Monthly Archives: August 2014

Weekend Away, Pt. 4: Harrogate and home!


We left the hotel around 10:30am, got to sleep in since we got in late the night before and the drivers have to have a certain rest time by law…that was ok by us! Had the usual breakfast buffet and got our baggage down to the reception area and loaded on!
Harrogate is about 1-2 hours from the hotel, so we were there in time for lunch. We opted to not eat, just had coffee and some shortbread, as breakfast had been quite filling. We had another rest stop before hitting home, so figured we would eat then.
We were dropped off in Harrogate right across from this war memorial. Its a lovely little town, I didn’t take that many pictures as we were mostly in the shopping area, a nice pedestrian area. Had a good look around, but only bought coffee, a magazine and a pen that had owls on it that was reduced! We didn’t actually buy that much on the whole trip, mostly lunch and/or dinner!
This is the only other picture I kept, a lovely planting and view. I had taken a few others, but they were not that great, and it got dark and started to drizzle just as it was time for us to go!
So, we were on the last leg of the journey home! We stopped at the motorway services and had dinner, just a short stop that time as we were all anxious to get home by then! We got back to Dartford around 8:30pm, and had contacted Sid’s son to pick us up as the local bus service runs only once an hour on Sunday evening and we had missed one by 12 minutes! He was right there, so an uneventful trip from Dartford to Gravesend!
Felix the cat was glad to see us home…regular feedings! LOL! He was looked after for the 3 days, but is used to getting fed on demand rather than once a day! He has a bowl of nibblys and big bowl of water at all times, but seems to think he should have wet food every hour or so!
So, now laundry is all done, everything put away, and life returns to normal…for now!


Weekend Trip,Pt. 3: Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo


This is where the magic happens! Its finally time for the show, the reason for the whole trip! I have to say, we have all the DVD’s of all tattoos that have been recorded! It was nice to see one in person and the weather cleared up nicely for the performance! The place is well set up and even though the stands are not permanent, they are sturdy and even have handrails along the long steps up! I have an issue with heights, so that meant a lot to me!
The bus left us off down the hill from the castle, traffic was cordoned off because of the long line to get in. So, we had a little trek up. It rained a bit going up the hill so we had our plastic ponchos on. I was also impressed when we got in that they had ample toilet facilities, much better than any permanent stadium I’ve been to!
Luckily for the performers, the rains stopped. They had no cover, and would have had soggy costumes, uniforms and instruments, this does not get cancelled due to weather! drummersdrumming




I only took a few pictures of the goings on, mostly because I made promises of pics of men in kilts to friends! We will buy the DVD of the performance when it comes out in October.
As I said, the weather cleared up and it was brighter out at 9pm than at any time during the day! We were at the early performance, there was another to go, so I’m glad the bands didn’t get soggy!
We had to race back to the bus, as we had another 3 hour drive to get back to the hotel. Got there around 1:30am, told to be ready to go by 10:30am, so right to bed!
To be Continued!

Weekend Trip, Pt. 2, Edinburgh


After checking into our hotel Friday night, we had a bite to eat at the bar. It was a nice hotel, but the dining areas had pretensions! There was almost nothing I would want to eat on the menu in the dining room, the bar menu wasn’t much better, but we settled on a bagel sandwich with barbecued chicken and cheese, surprisingly it was excellent, it all stayed together and the bagel was very fresh!
We then went up and watched a bit of telly and then went to bed. We had to have breakfast and be on the bus to Edinburgh the next morning!
Breakfast was nice, a buffet type affair, so you could pick and choose what you wanted, bacon and eggs, naturally! I made the mistake of having a thimbleful of orange juice, I hadn’t had juice of any kind for over 2 years, the citrus made my tongue inflamed and sore for 2 days, won’t be making that mistake again, even though it did taste nice!
It was a gruelling 3 hours to Edinburgh from Middlesborough, but at least we got a glimpse of the Angel of the North statue along the way, too far away to really get a picture through the bus window, but very cool to see!
The staff on the trip were excellent, two drivers and the tour manager. They were kind enough to stop for some people who wanted to take pictures at the border. I couldn’t be bothered to get off and snapped this from the window! It was a dreary day already!
We got to Edinburgh around 1 ish, and it was even drearier. It rained off and on all afternoon and we spent a large part of the time ducking into places to have coffee! There is a large department store called Jenner’s that had a most excellent strawberry/champagne scone. (no dieting was done on this trip!) We had lunch at a little place on a side street, very expensive..but much better than McDonalds!
And the crowds! Unfortunately, the Military Tattoo runs the same time as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so there were people there for both things and I do think its probably like that anyway. It was as crowded as New York or London. And did I say how dreary the day was? We got some souveniers in the little shops, my personal favorite was the shortbread shaped like Scottie dogs!
This is the castle from town, hard to tell with the fog!


A few dark pics, the art museum and Edinburgh Eye, Sir Walter Scott memorial and Sir Walter Scott himself. I’m told you can climb a spiral staircase to the top of the memorial. herbertgull
And this is a little friend I made along the way!
Before the afternoon was over, we also stopped in Costa and had a delicious mint mocha, highly recommended, and then it was time to meet the bus to go up to the castle!
To be Cont’d…

Weekend Journey, Pt. 1, York


We went for a weekend coach trip, headed for the Edinburgh Tattoo on Saturday night. We had to get up and get the local bus at 7am to meet the coach in the next town. The coach was late, combination of traffic and mix up. But we finally got on and got settled, its not a short trip from Gravesend to Scotland! We weren’t actually staying in Scotland, but 3 hours away from Edinburgh in Middlesborough. On the way there, we stopped in York, which is a lovely city, famous for the York Minster, a lovely cathedral.  I’m sure my picture doesn’t do it justice! We had a lovely Cherry Crumble at a cafe called Wacker’s!


minsterfromsquareIt was a pretty day, and I would definitely want to go back there and hang out for a couple of days!


The architecture is interesting and there are lovely statues all around, this little figure of Minerva is on the corner of a building, at the juncture of the ground and 1st floor! You have to look up a lot!


My husband, Sid is in the lower left of this photo, I hit the auto sharpen to make him less fuzzy and it makes the cathedral look like its outlined! I didn’t realize he had wandered into the photo until I was “fixing” them up for the computer! I didn’t have the heart to crop him out!

This square is to one side of the Minster and on the other is a lovely park, called Dean’s Park with a war memorial to the 2nd division. There is a big statue of Constantine who was actually made Emperor here in York. (many years ago!) And a Boer War memorial just down the street which is quite nice.

I highly recommend York for anyone visiting England!

We finally made it to our hotel around 6:30pm. They had free WiFi, but for some reason, my phone didn’t want to know. I had my Kindle with me and was able to connect and check email, but didn’t feel like messing around with the internet after all that bus riding!

To be continued…..