I’ve been away all weekend, with my mum, on a coach trip to see the Spanish Riding School and then to Stratford on Sunday. We had a good weekend apart from spending more time on the coach than we anticipated. The Spanish Riding school was excellent and we also saw 3 of our Olympian dressage riders as a curtain raiser for the show. I am in awe of Lee Pearson our paralympian dressage rider who was able to do an impromptu master class while riding, because they had a problem with the music, he was incredibly eloquent and informative and then went on to perform to the music. When you see him ride you would not realise just how impaired he is. I have full use of all my limbs and at best I can point a horse in the right direction and hope it does what I want it to! Lee Pearson really is a legend.
I have also fallen in love with the Lipizzaner stallions they are just so beautiful as well as the skill of their riders who study for years and actually grow up and train with their horses. Just amazing.
All in all a great evening until we tried to leave the venue after the show. We were at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham by the way. I have no idea when this venue was built but it is in the middle of Birmingham and has nowhere to allow the coaches to park and let their passengers on and off. I am sure that modern planners should have thought about this. On Saturday our company alone had over 30 coaches. We managed by some fluke to find our coach but of course it was stuck behind all the other coaches, as well as the cars leaving the venue at the same time. The event ended at about 11pm but we didn’t get moving until around 12am at which point overnight road works, (sorry road improvements), had meant that all roads out of Birmingham had been closed. (We were staying at Leicester about 1 hour away). There were diversions in place but none of them seemed to be in the direction we wanted to go! In the end we eventually found our way to the motorway and I realised that we were actually heading in the opposite direction towards the South West. We eventually found the junction to turn round and got back to the Hotel at about 1:40am. All in all not a good experience!
On the Sunday we had a trip to Stratford were they cater for the many coach trips that head in their direction and they allow the coaches to park in the leisure centre. We were able to return to the coach in the same place we had left it and we were able to leave in without incident. I know Birmingham is not as touristy as Stratford but come on if you are going to have a venue such as the NIA you need to sort this out.
We had a great day in Stratford which tends to make me think of a comedian, (I am sorry I am not sure who it was), who said of course Stratford is where Shakespeare was born….. but they don’t like to make a big thing about it!
Anyway some Christmas shopping done but still recovering from the coach journey! All the world’s a coach park!