Thursday, May 30, 2019

From Hadrian's Wall to Glasgow

We just kept walking, up and down. Sometimes quite far up and then quite far down.

Getting close to civilization. This man is mending a slate roof.

One day we took a short detour to see Lanercost Priory, a church within the ruins of the old priory. The roof was removed at the dissolution in 1536, but the church has continued. 

We were in a bit of a hurry and too cheap to pay to see the ruins, but it looked quite wonderful. The church had some nice stained glass. 

There was also a tea shop on the site, which was very welcome!

Our last B&B on the road was in a Victorian mansion, surrounded by cows and sheep and beautiful wisteria. The lounge was full of tchotchkes, some on this wonderful side board. 

There was a bar in the library. Lovely! We had dinner there and the food was excellent.

One more day of walking through the hawthorns and cow parsley. The rugged countryside was behind us now. 

Red sandstone.

Ah, the M8. We really were near the end!

All of us, done and dusted! We finished in Carlisle. Some stayed for a final day of catching their breath, some soon left the country, some went to other destinations.

Three of us went on to Glasgow for a quick visit before flying home. I had two things I wanted to do there: Find one of the two Edward VIII mailboxes known to be there, and buy some sheepy wool! I had spent a week walking past sheep, bits of wool on the ground, stuck in wire and fences...

A quick check on Ravelry led me to The YarnCake. That webpage seems a tad out of date, but I can assure you that the shop is there; there is yarn and there is cake.

Now I am home and almost back to the right time zone. I've compiled a slideshow of only 700 pictures to delight my friends and family with... I'll supply wine and popcorn in case that's a bit too many! 

And of course I do have a knitting story to tell. 

Hadrian's Wall

I have been picking out pictures, and I think I still have too many here. The first day I took well over a hundred! It did go down from there, but I was still taking dozens every day.

So, hold on to your hats.

As you can see, the weather was miraculously lovely! We all carried rain pants we never used. I had an umbrella which almost got used as a parasol, but even that turned out to be unnecessary, as after the first day the temperature was in the mid-teens, mostly high overcast.

We stopped at a couple of Roman forts. This must be Housesteads, the granary. 

A long way down into Sycamore Gap. This was the day that nearly did us in, with all the up and down!

Vindolanda, ruins and museum exhibits. Amazing!

I do have a couple more things to show, but let's stop here for now!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Second bit: Liverpool

Once upon a time, I went to school with a girl named Alison. When I moved away, we kept writing letters for years. We lost each other, found each other... but thanks to the ubiquitous Facebook and such, we now keep in touch without even trying.

So I wrote to her and said I'd be in England, she said I should come and stay, and so I find myself near Liverpool.

We took the ferry 'cross the Mersey.

The waterfront is a jumble of old and new. Grand old buildings, 70s monstrosities, a quite nice-looking new museum and more.

This is the Royal Albert Dock. It is now shops, restaurants and museums, but once was the busy place of shipping and trade and the navy and all kinds of excitement.

This is apparently called Liverpool Mountain. Very large. I didn't have the time to go into the Tate here, but one day I'll go back!

The Beatles are from Liverpool, of course. Here they are depicted in jelly beans. 

This is not entirely the original Cavern Club, but the history is so complicated with demolitions and rebuildings, you can read about it here. The street around the club is full of other music venues and souvenir shops.

We had lunch in a big shopping complex, the Liverpool One. Once again, I have to go back, as we didn't see a lot of it and I didn't quite get the whole "redevelopment" idea -- 42 acres of the city were redesigned and rebuilt in the past 20 years or so.

This is the view from our terrace restaurant. The roof provides shade but also blocked the view of the city, which was a bit of a disappointment.

The skies there were constantly filled with con trails from planes in and out of Manchester Airport!

After lunch we headed to what the locals call Paddy's Wigwam, a name that manages to insult Irishmen and North American First Nations all at once. It is the Catholic cathedral of Liverpool, and I think a piece of 1960s architecture that actually worked. It is a bit tent-shaped, and not your standard British church.

There are glass panels around the perimeter, and circling the top of the church. The light inside is wonderful. Quite stunning! These pictures are not as wonderful as the real thing.

After our visit to the church we headed back to get the ferry. We saw the Three Graces, three large and lovely buildings on the waterfront. I believe that this one is the Cunard Building. I have an unreasonable affection for the Cunard Line, having taken one of their ships from Montreal (maybe) to Liverpool in 1965. 

This is the Royal Liver Building, named for an insurance company. It is quite imposing.

This is not Buckingham Palace, but the Port of Liverpool building. Very ornate and imposing, too!

Somewhere along the way I came across this singularly ugly post box. Hmph, no style!

We took the ferry back across the Mersey to my friend's home, where she had this marvellous clematis in her yard. She had told her husband to tidy up a bit in anticipation of my arrival, and he had really gone to town: in the garden, the outside of the house, the inside of the house... a whirlwind, I imagine. In any case, the garden was lovely!

My first night here we had dinner in a very nice pub, the Red Fox. My mouth is watering just rereading the menus... This was the beginning of my downfall, eating-wise. After a pretty nice main course, Alison and I shared the full cheese plate for afters, with a wee glass of whisky to boot.

The next night we were at the Anchor, also very, very nice. Aaah.

We finished that last evening off with a drive to Chester, to walk around the old walls. It was getting dark... another place I have to go back to!

The next morning I was dropped at the train station to begin my next adventure.