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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Dorset » Weymouth August 13th 2019

August 13, 2019 Weymouth, England Never heard of Weymouth, England? You’re not alone! England’s BEST. KEPT. SECRET! We weren’t able to dock until 11am, so we had a leisurely morning. Typical breakfast in the grand dining room (with Milica) an espresso at Barista’s with Gaia. While in the dining room the Pilot came on board (aft…we didn’t have the same front row seat this time); we went up to Barista’s and watched the Pilot guide us through the first man made harbor in the UK. The wall is deceptive as there are two main “entrances” – one…which we thought we’d enter because it looked larger and the other “larger” one. The first one is actually angled, so a large ship would have a difficult time. We both thought the ship was going to ram the wall, ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 12th 2019

Today was my last day in London and I spent it on another day trip. I took the train to Brighton on the English Channel because I have always heard that it is a fun resort town with some historical things to see. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and I had to contend with rain from time to time, so I was not catching the city at its best. The Royal Pavilion was built by the Prince Regent in the early 1800s as a pleasure palace where he could entertain lavishly while waited around to become King George IV. It is impressive and I enjoyed seeing the huge gaudy dining room and the almost-as-big kitchen. Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside, so I had to content myself with a picture of the outside. The other thing ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom August 11th 2019

Sadly, this was to be the day we returned home and we were all sorry to be leaving Lyme. With an hour to go before breakfast I walked up the hill for the last time to move the car from the car park to a space across the road from our guesthouse where short-term parking is allowed. It was a lovely, mild, breathless morning, and having done that I decided to grab my camera and take a walk through the ornamental gardens. On my way I met a couple who had clearly been for a swim in the calm, blue sea. I paused, drinking in for a few moments the wonderful view across the steeply sloping gardens towards the beach and The Cobb. The tide was in and yachts bobbed about in the harbour, their paintwork ... read more
Lyme bay from the ornamental gardens
Lyme bay looking towards West Bay

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 11th 2019

Two for the Road Notes for the Self-Sufficient Traveler My wife and I conceived of a plan to travel for several months while not straining our bank accounts excessively. Our ability to be away for so long was predicated on stays in residences that afforded us self-sufficiency, autonomy and affordable prices. We had no intention of taking every meal for months on end in a restaurant or hotel. The advent of Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and other resources allowed us to plan months in advance to secure acceptable facilities on our arrival. We’ve learned a lot, made mistakes, had successes and have been generally satisfied with our decisions. Over the course of a year, Susan has consulted five sources for accommodations: Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor/Homeaway, Expedia and VRBO. Here is what we’ve found and o... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 11th 2019

Today I took a day trip to Canterbury which turned out to be my favorite part of the trip so far. There is a speedy train from London’s St Pancras station that arrives in Canterbury an hour later. The central part of the town (where I was) has a friendly medieval vibe and there is an impressive medieval gate at one end of the main street that cars have drive around (or through). I signed up for a walking tour of the town and enjoyed strolling through back lanes while hearing about the history of the place. The major sight is Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican/Episcopal faith. Much of the building (inside and out) is undergoing renovation, but as the cathedral website points out, work on the cathedral has been ongoing for much ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Northern Ireland August 11th 2019

We arrived in Canterbury after a taxi and 2 train rides from Lindisfarne - 5 hour trip Canterbury is another "Holy Place". Pilgrims have been flocking here for 1600 years. So we are travelling on well worn pavement. Indeed some of the paving stones in the Cathedral are amazingly worn down, especially on the steps. The chancel area of this Cathedral is quite unique, with many sets of stairs going up and up and up. The final destination was the martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, way behind the great altar. Quite a journey for a weary pilgrim to reach this final destination. We got to go to 11am worship in the Quire this morning. The Cathedral has massive renovations going on outside and inside. Thus the pipe organ is out for restoration and no worship in ... read more
Canterbury Cathedral out our room window
Canterbury Cathedral
North side Canterbury Cathedral

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 10th 2019

The weather didn’t cooperate for my day trip today. Apparently the storms last night were so bad that train service all over England is still delayed today. So I spent the day in London and ducked into convenient museums or Starbucks when showers threatened. I started with Rick Steves’s West End Walk which explores London’s theater district, Covent Garden, and Piccadilly Circus. The walk took me by some favorite places, including the fountain topped with the statue of Eros in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. Next I walked to the National Portrait Gallery to see the paintings, statues, and photographs of famous British people through the ages. It was only mildly interesting, but I was pleased to see “portraits” of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones among those of William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill. For lunch ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland August 9th 2019

Last hiking day of St. Cuthbert's Way, across the mudflats at lowtide to the isle of Lindisfarne. The trek across the sands took 2 and 1/2 hours. Rose walked briefly until water got in her wellies (boots). Becky, Ben, and Jan ended up bare foot in the mud at the end. And to think the causeway was not here until the 1950's, and even with a population of up to 500 on this island! So there are pictures of horse and buggies crossing the sands and picking people up from the 2 platforms that are situated in the middle of the path. We woke up this morning to church bells, 10 minutes before 8am. I realized that was announcing a church service, so i got dressed and went to a lovely service of Holy Communion in ... read more
The view to Lindisfarne before we walked to adn across the mudflats
the mudflats to Linidsfarne, following the poles in the mud
1 of 2 safe places to get out of the mud if the tide rises while you are hiking

Europe » United Kingdom August 9th 2019

Thursday dawned bright and clear, and the plan for today was to have a relaxing morning before heading a few miles east along the coast to Burton Bradstock. The reason for this was that another old friend of the teenage Helen had moved there many years ago, and Helen wanted to see her if she was still living there. We had passed through the pretty village on our journey to Lyme, and saw that there was to be a church fete this afternoon. Helen's friend, Pat, had been very much involved in the church, so if she was still alive, there was a chance she might be there, or at least there might be others around who knew of her. I decided after breakfast to explore parts of Lyme as yet unseen, and so set off ... read more
Bridport
Burton Bradstock beach
One that hadn't made it . . .

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 9th 2019

This morning I took the Tube to Kew Gardens. I have a dim recollection of having visited it before, but it has been many years. Kew is a world famous horticulture center with many rare and tough-to-grow species. It is also something of a pleasure garden in which people stroll when the weather is fair. The weather was nice enough today and I enjoyed walking around. I visited the Palm House and other specialized environments and I also liked the manicured gardens and occasional sculpture. I had lunch at The Botanical Restaurant - parsnip and potato soup, salad with cold sliced duck, rolls, and Diet Pepsi. Delicious! After Kew, I took the Underground to the Tate Britain gallery to see the British art on display. I spent most of my time in the room with the ... read more
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