Get Your Thousand-Year-Old Castle On

One sunny Friday a few weeks ago I was off to Berkshire and visit Windsor Castle. I was there on my first trip to England back in October of 2005 and had been wanting to revisit for a while. Now that the weather is oh so lovely and I have some time off, it seemed the perfect time to visit the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.

So off I went, but not without being hit by the travel fail domino affect.  My bus to the rail station in Cambridge was running late, so then I missed the 11:15 express train to King’s Cross, which meant I missed the 12:22 from Paddington to Slough and subsequently the 12:50 from glorious Slough to Windsor.  In the end I got to Windsor just before 14:30, an hour and change later than I had hoped.  I grabbed a quick bite to eat at a McDonald’s that used to be a Burger King.  Oh how the place has changed! Well, I had hoped it would be quick. It was the slowest queue I think I had ever been in.

Right, to the castle! Continue reading “Get Your Thousand-Year-Old Castle On”

Mapping The New World

Tonight I finally got around to clearing off my GPS nav in preparation for a weekend in London.  On it were a couple of tracks from the colonies… a drive out to Stanhope to visit m’colleague Pat at his campsite and the trek from Charlottetown to Halifax for my flight back to the UK.  As a side note, I was rather lucky to get back to the UK.  I flew via Zoom three days before they closed up shop.

First up, the north shore of P.E.I. were there were some fantastic waves for splooshing in…

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And then a four hour drive to Halifax for Arby’s and some brief site seeing before going to the airport. My batteries died while in Halifax so the drive back out to the airport isn’t included. You know, in case you were thinking “that’s crazy talk, that track goes past the airport, but doesn’t go back to the airport!”. So there we are.

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Exploration, You See

When I go to London I quite often end up doing a fair bit of walking.  Sometimes a lot of walking.  I tend to just wonder where ever looks interesting, or somewhere I haven’t been before or somewhere I want to see again.  With this, I can’t always exactly remember everywhere I’ve been.  Being a map nerd and an even bigger London affection-ado I like to keep track of these things.

A while ago I started looking into various bits of kit to log my steps.  I first started looking at Garmin eTrex personal navigators, then more simple GPS logging devices until coming around full circle and scoring an eTrex bargain on eBay about a month ago.  

There is a bit of a learning curve with getting it to work on a Mac.  First step was getting a USB cable for the eTrex.  Then finding a driver that will work with the unit on a Mac.  Then some software to get the data off of the device.  I found a piece of software called GPS Babel that works a charm.  It takes the data off the eTrex and will save it as any number of formats, including Google Earth .kml format.  Perfect!

Since then I’ve been messing around with logging and working with the data.  I took the eTrex to London on June 7th and again this past Saturday to track where I’ve been.  I have both routes in Google Earth and now have the .kml files saved online so I can view them in Google Maps and embed them into posts.  Neat eh!

Here’s my track from this past Saturday.

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You can spot times when I use the Tube or a bus to get from places as there’s just a long straight line going between the stops. This particular day I started out at Holborn Tube, walked from there to Embankment (popping into Sir John Soane’s Museum along the way).  Took the Tube from Embankment to Barbican.  From there walked to Farringdon, up to Kings Cross and continuing to Camden with a stop into Old St. Pancras church yard.  You can see the bus trip from Camden down to Waterloo where I had a walk around before taking the Tube to Bond Street.  There is where it looks like my batteries died.  That’s ok as there wasn’t much to log after that!

I’m going to keep playing with it and try out adding markers for start and end points and maybe some photos as well.

Have a look over at my Flickr page for photos from this trip.