A visit to Birmingham before Christmas was an unexpected treat. The changes taking place in this city have moved it far beyond the dour greyness I remember. There is an exciting fusion of handsome old architecture with newer delights such as the fabulously revamped New Street Station, the new tram system and a quaint pedestrian square emerging amongst interesting older buildings. We walked along the stalls of the unusually and unfortunately quiet German Christmas market (this was a few days after the tragedy in Berlin). A clamber up to the rooftops of the Birmingham Library proved enlightening. These photos from the roof garden were taken with my iphone. For lunch we enjoyed hanging chicken kebabs dripping with garlic butter at the Botanist pub/restaurant. We had an interesting and relaxing day.