After a restful sleep and a very nice breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, we headed off into the centre of Norwich to meet up with my son, Joe. It had been ages since we had seen him. The weather was lovely and we met up at the Cathedral. Norwich Cathedral is a magnificent place. Joe was to be our guide for the day and it started with a coffee in the cafe. Of course. Before we went in to the main part of the Cathedral, we spent a good half hour or so admiring the work of local artists that were exhibiting in the main foyer. There were some amazing works of art. That was just a bonus to the amazing things we were to see inside.
I am not a particularly religious person, but I do enjoy going into churches and Cathedrals. The architecture is amazing on these grand structures.
After we had had enough of the Cathedral, our guide took us for a short walk along the river.
We came across a mother swan carrying her little ones on her back. So cute. This little walk along the river was quite scenic and passed through some of the really old bits of town. Our guide eventually led us to The Belgian Monk where we stopped for lunch. We had an enjoyable lunch of moules with a pitcher of Juliper. It was so lovely to eat outdoors in the sunshine.
After lunch, we walked over to Norwich Castle. The castle eventually became a prison and is now a museum. We didn’t go inside as the weather was too beautiful to be indoors. If you don’t remember, our summer didn’t officially start until July! So we walked around the castle and admired the views of the city instead.
We then walked over to the Royal Arcade which is not dissimilar to the one in Piccadilly in London.
The Royal Arcade was designed and built by architect George Skipper and opened in 1899. It is a very fine example of Art Nouveau design. This style of architecture is one of my favourites!
We ambled around some more of the town and met up with our guide’s best bud to try out some of the local brew before taking him back to his digs and heading off to another hotel that was closer to UEA where Joe was having his graduation the next day.
This time we stayed at Dunstan Hall which was a bit more luxurious than our Holiday Inn. The hotel makes a very good first impression. The building is very striking and there are some lovely architectural features internally. The room we stayed in was pleasant and clean. First impressions aside, there were a few things that let this hotel down. I felt that the presentation in the room could have been better. Meaning, I wasn’t too impressed with the way the bed was made. It looked like it was done in a hurry and it looked that way the whole time we were there. It seemed as if nobody cared. Also, the towels could have been bigger. Why most hotels don’t provide you with a generous bath sheet is beyond me. Apart from that and the croissants being bone dry at breakfast, the service was very good and meal we had, although expensive, was quite good too. I think to sum up this hotel was to consider it one of faded grandeur. Bob never got to play a round of golf as there was tournament going on so he hit some balls on the driving range instead, and I did have a go in the jacuzzi and sauna which was extremely pleasant.
It didn’t take us long to drive to the University to watch my son graduate. It was a proud mum moment. We especially liked that the ceremony didn’t take much more than an hour!
After the graduation, we went back into Norwich for some lunch at a really nice restaurant that I can’t remember the name of and then we headed off toward Waxham on the coast. Bob and I had never been to Waxham before. It is one of those tiny and hidden places that you could just drive past and not give a second thought to. If you did drive by, you would miss this…
Beautiful sandy beaches! It was amazing! The graduate went for a walk while Bob and I set up our blanket and proceeded to soak up some much needed sunshine. When the graduate returned with tales of wildlife, I had to go and see for myself.
I thought these were it until I walked further along and came across this…
I couldn’t believe how many there were! And there were little ones! I had never seen seals on a beach before. I was actually quite close to them, but the perspective on my camera made it seem further away. It was a new camera and I wasn’t yet up to speed with it. So, after communing with the seals for a bit I went back for Bob. And then he showed me how to get the best out of the zoom.
Aren’t they adorable! And they have fur! They obviously need it for that cold North Sea! We could have sat and watched them for hours, but the graduate had to get back and get on with his celebrations. As predicted, our things were all packed up and ready to go when we got back to our starting point. We had a wonderful day starting with an emotional proud parent moment and culminating with a feeling of awe at the wonder of nature.
The next day we headed off to Suffolk. Wonder what we will find there?