Monday, July 15, 2013

Roadtrippin' UK: York, Durham, Edinburgh, Keswick, Whitehaven & Roman Ruins!

As much as I love blogging, the last two months have been a panicked blur of thesis writing and job hunting, and so I'm sorry to say, I have to *gasp* retro-blog. That's right, it's the beginning of September, and I've labelled this post July. I really despise doing that - but I'd rather tell my stories late than never.

So...for the next five posts (yup, I'm FIVE posts behind!), I will be retro-blogging about the summer. For a quick preview - it'll be about my week long roadtrip mid-July, day trip to Bath, Singapore mini-reunion, a wedding and  end-of-thesis celebration. And then - I'll catch you up on my current adventures.

July 2013


History, walking among Roman ruins and a night checking out the little town's "nightlife".


A brief stop in this picturesque town was not nearly enough to explore it - but it gave us a glimpse! By the way, Harry Potter fans, parts of the film were filmed inside Durham's cathedral and dining halls in parts of Durham's college (Durham University, like Oxford and Cambridge, has a collegiate system)  We had Fabio's Pizza for dinner, which was definitely some yummy pizza! Like almost every food place I've been in the UK, it looks so original, but is a chain! 



Since I'll be returning to Edinburgh shortly (with Janice!), here's a brief slideshow of one of the highlights of the trip Anna and I took there - Arthur's Seat.  This is a beautiful mountain to climb, and we had a lovely time taking photos on the cliff-like mountain that overlooks the city. Since we were on a very low budget trip, we decided to park half an hour out of Edinburgh, in a village called Duddingston (for free!) and then walk up and down the mountain and back into town. What a scenic workout! 

Notably, I'd like to try Spoon  - a brunch place that's supposed to be good for breakfast when I return.  I must admit I'm not a fan of the British breakfast we had several times - grease, grease and more grease. Ugh. Veggie sausages, as well, are rarely tasty. 

Also, interesting historical fact - in 1836, archaelogists found 17 small coffins in a cave at the summit of Arthur's Seat, with little wooden carved figures inside. Some  believe they are associated with witchcraft; others believe they are a memorial to the victims of the Burke and Hare murders - these were 17 murders committed by two Irishmen, Wiliam Burke and William Hare in 1828 in Edinburgh.

Keswick, Whitehaven & Beaches

Since Anna and I had to come back early from our road trip for my interview for a marketing position at a college (which I didn't get, sadly), we decided to take a scenic route back. Little did we know that we would be having dinner on a lovely beach, taking windy country roads (it was a little reward for driving a manual car for the first time, on the left hand side for the first time, and on miniature roads for the first time). 

Keswick, pronounced Kes-ick is a picturesque mountain town that reminded me of Banff, Alberta (click here for post)  with more hilly, rather than snow mountains. We had breakfast at a cute little "tearoom" (those seem to be very popular!). Scones and jam, of course. Yum! 

Hardknott Pass - Roman Ruins!

WOW. On our scenic route through the mountain (literally, windy, country roads through the mountain) we decided to pull over for a break (driving our little rented manual Citroen was definitely not fun on those roads)...and discovered that we had actually decided to rest in a historically important place, that had Roman ruins! Hardknott Pass --- I wouldn't really recommended driving this unless you love that sort of thing ---but if you DO decide to take this way on a road trip,stop here! 

Intense driving in a manual car

Mountain Goat @ Hardknott Pass!

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