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Photography by Angela McConnell

Ten years ago I left my provincial town in New Zealand and embarked on a customary rite of passage for most young kiwis – my big O.E. (overseas experience). I had saved for a number of years for this trip and my intention was to work in England for a couple of years. But first I would take a 3 week bus tour around Europe on a TopDeck bus. Which was awesome. Where I drank pretty much my entire budget, and also happened to meet my future husband 🙂

I was only in England for about 10 weeks before I packed my bags and flew to Canberra in Australia to start my new life (with the $90 I hadn’t managed to drink yet). So my O.E. sort of fizzled at the start….but I guess you can say I am still on it since I haven’t moved back to NZ, and the plan is to pretty much canvas most of the major Commonwealth countries (NZ, Australia, Canada – still have a few to go).

So we were lucky enough to be invited to England for the wedding of some amazing friends. And we decided to take a couple of extra weeks to trot around England and hop over to Europe, and pretty much cram in as much as possible.

The itinerary looked like this

London – 2 days, Bristol – 2 days, Ilfracombe – 4 days, Bath – 3 days, Malvern – an afternoon, Holland – 3 days, Dublin – 4 days then home to Toronto.

It was strange that as soon as I landed in London, I felt at home again. London is one of my soul cities, Melbourne was one as well. It is definitely on my list of places to live and I am hoping that we will get there one day.

Here are some shots from our trip

Statue of Queen Victoria outside Kensington Palace

Albert’s Monument

Daffodils in the snow

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace just after changing of the guard

Obligatory tourist shot in front of Buckingham Palace

This horse scared me

Me and my lines

I love the architecture in London

It really lends itself to B&W

The day we wandered around happened to coincide with the observance of the Commonwealth Military services

More buildings

Big Ben

Houses of Parliament

Another obligatory tourist shot – Geoff points out Big Ben is “thataway”

Someone is trying to start the padlock thing here

Buildings, lines, B&W

Houses of Parliament

Abstracty goodness

On our way to the respective Hen’s and Buck’s Night we stopped off at Stonehenge

I took too many photos of Stonehenge

Tourist shot of Stonehenge

Moody Stonehenge

It was freezing!

But everyone was still smiling

Geoff modelling his Splinter Cell beanie

More Stonehenge

The wedding was down on the South East Coast – this was the view from the balcony of the house we stayed in

After the wedding we met up with Geoff’s family, and took a side trip to Laycock

Laycock is often used in films and TV shows as a period village

Then onto Bath

Roman baths at Bath – I am a huge Roman history fangirl, I studied Latin for 3 years so this was pretty much heaven for me

The main pool at the Roman Baths

Statues of noteable Romans line the upper terrace of the Baths

Kiddies playing dressup as roman citizens


Like I said – love the baths (so many photos from here)

Sigh – you can almost image being in the Roman times when you see stuff like this

The old facade recontructed using projections

Bronze of Minerva

The original temple steps

Old coins of Minerva

Internal plumbing of the baths

Geoff looking for more walls to photograph for texture reference. If you think I took heaps of photos, you should see how many texture reference shots we have in the holiday folder. (Geoff is a Technical Artist for a games company, he likes textures)

Obviously I spent a LOT of time at the Baths

Wishing well – all the coins

Some random stuff came floating up out of the depths

Georgian row housing in Bath

More lines – I get so sucked in

The river in Bath – the bridge reminded me a little of the Ponte Vechhio in Florence (except grayer and colder)

Slightly misty looking towards the hills

Then we went to Holland to see my friend Lisa – here she is executing quite an excellent photobomb while I look like a tourist in front of a windmill

Lisa and Jeroen’s little boy Luca

Eating a Dutch delicacy – raw herring

sprinkled with raw onion


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