Off to the airport with our last 20£. Hoping to have our last scone and flat white.
Life is a journey, wear comfy shoes!
“Grace be with you all”
Two nights in Liverpool and a lot of Beatlemania! We love it. The Airbnb studio apartment is the nicest, cleanest, and most centrally located that we have ever had. We are across the street from the Albert Dock on the Mersey River, as in “Ferry cross the Mersey “ by Gerry and the Pacemarkers.
We took the Magical Mystery Tour and stopped off at Penny Lane
Strawberry Fields, a Salvation Army home for children, that John Lennon was always interested in as a kid.
A really entertaining tour guide and a plenty of Beatles tunes riding around in
After walking to Buckingham Palace early, getting a spot on the gates, and waiting with others for about an hour, the security came by and said, “no changing of the guards today”. We will have to come back Monday morning, before the train back to Leeds.
So the rest of the day was spent going through the Churchill War Rooms museum, which we found very interesting, and a boat ride up the Thames River passing under all the bridges. We walked across the Tower Bridge
Full day of walking, to return Monday morning at 10am to get a front row spot on the gates of Buckingham Palace. Great idea until the other million tourist showed up and pushed us up against the gates! We had a great view of the changing of the guards, but the show was a little too long. The band played 3 songs, one being “Our house in the middle of one’s street”. We were pushed against the gate for over an hour.
This is an experiment, uploading a video of changing of the guards. It might present a link in the email to get you out to the WordPress site that has the video.
A week has already gone by. This is where we left you and the trail last Tuesday morning.
From Robinhood’s Bay, it was a bus and train ride to Leeds. Hugh picked us up and we spent all day Wednesday sight seeing in Leeds and Thursday in York. Esther is a retired teacher, and has been educating us in the history and politics of England ( Brexit). We have to pay attention cause she quizzes us!
Friday morning we took a train to London. We had a studio apartment centrally located, but London is still pretty big. After finding our place and settling in, we walked to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. It was after 5, so we couldn’t go in anything. Big Ben won’t be ringing for the next 4 years, while it is under repair.
Saturday was as hectic as any of our days on the trail and by day’s end we had the bus, the tube (underground subway), and the train system figured out. One bus ride, 5 tube changes, 6 train changes and we still put 8 miles on the Fitbit.
First stop Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall built in 1941 that could hold 6000 people. Great tour, and because it was one of the few times there was no show that night, we got to go in the Queens waiting room. This is where she gives her speech every year.
Next door is the Abbey Road store that had a lot of the studio’s history. As we were hanging out there, percussions were going in and strings were coming out of the studio. One of violinists was at the bus stop with us and Leo struck up a great conversation with her. She told us a little about the project she was working on, their scheduled time in the studio and her 2 years at Juliard in NY. Too much traffic to try and take an Abbey Road crossing photo, but many still try. Next stop Windsor Castle where there was no sign of Kate or any of the royal family. Nice tour of Queen Mary’s dolls house, the semi staterooms, stateroom apartments, some of which were burned in the big fire they had in 1992. The little town where the castle is is really nice too.
After the castle, we had made plans to meet Leo’s ex brother in laws, of whom he has never met. This was on the other side of London, East Croydon, taking another hour of travel. They recognized Leo at the station, brought us to their house and cooked up a great curry dinner. A wonderful evening.
Long day and long post!
On Monday, our 15th day since we left St Bee’s, we arrived in Robin Hood’s Bay. Here we are at the North Sea. It was so windy today. They are telling us we brought the wind, the tail end of hurricane Maria.
We have a great room for our last night on the trail. We actually saw a grocery store today for the first time since September 16th. Now that we found “crisps”, potato chips, and Coke, Leo is enjoying the view from our balcony.
We had dinner in the pub in the hotel and at 8:37 they all ran outside to watch the I.S.S., space station, make it’s way across the sky. 3 minutes it took. It makes a complete orbit of earth in 90 minutes. I could have used some of that speed in the last 2 weeks!
So it is off the trail for us and on to visiting with our friends, Esther and Hugh, for a few days, into London for 4 days, then spending 3 days in Liverpool before heading home.
We will keep you posted.
Saturday began with a ride from the Buck Inn back up to the trail. After a pretty good climb, we were in the clouds for pretty much the rest of the day. Today was probably our shortest day, 10 miles and because of the weekend, we were joined by more local hikers. Many days it is just Leo and I, with the occasional regulars passing.
Again, because I began booking these rooms in July (should have been in February!), we had to go off the trail. It was a 2 mile, all downhill on a road to the Feversham Arms B&B. It was a pub and closed from 2-6. We made it in time to check in, have lunch and worked out a lift back up the hill in the morning! Very nice stay here and dinner was great. Leo finally had a steak and I tried their mousakka. Yep a Greek dish in England and it was excellent.
Friday started out in drizzle. It was a 13.5 mile day, with 4 climbs, that my Fitbit tells me is equal to climbing 256 floors, walking through 4 moors. We had no idea what moors are, but we both thought it would be very muddy. We were very surprised to see that there were stepping stones the whole way with a type of heather growing everywhere. The rain was a good thing, keeping us cool. Here is Leo walking through the moors.
The B&B for the night had to come pick us up because it was a few miles off the trail. When we reached an area, called the Wain stones, where cell service was going to be good, we were to call. I was a little nervous about this but it all worked out. The call went through, when we walked off the path he was there to pick us up and the Inn was quite nice.
Thursday was a completely flat 14 mile hike in sunshine all day. We were down to shorts and tee shirts. There was a very nice cafe to stop and have lunch.
For ending at this stage of the trip, I could only book at B&B about 1 mile off the trail in a town called Osmotherley. All downhill, which means all uphill to get back in the morning. It was worth it. Really pretty town which gave me the idea to start my door collection.
At the end of the Camino I bought and framed a poster, called “Doors of the Compostela”. It is about 25 pictures of front doors. So I will make my own “Doors of the Coast to Coast”.
Here is a sample. They are all different colors and there are governing rules about what color they can be.
Wednesday was a totally flat day from Richmond, where we said good bye to Esther and Hugh, to Danby Wiske. It was 14 miles, with at least 5 miles being on the road. Flat and pavement does a number on your feet. Our B&B had a big soaking tub and the meal at the local pub was steak pie. Both were excellent.
The maps we have to follow are not like the Camino. The trail is not well marked and sometimes as we are walking through gated fields of horses, cattle, bulls and sheep, you wish the animals could talk.
Last night in Richmond, we went for Indian food for dinner. It was really, really good. We had leftovers, so today’s lunch on the trail looked like this.