The second of our ‘Away day’ summer program meet ups. This time we were destined for Birmingham.
Our usual worry is the question “Will it rain?” This time we had other challenges to meet.
- The extreme heat forecast.
- A national rail strike. Chiltern lines were running, but were predicted to be busier than normal.
Although we all asked ourselves the question if it was wise to go? We did, and what a worthwhile trip it was.
Kathy ably steered us alternately through air conditioned buildings, and the shady side of the streets – And I mean that in the best possible way! We all arrived on the same train at Moor St. Station and made our way towards New St. Station. We were all quite blown away by the mirage of reflections on the facade. We stopped and took pictures outside the landmark Selfridges building, I loved the way the reflections of this building made all the double decker buses look like they were full of bubbles. We all had time to wander at will and take many pictures.
We then headed to St Phillips Cathedral with its magnificent stained glass windows, and a chance to sit in the shade outside for a breather.
We went through Victoria Square, enjoying the vibrancy of the city in the bright sunshine. Sadly they were dismantling the statues and other displays that had been installed for the recent Commonwealth games. Talking of the Commonwealth games, the Birmingham Bull was worth the trip alone, it is quite a spectacular instillation, and much bigger than we imagined. We joined the throngs of tourists in taking pictures. Quite difficult to do it justice with the amount of ‘street furniture’ and crowds. But certainly worth seeing.
We then had plenty of time to wander through the spectacular library (bonus was, it was air conditioned!) The facade is intricate and gives opportunities to photograph from all angles, the inside of the library is wonderful, as is the sky garden overlooking the Square with it’s street performers, the Bull and a water fountain play area. How I wished I could join the happy children cooling off in the water!
We walked along the Canal Basin with it’s cafes and restaurants, interesting characters, and again, many reflections, this time in water. We enjoyed a very welcome ice cream by the bridge of locks, which I thought was a bridge of canal locks, not as it was, a bridge of padlocks!
We then made our way back to the station for our homeward bound train, exhausted but in agreement that it was worth the effort, and we all want to return again. Those with step counters informed us we’d done between 13,500 – 14,000 steps!
Blog by Tami Nunley
A gallery of images taken by club members on the day.