Page 11 of Donel Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 4th 2009

Leaving Peebles and heading for Edinburgh with a stop at Rosslyn Chapel (made more famous by the Da Vinci Code). It is undergoing a massive restoration project expected to take around 8 years. Left in pretty bad condition due mainly to the water retention of the sandstone which it is made out of. Another drive through the countryside to Edinburgh. We were lucky enough to be on the same road as our hotel and were able to drive straight to it. Which is a miracle considering the congestion and confusing highway signs (some one took pity on us after the Norwich debacle) A quick pitstop to our room and out the door for the Hop on Hop off tour with a layover at Edinburgh Castle. Had dinner at a Scottish restaurant the Wee Windaes and had ... read more
Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland July 3rd 2009

We are leaving Whitby and heading along the coast and then north east to Peebles Scotland. Fantastic countryside! Rolling hills and sheep everywhere! In some cases the farms have no fences and they warn the drivers that the sheep may wander onto the road. A little tidbit… there are no stop sings in the UK. Everyone just has to be careful. Stopped for lunch at Hadrian’s Inn which is just south of the wall. We will stop on the way back down the west coast for pictures since the wall runs coat to coast. WE MADE IT TO SCOTLAND!!! And it started to rain… with a 40 mph steady wind… that’s more like it. You know these people over have no idea what street signs are all about. We are staying at the Venlaw Castle Hotel ... read more
Hadrian's Inn
Hadrian's Inn

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Lincolnshire » Grimsby July 2nd 2009

Leaving Grimsby we continued up the east coast headed for Whitby we stopped in the town of Scarborough and visited Scarborough Castle. This ruin was started in 900 AD. There was evidence of settlements in 500 BC from archeological digs and there are remains of a Roman signal station. Scarborugh is also a great shopping town with huge pedestrian malls. Did a little shopping for the grandkids. On up the coast we stopped at Whitby our and our next hotel but before dinner we were to visit the Whitby Abbey. Also a ruin (obviously) it was constructed in 657 AD but fell into ruin when Henry 8th took over all religious properties and gave them to his buddies. Dinner was at the Estbek House in Sands End 5 minutes down the road. Elke made this reservation ... read more
Scarborough Castle
Scarborough Castle
Scarborough Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Lincolnshire » Cleethorpes July 1st 2009

It's Canada Day and we are off to tangle with more roundabouts and pubs! Left Norwich for Sandringham the Royal summer home. Queen not at home (She is defintely avoiding us). Toured the grounds and left for Cleethorpes on the east coast. Landscape in this area is gently rolling hills and quaint little villages. Arrived in Cleethorpes and walked the promenade looking for a pub. Found the Smugglers Inn and stopped by for a drink and a bite to eat. I tried 3 different beers (more properly ales & bitters) and Elke had the Wine special. Buy 2 glasses and get the whole bottle. (she was very happy) We were watching the Wimbedon match between Hewitt & Roddick when all of a sudden we heard the theme song from Coronation St. Elke was out of her ... read more
Scotch Thistle
The summer garden

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Norfolk » Norwich June 30th 2009

We are on our way to the seacoast when out of nowhere there appeared yet another cathedral and we just had to stop. It was the Norwich Cathedral which has the highest spire of all gothic cathedrals in Britain. Originally built starting in 1029 and partially rebuilt in 1529. Even the rebuild is 300 years older than Canada. Left the cathedal and headed east. I will say that the English people have preserved their homes and properties at all costs. No home is moved or torn down for the betterment of highways or roads. In some cases they are crazy!!! Oh my God, you will be cruising at the breakneck pace of 40 MPH (for those of us that remember how fast that really is) and in a split second you come around a corner to ... read more
Norwich Cathedral
Gt. Yarmouth

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London June 30th 2009

Headed off to the country. Grabbed a cab from the hotel and went to get our train @ Liverpool St. station. Very civilized travel here. Kiosks to buy tickets, put tickets into turnstiles which open automatically and off you go. Punctual smooth and fast. Taxi waiting for us and within five minutes we were at the car rental in Norwich. We had requested a small Vauxhall but they didn't have one so they gave us a Mercedes (pretty "posh" as the Brits would say). With Elke's excellent navigating we drove straight to our hotel. Checked in and back out the door again to the Norwich Castle. The center of the city follows the old Norman layout so the streets are very narrow and convoluted. Came back to have dinner at our hotel in the courtyard beside ... read more
Annesley Hotel - Walston
Norwich Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City June 29th 2009

Holy crap it's hot here and because this type of heat is unusual, there are NO AIR CONDITIONERS!!!!! Totally soaked all day. Today is our day to travel with the locals on the underground. A little intimidating at first but the system is well laid out and fairly easy to understand. Our first visit is to St. Pauls Cathedral at the St pausl stop. (from Euston down the northern line to the central line then est to the St. Pauls stop) Forthos of you have not been here - trust me... Magnificent .... and massive. Since it was a Sunday there are no tours and ..... no pictures inside. we were allowed in and we got to see most of the cathedral from the rear. Services were about to start so we went to the gift ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City June 27th 2009

Wow! What a day! Started with a full English breakfast at the hotel. Sausages were great and the strawberries were awesome! They are way better than back home. Left the hotel @ 7:30 and headed for the Big Bus double decker tour. It is a hop on hop off tour.We must have completed 3 laps of London in the total process. Got off at Buckingham palace and watched the changing of the guard. And yes we brought the hot weather with us. Temp's were around 29C and few clouds. Very difficult to get close enough to get good pictures. Huge crowds of course! Left there and went for lunch at the Bag O' Nails pub (couldn't resist a pub with that name) and they had fantastic fish and chips. Made our way back to the bus ... read more
Big Ben
Bag O Nails

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City June 26th 2009

Oy!!! We made it! The flight got out late but was really smooth. Really hard to sleep sitting straight up. Cleared customs no problem. 1 1/2 hours later we were in our room after a roundabout drive on the shuttle. Maniacs on the roads. They are all going the wrong way!! Well most of them. An amazing thing here that I noticed right away is the constant smell of burning brake lining anytime you are near the roads. Dropped the luggage and we were out the door, a small 4 hour hike straight down woburn place to the river. Found the Temple Church made famous in the Da Vinci Code. (well Elke did) Also the Royal Courts and pubs every 20 feet. Turned around and headed back. Grabbed some beer, wine and crisps and went back ... read more
Royal Court

North America » Canada » Ontario » Pickering May 23rd 2009

Just getting packed and ready to explore the highlands and the inner depths of London and Paris. We will try to update y'all when we get some spare time but for those of us who have travelled using Elke's itinerary...well you know, the updates may be short. Stand by. Don & Elke... read more
Hilton Euston

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