Four Countries In Four Days – Part 3

It was brought to my attention that I completely forgot to mention the epic meat feast Uros treated us to in Ljubljana at CAD http://www.gostilna-cad.si/gb/index.html This was the day we walked around in the rain and watched the Rugby in the pub!

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This was my first experience with Serbian/Bosnian cuisine and it reminded me of Thanksgiving because the food was so delicious and plentiful but my stomach started waving the white flag of defeat shortly after we started!

So there you go! Homage has been paid Uros! All was not forgotten!

So let’s wrap up this colossally amazing trip with more photos of things we saw, ate and drank! 😉

The last full day/night in Ljubljana we met up with Uros and Jani and drove to Lake Bled, easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

The boys!

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The castle!

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The church in the middle of Lake Bled!

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Uros!

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Jani!

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Me trying to express how hungry I was with very lady-like hand gestures…

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They took the hint and we went immediately for Slovenian Pizza and beer!

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Which, was UNBELIEVABLE.

Afterwards we took a stroll down to the bottom of the hill to get a good view of the castle…

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Then we piled into the car for a scenic drive…

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And did some frolicking in the snow…

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The men were quite triumphant after navigating the deep snow banks…

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Which kicked off an obligatory snowball fight!

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Then we drove into Austria! Because why not?

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We got there just in time for a sunset stroll in Klagenfurt…

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We stopped for a coffee and ice cream and cake! MMMMMmmmmmm.

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More Dragons!

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SCHMUCK JEWELLERS. AMAZING. At least they are upfront about it right??

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The boys steering the ship to nowhere…

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Thank you Jani for the beautiful tiny dusk tour of Klagenfurt! xx

The next morning Uros took us out for a scrumptious breakfast in a gorgeous little French cafe in Ljubljana.

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Then we packed our bags and headed to Italy for one last stroll around the coast in Trieste.

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And that’s it! Four countries! Four days! All of the funtimes!

Thank you to Uros and Jani for being such incredible hosts and tour guides for us. We were absolutely desperate for a few days out of London and you gave us the most relaxing and gorgeous holiday. We are forever grateful and you are always welcome to stay with us at Westcombe Manor! We miss “Lah jub jub” already!!! xx

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Four Countries in Four Days – Part ONE!

It was officially time for a Holiday. My stress meter was reaching high voltage levels. My usual (and very British) way of passively despising those around me was not doing the trick anymore. My ever growing habit of glaring with seething rage at fellow commuters as they noisily shovelled smelly snack products into their mouths INCHES FROM MY FACE had turned into a call for action. I realised that all of London was at risk if I did not get the hell out of Dodge ASAP.

It was time for a Holiday.

So we booked it in. And off we went. To the land of beer and Dragons! SLOVENIA! FTW!

Our good friend (and the best host we’ve ever had) Uros, drove an hour from Ljubljana and picked us up from the airport in Trieste, Italy because he is awesome and generous. We then drove into Piran for a little evening stroll through the tiny medieval town followed by one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had.

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Dinner was unbelievable.

Aside from the beautiful bearded men…

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We dined by the sea…

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Cuttlefish salad…

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Squid ink Risotto of my dreams…

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Spaghetti with Clams…

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Jesus Christ. So delicious. It’s painful to look at these photo now.

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Prosciutto & Cheese Stuffed Squid.

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After a few Slovenian beers and finishing the delicious seafood feast, we decided to drive into Croatia to up the country count. We stopped at a very out of the way pub full of local fisherman in Umag and had a cheeky beer. We were sat outside despite the wintry evening temperatures and every 5 minutes the electricity went out and all you could see was a vast black sky full of stars. It was really neat.

This is the only proof of me being in Croatia!

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First day, so far sooooooooooo good! More from this trip to come soon! x

A Very Cold Venetian Holiday…

Ahhhhhh Venice!

The last stop on our honeymoon tour of beautiful and unseasonably wintry Italy.

When we planned our trip, we did zero research on what events would be going on in the various cities we were visiting.

We just had 14 days to burn and decided on February at random.

Much to our delight and complete surprise, Carnival was in FULL SWING when we arrived in Venice.

Costumes, music, FOUNTAINS OF RED WINE, and confetti, confetti, confetti!!

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We stayed at the Hilton because we got a super good deal for it being such a high-end hotel-http://www.molinostuckyhilton.it/index.php

Although building is beautiful and the view was amazing…(view from our room…that’s Venice across the way)

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…we would never stay there again, for the following reasons:

It was simply too damn big, too far from the mainland, food drinks etc. were SO OVERPRICED, Wifi was like 25 euros (barf), and it was freezing so the gorgeous pool was closed.

We felt like we were missing out being so far away from the center of Venice.

We got up and ready and out the door everyday and then had to wait for a water taxi and then another 25 minutes to get into Venice.

By this time, we were HANGRY and GRUMPYFACED.

We did Florence and Rome via Airbnb https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

And has such great experiences with this that we will never ever book hotels again.

We learned our lesson in Venice!

So onto the fun part! PHOTOS!

I took a massive amount of photos.

Get a cup of tea, sit back, and relax because I’m going to post them all in one go.

Venetian shop windows…!!!

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My most favorite book…

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Rialto Bridge at night…

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A night of glorious Italian opera (birthday gift from the super sweet hubs)

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Day in Murano…

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The Venice Cemetery…
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Ponte dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs)

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Confetti covering everything…

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Pups!

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St. Mark’s Basilica

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It was cold, but it was still dreamy. Ciao Venice xx

MAJESTIC FLORENCE PART III

I present you with the last of my Florence photos!
Wondrously Amazing Florence…

Boboli Gardens

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Ponte Vecchio

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Medici Riccardi

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Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross)

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GOODBYE SWEET FLORENCE! xxoo

MAJESTIC FLORENCE PART II

Annnnnnnd we’re back!
See how quickly I did that?
I’m really trying to be better!

I have more spectacular photos of Florence!!! Hoooraaayyyy!

I do not, however, know the names of every statue and painting (or most really) as I am a shutterbug and am usually too busy to write them down.

I could look them up I suppose, but so could you! 😉

AND GO!

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The battle of who looks more Roman…

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My gorgeous husband deep in thought…

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I love animals. Even LEGO Animals. ESPECIALLY LEGO animals!

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Frozen river…

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There are even MORE photos to come! Stay tuned…

MAJESTIC FLORENCE PART I

Well, it happened again! I was momentarily swallowed up by life and subsequently abandoned my blog.
Sorry for the delay, but as I’ll be working part-time and from home this month during the London Olympics, I shall have much more time to catch up on catching YOU up!

So where were we?

ITALIA!

Specifically Florence.

Florence is beyond amazing. It is simply breathtakingly mesmerizing.
I had heard that it was the best, and it truly is THE BEST.
I did not want to leave. AT ALL.
The food. The churches. The art. The gelato.
The AIR. THE WAY THAT EVERYTHING HAS A GOLDEN GLOW TO IT!!
The ease at which one can simply float about, slowly absorbing the day.
No hustle, no bustle…worlds away from the insanity that is London.

And, we were lucky enough to rent the most spectacular apartment right in the middle of everything in what used to be a convent dating back to the 16th century. Fresco ceilings and all. Antique furniture. Orange trees in our private garden.

A week was not long enough…but we did our very best to drink it all in…

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Santa Maria Novella

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Il Duomo di Firenze

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Baptistery of St.John

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There are ALOT more photos to come…sit tight and dream of your visit!!! xx

Rome in February

As my luck would have it, gobs of snow fell in Rome for the first time in over two decades exactly when WE decide to go for our Honeymoon.

OF COURSE.

We made the best of it, but I’m not going to lie…it was pretty miserable most days.

Large sloppy snowflakes smacking you directly in your face then melting into deep icy slush puddles …subsequently filling my leaky boots…freezing my feet…making me extremely displeased and dare I say BITCHY.

It probably wouldn’t have been so bad, but seeing as how my traveling has been somewhat limited up until this last year, I was bound and determined to tackle Rome headfirst and see as much as possible.

I think that the more we travel, the more relaxed I will be about trying to do EVERYTHING.

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The endless hours of walking around without proper snow gear was DISMAL.
Not to mention that many of the museums and such were closed due to the gloomy weather.

IF I HAD ROME TO DO AGAIN, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE RELAXING!

Alas, we trudged ahead, counting our blessings, and I tried to get as many good shots as possible.

Some days were better than others. The last day in particular was incredibly warm and clear.

All in all, Rome was incredibly beautiful and very special.

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (The Typewriter)

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Roman Forum

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The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

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Trevi Fountain

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Pantheon (Closed due to snow)

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Bridge to Vatican City

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Vatican/St. Peter’s

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Colosseum (taken with crappy iPhone camera)

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Six Nations Rugby at Stadio Olympico

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Piazza Navona

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There were so many churches…I can’t remember all the names unfortunately…

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Florence is up next…stay tuned!!!

The things we ate in Italy…

After much purposeful procrastination I shall begin sharing my plentiful Italy photographs, starting with FOOD!

(FYI, some of these are cheeky iPhone shots and obviously not as great as my Olympus ones)

The Italy party started in the Airport lounge. As it should!
Red wine and mimosas!

ITALIA!

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Let’s talk about the food! It was all about the food.
Eating the food. And then eating more of said food.
Rinse, Repeat. You dig?

Our first meal in Rome…

Tomato Bruschetta…

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Caco e Pepe…

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Great little spot near our flat…mostly cold items, salads and such.

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Rocket with white bean, cherry tomato, mozzarella, and tuna.
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One of my MANY glasses of white wine…

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Caprese salad…

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Gelato and I became best friends! OBVIOUSLY.

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Wine and cicchetti…

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Mountains of sweets…

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And a chocolate festival for Valentine’s Day!

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Homemade Caprese…

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Spoils from the market…

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Let there be PASTA!

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And grilled vegetables…

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At all times you must have your eating face on!

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Ristorante La Spada in Florence…

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Chicken Liver Pate…

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Mushroom Ravioli…

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Happiest little carb loading face you ever did see!

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VALENTINE’S DAY FEAST!
Antica Trattoria “da Tito” dal 1913…AKA BEST STEAK EVER CONSUMED. EVER.

Swordfish, pomegranate, and grapefruit Carpaccio…

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Raw Artichoke and Parmesan Salad…

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The biggest Florentine Steak ever. Served Rare.

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Chocolate cake of happiness…

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WE DIED that night. We were reborn. I found god. God is a steak in Florence.

Did I mention that I used to be mostly vegetarian?

Look at this gorgeous charcuterie platter!

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I even ate TRIPE Gnocchi…that is COW STOMACH.

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More Wine!

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Stuffed Squid, potatoes, and pesto.

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Grilled vegetables and fried seafood yummies…FRITO MISTO!

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Fluffy Ravioli with magic thyme butter.

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Another outstanding charcuterie!

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On our last night in Florence we ordered another breath taking Florentine steak.

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We died again. Seriously. DIED. DEAD.

In Venice, the seafood is outstanding and plentiful.
You pick it, they cook it…

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Birthday Dinner…

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Frito Misto…

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And Bellinis!

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We found ourselves thoroughly exhausted in Murano, so we ate more Frito Misto!!

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I think I ate squid, octopus, or cuttlefish at least twice per day in Venice…mmmmmmm.

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I managed to crow bar in as many veggies as I could…

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I leave you with our most strenuous feast.
(MY most epic act of sheer Miss. Piggy style gluttony really…)

The night of 5 desserts.

We dined at Piccalo Arancio (The Little Orange)

We ate everything in sight.

I grabbed Gelato ON THE WAY TO THE RESTAURANT like a fat girl.

This counts as Dessert #1.

Then ordered a charcuterie platter, fried artichokes and stuffed zucchini blossoms.

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Followed by Orange Ravioli…

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Swordfish in a Neapolitan sauce…

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Dessert #2 Creme Caramel…

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Dessert #3 Tiramisu…

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I am a fat happy piggy.

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OH NO ALL MY SWEETS ARE GONE!

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MOOAARR!!!!!!!!

Dessert #4 Panna Cotta with berries…

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I’m starting to feel light headed at this point…

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So I ordered Dessert #5 Espresso and cookies thus completing my sinful evening of mostly sugar.

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No one can ever say that I’m not a dessert person.

Stay tuned for MANY more Italy postings! xxoo

Gloucester Cathedral/ Disjointed Italy Brain

I’m about to turn 29.
In 14 days.
I’m honestly not really bothered about it though.
I remember feeling like 21 was a big deal (for obvious reasons) but 29 just seems like…the number that comes after 28.
Maybe 30 will feel differently?
Really, what difference does any of it make as long as you are happy and able bodied?

Until this past summer, I had never been overseas.
I might have, had my decisions early in life been different.
But I was too strong willed to follow the easy path.
By my own doing, my route through life has been a bit more complicated then some.

Now that I have all of these amazing adventures at my doorstep, I treasure every little moment.

This year, I will be celebrating my 29th birthday in Venice.

I know. I KNOW! How awesome is that?!

I actually just called the hotel we are staying at http://www.molinostuckyhilton.com/ to confirm the reservation. Basically, I immediately freaked out when the concierge answered the phone speaking Italian, causing me to hang up.

Like a moron.

BUT HE WAS SPEAKING ITALIAN! TO ME! BECAUSE I’M GOING TO ITALY FOR TWO WEEKS! HOLY SHIT!

My husband watched all of this transpire and lovingly laughed at me.

I laughed too. Then I calmed down. Called back. Spoke a little Italian. Surprisingly, It didn’t sound too stupid coming out of my mouth.

Everything got sorted out. Italy here we come! 🙂

Anywayyyyyyyy, here are some photos of the cathedral in Gloucester to tide you over until I have one million photos from Italy to post.
I bought two more camera batteries as well as a 32gb memory card, so I should be all set.

I didn’t get to see much of Gloucester aside from the cathedral as I was just accompanying my husband for a few hours while he attended a quick meeting.

But the cathedral is simply stunning.

Enjoy!

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