THE DUBLINERS

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OK, I stole the title, but it was good and we were Dubliners at least for four days.

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We were at the Temple Bar for lunch and a pint of Guinness, live Irish music too.

Finally the weather was perfect but we saw that even in Dublin it had been hot and dry for a long time and there were water restrictions.

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After the heat in Bath, a hot bus ride to Bristol, followed by a hot delay on the tarmac, then a hot plane reboarding we were weary. We took a taxi to Roxford Lodge, a lovely three floor townhouse we could spread out in.

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Laine awoke that first morning, in her bedroom on the second floor, to this cat peering in her window, and there are at least three others.

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Laine’s photo

So this has been a good place to end our trip. We can make our breakfast and relax at the end of the day.

Today we went by rail to the Howth peninsula. Laine was interested in some sea lions while I watched the gulls that were trying to nab a bit of the day’s catch.

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I had been planning to hike around the peninsula, but surprisingly, after an inner debate with myself, did not.

But we got plenty of exercise and had an all around fine day.

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Here in the World

 

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It’s another HOT day. Sweat ran down my neck even before I found the Kennet and Avon canal. I had planned to walk further along but there was no shade, the heat was too much, so I turned back toward city center. On the way, a father and his maybe 10 year old son told me they moved around and lived year round on this houseboat, burning wood and keeping cozy in winter.

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Along the canal it was lovely but too hot for me!

 

I got a photo of Bath in the distance before hurrying along.

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Needing a sit down, I was back at the The Raven, across from our hotel, for one half pint of Stippys cider and trout terrine. In a short conversation with the couple at the next table, I learned that he had once slept under the stars in Wisconsin at Whitewater lake where he was frightened back into his Jeep by a marauding bunch of raccoons.

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I went out for that canal walk but Jen, Bob and Laine went to the Roman baths.

image.jpegSpeaking of marauding bunches, England just beat Sweden in World Cup quarter finals so the night is about to get hotter!

We are eating at the Raven for our last supper in England and we did have some good food on this trip. This was one lunch in York.

 

We also had wonderful food at Jamie Oliver’s Italian, Jennifer’s all around favorite chef. Apparently we were too hungry to take a photo. My favorite meal was sea bass in York at The Ivy but now that supper is over, the Raven beef pie makes it a tie.

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We didn’t just eat. At Stonehenge we contemplated more than food. Maybe in that long ago past a collection of people had just been bored between breakfast and supper and someone of them had the idea of hauling 5 ton rocks seventeen miles and standing them up in a circle. We could have a solstice celebration with dancing too they thought. Could we do it? It was crazy but it might work. It would be something to do. And isn’t that what it’s still all about.

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BATH SPA

Jane Austen lived here. The Romans loved it and Hitler desired to have it also. imageThe sick visited for it’s healing water. That must have been the reason for the hot water bottles on the beds yesterday when we arrived at our hotel rooms. But we are not sick, it only seems we may have a fever cause it’s hotter than blazes here. Our hotel is not air conditioned and my little garret on the west side of the top floor is indeed an experience. Last night I had two fans going in my room. The fans did help drown out the sounds of gulls settling in for the night and they got up early today but then we did too.

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The above photo is of Yorkshire Dales National Park from a van tour that we went on several days before arriving here. It’s about 4 hours away by train. Eons ago some of the landscape was formed by retreating glaciers that created an inland sea. You can still see the ledge formations in limestone and sandstone.

The isolated location seemed a perfect spot to hide away Mary Queen of Scott’s and she spent almost a year in Yorkshire at Bolton Castle in that tower on the right, with her retinue of servants, followers and ladies in waiting before being sent to the south of England for another seventeen years before she was executed.

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Yorkshire is also the setting of All creatures Great and Small and an area of sheep and cattle grazing. Our van was behind one herd, directed by a diligent sheep dog, going home for the nightly milking. You don’t have a chance to see this much any longer even in Wisconsin.

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But Bath is very upscale compared to Yorkshire. It is at the edge of the Cotswolds and  was built on the tremendous wealth of wool.

 

 

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Alas, Goodbye Tomorrow, York

 

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Tomorrow we are traveling on to Bath, a four hour trip south west from here by train. That would be a long walk. I have been wearing my Fit Bit and today while on a tour and sitting down most of the day in a rather bouncy van it announced that I had reached 10,000 steps for the day. It was hard work!

I did want to show you a bit of York before leaving town.

We walked around the Roman walls and rested on top of them.

We saw other’s lives from those walls.

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This is Clifford’s Tower, a castle, that made us earn our steps.

I admit it. I love the Morris Men. They have been performing joyous folk dance probably for several centuries. They wear white, bells on their legs and wave white handkerchiefs.

Good thing they have some young Morris Men for that high jumping!

 

 

 

 

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A Welcome to York

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So long to that idyllic Sunday morning in Hyde Park. Back to reality. Take the Underground to Kings Cross and then find the York train. There it is on the schedule, oh, oh, we’d better hurry to catch the 1 o’clock, the 12:30 and 1:30 are canceled!

GOT IT!

And so have all the others. Some sit or stand in the aisle but we have gotten on ahead of them and found some unreserved seats.

ITS HOT!

Bob and I are riding the rails backward facing. It’s not ideal, everything out the window moving away instead of toward us. Jen and Laine are two seats ahead of us. And we are going two hours north of London and sitting on the west side of the train.

ITS VERY HOT!

It’s also hot in York. We take a cab to Dean Court Hotel located just across the street from the York Minster cathedral. Jen took this photo from the hotel room.image.jpegWhat a great location and another beautiful day. On that taxi ride we had talked about Yorkshire pudding with the cabbie and we do have an appetite for Sunday Roast!

THATS NO SUNDAY ROAST! image

TOO LATE FOR THE ROAST? IT’S GONE!

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Nachos available for vegetarians!

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A SUNDAY MORNING IN HYDE PARK

 

 

 

 

It was our last day in London but we had all morning before the noon hotel check out. Jennifer had a brilliant idea. Let’s take an English taxi! Fun!

imageHyde Park, Please.

Goodbye, Aqua Taxi.

Walk the path beyond those trees to a fairy tale morning.

image See the swans and dogs and mortals with lowered blood pressure. Be one.

imageSee the Christo sculpture on Serpentine Lake.

imageThat is the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain. It doesn’t look like much here but at 10am they turned the water on. It was brilliant.

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What’s this? A group of mortals, standing under some trees, arms outstretched, holding apples and feeding at least twenty very hungry parakeets flying back and forth from the branches?

Oh, now I remember…

the tale begins…

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Second star to the right and straight on til morning.

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THE LONDON QUEST

 

With only two nights to spend in London and so much we wanted to do, on top of our sleep deficit, it was a challenge. But we did it and checked all the boxes as they say.

We got out and saw the London Eye from Westminster Bridge even before the 10am opening.

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imageIt made us very happy to be on a beautiful London Saturday.

imageNext we had a boat ride on the Thames to the Borough Market.

imageThere were so many people here that we couldn’t even sit down to eat, and the early wow experience that began with cheese, tea and candy samples ended in quiet, cool relief at a nearby pub.

imageOn to quest #3 via the Underground to 68 Mountgrove Rd, home of the Sylvanian Families. They have lived here for years and years and some of them, (the foxes, the sheep and the corgis,) have gone to live in America with Laine. Sorry, but they were too busy to pose for a photo although maybe we will see them in a later post.

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We were almost finished. It was 4pm when we arrived for a one hour run thru, before they closed at 5, of some of the British Museum.

Most there were glad to see us too.

 

 

 

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