Monday, 9 September 2013

A weekend away

Last Christmas, our children bought us tickets to the MotoGP for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  It’s the ‘formula 1’ for motorbikes.  You should know by now that we’re motorbike nuts!  We have been to motorbike races before, but not the MotoGP.  Maurice avidly watches every race on the tv, so was thrilled with this gift!

Silverstone race track is about 2.5 hours ride away, so we decided to go for the weekend, stopping off at a stately home, Blenheim palace on the Saturday and going to the race on Sunday.

Blenheim Palace is one of England’s treasure houses.  It is a magnificent house set in acres of landscaped gardens.  It is the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. 

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The day of our visit was gloriously sunny and warm.  We had a very informative guided tour of the state rooms which included lots of history of the family.  The highlights are the wonderful tapestries that depict the story of the first Duke’s success in the battle of Blenheim in 1704.  Here’s the wonderful library.

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We took some time to wander around the magnificent gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown in the 1760s, and stopped for a cool drink on the water terrace built by the 9th Duke.  We then visited a very strange exhibition, called the ‘untold story’, which consisted of actors on film pretending to be ghosts of previous occupants of the house. Very odd!  It was an enjoyable visit but not really worth the £22 each entrance fee!

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After a not very comfortable night in a rather scruffy and old fashioned B&B in the little town of Banbury, we set off for a day of racing.  Wow!  Don’t think we’d ever seen this many motorbikes together!  blenheim and silverstone 003blenheim and silverstone 004blenheim and silverstone 009

It was much better than we expected, in that we could see the racing quite well, and were able to follow what was happening in the race on the big screens. 

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The atmosphere was great – lots of oohs and ahhs from the crowd as the bikes jockeyed for position.  Of course, we all love Cal Crutchlow, our GB rider!  There were lots of people wearing his Tech3 team colours.  He came 7th, but, oh! how we’d have loved him to be on the podium!  But when Valentino Rossi rides past, and especially when he manoeuvered for an overtake, the crowd roared!  We love you Rossi!  Marquez did not disappoint, with an epic battle for 1st place between himself and Lorenzo.  (This is the first year of Marquez MotoGP career and he is already leading the championship!) Scott Redding, our Moto2 rider won a brilliant race, and it has been confirmed that he will be racing in MotoGP next season.  The last race we watched was the Moto3, with lots of young riders.  It was very exciting with the 4 riders out front changing the lead every few minutes! 

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Alison said...

Sounds like yo had a wonderful weekend...B&B apart! We visited Blenheim about 15 years certainly wasn't as dear as that!!
Alison xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

It's so nice that you and your husband could enjoy some time together! I think I'm at the point in my life, though, where I really need a decent hotel/B&B. LOL!

alexa said...

Golly, what a LOT of bikes! Sorry about the B and B - amazing that poor ones still manage to exist these days. But it looks like it didn't dampen your enthusiasm too much.