Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome to Scotland and Jedburgh


We wrapped up the second day by crossing the border into Scotland.



It was so much colder than it appears in this picture.  Also, there was a man playing bagpipes a few feet away from me.  I grew to love the sound on this trip.


This is Jedburgh Abbey, which was built in the 12th century.  I know what you are thinking, and yes, we did see a lot off abbeys, cathedrals, chapels, and ruins on this trip.  




The town of Jedburgh itself was picturesque, to say the least.  It looks like a movie set.  Maybe I just need to travel more.



This was the home of Mary Queen of Scots.  


Fact:  It has the first toilet in Scotland.


In her back yard.




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Durham and Hadrian's Wall


On the second day of our tour, we visited the city of Durham and Hadrian's Wall.  This beautiful structure is Durham Cathedral, which was founded in AD 1093.  It was magnificent.  




You can see this little flower garden in the picture above and in close-up below.  I am collecting all of these ideas for my own home garden.


There was a very old cemetery in front of the cathedral.  



Durham also had the cutest little shopping area. Of course, I had to photograph the most amazing ad in all of Europe in one of the store windows.


Hadrian's Wall, begun AD 122 by the Roman emperor Hadrian.  


We visited a section of the wall at the city of Heddon-n-the-Wall.  I loved that you could climb on top of it and walk along it.  History is so much more interesting when you can touch it.  It was hard for me to comprehend just how old this structure is.  


Yeah, check out how white my sneakers are.  You almost don't even notice the wall, do you?




Monday, September 23, 2013

Stratford-Upon-Avon and York


On the first day of our tour, we went through Stratford-Upon-Avon and York.  Our first stop was to Shakespeare's Birthplace.  This was the house he grew up in.


There was a giant mulberry tree outside of his house.  I had never seen these before, so I took a picture.  I regret not trying one when it was offered to me.


Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker.  Some of these are originals.


A rose by any other name, would still smell as sweet.

One of The Bard's lesser-known works.


It pretty much rained the entire time we were in York.  This is one of my favorite pictures of the city.  


York Minster, which has some of the most beautiful bells I have ever heard.


Guy Fawkes birthplace.  
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.


The Shambles, an old street that dates back to the 14th century.  


Even the souvenir shops were adorable here.


The buildings were so old they were crooked.


This street performer was a real trooper, staying outside through the torrential downpour.


There was a pub on every corner, and they had the cutest names.


The York City Walls, used to defend the city in ancient times.



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Richmond Castle


One of the first locations we visited on our coach tour was Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire.  It was built in 1071, and stands mostly in ruins today.  The one exception being the keep, which has many stairs that can be climbed all the way to the top.  



From between the battlements, you can view the charming town of Richmond below.  It was truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.




 


Monday, September 16, 2013

August Favorites: Things I Discovered Abroad


Spending three weeks in a foreign country was quite a fun and enlightening experience.  I was surprised to see how many American companies were everywhere.  Starbucks and McDonalds were on every corner, which I did not expect.  However, it was the not-available-in-America things that were the most memorable.  

 I mean absolutely no disrespect in pointing out some of the things that I found amusing. 

The first day of our trip started out with a rainbow.  OK, we do have these back in the states, but it was one of my favorite things because it represented the start of a beautiful voyage.


 I am pretty sure that ads in the next two pictures speak for themselves.  




The street signs were completely different.  Why do these people look like aliens and where exactly is that woman's hand?


It took me a while to figure out that this sign had nothing to do with leprechauns and was for school crossings.


Of course, I brought my gnome Salvatore with my trip.  He even starred in a few choice Instagram shots.  


I adored the proper black cabs in England.  We tried to pop the boot for our luggage our first time.  Turns out, it doesn't have one.


The building were all old, and very uniform looking, but it seemed like every door was painted a bright color. Why don't I have a purple door?


Everyone seems to have a cottage garden or a hanging basket spilling over with flowers.  I used to think I was ok at gardening until this trip.  I now realize that i have a lot to learn (and I need to learn it before next spring, so I can steal some of the ideas I saw).


The iconic red double-decker buses everywhere.  


I love these signs. I feel like they were put there especially for me, because I was always looking the wrong way.  Seriously, I almost got hit by a bus no less than six times.  My husband spent a lot of time throwing his arm up as a barrier.  I kept singing The Smith's "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" in my head.  I feel as if I have new insight into it now.

And if a double-decker bus 
Crashes into us 
To die by your side 
Is such a heavenly way to die 


 The bathroom with the sink that first dispenses soap, then gives you water (for what seems like one hour), and then air dries your hands.


I loved the Tube. It takes you everywhere (so much easier than BART). On another note, a very scary gentleman threatened to slit the throat of the weirdo sitting next to me on my very first ride. In his defense, the weirdo was asking for it. I will always treasure this memory.


Have you ever traveled abroad and marveled at the out of the ordinary?

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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