The Clips and Trips blog was put together in preparation for our leaving the U.S. on an indefinite world travel adventure which started around August of 2009 and returned us home in December of 2012. If you want to see where it all began, read our mission statement from before we left.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bristol, United Kingdom

We love Bristol. We were lucky to meet up with our Scottish friends from Bangkok, Chris and Heather, while we were there. They took us around to some of the more interesting art neighborhoods and showed us why Bristol is known for its cider. Famous street artist, Banksy, is from Bristol and his work is all around. One of the neighborhoods called Stokes Croft has quite an anything goes artist scene emerging from its low income roots. Accompanying it, as often does, is a big eco-organic food scene. Quieter neighborhoods like Clifton balance out the city's feel. In the city center at Corn Street they've got top notch street markets.

Bath, United Kingdom

Under two hours by train from London is the city of Bath. It was built by the Romans in AD 43 on the site of the only natural occurring hot springs in the U.K. The original Roman baths are still there to look at but the water looks pretty grimy. I wouldn't recommend a dip, the Romans lined the baths with tons of lead which still exists.

Bath is a beautifully quaint historic city and a great escape from the urban monster of London.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cycling the Canals, London, United Kingdom

We've been loving riding our bikes through London, and one of the best ways to get to various neighborhoods is by taking the canals. The canal itself is a neighborhood in its own right. It is home to house-boaters who cruise up and down the canal and then moor along the sides over night. I spoke to one captain who told me that all house boats are permitted to stay in one spot for no more than a week. So once a week they all switch spots.

The canal contains a series of locks (chambers with tiny dams on either side) that allow the boats to move to higher or lower parts of the canal. They operate the locks manually by hopping out of the boat and pulling the dam apart like a stubborn barn door. They open or close these locks to either empty or fill water into the chamber so that they can drive their boats in, then empty or fill the chamber depending on whether they're going up or down the canal. The boats are really skinny and two can fit in a chamber at the same time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Micro Hotel, London, United Kingdom

We're a little late in getting this up, but we thought it was interesting enough to post. Back in January when we first arrived in London, we bounced around between various temporary accommodations while hunting for a permanent place to rent. Among these were hostels, hotels, short-term lets, and free nights arranged through (highly recommended). I've posted a video of our room at Easy Hotel. Affiliated with Easy Jet Airlines, they specialize in clean budget micro hotel rooms not dissimilar to the famed Japanese capsule accommodations. The walls seem to be made from left over 747 interior plastic paneling. And instead of feeling claustrophobic inside this tiny room, you rather feel like you're on a jet in some special quarters far superior to first class!