Hello lovelies! Happy Wednesday, wherever you are in the world! Today I’m sharing with you our little adventure to Nottingham on Sunday-Monday.
I had an interview for my National Insurance Number at 9am on Monday, so we thought the best course of action was to stay in a hotel on Sunday night. We booked the Jury’s Inn, which is right next to the train station. I forgot to bring my Nikon along with me, so now I have to subject you to another terrible assortment of iPhotography 😉
The staff at the Jury’s Inn were all very friendly and helpful. When I checked in, the desk clerk gave me a map of Nottingham and highlighted areas of interest. Our room on the ninth floor was super clean and pleasant, and Jon and I both really liked it.
After a few minutes of rest, we headed right back out to go hunt for dinner. A friend had recommended Annie’s Burger Shack, which was close by and had a really fun American pub-style atmosphere. This place has tons of really interesting and bizarre burgers (“The Elvis” has peanut butter and grape jelly on it!). I ordered “The Vermonter”, which had two little pancakes, some bacon, and American maple syrup on it. And HOLY COW IT WAS AMAZING! I’ve never had bacon that nicely done before, the buns were lightly toasted, and the burger itself was wonderfully juicy and flavourful. While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we spied the back of the drinks menu and noticed all this fun stuff! As we finished our meal, we ordered the seasonal American-style milkshakes; I got the cinnamon one, and Jon got the toasted marshmallow. Mine was heavenly; thick, creamy, and tasted like a mixture of vanilla, graham cracker crust, and of course cinnamon!
Afterwards, we walked off our meal by moseying around the city centre. There were lots of beautifulshop window displays, as well as festive lights all around.
Then we wandered right into the little Christmas market the hotel clerk had told us about. The smells, the Christmas music, the laughter of people on the skating rink… It was so wonderful, and it made me even more excited for the holidays.
We made our way back to our hotel room then, and relaxed for a few hours with the television. I had a hard time staying asleep; the bed was comfortable and springy, but I never get good sleep away from my own bed at home!
The next morning came quickly. I got up a bit earlier than Jon so I could nurse a cup of coffee and get ready. I sat and watched the slow sunrise, and when the sun crests the horizon it always seems to me like the land must be singing in welcome.
I’m still not quite a morning person, though.
After we got ready and checked out, we took a taxi up to Radford Road where the JobCentre Plus is. We arrived about five minutes before they opened up at 9am so we waited outside with a number of other people arriving for NINo interviews. I was one of the first people to be seen that morning, and the entire process took about half an hour and mostly involved my interviewer silently typing up all my information and having her colleague look it over to make sure there weren’t any mistakes. The questions I was asked were minimal, and both ladies were absolutely lovely and friendly and made me feel very comfortable.
After I finished up, Jon and I got delicious wraps at Greggs, then took the tram back down to the city centre. Nottingham is famed for its excellent public transit, and I can see why!
The trams and buses all seem to run very efficiently and frequently, and I really like that the one bus line has several different colours to correspond with where they go! It’s so different than the YRT Viva buses in Canada, which include the Pink, Purple, Blue, Orange, and Green lines but all the buses are blue. These buses are actually those colours. I’m a big fan of the Lilac and Pink lines in particular 😉 I couldn’t manage to get any decent photos of any of them, but here’s a passing shot of a Pink Line bus:
We wandered into the intu Victoria Centre, where we spent the next couple of hours exploring the market and some really neat shops, including a fun Danish store called Tiger.
I really liked the market! I scored some cheap yarn in a little craft shop (the cashier was extremely cranky and a bit snappish, but hey, I got my yarn!), and Jon and I found Knorr pickle soup packets at a Polish shop. I’d been wanting to find that soup again ever since I got it at the Polish Festival in Toronto in September!
I really liked this artsy fountain in the mall. It had parts that moved and was just super whimsical!
After we left the shopping centre, we were so exhausted by lack of sleep as well as in pain (me because of my heavy backpack, Jon because his back has been acting up lately and keeps spasming) that we decided to head home instead of spending a few more hours in the city. Besides, any place we were interested in having lunch at were closed on Mondays! So we walked to the train station and headed back to Loughborough.
The train ride was faster than we’d expected, so we had to wait a while before Elaine came to pick us up. As we waited, we bought orange hot chocolate and enjoyed it out in the sunlight.
And so ended our little adventure. We hope to return to Nottingham soon to go to a couple really neat places we were eyeing, including the oldest inn in England, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (circa 1189AD). I hope you enjoyed these pics!