Category Archives: Travel

MCM Manchester Comic Con 2017

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Today is a bumper edition, as I will be making TWO posts, to make up for the lack of a post on Saturday. This, the first one, is all about Comic Con over the weekend. I had such an amazing time, and as usual I wanted to share it with you guys.

It was a very busy event, so much so that even with a priority ticket it still took over an hour to get into the event on Saturday morning. It can get pretty packed, but everyone is really friendly, so it never mattered if people kept knocking into each other.

Here are a few photos of some of the stalls that I found that made me think of you. The first one made me think of Blackthorn as we both love Doctor who. The second made me think of those of you who have cats. The next two were all Pokémon stuff, which I thought was awesome, and the last one just made me smile.IMG_8820

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I almost brought one of these, but they were way too expensive, though I did buy a unicorn milkshake like in the second photo.

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The next photos are of some of my favourite cosplay from the weekend.

There weren’t many Special Guests there this year, but of the ones who were there Professor Flitwick (Warwick Davis), and the cast of Class (a Doctor Who spin-off) were my favourite. I got the autograph of Sophie Hopkins (Class), and she was super nice. AND it turned out I was staying in the same hotel as some of them. I saw them in the bar, and even got to speak to them. 🙂

Finally, here is a picture that I thought would make you all smile. Izzy kept saying she wanted to go to Comic Con and Cosplay, and she finally got her wish.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the post, and check back in a little while for post two of the day!

 

ThestralSnidget84.

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Vancouver and the Rocky Mountains

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My trip to Canada a couple of weeks ago was pretty awesome, so it is about time that I shared it with you. My brother lives there; in Vancouver to be precise, and that is we I who I went to visit with my parents.

Vancouver is on the East Coast of Canada, close to the Rocky Mountains, and while it was hot in the city we could still see snow on some of the nearby mountains. I’ve only seen snow in June once before, and that was only a few snow-flakes falling, so it was something very different to what I am used to. It is a beautiful city, that is very modern; full of sky scrapers and apartment blocks, right on the Pacific Ocean.

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The last photo is on Granville Island, which has a fantastic market t has a port for Cruise Ships, which is well worth a visit.

The city has a port for Cruise Ships, which made me think of my friend Lunar Kitty, from Ravenclaw, because she loves Cruise Ships. So here are a couple of photos just for her:

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As you can see, we also saw plenty of wildlife, who were very friendly and helpful to passengers in the airport:

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Joking aside, we did see a Grizzly Bear on a day trip to Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain is a ski resort that is around half an hours drive from Downtown Vancouver, and can even be seen from some of the beaches in the city. Some events for the Winter Olympic Games were held there in 2010. During the summer it is obviously closed for skiing, but it has been made into a tourist attraction. You can see some Grizzly Bears there which were sadly orphaned as babies, and there is a live Lumberjack show you can watch which is pretty funny.

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We also went on a little road trip into the Rocky Mountains, which included a stop in Whistler, which was the other venue used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is such a beautiful area, and so peaceful, that it is easy to forget how a big city like Vancouver could exist.

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The other wildlife that we saw was some turtles, which I was very happy about. They live in a lake in Stanley Park, which is on the edge of Vancouver. It is a great place to visit, but seeing the turtles was just brilliant for me. They were sitting on a log that was floating in the middle of the lake and watching the world go by without a care in the world. It made me think of Izzy, who had a little holiday of her own and went to stay with a friend of mine while I was away. The pictures aren’t very good because of how far away they were from the shore, but you can just make out the turtles:

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I hope you have all enjoyed the post, and I promise that I will post more about other exciting places that I visit.

 

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”   Terry Pratchett.

 

ThestralSnidget84.

Chester

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Last weekend I had a day trip to a great city called Chester that I wanted to tell you guys about.

Chester is Roman city in the North West of England, in the county of Cheshire, and sits on the border with Wales. It was founded in AD79, and is the only completely walled city left in the UK. It is only about an hours drive from where I live, so it’s a place I’ve been to a number of times over the years.

The photo at the top is one of the gateways into the Roman part of the city, though as you can see the city has grown a lot beyond the walls since the Romans left Britain. The Gate Way isn’t the original one, as the city has changed a lot over the past two thousand years, but it still looks great. You can walk along the city walls in a complete circle if you wanted to, as it’s a great way to get a feel of the city.

A lot of the buildings in the city centre are Tudor, and are built with something called ‘Rows’, which is like a second street, set up above the main street. They were made so that medieval shoppers could walk and shop out of the rain. It’s really neat.

Chester is home to Britain’s largest Roman amphitheatre, which sits next to some Roman Gardens, just beyond one of the city gates. It could hold up to 7000 spectators, and there is even a shrine to the Roman Goddess Nemesis (Destiny), so I had to take a photo for my friend Destiny from Ravenclaw.

I also visited Chester Cathedral, which was built 1000 years ago, and is one of only six Catholic monasteries to survive Henry VIII dissolution of the Catholic Church in Britain. It survived because he needed some of the churches to become Church of England Cathedrals. It is free to enter, and there are several free tours every day (check the website at https://chestercathedral.com/ for times). There is also a Falconry centre, a shop, and a café. I am not very religious, but I have always enjoyed visiting old churches to learn of the past and the architecture. For a treat, you can go on a paid tour which takes you all the way up to the top of the tour. The tour guide was a young woman called Beth, who gave a great tour. I loved going into places that not many people go to, and seeing close up how the Cathedral was built. I would seriously recommend this tour to anyone.

And just to make you smile; I saw this in the market by the Town Hall:

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If you ever want to visit then Chester has a main line train station, and Manchester and Liverpool airports aren’t too far away. You can also get there by National Express Coaches, and Mega Bus. Visit http://www.visitchester.com/ for accommodation. If you like horse racing, then Chester also has one of the best race courses in the country.

 

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius.

ThestralSnidget84.

Want to go to Comic Con?

The thing is, I’ve been going to Comic Cons for a couple of years now ,and apart from one where I took my uncle along for the day, I have always gone by myself. That’s ok, as Comic Cons are very friendly, and I always end up talking to random people, but it would be so much better if I could go with a group of people.

So, I would like to give an open invitation for anyone who would like to come to the MCM London Comic Con with me in November 2017.

Obviously, it would need planning, especially if you have a long way to go, but the general idea is as follows: The Comic Con runs from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October 2017 at the Excel Centre in London. My idea is to make the trip from Thursday 26th to Monday 30th October, and I would suggest that we have two options. The first is to buy weekend tickets, and spend the whole 3 days at Comic Con, but this would leave very little time for anything else. The second is to only buy tickets for Saturday and/or Sunday. That way we all get to experience London, which I’m sure those of you who have never been to London would like to do even more than the rest. The only condition I am making is that everyone must be over 18, as I doubt any parents would let their children travel to another country on their own to meet a group of strangers.

There are several hotels within walking distance of the Comic Con, though they are expensive, but it will be easy enough to find a reasonably priced hotel in London and catch the tube. It’s what I usually do. London City airport is next door to the Excel Centre (literally next door), though it is a small airport. If flying to London you’d be better off flying to Heathrow or Gatwick, and Stanstead would also be fine. If you guys like, I can book a hotel that we all agree on, and arrange with them how you can pay, but you’d have to sort out your own travel arraignments.

I was thinking that on the Friday (if we go for option 2), we could go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I also have several other ideas for things to do, such as a sightseeing tour, and the Tower of London.

If you are interested, let me know by 1st August 2017. You can email me (thestralsnidget84@yahoo.com), or let me know via Facebook, Wattsapp, or the chatroom.

I am also thinking it would be something that I’d like to do every year, so if you can’t come this year there will always be another time.

 

ThestralSnidget84.

MCM London Comic Con 2016

Hello from Comic Con! I usually wait until after the event to make posts of this kind, but I am just too excited not to share my time here with you guys. So far I have met Professor Flirwick, for the second time, and two actors from one of my favourite shows when I was growing up called Red Dwarf.

There is even a fair ground here this year, and it is awesome! Tonight there will be a big party that will go on until 1am! It will be just like the Yule Ball.

 I have seen a lot of Harry Potter things, as well as a lot of Hogwarts students.

There is a lot of people here in Cosplay, and it always surprises me just how much hard work people put into them. Here are some of my favourites so far:

I came here by myself, but I have already made some friends. Last night I went to the pub with some people I met, and we sat there until nearly midnight playing games. I also met a guy from Japan who won a huge trophy and a lot of money from winning a gaming tournament.

So as I still have some things I want to see, I will end my post here and hope to see you all very soon.

 

ThestralSniget84.

Thestrals Books Needs You!

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From the beginning, I’ve wanted this to be a place where we can all share our favourite books and a few other random things with each other. So I am sending out an invitation to everyone who visits here to get involved.

If any of you have anything you would like to share, then please let me know. It can be a book, a movie, a place to visit, anything at all. Just get in touch. You can leave me a reply here with suggestions, or you can send me a copy of what you would like to be posted (use the contact details on the ‘Connect’ page).

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel confident about how to write the post, because the most important thing is to share something you think is great with everyone else. So get writing!

 

ThestralSnidget84.

Edinburgh Take Two

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As some of you know already, Edinburgh is my most favourite city in the whole wide world. It is full of beautiful buildings, a remarkable history, and has a great atmosphere. That is without even mentioning its links to Harry Potter and JK Rowling.

I visited the city again last month, so I wanted to share a few things with you. I went there to visit the art festivals that take place there every year. When they take place the population of the city triples in size from half a million to 1.5 million, so it gets very busy. If you decide to go during this time then I seriously recommend that you book accommodation as soon as possible. There is so much to see and do, it would also be a good idea to plan what you want to do so you can fit it all in. On a practical note you can buy a ‘Day Ticket’ to use on public transport across the whole city (busses and trams) which only costs £4, so it is great value (the drivers only accept the correct change, so make sure you have it as they won’t give you change from a £10 or £20 note).

I showed lots of photos of the festival and city the last time I posted about a trip to Edinburgh, so I won’t post loads of photos similar to that. What I will post is new things that are pretty cool! I found a magic shop towards the bottom of the Royal Mile that I have never seen before on visits to Edinburgh. It is on the right hand side of the road as you walk down the hill, and it looks like this:

This is a statue on the Royal Mile, near to the Cathedral, and locals consider it good luck to rub his big toe. That is why his big toe is so shinny; from being constantly polished by passers-by:

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Then there is this photo I took for my friend Lunar Kitty who plays the harp:

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I am going to post a few cool videos on YouTube of performances of street performances from the past few years.

Lastly I want to share some Harry Potter and JK Rowling things with you. I went on the FREE Harry Potter tour that I mentioned in my last post about Edinburgh ( www.pottertrail.com ). It was so much fun, and I found out a few things that I didn’t know before. What I found to be most interesting is finding out that there is a hotel in Edinburgh called The Balmoral Hotel, where JK Rowling went to write the final pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She was struggling to find the right way to end the series, so she decided to check in to the hotel and hope that a change of scenery would help. After several days of locking herself into her bedroom she finally finished it, and decided to celebrate by drinking a bottle of Champagne and get a little drunk. At that point she picked up a small bust and turned it upside down, and wrote some graffiti on it saying “JK Rowling finished Harry Potter here” and wrote the date. The next morning though, she felt guilty about what she had done, so went to the hotel reception to confess, and offer to pay for a replacement. But instead of being mad at her, they decided to keep the bust, and rename the room the JK Rowling Suite, where the bust has been turned upside down and left on display for everyone to see. You can stay in this room still, though it will cost you just short of £1000 a night. If you are lucky though, and the room is empty, the hotel will let you go inside the room to look around (I am not sure if they will charge you for this though). The hotel is situated right next door to Waverly Train Station, which is the main train station in Edinburgh.

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This is the Elephant House Café, which as I mentioned in my last post about Edinburgh is a place JK Rowling used to visit before she became world famous to write the Harry Potter stories. I went inside to have some lunch, and took some photos to share with you all. There is a signed first edition copy of the first book in a display cabinet near to the counter, and several photos and newspaper clippings on the wall about JK Rowling. If you do go here, please be aware that they charge you to go in and look around if you decide not to eat there, and the money they get from this goes to charity. Also, take a pen with you! I say that because when you go to use the rest rooms, the walls are covered in Harry Potter graffiti. And I mean covered! Thousands of people have left messages for Harry and JK Rowling on the walls, and the café has decided not to paint over it, so it has become a shrine.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

 

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher.

Thestral.