Tuesday, June 25, 2013

UK Trip of a Lifetime!

I'm home and I made it alive! For those who know me well knows what a big deal it was for me to travel without Jared. This trip was quite an accomplishment for me. I did it!!!
So, I will start with a few tips about traveling that my friend and I learned the hard way.
First, don't expect to jump into driving on the opposite side of the road after experiencing jet lag and not sleeping one wink on the plane. The roads around Heathrow are intimidating.
Second, car rental places always hit you with unexpected fees.
Third, DON'T WRITE OR DRAW IN YOUR PASSPORT! Some countries don't care, but apparently England does.
Moving on... Here are some pics I'd like to share...

First couple days...
 Riding the "Tube"

 Buckingham and Hyde Park

 My first Pub and Bangers and Mash

Platform 9 3/4 
 The Tower of London

 While we were standing on the London Bridge we heard cannon shots and saw several planes flying by. Later we found out is was in celebration for the Queen's birthday.

 Big Ben was big... who knew?

 Parliament was elaborate!

 The Eye of London and our first Fish and Chips.

My Friend Amie Jo shows off her talent in magic tricks. Those forks are balancing on the tips of tooth picks. She's talented in so many ways.

 Outside Kings Cross and Coming out of the Tube

 I think riding the Tube was my favorite thing about London.

And Maybe Big Ben...  
It's kinda funny. Right after this picture we walked down the stairs into the underground (you can see the entrance in the glasses). It had been raining (it is London after all) and I slipped and fell down the stairs (Not a surprise. I'm a little clutsy). Luckily my backpack protected my head.

Day two...
It started with a train ride into the country (we didn't want to rent a car in the city and have to drive out of it). Amie was a bit nervous, as was I.
 Our first stop was the Burghey House. This was well worth our stop.
This is the Billiard room where I think they filmed part of
 Pride and Prejudice, though I could be wrong.

Talk about elaborate!

 The Gardens were spectacular! They were full of contemporary art mixed with the beautiful scenery you'd expected from such a great house.
 The library.

Amie, trying to look like the tree.

 After reaching our Bed and Breakfast that night we walked around town. To no one's surprise I had another clumsy moment. Right after this picture was taken I danced...then fell. Yeah, I'm cool like that. Pure talent.

Day Three...
Started off with a nerve racking drive through York to find a parking spot so we could walk around York Minster.

The next day my foot was swollen and painful. 
I asked someone in the park next to York Minster where I could purchase an wrap for my foot which led to the paramedics checking my ankle. It was a little strange.
 We walked the old city wall of York and found this awesome sight in the middle of town.
Then we drove North toward Scotland
 Everywhere we looked we ran into beauty. Just look at this field!

We were almost in Scotland when we came across this "Hotel". There are castles everywhere!

Melrose Abby in Scotland

 We ended the day with Kurdish food which was... different.
Day 5...
We spent the day touring Edinburgh (pronounced the E like egg and burgh like brugh almost like bra)
 Edinburgh Castle was cool but busy. There was tonz of people there.

Okay... I'm getting tired of writing something for every picture. I'll just add comments on ones that need explaining.

After touring the castle we walked the Royal Mile then toured the underground Vaults. They are supposed to be haunted, luckily we didn't see any ghosts.

Amie hiked to the top of a large hill next to the city. I of course couldn't because of my recent clumsiness. Can you see me down below?

Day 6...
Starting the day off with some good nutritious Haggis. It's pretty good.
 Me at Stirling Castle

Don't we look royal

Surely the knights weren't that small.

At Stirling they have actors playing the part of famous royals. Here you see the French mother of Mary the Queen of Scots.

The B&B we stayed at in Inverness was down a dirt road surrounded by green fields. Breathtaking!

 Ta Da!!! Loch Ness!

 There is a place right next to this beach at Loch Ness that had the best food. There fish and chips were the best we tried. It's called Dores Inn. I highly recommend staying at Antfield House B&B and eating at Dores Inn down the road. Best places ever.

 Us being silly. this picture was taken about 10 pm. Sun doesn't go down until late here.

Day 7...

This is a typical British Breakfast. The black circle is Black Pudding.

Cowdor Castle just north of Inverness.

The gardens at Cowdor Castle

We drove around Loch Ness to get to Urquhart Castle and listened to Sail by Awolnation. That's a fun song to listen to when driving by something so beautiful.

 We went back to the beach and enjoyed the stillness and beauty it provides.
and skipped some rocks.

Day 8...

 Right down the road was another privately owned castle. Pretty.

 Tasty scones.

This is Blair Castle. We visited it on our way back to Edinburgh.

Day 9...

There were several people flying from Edinburgh to London all dressed up. When we asked why we were told that they were attending the horse races. I wished I got a picture of the men with their top hats and coat tails. Pretty fancy.
 Scones in the park, why not.
Yep. I'm in China Town London.

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