I am back home from my shows with Apparition in the UK and it was about time that I share my impressions with you! During my one week stay in the UK, I saw some really cool places.
I was staying in a small town called Stafford and from there traveled around to Birmingham, Stoke, Stone and Lichfield.
I wanted to see London like crazy but the schedule was such that there was no time to travel from Stafford Town to London. Nevermind, next time! For now, you can enjoy my impressions from my first time in the UK!
STAFFORD YEOMANRY MUSEUM | The Ancient High House
WALKING AROUND STAFFORD TOWN
One of these days, I got on a bus and found myself in the center of Stafford. Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Stafford Town is relatively small but very beautiful, having so many wonderful little corners for the visitor to discover! Taking a walk around the town I found art galleries, beautiful little streets with music shops and nice restaurants, museums and churches, burger places and grill houses, a river with its bridges, street musicians playing here and there, the college of Stafford, the Ancient High House (today's Stafford Museum), St. Mary's Cathedral, traditional candy shops as well as pubs. Decorated with flowers and pots on every one of its corners, Stafford won my heart right away.
The Staffordshire Yeomanry is a famous old section of the armed forces that was established in 1794 as the Staffordshire Volunteer Cavalry. Also known as the Queen’s Own Guard, this regiment has been involved in a great many conflicts across the globe over the centuries. The museum pays tribute to the bravery of the soldiers who have served, and examines the way that the institution has changed.
During my visit at the museum I got really moved by the exhibits and mostly by the letters of soldiers that were exposed, letters to their families and loved ones that prove that no one needs war and it can only bring pain and sorrow, it is something pointless and unfair. I loved the place they had used to establish the Museum, it is also known as the Ancient High House. The building is an Elizabethan town house located on the main street in Stafford. The house was constructed in 1594 by the Dorrington family, from local oak, which anecdotally came from the nearby Doxey Wood, and is the largest timber framed town house in England. At the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, a member of the Sneyd family of Keele Hall, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, was renting the building. Charles I visited Stafford and stayed at the Ancient High House on 17 and 18 September 1643, not long after raising the Royal Standard at Nottingham, the feudal signal to call his loyal subjects to arms - this act was seen as the start of the English Civil War. More Info on the web
St. Mary's Cathedral
Totally Gothic and amazing, the church got my heart right away. I spent some fair hours admiring it from the park nearby, sittting on a bench, reading a book and enjoying the summer weather. The first time I went it was late in the evening so it was closed but the next day I got inside as well. Lovely! Below, photos of the Cathedral and some of its surroundings.
STAFFORD CASTLE & MEDIEVAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
By the early 17th century, the castle's fortunes waned. During the early part of the Civil War it was defended by the Gallant Lady Isabel but was eventually abandoned and demolished. Extensively rebuilt in the Gothic Revival Style in 1813, the castle fell into ruin through this century. Rebuilt by the Jerningham family in the early 19th Century using the same foundations the keep was again a magnificent four storey structure. However, given over to caretakers and then abandoned again in the 1950s it became derelict once more. Now after recent restoration work and a programe of archaeological investigation Stafford Castle is considered one of the best surviving examples of Norman earthworks in the country. A programme of archaeological excavations has gradually revealed many of its secrets. Visitors can follow an informative trail of interpretation panels to discover the castle's history. Today, the remains of the castle, together with the surrounding grounds, give visitors a fascinating insight to the 900 year history of this important site. An inventory taken in 1537 shows how herbs were an important part of daily life at Stafford Castle. They were widely used for their medicinal, aromatic and edible properties. From this detailed inventory, a herb garden was planted in the castle grounds. Great faith was placed in the use of herbs and they still have an important role to play today. This garden has been designed with sixteen beds, each containing herbs related to specific illnesses. As well as being extremely enjoyable to walk around, the herb garden provides a unique insight into living history.
Being around Staffordshire, I was also driven to the Monkey Forest of Trentham. A really cute place with cute lil creatures.
It was really fun. You see, a 3/4 mile winding forest path takes you through the splendid forest of Trentham Estate woodlands where the monkeys live. The monkeys roam freely meaning you may even see one of them walk across the path in front of you! MONKEY FOREST OFFICIAL WEBSITE for more info & excursions
WALKING AROUND LICHFIELD TOWN
One of these days, David and I drove to Lichfield as David insisted that I should see the famous Lichfield Cathedral - and
he was absolutely right when he was saying I would love it! First, we had a walk around the town. What was amazing apart from the town, its people, the streets and beautiful corners, the shops and the restaurants and the gardens, was the fact that you could see the top of the Cathedral from every spot around the town. I didn't hesitate to just get into a music shop and buy musical sheets as well! :) Below is my photo collection of my walk around Lichfield Town.
THE LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL
If I should just describe it with one word, that would have to be: miraculous!
The Cathedral, standing in the middle of the town, visible from whatever point of it and from close of course, a creation beyond words! With statues all over it, to a climax till the top of it, figures of extreme beauty and harmony. Inside, also amazing, with extremely wide spaces, spiral staircases ascending to libraries above the Chapter House (built in 1249) etc. You can also find the tombs of some very popular people engraved in/upon the walls and the floors of the cathedral. Enjoy my photo collection of it! :)
Burgers, sandwiches with whatever you can imagine in them, chips, Burger King, McDonalds and the amazing Grill House "The Bear" I discovered in the center of Stafford town (really cool, amazing food & customers service, great personnel too), and of course the famous English breakfast. And loads of Mars bars! Yeah, I took the whole ride! :)
I had the great joy to play 3 shows with Apparition in the UK in Birmingham, Stoke and Stafford.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see much of Birmingham and Stoke because of the fast schedule but here are some pics so you can see what a great time we had with the guys and people! :) \m/
Thanks to all of our great friends for the wonderful on stage photos!
With Apparition | Live in Birmingham @ The Asylum 2
Live in Stoke @ SCARFEST @ The Underground
Live in Stafford @ The Bird In Hand
My first adventures in the UK were really cool as you can see and I cannot wait
for new ones to come in November 2013 that I am meeting Apparition again! \m/