out best value if you intend to visit at least 2 museums during the year. Indeed we may well return within the 12 months as we really did enjoy our weekend here. Full details can be found on the main Ironbridge Gorge website www.ironbridge.org.uk
Whilst best explored on foot there is both a Park & Ride scheme in place as well as a shuttle bus that connects the different museums.
We all found something that we enjoyed is Ironbridge and look forward to returning in the future.
As mentioned the other day, my company policy states that I must have a company car to drive on company business. Whilst I am still convinced that my previous Audi A7 was more than suitable for the task, the company policy disagrees so it is with a heavy heart I had to say goodbye to the Audi.
In it’s place, my new company car. A BMW 520D SE in Space Grey
Now normally at this stage, a new BMW owner will go on to list all the various optional extras that they have but in this case, because it is a company vehicle, it has none. I wasn’t even allowed to specify an automatic gearbox.
But looking to find the positive in every negative, the standard spec is actually quite impressive especially for a brand with a reputation for everything being an option.
So we have Heated Electric Leather Seats, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Keyless Start, Xenon Headlamps, Alloy Wheels, DAB Radio, BMW Connected Drive with iDrive all as standard.
This is all pushed along by the rear wheels through a 6 speed manual gearbox linked to a 2 litre diesel engine kicking out 181bhp. To be fair, whilst this falls well short of most cars I have been driving for the last 7 years, it isn’t sluggish.
So as I said the other day, as there are no limits on personal use, this car is going to take us all around the UK and beyond over the next few years so we are going to be spending quite a bit of time in it. Don’t be surprised if you see it in the background of various photos as we travel.
So here are some pictures and I will report back in a few weeks as to what it is like.
The planets have aligned and a new chapter seems to be opening up with new opportunities
The arrival of a company car (a first for me) has opened up an opportunity to explore new places both in the UK and into Europe without the worry of putting loads of miles on my own car and the cost that this entails. This alone has seen us make a commitment as a family to get out more. To visit new places and explore the country that we live in. So expect to see more day trips getting blogged about. Our approach is simple. If we see somewhere that looks interesting, we will add it to the list and make a point of going there.
In addition, trips onto the EuroTunnel and beyond are likely to become more common so watch this space.
So if you have read through this blog, you will know my love of photography however on recent trips, I have really struggled to get the shots I wanted which has forced me to rethink my approach to photography and resulted in me upgrading my camera equipment. More on that in a future post.
And finally, I am going to use this blog to tell the world about my travels. Both business and personal. Expect to see a bigger emphasis on travel. Whilst I am not claiming that this will be a full on travel blog, travel and photography will be a big theme but as well as trip reports, I will also post more reviews on the restaurants I eat in and hotels I sleep in. After all I already take the time to post reviews on TripAdvisor so why not include those reviews here.
So notable changes, a slightly different approach and more emphasis on travel and traveling. Enjoy the ride