Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thought for Thursday - Birmingham How I Love Thee!

We recently travelled up to Birmingham for a work reunion and it was the first time I'd been back for several years. So I thought I'd document our lightening 24 hours in Brum!

We travelled up from Oxford by National Express coach which was an interesting experience. The collection of the tickets was a little fraught (OK I had a bit of a melt down!) but as the coach was running late it didn't turn out to be too traumatic. We had to sit right at the back of the coach, bringing back memories of school trips. The couple who were sprawled across the back seat weren't too chuffed at having to move but that wasn't our problem. They did have an interesting way of travelling, constantly shifting about in their seats, her on his lap, both draped across each other or wrapped up like Siamese twins. At one stage he was feeding her orange juice as if she were a child - I did wonder if she was ill but I think they were just trying to sleep. All this caused some eye rolling but as the journey wasn't too long it didn't prove to be much of an inconvenience.

We walked through the city centre and found our way to our hotel. We stayed at the Ibis Hotel on Lionel Street which was just around the comer from the bar where we were to meet our old colleagues  so that was a bonus. Our room was comfortable and perfect for an overnight stay.

There was even a complimentary chocolate on the bed - but being Brum it was a mini Chomp bar rather than a posh truffle!

The shower could have been more powerful but it was adequate for one night. I guess I've been spoiled by the wonderful power showers at the gym so I do notice a trickles of less powerful showers.

It took me ages to realise that the pattern on the walls was the outside of the Selfridges building in the Bull Ring!

We ate at Fleet Street Kitchen on Summer Row. It was really nice although I'm still not sure about these open restaurants where you can see through to the kitchens - I did spend far too long watching the chef grill steaks! I had a mushroom and halloumi burger which was lush. I do wish they'd dried the lettuce more as after a few bites the bun started to go soggy. Chips in a bucket of course!

Dessert was ice cream - two scoops of caramel and one of chocolate. I though the caramel was lovely but when I got to the chocolate I was purring - it was rich and creamy, simply  the best chocolate ice cream I've ever had! More please ...

I had to include some shots of the new library. It was the first time I'd seen it and it is certainly a stunning piece of architecture. I still have a soft spot for the old library - you can't beat a bit of Brutalism in my view!

It is rather sad to see it unused - I spent  many happy hours pouring over books there - and a few not so happy doing revision!

I love the serene expression on this statue's face. She sits at the bottom of the steps leading from Chamberlain Square to the top of New Street. Basking in the warm sunshine, just the way to spend a Sunday in Brum!

I had to include the Floozy in the Jacuzzi - even if they have turned off her bath and planted flowers!

I squealed with delight when I saw this shop - AVFC on New Street! Sadly it was closed and we had no time to spare so I wasn't able to pop in and buy anything - rather fancied a new season shirt...

These owls are dotted around the city. This is something I've seen in other cities and they're all individually decorated. I don't know who this one is designed by but I'm proud of the artistic road works I've captured in the background! Mental note to self: framing is important in photographs.

As we headed back to Digbeth to catch the coach home I looked back at the city and was fascinated by this shot of the old and new together - St Martin's and Selfridges. Rather sums up Birmingham - a fusion of old and new, always looking forward and innovating.

No comments:

Post a Comment