England (Northeast)

August 15, 2015

Denise and Dave treated me to hikes along the coast from Tynemouth up to Hartford and Seaton Sluice. Here is St. Mary's Lighthouse near Hartford.

At last I'm finally going beyond London to see the lands of most of my gene pool ― England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. But first I had a jam-packed day in London...

London

After 17-hour, red-eye flights from SE Asia, I landed at
Gatwick... took the train to Clapham Junction... met my friend Brenda... we toured her posh town Putney... went to the West End... saw the matinee of "The Commitments" ... had a deluxe dinner... then we saw half the farce "The Play That Goes Wrong" before I completely zonked out.



Farewell to Brenda and somehow I made it to Kings Cross Station still conscious enough to somehow catch a three-hour train to York and walk to my nearby hotel.

Realized on the train north that we'd been so busy having fun in London that we neglected to take a commemorative photograph. Oh well, next time.

York, Durham, & Newcastle


Fish & chips with friends Denise and Dave near Newcastle and fish & chips with Andy in York. While the company was better in Newcastle and York, the very best f&c (out of my large sample) was this perfect meal at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar near Inveraray, Scotland.

These two magnificent cathedrals are over 800 years old and are often listed among the top ten things to see in England: enormous York Minster (top), one of the largest medieval cathedrals in Northern Europe, and Durham Cathedral, somewhat older and not as large but equally dramatic and moving.

Inside its medieval city walls (above is Micklegate) are inviting, narrow pedestrian streets, especially in the Shambles area.

York Minster seen from the cozy streets of the Shambles.
A priest praying in Durham Cathedral.

On a sunny morning, Denise and Dave drove me out to their favorite area (Greenhead) along Hadrian's Wall for a terrific little hike and a picnic. This incredible Roman wall stretched across the entire width of north England and most of it has survived the past 1,800 years. Not the Great Wall of China but pretty darn impressive.
I'm tempted to add another dozen pics of cool castles, cathedrals, museums, shopping streets, and railway stations, but I'll resist. Along with good sights, I met lots of helpful, friendly people in the land of many of my ancestors. Guess I'll have to return and see more of England.
I was absurdly lucky to avoid rain for weeks in northeast England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The only real exception was when one of my two days in Newcastle Upon Tyne was quite rainy as well as cold.