Category: The click tick list

Click Tick List – Attend the Ceremony of the Keys

About four years ago when I was researching things to do in London for our annual visit I came across The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. It sounded interesting so I tried to get tickets for that year. All ‘sold’ out. Boo. The following year I tried again about two months before we were due to go. Same problem.

Last summer after we returned from our trip and the three of us were chatting about how much fun we’d had I decided to check out the website again to see how far in advance you could book this thing! Turns out a long time in advance. After a discussion about when we wanted to go in 2019 I booked us three tickets. A year in advance….. crazy. But they were booked. The ceremony is actually free you pay £1 for admin costs.

So off we went to the Tower!

No photos are allowed so the pic above is from before we went in. We had a Yeomen Warder as our guide who explained what was going to happen and also gave us lots of information about the buildings we walked past in this historic place.

There were probably 30 (now I know why tickets are booked up) people in the group and we watched as the 700 year old tradition of locking the Tower took place before us.

For Gav and I it was an amazing thing to witness. To think that every evening for hundreds of years this ceremony has taken place. There were just a couple of times due to the war that it didn’t happen. We had a great time and I’m so glad we made that booking all that time ago!

Click Tick List – Ride the Mail Rail

Back with more tales from our London trip and crossing another item of my list.

This is another one of those things that I stumbled upon and thought it sounded a fun thing to add to my 100.

Hannah and I hopped aboard for a 15 minute journey on the narrow gauge underground train that used to move post around London.

Construction began during the first world war and the service operated from 1927 to 2003. In its heyday it helped to move 14 million letters through the sorting offices of the capital. The journey we took included a virtual tour guide who talked about the history of the line and we stopped along the way to see video cleverly projected onto to the walls of the tunnel. It was all really good and I enjoyed the experience. Not sure the 15 year old would agree but she joined in non the less.

Really glad I added it to my list and of course crossed it off.

And after all that fun we had a wander around the postal museum too which I loved because ….post boxes!

Ah, the places we take that girl.

The Click Tick List – Cross Abbey Road

Who knows how this ended up on the list. I’m not even a huge Beatles fan but maybe I just thought it was something fun to do. And it was….. sort of.

Gav, Hannah and I went on our annual trip to London last weekend and I managed to get three things ticked, hooray. We headed off to Abbey Road in north London on the Sunday morning. I expected it would be busy and I wasn’t wrong.

It definitely could have been worse though. Han wasn’t too keen on joining in on this experience but bless her she did it.

To get a perfect representation I think you’d need to be there at 5am……. and anyone who knowingly drives down this street deserves to get stopped as folk try to cross to get that album cover photo!

Gav did an excellent job of snapping us when no one else was crossing.

So it is done and crossed off. Yeah, yeah, yeah………..

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about just Google images of Abbey Road and all will become clear).

The Click Tick List – Photograph Duddo Five Stones

I love it when something on my list gets done so easily! When I updated my list last year I added a visit to this stone circle into the mix because I adore an ancient monument and it’s in Northumberland where we visit often, so I figured it would be easy to do. And it was!

We spent my birthday in a lovely country hotel near Alnwick and took a drive to find this 4,000 year old ring of stones.

And although it was very windy the sky was a bright and a beautiful blue with lots of sunshine making the taking of photos a dream.

The position of this circle is up on a high ground so it gives you a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. To the south are the Cheviot Hills.

The stones are sandstone which has become eroded by the weather over the years leaving the deep cut channels.

There were originally seven stones and you can see the gap to the west of the circle where the two missing stones would have stood.

Oh yes a little dog in the photo too. Gav was hiding behind that large stone because I asked him to get out of my shot but the pooch crept back in….

And of course it wouldn’t be right to leave this place without a self timed photo.

It was only a quick visit but this reminded me of how much I love to do this kind of thing. As long as the walk from the car isn’t too long. We used to trek about all over looking at monuments. Really glad I added this to my list and now crossed it off!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Orto botanico di Pisa

When we went to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower we also wandered through town and popped into this University Garden. Said to be the first botanical garden attached to a ‘University’ and formed in 1544 although not on this current site.

It was worth visiting but did seem a little run down. The specimen beds seen in the photo below didn’t have many specimens in them and there were overgrown neglected paths and areas.

But like I say worth the visit anyway.

And we came across this very interesting screen…..

Looked like it was protecting this pine tree from the sun!

And there was a small area with annuals and a sweet wildlife ‘hotel’.

Loved that brick gateway.

Not the best we have seen but another added to my total!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Villa Reale di Marlia

Sharing another wonderful visit to a Tuscan garden today. Full of character, follies, pools and even a disused swimming pool, the gardens of Villa Reale were a treat. And the amazing thing was we only saw four other visitors while we were there.

Even the walk from car to garden was even lined with cyclamen.

Perfect vista looking towards the main villa.

The garden itself was sprawling and beautiful with different areas such as the potted citrus garden below.

The light of course was amazing with that blue sky contrasting the greens and architecture so well.

A pretty knot garden tucked away at the side of one of the many buildings on the estate.

Sculpture and urns, topiary and fountains it was all packed in.

Along with the largest Hibiscus I’ve ever seen!

Truly lovely afternoon spent meandering and of course another added towards my 100!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

The Click Tick List – See the Leaning Tower of Pisa

You know when you get an idea, maybe it’s something that you have had in your head for ages like seeing one of the amazing sights of the world.

And you get to actually see it one day and it was sort of a disappointment? Well, the day we saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not one of those days! HA!

It was just as wonderfully quirky at I’d imagined.

I mean. Look at it. It’s crazy.

And beautiful.

And even better when the sun shines on that marble and limestone.

I could talk about its history, how they tried to correct the lean while still building it and at several times over the next several hundred years but the internet can fill all those details in for you. I simply want to remember how amazing it was.

Such a great day and I’m happy to have crossed it off the list.

The Click Tick List – Sail on the Grand Canal

This is one of those things that I added to my list because it felt easy-ish to accomplish, after all Italy isn’t too far from me yet it also felt like something that I’d never do. Perhaps this was because I couldn’t see us parting with the money to hire a gondola!

Enter then the Vaporetto. A water bus.

When we were planning our summer trip to Tuscany I added a day trip to Venice into the mix. It is not close but it was closer than Leeds so I thought we could make the train journey and I could cross something off my list.

The ride on the Vaporetto was the main event. And Gav did an amazing job of planning where we should get on and off the bus and then how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It worked out great.

We visited Venice on another day trip about 20 years ago and I admit that I didn’t like it all that much. Yes, it was beautiful and quirky but oh so crowded. Still I wanted to go back and take that boat trip and I am so glad I did because I fell in love with the quieter streets and the bridges, oh the bridges!

But this story is not about the bridges. This story is about the canal and all its beautiful buildings lining the waters edge. We hopped on board at the train station.

Loved that traffic light in the picture below!

Seeing the city from the water was perfect and I guess this is how it should be viewed.

Managed to snap a reflection of us while we were docked.

After thirty minutes or so we came to the San Marco basin where the canal opens up into a bigger area of water and where we disembarked.

The building in the below photo is the Doge’s Palace with the domes of San Marco’s Basilica in the background.

And to finish us off one of the perfect little bridges. Oh yes, the large white bridge at the top of this post is the Rialto Bridge a spectacular and grand example which has shops actually on it!

So there we go a memorable trip on a water bus that can be crossed of the list!

The Click Tick List – See the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition in Liverpool

I stumbled on the information for this exhibition quite by accident earlier in the summer. Somewhere in the depths of my memory I knew I’d heard of this archeological find but didn’t know much about it.

We headed off last weekend to see what it was all about.

This was the first time in over ten years that the Warriors (they have been called the Terracotta Army too) have come to the UK and the curators at the World Museum in Liverpool have put together a stunning exhibition.

Both breathtaking and terrifying we walked alongside the stories of how the sculptures were made and buried with the Emperor to protect him in the afterlife.

The detail was remarkable, each figure lifesize and unique. They estimate that there are 8,000 soldiers plus horses and chariots. They are still excavating this tomb that was discovered by chance in 1974.

I would love to see them in situ (just search instagram or the internet for an idea of the scale of this tomb) but I know I’ll never go so this will have to do.

Well worth the visit.