Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Epic UK Road Trip: Volume 4

We woke early. Not only did the sun stay up late there in the Lakes... but it rose early. Little did we realize that we were headed further north where there would only be 4 hours of darkness for the next two days (did I mention that aside from waking up at 4am, that it like totally the awesomest!?)

We left Fell End Barn after chatting with the owner of Thornthwaite Farms and meeting "Ginger" the horse that traveled to northern England all the way from Oklahoma. Our travels on Day Thursday took us, eventually, to Edinburgh.

One of the things I loved about traveling with this crew was that while we had our daily locations planned (in the sense that we had hostels booked along the road at places we wanted to stay) we didn't have our daytimes completely planned. That meant that we could be really flexible about what we did along the way.

We stopped for breakfast in a town (Coniston) near the barn and then explored a little bit, ending up along one of  the many lakes in that area of the country. 

Matt and the President enjoy a "full english breakfast"

I love visiting ancient cemeteries, and this one in Coniston was really neat!

Lakeside, enjoying a little rest from our walk.

I could so totally live in the Lake District of Northern England. Now if only I could figure out HOW to make that work!

Also, on the way to Edinburgh, we stopped in a cute little English town to go to the bathroom and stretch our legs. Then we saw a sign that talked about a scenic hike and waterfalls - so we agreed: "Lets do it!" We headed out, following the signs toward the waterfalls and eventually found ourselves winding our way up a forested path. The river at the bottom was slow and not very full, so the boys doubted how good the falls would be, but by the time we got to the top, we were all happy with the vistas, the waterfall, and the exercise. It was a beautiful little forest and a nice waterfall.

from Collin's camera - the waterfall near the top.

Along the drive, as we came out of that town we went through a small pass and the view as we looked behind ourselves was incredible! It was the perfect vista!

I mean seriously, so beautiful!
Meanwhile, Matt was aggressively trying to get American Airlines to care about his bag and to get over to the Virgin Atlantic people. He was doing a great job when we totally lost service. Frustrating! We were all worried that his bag would never be found and would end up on a website like this: (which is probably where my I-pod ended up after I left it on the plane in England in 2007). Anyway, we were all trying to stay hopeful, but were quickly becoming "realists."

As we continued toward our hostel, which was located just outside of downtown Edinburgh and offered free parking and wifi (hooray!), the signs began to change and now we were seeing English and Scottish words on the signs. That was really cool.

We arrived at our hostel and took the shuttle into town for a quick foray into Edinburgh and a meal at a local pub - delicious - before bunking down for the night. Our plan was to hit Edinburgh hard the next day!

Collin is an international superstar in Edinburgh

The castle at dusk.

Excited to be in Edinburgh!