Saturday, 3 August 2013

Trip report Shrewsbury (with pictures!)

Dear reader,

Long time no see! A lot of things have happened since my last update; some really great stuff, and some not so great stuff. Today’s post, however, will be dedicated to my six day trip with my fiancé to Shrewsbury.

The first thing people have been asking me when I told them I want to Shrewsbury was “why Shrewsbury?” Well, my fiancé has a friend who lives in the vicinity and he really wanted to visit him. At first my fiancé wanted to go to Birmingham… As you might remember from my Birmingham trip report, I did not like that city at all. So I pretty much vetoed that we would not be staying there. So he asked his friend which nice towns were near Birmingham and we settled on Shrewsbury.  

My fiancés friend, who I will refer to by his nickname Beswick from now on, promised to pick us up at the airport when we arrived. He was such a lovely person! As many of my readers know I am a very shy person and don’t usually say a whole lot when I meet someone for the first time. However, Beswick is a very open and kind person, so it didn’t take long for me to open up to him. Perhaps it was because he greatly resembles my fiancé, characterwise… Anyway, we stopped for some drinks and dinner, had a chat and stocked up on some much needed water and sunscreen in a humongous supermarket. ^__^” Although they had not had a heat wave in 7 (freaking) years, we ended up right in the middle of one. >.> Just our luck.

After Beswick dropped us off at the Premier Inn city center hotel (he had to leave, since had an appointment), we rested a bit and then ventured to go outside…. As it was about 32 degrees celcius out there, we did not stroll around for a very long time and saw very little that day. Luckily for us, the hotel room was nice and clean and had airco! :D So no repetition of our stay in Budapest where we were forced to take cold showers and sit in front of a tiny fan ahhaha. The hotel staff was very friendly, so if I ever visit Shrewsbury again, I will most definitely stay there again!

We spent most of our days shopping in Shrewsbury, as the town is rather small and does not offer a great variety of things. We did plan on taking a boat ride, but you don’t really want to be on top of the water with no wind whilst the sun is blazing down on you… 

On our second and third day we came across three amazing shops! The first shop was a second hand Oxfam bookstore (which apparently is a rather large chain of second hand bookstores of which the money goes to a good cause). They had a great variety of books there; not just Victorian novels, but also quite a range of history books. So, obviously, I spent a fair amount of time in there. I left with four books in total (one of which was for my mom):

The Victorians by A. N. Wilson.

The Victorians: Britain Through the Paintings of the Age by Jeremy Paxman

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson (it’s a 1947 edition, which looks like it has never been touched).

Becoming Queen by Kate Williams (this one was for my mom, as she is very interested in the life of Queen Victoria).
These four books only cost me 12,- pounds! :D

In one of the shopping centers we came across an alternative clothing store where I bought he following two items:

A summer dress! :D
The cutest hoodie ever (please ignore the woman in the picture ^__^”). 

In the shopping mall the Parade I bought an adorable plastic anime fan from an anime called Shugo Chara. It really helped against the warmth! :D 

And 8 bookmarks from the anime Vampire Knight… Cause you can never have too many bookmarks :D.
(Sorry, one is missing, as I am currently using it haha).
The parade shopping mall itself, however, is not really worth your time if you are not a huge anime fan. So you might want to skip that if you are not into Japanese stuff.

On our fourth day there, which was on a Saturday, Beswick returned with two friends, which my fiancé also knew. We had a wonderful lunch at Wetherspoons (which was right down the street of our hotel :D) and showed them around town. They had to leave quite early though, as the two friends had come from far and were tired, which was a real pity. I would have loved to spend some more time with everyone.  

Now then, the fifth day was without a doubt the highlight of the trip for me. On this day we visited Blists Hill Victorian Town. This is an open air museum completely in Victorian style. There are a lot of volunteers working there to explain something about the forgotten trades, such as woodcutting, printing, casting, blacksmithing etc.
The Victorian Town

The very kind and informative woodcutter! :D

One of the first things you will want to do when you enter the museum is to visit the Bank where you can trade your money for Victorian money. You can either decide to keep the money or to use it to pay for things within the museum. It is possible to change your money back at the end of the day. Obviously…. I kept mine :D.

You could also learn how to make candles there, but we did not do that ourselves. They also have a bakery where they sell cookies, bread and fruit cobs, which are made by hand according to Victorian recepies. I recommend that you take some ham, cheese or chocolate paste with you if you wish to try the bread as the fruit cobs by themselves are quite dry… Or you could opt to get some chocolate raisins at the candy shop; we actually tried this out and it goes quite well together.

Something you should definitely attend when you have the time is the school lesson. It is simply hilarious! Also, make sure you have trimmed your nails the day before, cause they will be inspected :P.
The somewhat scary Mr. Olsop telling us to get in a straight line before entering the classroom.
One of the things which I really wanted to do was to get my portrait taken. You have to make a reservation beforehand at the front of the store. When you return on the designated time, you will be taken to the back of the store where you can chose an outfit and a hat. Subsequently, you will be taken to the studio where you can have your picture taken. You they will take 5 different pictures of you, one with a Victorian “serious” face, a half-smiling face and a smiling face. One picture will cost you 15,- pounds. Two pictures will cost you 25,- pounds. My best picture was one of a Victorian “serious” face where I am holding a book:

:D I am sooo happy with this picture. <3 o:p="">

During the summer they also have a funfair where you can play a variety of games for 1 pounds or (I believe) 2 Victorian pence. I really recommend this! It is good fun and the people there are very kind (they will sometimes give you an additional shot at the shooting game or so).

In the gift shop I stumbled across a book which I couldn’t leave behind: Death and Disaster in Victorian Telford by Allan Frost… Honestly, it was meant to be :D.

So all in all we had a wonderful stay in Shrewsbury. Perhaps it was a good thing that it was too warm for us to do too much… I didn’t come home completely exhausted from a holiday for once hahha! Well I hope you enjoyed this trip report. If you wish to visit Shrewsbury yourself and have some questions, just leave a comment below and I will try to give you some tips or so.