04. May 2013 7 min read

Day 8 of UK adventure - Birmingham and Warwick Castle


We have stayed in bed a bit late on this day as we were meeting a friend in Birmingham in the early afternoon. Anyway it was Sunday so a bit more rest was desired. After breakfast we have gone into Birmingham looking for a free parking spot. Town centre has paying parking spots on all days except Christmas, but as you go few roads away you find parking spots which are free on Sundays, Banking Holiday and Christmas. This was perfect for us. When we parked the car we decided to go check The Cube and Mailbox. This are seen on city skyline and are really a big shopping centers with some residential areas above. They have water cannals directly below them which creates Venice (Italy) a-like feeling (same as Amsterdam, etc.). After exploring this new additions to Birmingham skyline we also decided to go and check the newly built Library, which will be open in September 2013. Its golden outside structure was shinning in the sun. Really a glorious sight. After that we visited the main Victoria Square and then we went to meet with our friend and explore the Birmingham University. One more note to add is that Birmingham seemed to be the most dirty city we have been in our journey, although this might be because of expecting of Bank Holiday parties.

Birmingham University

Because we did some extensive sightseeing here I have decided to devote whole paragraph to this Birmingham's central educational facility. After parking in South Parkingspace we took a walk under the old front of the University. The leading and bureaucratic offices are now stationed there and the historical sight with a high clock tower in center provides you very ancient feeling. It also brings a historical connection, but for me it reminded me more about Cambridge Christianic background. A small stroll away there is university library which does have more modern influence, but still looks historic. Up to this point nothing would have convinced me to study here, but then we went to more modern part of the campus. The modern Learning Centre was very light, spacious with glass walls to learning rooms from which quite many were equipped with computers. Although it was Sunday it was full of students studying. Never seen sight for Sunday in Slovenia. After that we went into Computer Centre where we visited robotics lab. Again this was modern structure with a lot of light and many laboratories whom all had enough space inside so work was not bothered. We took a quick tour and then went back outside. Between the two buildings there is a huge statue of a man on some chair with coils around hands. This is statue of Faraday (Faraday Cage) which reminds all visitors that this is technical part of University. The statue fits nicely into the area.

Birmingham Chinatown

After the tour around Birmingham University we have decided to grab a bite in Chinatown. Chinatown in Birmingham is located just next to town centre. It is more surprising that it was blended into the city. We got into a Korean resturant called Legend and ordered some menu. Overall Birmingham Chinatown has all every other Chinatown I have been to has. Chineese writings everywhere and nicely decorated streets. It was not more dirty as other parts of the city and it seems like it was part of the town which in most places it is not.

Warwick castle and Blossom road

Our next plan was visit of Warwick castle. This castle is located in town of Warvick and the town itself was also surrounded by wall. There are many parts of the wall still visible including the both main gate. The more surprising was a discovery that Warwick castle is not just a ruin or a museum but it is made more like a living castle. It has horror tours, it has beautiful gardens and it has that middle-age breath around it. The admission prices are quite high so we just took a free walk around it taking some photos. As the night was approaching soon we have decided to try and catch gardens on so called Blossom road which runs from Warwick to Chepstow. This proved to be quite a hard task as first we went into Shakespear Stratford which lead us to first two gardens. They were already closed and after that we wanted a glance at other gardens. Here is where you are in middle of English countryside without any road signs but with signs that point you to nearby small villages. It was the first time we took several missed turns and tried to find our way to the next sight seeing spot. There was some beautiful scenery on the way but the frustration of finding the so called Blossom road put a bitter taste to it. We did find the path on end and arrived to Chepstow with dawn.

Road to Cardiff

From Chepstow we wanted to go through Glochester to Cardiff. Main road goes through center of Chepstow and with celebrations for Banking Holiday did take a bit more time of the journey. We got past Glochester and to road to Newport (from which you have Motorway to Cardiff) but the dark started to catch on us. It was not much of a new sight regarding scenery, but I hope we did not miss too much.

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