Tuesday 11 December 2012

Birmingham Christmas market

We had a call last night saying our new Eberspacher could be installed this morning.  They'd be here between 7.30 and 8.00am.  We set the alarm to make sure we were up and about!  Hopefully this would be our last morning not using our own shower.  The guys arrived and got started right away.

Diane and I set off this morning - first to catch the bus to Stafford, then the train to Birmingham.  The train was so busy we had to sit several rows apart.

I've only ever been to the airport at Birmingham.  There were so many lovely old buildings in the city centre.  I really enjoyed seeing it.  The market was interesting with lots to see.  Many of the things for sale were the same as those I'd seen in Germany.  The food stalls did have a lot of the German foods I'd seen over there.  Lots of sausages in bread, pork/ham, gluhwein, pretzels, chocolate, gingerbread and candied nuts.  There were a few other things that I hadn't seen in Germany.  Donuts, garlic bread.

We had lunch from the market stalls, sharing different dishes so we could try them.  I bought a skewer of chocolate coated strawberries to eat on the train on the way home, and a pretzel and some German salami to bring home.
Next was a walk to Gas Street Basin to check out the moorings there.  It looked like a great place to moor.  What a totally different experience it will be to moor in the middle of a city.  And.... to be able to go shopping!  I took photos to show Mick.

We also checked out a couple of shops along the way back to the station and had a coffee while we waited for the train.  As it turned out there was one about to leave in 5 minutes from the platform right in front so we got that one.  Again we didn't get a seat beside each other to begin with.  I spent the first 20 minutes or so unable to avoid listening to the phone call of the woman beside me.  It went something along the lines of "I don't have feelings for you!  You should pray to God and ask to be sent a woman who likes you back."  Hmmm.. interesting.  She got off the train and Diane moved into her seat.  The company was much better then.

We had time to spare before our bus from Stafford back to the marina so we walked across to Tesco where I found a good warm coat.  I'm unwilling to spend too much money on Winter clothing that I'd never wear at home.  At least this one will see me through the Winter.

It was getting dark as we walked back to the marina.  The bus driver kindly stopped just around the corner, although the official stop is another half mile or so up the road. We figured by now we'd have missed out on the Monday afternoon tea but as we got nearer I could see there was someone inside the little hut where we usually gather.  The lights are only turned on when the cafe is open so it was quite dark. 

There they all were huddled around the central table and shuffled along a bit to make space for us. We enjoyed a half hour chat.  We had a couple of newcomers; Dot and Gordon.  Mick can't remember the name of their boat so I'll have to find out.  Someone made a bit of a joke wondering if there was a cctv camera in the hut and whether the marina staff came in on Tuesday mornings to listen to what the "Eejits" had been talking about.  Now I'm thinking we should call our afternoon tea "Eejit Monday"!

Lots of photos today :
1. For Claudia - the same little candles we bought at Stuttgart!
2. Reasonably busy for a Monday
3. I love these little houses
4. Lovely building
5. And another
6. The carousel
7. Looking back down the row of market stalls
8. On the way to Gas St, a street food stall selling kangaroo
9. - 13. Views of the canals around the Gas Street Basin
14. More amazing buildings
15. A very pretty street
16. A church now surrounded by modern buildings
17. Elaine (nb Caxton), Carol (nb Winton's Folly), Diane (nb Ferndale)
18. Dot, Joan (nb Two Jays), Mick
19. Gil (nb Shoehorn), Ray (nb Ferndale), Gordon
20. Elly, Barry (nb Winton's Folly), Jim (nb Two Jays)


Adam said...

None of your pictures actually shows Gas Street Basin -- that's the other side of the Broad St Tunnel. However, we prefer to moor at the Old Turn Junction side (which is what you've pictured), because it's much quieter. In fact our favourite mooring is in the Oozels St Loop, which is your fourth canal photo (just not next to the big slots in the brickwork, because they're air conditioning outlets!)

Anonymous said...

Birmingham is one of our favourite waterway cities - we like mooring at Cambrian Wharf, at the top of the Farmer's Bridge flight - quieter than Gas Street plus you have the entertainment of watching boats moving up/down the locks!

You're spoilt for choice!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Elly and Mick said...

Adam & Sue,
Thanks for the tips. We're really looking forward to going there now. Ho hum, the Winter is just beginning so it will be a while yet!