Warwick Castle, Trebuchets, Eagles, & Indian Food

Trip Start Jan 01, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Almost missed the train for this one...

Jacqui and I cut the Tube schedule kind of close to get to Marylebone station.  After picking up our (pre-paid) tickets at the automatic ticket machine, we made it into the train about 30 seconds before the doors closed.

Warwick Castle is a real, medieval castle.  But it's also a little like an amusement park now.  There aren't any rides, but kitschy decorations and period actors abound.  We went ahead and bought tickets to go into "The Castle Dungeon" attraction...which was very amusing.  I don't think Jacqui enjoyed it because they like to jump out and startle the people on the attraction.  My two favorite things though was the "Flight of the Eagles" show and watch the Trebuchet being shot.  Walking around the castle itself was also very interesting.  I was awed when thinking about the fully dressed defenders running up the tight spiral staircase to the top of the towers...it was difficult for me to do in my regular clothes....though maybe they were shorter back then and could fit in the staircase better.

The Flight of the Eagles was great and you should definitely plan on watching and staying for the entire show.  The guys working the birds are very knowledgeable.  Check out the pictures and videos.

And the trebuchet was awesome.  As an engineer, I can marvel at the skill needed to make and operate one of these in old times.  As it was...this one has an "Emergency Stop" button.  I had to ask the trebuchet-master, "How in the world do you STOP a trebuchet?!?"  He told me it wasn't for the trebuchet itself, but for the electric winch he uses in the morning to pull back the arm for the test firing every morning before the tourists show up.

And we had a great feast at the Carvery below the main hall.  Waaay more food than I was expecting..

Sadly, there were no knights jousting today, or shooting of the Ballista.

We met back up with Oz in London to have a drink, walk around, and find dinner. We started off at a bar near Brick Lane.  Oz had prepared us for being assaulted by hawkers trying to get us into the restaurant.  Luckily, we're used to this from the Passarela do Alcool in Porto Seguro.  In comparison, the hawkers here were half-assed at best.  The bar we went to actually makes caiparinhas so I had to test that out...being an expert and all.  The barkeep uses the right cachaca, but he doesn't use cane sugar, just sugar syrup.  So the taste is about right, but it doesn't have the texture that you would get from drinking a real caiparinha.  So I stuck with Budvar (the original Czechoslovakian recipe for Budweiser) after that.  Ended up at this awesome, authentic Indian restaurant.  Don't know the name or have any clue how to get back there but all the food was spicy and tasted great! 

Ended up being another late night.  We didn't get back to the hotel until 2am or so again....
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