Sunday, June 16, 2019

"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher." ~ William Wordsworth

We have settled in at the Holiday Inn next to the Glasgow airport for tonight. Three weeks have gone very quickly and as I write this last post, memories have been made and challenges met. We have learned more about managing the train system, accepting changes beyond our control and having fun together regardless of the weather. We taxied from Ambleside to Windermere to catch our train this morning, only to find out the train wasn't running and they were sending a bus to get passengers to Oxenholme. A little hiccup, but we caught our connection and spent 2 hours on the train heading north to Glasgow. Therefore, we are short on photos for today, so I'll include some that didn't make it into the other posts.
View from our window tonight - not quite the fells in the Lake District where the poet Wordsworth lived. 
 Our well balanced lunch we shared today.

 This would be the dream wall to replace our wood fencing on Klondyke Street.
And a final 'identify the flower' for the grandchildren. The flower stalk was ~8 feet tall.

Thank you to everyone who has followed along on our journey. Andrew and I will take some time when we get home to go through all the posts and relive our fun vacation.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." ~ Audrey Hepburn

Two days in one again!! I'm getting slack on the blog posts but we're trying to squeeze in as much as we can in our last few days. Yesterday we were on the train all day, arriving in Ambleside around 4 pm. The motion of the train promptly puts me to sleep, so I am in and out of consciousness while we travel. The English do have a very efficient train system, but as we near the end of our vacation, I'm looking forward to independent travel with our Toyota. Tonight's photos are mainly of today as we hiked the most beautiful countryside here in the Lake District. My phone tells me over 20,000 steps and 140 floors, it was a very high fell (old Norse name for mountain).
 The Fisherbeck Inn in Ambleside. Andrew had heard of this inn as it was mentioned in an acknowledgment in one of Tim Keller's books. We thought it would be a great way to end our trip and it is lovely, nestled in this valley with fells to all sides. Interesting thing is, Tim Keller is actually here this weekend!!! We haven't had a chance to speak with him, but I'm hoping we will see him at breakfast tomorrow so Andrew can have a chin wag with him!!
 Pretty little town - very touristy. All of the buildings are made of grey slate.
This neat little house is known as 'The Bridge House'. It almost seems suspended here but there is actually a stone arch underneath it spanning it across Stock Beck (beck is Middle English 
for stream). It was originally built in the 1600's as a means for a very wealthy and influential family to access their lands on the other side.
We took a stroll last evening to get our bearings. This area in England is very well known for it's lakes. This is Windermere, very close to where we are staying. It's full of sailboats.
 Wansfell Pike or bust - it was threatening a downpour but we set out anyway and had a great day of hiking.
 Met this group of runners (175 of them doing 32 miles in a 5 peak challenge today) who promptly passed us on the way up.

I kindly stepped aside for these more vigourous athletes. There was no way I was going at their pace.

See that tallest peak in the far distance? That's where we're headed, in the rain!
 Just partway up - I was behind most of the way, so got some good shots of Andrew ahead.
 Clouds were closing in on us.
 At the top! Would have been a fantastic view if we weren't in the midst of a cloud! Wansfell Pike, at 484 metres high, is not one of the highest but high enough for us.
We started going down the back side towards Troutbeck and the mist lifted.
Met these crazy extreme mountains bikers, walking their bikes up this side and planning on riding down the steep side - not sure how they were going to do that without going head over heels.
Making short work of the downhill path.
Heading down 'Nanny's Lane', stone walls on both sides and much easier trekking.
The Lake District in England - picture perfect country.
 The heather is in bloom!
Charlotte - these sheep had 2 colours on them - red and green - not sure what that means!!
There were 3 wells set into the side of these stone walls, but I wasn't going to risk trying out the water!
Typical English countryside.
Finished off our day with a visit to the local garden centre - it was massive, complete with a cafe, pets and the largest selection of pots I've seen anywhere. And the backdrop were the mountains.
Stopping to smell the grand assortment of David Austin roses. Too bad we couldn't bring a couple home.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

"I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." ~ Groucho Marx

Found a little cafe in town with free wifi so am taking advantage until they kick me out. Andrew has gone for an amble around town to visit the numerous bookshops they have here. Hay-on-Wye is known as the book capital of the world and they host a week long international book festival here every year. Up to 250,000 descend on this little town in Wales, taking in special speakers and perusing the many books for sale.
We travelled by train on Tuesday fromYork to Hay-on-Wye, missing our connection in Birmingham, so had to wait an extra 50 minutes, getting us to our destination around supper. We were tuckered and opted for a meal across the street. We then meandered around this sweet little place to get our bearings and were fortunate to have the laundrette just around the corner. We washed and dried just enough clothes to get us home on Monday.
Wednesday was a relaxed day and Andrew was anxious to poke around in the bookshops to see what treasures could be had. I ended up with the best treasure though, Cornishware!!! And they gave me a deal as they were trying to clear it out. Not sure how I'm going to get it home, but pretty sure it will be on my lap or near my feet on the plane. So very excited to get it home, washed and make my morning porridge!
Today started very rainy. We wanted to hike to Hay Bluff (a ~15 km route) but the weather sure wasn't cooperating. So we went to the local market, came back to our nest and decided to head out around 9:30. The weather hadn't settled yet, but we've been feeling a bit hike deprived, so set out on the Offa Dyke Path. We didn't make it to the top and the pictures will explain why.
Off to enjoy a plate of haddock and mash tonight and then a quiet evening as we prepare for our second to the last leg of our trip, a long train ride to Ambleside in the Lake District tomorrow. We will end our trip with a final burst of hiking in this beautiful countryside.
This is our little red door cottage we booked for 3 nights. Very narrow and small but quaint and quirky at the same time. It's been the perfect spot, walking distance to town but on a very busy road. We don't hear much at night though (I think because we're so knackered!).
Very steep, narrow steps leading to the back garden of our 'home'.
Indicative of the streets in Hay-on-Wye. So very pretty.
Who needs posts in the stairways, when you can recycle old bicycle chains and gears! Not sure about the 2 splotches of paint on the wall - couldn't decide on the colour?
If you take a closer peek, the complete set of red leather, 16 volumes of Charles Dickens is 400 pounds, almost $700.00!!
 A stairway in one of the bookshops. My grandchildren would love it here. So much to take in.

There was a whole room dedicated to Penguin books.

The Poetry Bookshop - so many books!!

Andrew's first scotch egg. Didn't look too appealing to me, so I had a coronation chicken sandwich instead.

We thought it was a 'gentleman's club' but found out it was a less expensive place to have our supper and the food was good.

Clock tower at the centre of town - it's a place with streets going every which way. Not a great place for those directionally challenged.

Hay-on-Wye in the distance - we climbed quite steadily.

Well this was a slog - tried to stay out of the running river to my right, but still soaked my boots!

Panoramic vista from our walk today.

Another pretty view near the top. See that low hanging cloud?

You can barely make out Hay Bluff in the distance. Cloud cover prevented us from going all the way.

Getting closer to the top and the weather still isn't improving.

Could almost reach up and touch the grey clouds.
 And just in case you haven't seen enough cute sheep pictures. Charlotte, a lot of the sheep in this field had a turquoise blue paint on their back. There were some with orange and some with black as well.
 Starting back down the trail via the twisty road. Much quicker walking!
 We dodged a lot of sheep poo on this trail.
 We're up with the clouds!
 This countryside - I love it!
More lovely views on our way back.
They have my cottage already for me to move in - I don't even have to change the sign!
On our way to town to try and find some free wifi.