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Joined: January 1st, 1970

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 18th 2018

How wonderful to be around family again. 2.5 year old Zach has not warmed up to me, but has held David's hands occasionally. Sophia is a lovely, easy-going but drooling ferociously. John & Lydia's Thea and Hettie are beautiful, sweet, and spirited, and the 3 cousins (not Sophia) are so sweet and loving together. When we were at J & L's for a quick bite it was all delightful chaos. A farm visit. Parks. Playing loosely and relaxing.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 16th 2018

We spent the morning in the Gloucestershire area, seeing more bluebells along a place where people walk their dogs (very friendly ones), enjoying the views, crossed the Severn on a huge bridge, TOUCHING Wales briefly. We HAD to stop by Chippenham to see our first end-of-row home and have some coffee and really good flapjack at last in the High Street (at what used to be our favorite bakery for a cottage loaf). The house look a little in need of trim and care. Drove motorway all the way, to just south of London, and then up north. Traffic as expected. Rosemary served us a delicious meal and we relaxed for a while before taking John & Robin to their very convenient, very small Air BnB. tomorrow they will catch the light rail just across the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 15th 2018

The visit with the Swans was so wonderful, and our sleep at the Lodge the best ever! Excellent place is Lancaster, a small, discreet city surrounded by farmland and rolling green hills. We drove south, and the surroundings went flatter and flatter, and the traffic increased. Overall, it's been interesting to be here in spring - such a variety of agricultural machines and types of plowing and starting crops. The rape seed is bright daffodil yellow in flower. Traffic around Birmingham was terrible - motor way all the way. We stopped at Tewkesbury Abbey (about 45 mins from cousin Lynn's), which was a delight - Norman columns, beautiful windows and carvings, great history. On the Avon, so we tried to find a place on the water to have tea, but failed. Drove down a lane to ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 14th 2018

England at last.HWe left Edinburgh behind, with a bit of conflict between the GPS, Map, and notes we'd taken from the computer mileage/directions site. May have wandered a bit - the GPS chip being slightly outdated. But soon we were in amazing countryside - hilly and daley and full of sheep. After almost 3 hours (considering you can get from Edinburgh to London in about 4 hours on the motorway), we were finally at Haltwhistle and a remnant of Hadrian's Wall (approx 100 AD?) It snaked on and on to the east, essentially from Carlisle on the west to Newcastle on the east coast. Haltwhistle is birthplace of one of David'great grandfathers, so we stopped in the parish church a beautiful historical building, grade I. Then just about 2 miles to a neighboring village and church, ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland May 13th 2018

So, today was our only full day in Edinburgh. Sad but true. We had no specific plans except church (made it just in time to St. Giles the national cathedral) and the Castle. We found a parking place about 12 minutes' walk to the church. Wonderful service and choir. then quite a few hours walking around Edinburgh Castle. Such history. Even the war memorial building was very moving. Then saw the Royal Yacht Britannia after visit to Marks and Spencer's food hall and came home early so David (the cougher) could catch up on some sleep. Once again we had the most amazing weather. Bright sun most of the time. People were sitting and laying all over the parks.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland May 12th 2018

Got up with toast and marmalade and headed out to Culloden Battlefield. Very interesting, and harrowing, of course, even if we have no connection to the Scots. Then just 1 mile over to the Clava Cairns - ancient burial sites. Then another mile to see a bunch of baby Highland cattle. So cute. Then about 3.5 hours to St Andrews. But off course some of us had to find the loo, so we stopped for coffee around 1:30, in Pitlochry. Sort of followed the directions to the waterside cafe badly, and ended up at a swanky hotel - we asked if they served coffee and tea and if we had the right place. No, it wasn't, but they served tea to the residents. In we went, where we found a sun filled reception room filled with ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland May 11th 2018

Trying to do some catching up. To start with: Here were some photos from the visit to the Cliffs of Moher, which we saw walking both ways, many steps ups and downs., and then actually saw from the water on a rock and rollling boat. David was so brave! It was worth it. Waves were only 2 meters. Tomorrow they were to be 5 meters. Then we drove thru the Burren, a fascinatingly stark and barren area. Our hosts were lovely people. Then we drove all the way from the Galway area to Dublin for one ;final evening near the airport. the next photos are our visit to Trim Castle, the largest and most impt of the Norman castle/fortresses, and neolithic Bru na Boinne. Fascinating. We crashed - long days all, and we are to be ... read more

Europe May 9th 2018

Started out in the rain, passing by Clocmacnoise as we had already visited Glendalough. And it was still raining as we headed East towards Dublin. We didn't start early either, having a relaxed morning with our lovely hosts. We arrived at Trim Castle, the grandest and most impt of the Norman Castles in the Boyne Valley and had great guided tour. then we went over hill and dale to find Bru na Boinne, a burial/worship site older than the pyramids at Giza. Very interesting. Then it was time to find our hotel, not far from the airport in Dublin. Incredibly huge resort hotel. Great beds and room but we only got 4 hours sleep. Early morning, and very tough time finding the restaurant for dinner. Oh well... read more

Europe » Ireland May 8th 2018

What an amazing day. We left Castlemaine and drove about 2 hours to the west coast, stopping in Ennis for coffee and a chance to buy an Aran wool pattern. By then the weather was windy, cool, and gorgeous. The Cliffs are over 350 tall here, quite sheer. Saw guillemots by the thousands but no puffins :( Then, after walking FOREVER along the cliff tops, many ups and downs, we drove into Doolin and caught the boat. David had time to down a dramamine, and that worked great. Only 2 meter waves today. 5 m waves due tomorrow! then it was quite a long drive thru the Burren, truly weird geography of rock cut into squares and shapes by the elements. Barren indeed, althought we drove along the coast much of the wa, and that was ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry May 7th 2018

What a great Full Irish Breakfast cook David is. We drove a tiny road up and over the hills behind us to Camp, on the n. side of the narrow peninsula. Lovely views and SHEEP all over. We meant to take the Conor pass but accidently took another and brought ourselves to the south side at Inch again. Oh well. Saw the pub where Antarctic explorer lived and worked. That was the best weather of the day - as you can see when we are "in the clouds" the rest of the day. NOT RAIN = let's be clear about that. stopped at stone aged "beehive huts" - went in 2. One had a "subterrain" passage to the outside. Very well fortified. PreChristian. We did see some referenced landmarks, but never saw the Great Blasket island, ... read more

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