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I did a talky thing! Today I talked about what it was like travelling to the UK, driving on the left, on tiny country roads, and things of that nature.
The Rowan Tree bed and breakfast was excellent beginning to end. The breakfast was lovely and we looked out over the garden as it started to rain.
The coffee served was in a french press and it definitely hit the spot. With our bellies full and ready to go, we checked out. We had a mission to complete before leaving the area of Whitby. Victoria’s mum wanted some Whitby jet. We searched in the jewellry shops (there is a Jet District) but we found some for free on the beach! And we bought a small polished piece.
This is the most important day of the trip for Victoria. Sunderland was her ancestor’s home so she wanted to really be present and see what Sunderland had to offer.
When we had set down the pin in Sunderland in Google Maps, it had landed on a vape shop. Everyone who knew anything about England told us that Sunderland was a hole.
That knowledge in tow, we set out for Sunderland from Sleights. We drove for quite a while and then reached the beaches of Sunderland which are, of course beautiful. The town itself feels a little more city-like and less pretty than many places in the UK, but still quite nice.
We picked up rocks and shells along the beach and soaked up the sea air. It was lovely on the beaches.
When it started to rain, we ducked into the Scullery Pier Point restaurant across from the beach.
The roast beef meal (with mushrooms, tomatoes, peas, chips and gravy) was substantial and somewhat tasty. We also ordered dessert and it was quite decadent.
While we were eating, Victoria figured out a route to take in all of the family name related places in Sunderland, and the Angel of the North finally to arrive at our AirBnB in Bamburgh.
The route figured out, we set about executing this plan as best we could. Let me tell you, Sunderland has streets like a dropped plate of spaghetti. There are endless round-abouts with streets unlabelled, labelled by the largest destination in that direction, or something else generally unhelpful.
So we took quite a while actually getting a 5 minute’s drive across Sunderland to each destination. Maybe that’s why people don’t like it very much.
The last destination was an important one for Victoria. She wanted to take a selfie under the “Davison” sign, but refused to because the middle two letters had been worn so faint as to be almost invisible. She was a bit upset about that.
Now that we had all of the important check marks on our list, we headed out of Sunderland around Newcastle and toward Bamburgh.
On the way the Angel of the North is a pit stop at the side of the road. Where we were told there is no parking lot, it appears one has been created. We parked and took a really terrible all-chins selfie looking up at the angel itself, and several other neat shots.
Yay! All of our important places were found! Well, some were a little tarnished, but we did what we came to do. So all that was left was to go onward to Bamburgh.
Bamburgh unveils itself before you as you descend hilly roads with a large castle on a peninsula of the beach.
The town is quite a sleepy little place and when we tried to park in the castle parking lot, it appears to have been closed. We wanted to figure out where we were going, so we stopped in the driveway there for a moment and realised we had only a little further to go.
Once we pulled up to the AirBnB, we met the owner who was already there. She’s a lovely lady and showed us our comfy room. This one had no TV, but that’s great for me getting this blog done!
Having stowed our things, we weren’t quite ready to pack it in for the day, and set out for a short walk… well it was supposed to be short.
We ended up walking straight out to the dunes, which are just stunning in the setting sun. A view I highly suggest taking in if you have the chance.
We took a lot of panoramas, and then packed it in so that I can write this blog and get a bit to eat. It’s 7:30PM our time when we came in.
Have a lovely day and I hope you like reading our adventures! We have a few more days here left!
We woke up in York and it was already a bit late. Sleep was okay, as it was a bit cool in our room. I turned the new-ish style radiator heater on in the room while we awoke and made some coffee.
I didn’t have time to type my notes, and we were supposed to have a whole day set aside to be in York, so I figured I could at least get an hour to type the blog for yesterday and upload some images.
We found what looked like a delightful all day breakfast place for £4.95! What a nice sounding deal! So we went in. There really wasn’t anyone around. Every table was deserted and the staff were nowhere to be seen. We waited around a while and eventually tentatively dinged the bell at the counter.
We were served by what seemed like the only staff there.
We set ourselves up on a table at the window. The full English breakfast was actually a decent size and we ate and I typed up yesterday’s blog.
I had finished typing my blog in about 10 or 15 minutes and turned around my computer to let Victoria read it. Great! Time to upload images!
Well… that didn’t work well. This breakfast place had no WiFi. No free WiFi in any nearby place, and my mobile service had 1 bar. This is in the middle of York, by the way.
So I tried for a few minutes and gave up, frustrated. We quit the restaurant, me in a bit of a huff, and proceeded to enjoy the city of York instead. I would upload the images later.
Well York was pretty indeed, but nothing was particularly interesting. It was a lot of prettied up common brand stores with some individual shops as well. Maybe we just needed a real coffee. The downtown didn’t seem that interesting.
We headed into the Cathedral and absorbed the views. There were many great photo opportunities here. Victoria took my camera to make sure we captured some that were important to her. Some duplicates as well.
We entered the crypt and saw the underground sights as well, which were kind of neat, including some kind of markings on the floor. [Victoria’s note: the rubber markings indicated the location of the old Roman and Norman walls that predated the cathedral.]
When we felt satisfied that our £12 admission was worth it, we left and found a Cornish pasty shop! Finally one that had them in stock! We bought one just in case we wouldn’t have the chance.
Deciding it was important to have a bit of it warm, we had a bite in front of a monument in a small park and then headed on, checking out shops and alleyways here and there.
I’m sure downtown York is lovely on a nicer day, when you feel better, but we had neither of those advantages. I did take quite a few photos however.
Once we had our fill, we went toward the car park, as I had not asked Victoria how much time she wanted to spend downtown, and I picked 2:30pm as our cutoff point. Seemed reasonable as we arrived at 11:30am downtown.
The train museum was the next destination. We headed toward that, through the windy streets of York, and found that there is free admission to the train museum, and only £10 to park for the day at the museum parking lot. That sounded like a great deal! Kind-of like a £5 admission to a huge area with many trains, demos of equipment, cross sections of steam engines, and examples of all kinds of trains.
We had a coffee and I spilled that, all over the service counter. Then Victoria checked out the gift shop looking for something for her dad and spilled toy trains all over the place. We were getting very spilly so we decided to leave. They were closing soon, anyway.
We left York and finally set out for our bed and breakfast, this time not an AirBnB but a proper B&B reserved through Expedia.
The trip took us through the Moors, and it was positively stunning. We were not at all prepared for the sights we saw, and I promise to share the footage once I’m back. You’ll definitely want to see it.
The car crested hills and the whole landscape unfolded below us, with rolling hills of heather and sheep. Some of them quite steep with the road winding back and forth down the hillside.
The views were just breathtaking and when the car finally passed the RAF base, we came to a junction and Google Maps told us to go left. We parked immediately after the turn where a small ice-cream truck and a few drivers were parked.
We grasped this opportunity to take some panoramic photos of the vistas. Hopefully those will come out nicely when stitched together. Since we saw someone else having ice-cream, we walked over to the truck, which had been idling for a few minutes now.
We had a lovely rhubarb and custard ice-cream as well as a 99 with a flakie in it! They were both wonderful ice creams! Such lovely, creamy and unique flavours. Even something as simple as vanilla can be so different.
It was at this point that a few sheep crossed our paths! Hi sheep!
After watching one of the sheep just squat and pee on the road in front of us. Gee thanks! We headed onward through many more twists and turns, and came out above an old railway, which Victoria photographed while I parked.
The landscape just kept showing us new wonders. We rolled into the Rowan Tree in Sleights and I parked the car. We met the owner of our B&B and apparently we’re the only ones staying here right now.
After dropping off our things we headed into Whitby proper this time. We had to get Victoria some Magpie’s famous fish and chips! They came highly recommended and they were certainly worth the trip!
On the way we saw a monument Canada had donated! It had a plaque in English and French which looked out over one of the most stunning sea views we have seen this trip.
Now I’m back in the B&B and writing this up before bed, actually on the day! (I’ve been a night behind for the past few.)
Now we can finally relax after I upload this one.