Before leaving the South Coast we paid a visit to the Eden Project. It has two bio-domes that house one climate each; Tropical and Mediterranean.
They were HUGE! Each one had hundreds of thousands of species of plant including examples of houses and living conditions in some countries. There was also waterfalls and streams. As we were getting fed up with the constant drizzle and cold of the UK weather we headed straight to our comfort zone. Tropical!!
A balmy 22deg with 100% humidity ? Beautiful. We made our way through the rainforest letting our mucosal membranes relish in the hot sticky air of our homelands. Half way through we found a cool room, which I thought quite bizarre. Why would you create a hot climate and have plants in a cold room, when you could just leave them outside…? On inspection this room was empty save for some seating. We realized the cool room wasn’t for plants. It was for the poor British suffering from heatstroke in 22deg. Oh how we laughed. We still had jumpers on.
The bio-domes also had bridges and walkways that allowed you to view the rainforest from the top.
At this point in our trip Angus’ favourite toy was a purple bouncy ball he got out of a vending machine in St Ives. We told him to hold on to it. We told him to keep it in his pocket. Did he listen?
Of course not.
To qualm the screeches of unimaginable loss I had to climb off the path and through the scrub with Archie insitu on my front. Thank god it was bright purple is all I can say. Excursions as a toddler parent are so chilled out.
A favourite part for us was all the ‘food’ plants. There was a gentleman trying to get people interested in his talk on herbs and herbal remedies but no one was paying attention to him. Being that Jeremy and I are starved for adult interaction beyond each other we had a great chat to him and learnt quite a bit.
(Side note: Tumeric is an amazing plant! He told us about a recipe called Golden Milk (google it) which I am keen to try at home. New superfood!)
Anyhoo at the end of his talk he told us that there was a prize somewhere in the rainforest for teabags. No one had found it all day.
“Wow” I said. “I love tea! What does it look like?”
“Like a Willy Wonka golden ticket”
I walked 5 steps…
“Like that Willy Wonka golden ticket”
? “Oh. Yes. Well done! You have won 20 packets of tea”
But when he said packets…. he meant boxes. 400 teabags!!! So unless I want to be cavity searched going through customs when we get home I need to drink over 3 cups of tea a day ?
The Mediterranean dome was like visiting a little village, it even had a restaurant that is open in peak times. We learnt that where Jeremy grew up has a Mediterranean climate! Hence all the wine.
On to Birmingham!
We spent 3 wonderful days staying with John and Barb meeting Jeremy’s extended family.
Barb is Jeremy’s great aunt on his father’s side so we also met his second cousins and their children which I guess are his second cousins once removed and now I have a headache…. We gladly left Beryl in the driveway and were spoilt rotten.
The boys adored them and we were all very sad to leave. I also managed to off load about 8 boxes of tea onto Barb ?? That leaves 240 cups of tea left for me to consume. Doable. London bound!
We stayed in a campsite on the train line that allowed us to tube it in everyday. It only took about 30 min when everything was working as it should. Unfortunately that weekend there were rail closures and replacement buses though so I feel we got the full public transport London experience.
We got Hop on Hop Off tickets for 3 days which was a great way to see all the important bits while Archie happily fed and napped in the warmth.
We also met up with Aunty Gemma again and saw all the Christmas lights!
Our next stop was to visit Jeremy’s Nan’s sister and her family and to see where Jeremy’s dad grew up before becoming a 10 pound Pom.
They are beautiful people and were so excited to see us. Pat was perfectly happy for us to leave the boys there and collect them in May. Tempting!!
Make yourself at home, Pat said…
This was our last stop in the UK after 79 days of awesomeness. Seeing family was a great way to end it. We covered more ground than we expected!
We switched on Christmas mode and headed back to the Netherlands for a tune up and new tyres then hit Germany for some Gluwein! Prost!