People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The UK Trip: Edinburgh Castle Or Bust

In case you missed's Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 and Part 6.

So this is the 7th installment, it's taken me over 4 months, and I'm still only talking about Wednesday the 15th.  I have seven more days to recount. Hopefully, I'll live long enough to finish.

We left lovely, peaceful Lanercost and headed up to Edinburgh. We had wavered about whether to go to Glasgow or Edinburgh or somehow both places, but in the time we had it was better to just choose one. During the planning phase, I had found an interesting place to stay in Glasgow and there was a music festival or something going on, but the castle was in Edinburgh.  As it turned out at this point we felt we'd made the right decision, cause we really hadn't seen one castle up close yet. 

But I was really feeling sick that day, plus it was getting colder and damper as we headed North. By the time we got there it was getting on to late afternoon and we had to drive through the city to get to our B&B; the roads were kinda scary and the traffic was backed up and slow going. 

We finally got there and it wasn't so great.  I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't anything special either. I admit that the entire experience was somewhat colored by the fact that I was feeling ill. But we got checked in and then ran out, got a taxi and traveled across town to the castle.  It was late, but the castle was still open for a couple of hours so we figured we'd have time.

The taxi could only take us to a point off to the side and somewhere down the Royal Mile from the castle. So we started walking...uphill. I could barely breathe and I was not too happy.  We got all the way up there and were just approaching the entrance when they pulled the rope over and told us that the castle was closed for the day.  WHAT??  Ugh!  So just one more castle we didn't get to see. Even worse, they weren't even nice about it. I guess they see lots of people a day, but they could at least have seemed to care about the fact that we had traveled all that way and had to leave in the morning without getting to see the castle. 

We walked back down to the main road and found a place to eat.  It wasn't too nice, but I was about done.  Jeff finally got to try haggis, though, so that was a plus. I wasn't in the mood for anything that interesting. Honestly, all I wanted was a nice cuppa. 

We grabbed a taxi back to the room and even though it was only about 8 pm, I went right to bed.  Jeff went back out to try find something, anything, to do, but it started raining so he just came back and went to bed himself. 

As you can probably tell, Edinburgh was not our favorite place. But it gets better, cause in the morning we left. 

We traveled South down the east coast of Scotland and it was a beautiful day. The views alone made up for how bad the day before had been.

Next up....Durham 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The UK Trip 6: Yo...Adrian

In case you missed's Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5.

The next morning, we drove off from Manchester heading North. 


That was as close as we got to Liverpool...even though my 64 year old sister kept insisting that we should go there to see the Beatles (or as she kept insisting on calling them, The Bee'Ulls. as though she had some weird Brit accent that no one ever sounded like, ever). I'm not sure she believed me when I kept trying to explain that only two of them were still alive and I thought that they both lived in New York City most of the time. 

So as we drove along, we stopped to see a few things.  Like this ruined castle:

It was so cool and the best part, though neither one of us ended up taking a picture of it, was the fact that this was right on the side of the road and across the street was....a McDonalds. Surreal. 

Our destination was the Lanercost B&B in Brampton, Cumbria near Hadrian's Wall. The building was actually made with bricks from a ruined priory that was made with bricks from Hadrian's Wall. It's the circle of life, people.

Of course, by the time we got there, it was just starting to get dark, but we had to leave early-ish to get to Edinburgh so we were determined to go see the remains of the Wall.  We drove around these little twisty lanes, with hedges on one side and stone walls on the other, in the waning light, with giant lorries coming towards us. It was....interesting, to say the least. 

The views were amazing, though.

Our pics of the wall turned out pretty good, even though it was kind of dark out. You can't even tell. My cell phone clearly has a better camera than I deserve. 

Then we went back to our lovely room...which I took absolutely no pictures of because I'm stupid....but I did take pictures of our meal. I'm sure it would surprise no one to find that at least half of the pictures in my phone (maybe three quarters) are of food. 

Oxtail pudding.....sooooo good!

When we got home and were showing our pictures, my sister kept saying, Adrian, who's Adrian? To which my husband replied, "Rocky's girlfriend" and our friend Sam asked my sister, "Are you sure you graduated from high school?"

Next up....Edinburgh

Monday, May 26, 2014