Tag Archives: architecture

Bertie and Croc fly!

Norway, historical buildings

Bertie bravely puffed his chest out, stood as tall as his 5 inches would allow him and looked squarely at the seagull. He took a deep breath and began to explain, they were lost. The bag they travelling in had left without them and they were now trying to find it.

The seagull stood on its skinny legs, which Croc was amazed would still hold up such a large bird, and listened intently to Bertie. Studying him carefully with his beady eyes. “And, well, that’s it really.” Bertie finished. There was a pause, the seagull cocked his head and said, “Well in that case, allow me to be of service.” He bowed deeply. Bertie looked excited, Croc looked suspicious.

“Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Ivar.” Said the Seagull.

“I’m Bertie and this is Croc” Said Bertie, waving a paw in Croc’s general direction. Croc looked at him angrily. He had been trying to make himself as small and inconspicuous as he could and now Bertie had just completely blown his cover!

“Let’s get started.” Said Ivar, “Up you go!” And he picked a shocked looking Croc up in his beak and plonked him on his back. Bertie was beside himself with excitement, jumping up and down. They were going to fly!!!

As Ivar set off into the head wind, Croc ducked down as low as he could on the birds back and held on for his life! Bertie, huge grin and fur ruffling in the wind, sat upright with one paw outstretched to feel the air rushing past them. “I think I have seen your bag on a boat” Said Ivar as he headed out to the harbour. Oh my! Thought Bertie, what an adventure. Croc tired to think of home, a swamp, warm and safe and very much on the ground.

They circled a couple of boats looking at the passengers, trying to see if they could spy the camera bag. There were several bags but none of them theirs. Then Bertie let out a squeak and pointed. There it was!!! On one of the boats. Ivar flew lower to get a better look. Yes, that was definitely it! Bertie was so excited he forgot to hold onto Ivar and leaned a little too far. He began to fall. Instinctively he grabbed hold of Croc and they slipped from the birds backs together.

“Brave little bears” Shouted Ivar after them. “Good luck” And he flew back to the shore.

Bertie and Croc landed with a soft bump on the canopy of the boat. As they peeped over the edge they looked for the bag. They couldn’t see it!? Then Croc nudged Bertie urgently. Bertie looked where he was pointing. It was another boat, and there was their bag! They had fallen onto the WRONG boat.

“Oh no!” Wailed Bertie and he sat down with a plop and they watched the shore disappear as they slowly moved further away!


An evening arrival


Norway blog Bertie & Croc

Bertie and Croc now knew the signs that a new journey was just about to start. Bertie had even mastered being able to judge just how long the journey would be from the size of the suitcases which were loaded carefully into the car.

The familiar sounds of the airport and the familiar feelings of the plane taken off lulled both Bertie and Croc into a deep sleep. They lay at the bottom of the camera bag wondering where they would end up next. Bertie dreamt it was an exciting place with lots to see and do, Croc dream it was warm and had nice clear, warm waters for him to swim in.

When they finally stopped travelling Bertie knew they had arrived at their hotel. He had heard different words being spoken and knew that they were in a different country. He peeped out of the bag and made his way to the hotel window. It didn’t tell him too much looking at the cobbled street below.

What happened next came as a complete surprise to him….Both Bertie and Croc were scooped up and bundled into the camera bag. They were going out for an explore, but it was night time!?

When the sway of the bag stopped Bertie and Croc peeped out. A cool breeze brushed at their fur and Croc realised his dream of being somewhere warm wasn’t happening. The view in front of them was pretty spectacular! They were near what looked like a harbour, the water twinkled in the moonlight and a strange, abstract structure on the other side of the water was lit up like a Christmas tree. They could see the shadows of people moving around in front of the light, looked blurred and tiny next to the huge windows.

Croc wondered what this multi-coloured building would look like during the day. Bertie was pretty sure that they would get a chance to find out! Little did they both know how close they would get to this impressive piece of architecture.

Gladiators and crocodiles

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Bertie and Croc were looking forward to a restful day. They had spent an entire day touring the Vatican in Rome and being wowed round every turn at the amazing art work. Bertie had been so excited to see the Sistine Chapel that he had completely worn himself out! Croc was silently pleased when his best friend fell into a deep slumber and didn’t awake until the next day. Croc liked his quiet time, it was when he did all his best thinking! He did find that having a friend as excitable as Bertie was brilliantly motivating but he didn’t get much time to think.

The next day both friends were awoken by the hustle and bustle from outside the camera bag. The walls of the bag had heated up in the morning sun and Croc had, subconsciously, moved towards the warmest wall and was snoozing contently.

As they peeped out of the zip in the bag they both realised they were about to exit a busy train station. They blinked as they came out into the bright sunshine and then Bertie’s jaw dropped at the sight in front of him. Looking at his friend, Croc could feel the excitement buzzing from Bertie. Bertie tugged at Croc’s paw!

“Do you know where we are?” Said a wide eyed Bertie. Croc shook his head, confident in knowing that Bertie was fast approaching his tour guide mode and he would soon find out without having to use any brain power what so ever. “It’s a very, very important historical place.” Started Bertie.

As Croc looked at the crowds of people around him, milling around the large, ruined building in front of him he began to notice everyone forming orderly queues at the entrances like little ants going into an ant hill. He didn’t fancy standing in those queues and was relieved when they turned off down the side of the building and began to explore the outside.

As Croc half listened to Bertie’s excited chatter he picked up some words, such as Gladiators, fighting, Colosseum, entertainment. It didn’t sound very entertaining to Croc, exhausting yes, entertaining not so much. Then his little crocodile ears picked up…..Bertie said “bears” and “even crocodiles”!

“What?” Thought Croc, people would fight animals like him and his best friend in this large, circular structure? He shook his head in shock. He looked at the flimsy metal fence around the Colosseum and thoughtfully wondered was it there to keep the people n and the crocodiles out or the other way around? People really were weird he decided as he sat comfortably next to Bertie to pose in front of the magnificent and extremely interesting round building behind them.

Spirals to heaven

Spiral stairs_HDR2

An exhausted Bertie and Croc were looking forward to the excitement of the day to end. They had travelled through the Vatican, seen so many sights and experienced the excitement of visiting the Sistine Chapel. Croc had started to look forward to putting his short little feet up in the hotel room. He hoped that he would be able to crawl out of the camera bag and nestle in the soft bedding on the bed….maybe even have a snooze.

While Croc was daydreaming about having a nap, Bertie was reluctant to hide back in the camera bag just in case he missed something! He remained perched on the top of the spare lens which was conveniently placed in the bag. It gave him just enough height to be able to peek out of the zip at the top.

He was soon glad he did. He felt an odd sensation, like they were going downwards quite quickly. He watched as people walked slowly in front of him, stopping occasionally to take photos downwards.

“I wonder what they are taking photos of?” Said Bertie out loud. He was soon to find out.

The bright light from the glass ceiling above soon became replaced with the yellow dullness of artificial lights. Bertie knew they had reached the bottom of where ever they were going as they were stood still. He took his opportunity to fully peep out of the bag and look up.

“WOW!” Sais Bertie with a gasp. He tugged at Croc who reluctantly climbed up the camera lens and looked up too.

They were at the base of a majestically decorated spiral staircase. It seemed to go on forever towards to bright light coming in through the glass ceiling. Bertie thought it looked like the staircase to heaven, Croc thought it looked like hard work and was glad they didn’t have to climb up it.

Every now and again people’s faces peered over the side of the staircase and looked down at them. “What a way to finish a days adventure” Thought Bertie as he quietly closed the zip and nestled into the darkness of the camera bag. “I wonder what will happen next?”

The bigger picture

2017 06 ROME 3d map IMG_0199

With Croc and Bertie safely back in the camera bag the two friends continued on their tour of the Vatican museum in Rome.

They had no idea how big this place actually was! The map which had been stuffed into the camera bag beside them gave them some clues that there were lots and lots of corridors and hidden locations to visit. It was all in a different language to the ones Bertie and Croc were use to and they couldn’t quite make out where they were or where they were heading.

Occasionally, Bertie would peep his nose out of the camera bag and see if he could work out where they were now. Croc had found a tissue at the bottom of the camera bag and was distracted trying to dry himself on it after his recent watery experience.

Bertie gave Croc a little tug, which Croc now knew meant “come and have a look at this”. Grumpily Croc climbed his way to the zip in the top of the bag and peeped out.

Right in front of the two friends was a wooden table with lots of mini houses on it. Croc shrugged and was about to sink back into the bag when Bertie grabbed hold of him and started pointing out places they had been. The little structures on the wooden board looked just like the grand houses and towers they had been posing in front of. Croc began to realise that this was a very special kind of map, once which showed a 3 dimensional view of where they were visiting!

Excitedly Bertie pointed out where he thought they were now and where he thought they were heading. He explained it was to somewhere called the Sistine Chapel. Bertie became quite animated as he talked about this place and Croc began to realise this was somewhere Bertie had always wanted to go but had never had chance to visit.

Can you work out where they are heading next using the 3D map?

Looking up

2017 07 ROME ceiling IMG_0187

When we last left our furry friends on their adventure they were in somewhere called Vatican and had posed for a photograph surrounded by lots of people with a big dome building in the background.

Croc was quite relieved to be moving back inside where it was a little quieter. He loved the sunshine and the heat so could understand why everyone wanted to be outside on a day like today. Bertie had made Croc giggle as he had been desperately looking in the bottom of the camera bag for his hat. He didn’t like to go out in the sun for too long as he had heard you could get sunburn. Anything with burn in the sentence didn’t sound like a good idea to Bertie!

All Croc could see of Bertie at the moment was his paws as he laid upside down looking for his hat. Bertie’s little legs were kicking around desperately trying to wiggle deeper into the bag. He was wiggling so much that he managed to kick open the lid of the camera bag. Croc looked up in shock and it was then he saw the most amazing ceiling he had ever seen!!!!

Quickly Croc began to tug on Bertie’s leg. Bertie, thinking Croc had found his hat, pulled himself the right way up and then looked up at where Croc was pointing. They both stared mesmerised by the symmetry of the ceiling and the gentle glow of the sunlight coming in through the impressively high windows.

Little did they know, this ceiling wasn’t the most impressive one they would see on this trip!!!

Vicar’s Close


It was a cold, crisp day and Croc was beginning to feel the chill. The one thing he had noticed about the UK was when he was in the sunshine it was pleasantly warm. As soon as he went into the shade, it was icy cold. He became very aware that there was a lot more shade than he would have liked in this country!

As they hopped back into the camera case, Bertie and Croc peered out at the huge, gothic Cathedral as they walked past. Croc noticed a small, stone archway and nudged Bertie to get his attention. Bertie shrugged and indicated that maybe they should have a little explore. After spending a lot of time with Croc Bertie was now very good at speaking in a silent code of points and nudges.

The camera bag had been put down carefully and it looked like Bertie and Croc’s companions were distracted by ice cream, so they took the opportunity to hop out and make their way through the stone arches.

Both of them never expected to find a small, cobbled street with house lining each side. The lampposts were old and black. The cobbles worn smooth by thousands of steps and people were scattered around taking photographs. How unexpected and odd? Thought Bertie.

Croc was distracted by the size of the chimneys on the small houses. He had never seen chimneys on houses until he came to this country. In the tropical climate he was use to there was no need for fires or heating in houses. You wanted to keep the heat OUT not IN in Darwin!

As Croc was looking around him, he noticed a sign. He nudged Bertie and pointed. Bertie had always been better with his letters than Croc was. As they read they discovered that this was Vicars’ Close, a historic street which was built over 650 years ago. The houses were used for the Vicars Choir to live in. Bertie explained to a puzzled looking Croc that a Choir was a group of people who sang in Churches and Cathedrals. As they walked down the street, Croc trying his hardest to remain on the sunniest side, they tried counting the houses but got too distracted looking at the shields which were in the stone work above each door.

How many houses can you count?