From top left to right: London, England (near Imperial War Museum); York, England (walking on the wall surrounding the city); London at Imperial War Museum (all smiles); York (Cliffords Tower in background); York Minster Cathedral (inside the nave); Edinburgh, Scotland (Holyrood Palace); View from train from Edinburgh to York; Edinburgh (walk along Royal Mile); Jamie Scotts! (along the Royal Mile)
Good Wednesday! Oh it is good to be back in the U.S. There is no place like home. The above photos are just a glimpse of a most wonderful vacation to the United Kingdom. A very easy 10 day trip and yet, filled with scenic and memorable sights, sounds and including a dram of Scotch whisky! This trip has been on the books (in our minds) for as long as we visited the first time...in 2002 for our 25th anniversary. It just worked out to get this trip underway this year and it couldn't have been more timely and perfect for this time of year. As most people know, the weather in the UK is less than predictable, but more than that, the sun just doesn't like to show itself in this part of the world. That is our opinion, however. Sans the sunshine, our understanding, after doing some research, the month of October is the best time to visit these places for the most ideal weather. So, the trip was scheduled with this revelation in mind. The trip began in the London airport simply because of the 5 hour layover, before boarding a flight into Edinburgh, Scotland, making it hard to get momentum once we crossed the pond. The initial plan was to take a train from London Heathrow airport into Edinburgh...BUT, we discovered that the railroad strike schedule for October was set for the date we would be traveling! Good thinking on our part created that second flight, but made for a very long day indeed. We are most grateful for the courtesy of the train strike schedule, so one can plan ahead! With both flights, and also the time change, it meant that we would be up through the night and part of the next day before we could actually lay our heads down on a bed to catch up, and then hit the pavement to start our holiday. This trip included 8 overnights all together between three cities and we felt we needed to keep going, regardless of red eyes and a bit of brain fog. After landing in Edinburgh, the tram takes you into the city centre where everyone disembarks to hotels beyond. We had a walk of less than a 1/2 mile, but totally lost without bearings. A few very very nice locals helped us navigate the few blocks to finally find our hotel and check in. Oh...did I forget to mention that it was POURING rain...pouring! Needless to say, that cannot stop anyone from moving forward; thus a rain coat, umbrella and gps we donned to navigate the streets and find a good place to grab a coffee and pastry to sit behind the window panes and people watch for a bit. This blog post will be dreadfully long to boast every nook and cranny we encountered...so, just a few highlights in case you are considering a trip abroad.
Although the photos are out of order by city, these are just a few favorites to share. All three cities are packed with history, if that interests you. We are always on the hunt for historical significant places to visit and these cities deliver...big! Edinburgh is certainly known and home to the Edinburgh Castle. It is perched up high and glows with light at night. A sight to see for travelers for sure. It is a behemoth in size, built on Castle Rock since at least the 12th century. It is a "must see" should you find yourself in the city of Edinburgh. In addition, the other place highly recommended is Holyrood Palace, just down the street. This palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It is so worth a visit. The abbey, situated behind the palace dates to 1128 and the ruins make for some very nice photo shoots. We find ruins uniquely interesting in that they are still standing after soooo many long years. Think of all the intrigue that takes place duringand over a thousand years...
There is a photo of a shop in Edinburgh, down the Royal Mile. We saw this shop in 2002 and it is still in business. The shop is: Jamie Scotts...reminding us of our own Jamie Scott!!!!
The city of York is south of Edinburgh, and you can take the train from Edinburgh. There is one photo of our train journey (bottom left), which showered us with really beautiful countryside scapes along the way. York is home to the Minster Cathedral, dating back a thousand years!!! This cathedral was build over a 200 year span. We find it interesting that artisans working on it would never see the cathedral finished in its entirety in their lifetime. It is beautiful, both inside and out. The docent for our group gave insights that we found genuinely charming; one being the fact that money bought one's opportunity to be encased in a stained glass motif for as long as the minster stands.
There is a wall around the city of York and, believe it, the Romans started York around 71 AD! Are you surprised? This was one of the most intriguing things we liked about York, in that you can still walk on the wall, as we did (top middle photo and middle left photo). For most of the wall, there are no barriers to keep one from falling off the walkway...but the fall would follow by a nice roll to the ground. A must do if you find yourself in York. Cliffords Tower (middle left photo) is in the background and dates to 1190, built by William the Conqueror as a medieval stronghold. One of the worst antisemitic massacres of the Middle Ages took place here.
The second half of our trip landed us in London and we felt right at home. Our hotel (a gift of a four night stay) was located in a really convenient part of the city. We did more walking to get from place to place. The underground metro does the trick, but is is very very busy and walking helps to balance the weakness for pastries and sweets. The Imperial War Museum is very very interesting if you are in to that sort of thing. We love war history and this one was tops! There is a really good restaurant in the museum, so that made for a lovely way to spend an afternoon. There is a photo of a residence in London that boasts a commander of the "Bounty" lived here. We suspect it had to do with mutiny on the HMS Bounty (another historical fact). We just thought the home looked photo worthy.
I included two snapshots of the two of us. Sometimes, it's good to see the faces of those who partook of this fabulous adventure. To live is to travel...I don't know who coined that phrase, but I see how fitting and one could agree!
Thank you for showing up today. Good on you! Jeanine