Art Retreats
Petticoats and Parasols
An Artistic Affaire - Printemps

York and Durham

We were spending the night in York so we all got back on the bus and headed to our hotel .Urick had already put our suitcases in our hotel room and Rob had our room keys ready for us, so we went straight to the pub.  I sat at a table with Nicole, Sandy, Curt, Rosie and three others.  Most of us had fish and chips.  Great food!  I ordered pear cider because that was what Susan Branch talked about in her book.  Four others thought that was a good idea and they followed suit.  For dessert I had a brownie sundae.  It was amazing!  I just love the whipped cream in England.

When we got back to the hotel I took a shower and Nicole hunted for some ice.  No ice machines!!  The bar brought up a pitcher of ice for my knee.  My knee looked like I had elephantiasis.  Very big and very swollen  By the time I got into bed, Nicole was already asleep.  No surprise there.

We got to sleep in an extra 15 minutes the next morning.  We went to breakfast at 7:15am.

IMG_1688 (Small)This is a typical English breakfast.  Not for me.  Too much food so early in the morning.

IMG_1689 (Small)Breakfast was good.  They had everything from soup to nuts.

After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to Durham. Durham is the first major northeastern town on the main road up from London.  Yesterday we saw the largest Gothic cathedral in England, today we went to the Durham Cathedral in Durham.  It’s a Norman masterpiece in the heart of the city.    Durham has cobblestone streets and the towering cathedral make it a unique city.

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IMG_1693 (Small)Quaint streets.

IMG_1694 (Small)The Durham Cathedral.  As soon as we arrived in the city, the bells began to chime.  What a beautiful sound.  Construction began about 1090 and the main body finished about 1150.  Upon entering the cathedral, it’s impossible not to notice the enormous bronze Sanctuary Knocker.

IMG_1696 (Small)I love to look at old grave yards and read the headstones.

IMG_1697 (Small)Some stones were just too old to read.

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IMG_1699 (Small)The sign out side of the cathedral.

IMG_1700 (Small)This, I thought, was very interesting.  One only had to use the knocker on this door and they would be granted sanctuary for 31 days.  The knocker is not the original but a replica.

IMG_1701 (Small)Maybe I should get one for my front door.

IMG_1702 (Small)Side of the cathedral.

IMG_1703 (Small)Beautiful old stone work.

IMG_1704 (Small)The two of us.

IMG_1706 (Small)Fellow North Carolina travelers.

IMG_1707 (Small)The next pictures are parts of the city.

IMG_1708 (Small)I tried to capture the quaintness of the city.

IMG_1709 (Small)Try and pass through that street!

IMG_1717 (Small)After leaving Durham we headed to Hadrian’s Wall.  The wall winds through the wild and windswept Northumberland countryside. Hadrian’s Wall is Britain’s most important Roman relic.  It once formed the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, its most remote outpost and first line of defense against raiders from the north.  Even today, as a ruin, the wall is an awe=inspiring structure.  It is 73 miles long.

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IMG_1711 (Small)The wall.

IMG_1712 (Small)As you can see, parts of the wall are in ruins.

IMG_1713 (Small)In front of Hadrian’s Wall.

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IMG_1718 (Small)A map that show where the wall extends.

IMG_1719 (Small)We got back on the bus and headed for some lunch.  It wasn’t a very good meal.  Some sort of soup with a half of an egg salad sandwich and half of a ham and cuke sandwich.

IMG_1720 (Small)Place where we ate lunch.

We finished lunch and went across the street to St. Andrew”s Church.

IMG_1738 (Small)It is an ancient parish chruch.  Some of the building was erected about 600 AD when Northumbria was a separate kingdom  It is a darling old church.  There were no kneelers in   the church so the parishioners made individual needlepoint pillows for each pew.  I took several pictures of the beautiful needlepoint pillows.

IMG_1723 (Small)IMG_1724 (Small)IMG_1725 (Small)IMG_1726 (Small)IMG_1727 (Small)They also had some pretty quits in the church.

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IMG_1722 (Small)The alter in St Andrew’s Church.

IMG_1730 (Small)Sundial on top of church.

I love old grave yards.  Some of the stones in this grave yard went back over a thousand years.

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IMG_1733 (Small)Very difficult to read.

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IMG_1732 (Small)Rob (with the bald head) giving us some info on the church.

IMG_1737 (Small)Front of St Andrew’s.

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After touring St Andrew’s we got on the bus and headed to Scotland.  That I will save for another day.  I fell in love with Scotland and would love to go back some day.  I really don’t know which I love more, Ireland or Scotland.

Until next time,






England Day Two

We had an early morning breakfast.  It was delicious.

On the bus!  Our driver was Urick and our guide was Rob.

We made our first stop at 8:45am. Very nice rest area.  There was a pond with koi and a waterfall.  I took a  picture of the fish. IMG_1606 (Small)

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There were also lots of flowers being sold.  I just love the flower stalls in England.

While I was there I bought Diana’s Smarties.  One gift down and two more gifts to go.

We got back on the bus and headed out to Ann Hathaway’s cottage.  The drive was beautiful and the scenery was pretty.IMG_1608 (Small)

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Love the thatched roof.

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10:00pm  After the rest stop we went on to Ann Hathaway’s cottage.  Unfortunately they had some work being done and it spoiled the pictures.

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Nicole  in the back of Ann Hathaway’s Cottage.  It was really strange what we did.  It was something like out of “A Christmas Vacatioin.’  We ran off the bus, crossed the street from the house and then stood in a group to have our picture taken then we had to run aback to the bus and we left!  Not more tha 15 minutes total.

We headed up to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.IMG_1614 (Small)

Passing beautiful homes as we traveled.

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Unique looking streets.

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The Shakespeare Theater.

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This was a street that was closed to autos.  It had some really unique shops.

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I just love Beatrix Potter.  We traveled to the Lake District later in the week to see here home.

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Now to the house Shakespeare grew up in.

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Nicole entering the house.  We saw a short movie and then g got to tour the house.  I only stayed downstairs.  My walker would not make it upstairs.IMG_1628 (Small)Fireplace in the bedroom to keep warm.

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Bed next to the fireplace.

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Dining area.  Fireplace is to the left where all the cooking took place.

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Shakespeare’s father was a glove maker.

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Back of the house.

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The gardens in back of the house.

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Nicole and I sitting in the garden.

IMG_1645 (Small)Front of House.

After running into a hundred or so Red Hat Ladies, Nicole and I stopped for a quick bite of lunch.

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IMG_1641 (Small)We shared a roast beef and horseradish sandwich and some lemonade.  It was very good and just enough.  We had such a big breakfast just a few hours ago, we weren’t really hungry .  We knew we had to have something to eat because dinner wouldn’t be unti around 6:00pm.  I bought some post card for a friend and a British car for Ian.  Everyone had a gift now except Allison.

We got back on the bus and headed to York.

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Good bye, Shakespeare.

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Before leaving I made sure we had our pictures taken in their phone booth.  There are very few left because like the US, everyone in England has a cell phone.

IMG_1648 (Small)Driving to York.

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Arriving in York.

IMG_1652 (Small)York

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York  Minister is the largest Gothic cathedral in England.  The towers of i’ts west front rise 174 feet and it’s nave is an imposing 138 feet wide and 276 feet long.  The west front includes the window known as the Heart of Yorkshire because of the shape of the tracery near it’s top.



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An Inn in York.

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Lovely street in York.

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Street artist.

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IMG_1666 (Small)Lovely flowers in window boxes.

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IMG_1668 (Small)The Golden Fleece Pub

IMG_1669 (Small)Close up of the Golden Fleece.

IMG_1670 (Small)Love the top of the roof.

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More flower stalls.

IMG_1673 (Small)Crazy person juggling swords blindfolded.

IMG_1674 (Small)After the show.

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York is a beautiful wall  city.  The wall is very old but most of it is still standing.

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IMG_1686 (Small)Nicole sitting on the wall.

IMG_1687 (Small)Another picture of the wall

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IMG_1682 (Small)Lendal Tower.  Every night, a great iron chain, stored in the tower, stretched across the river Ouse to Barker Tower on the opposite bank.  The chain prevented boatmaen from entering the city without paying tolls and it protected the city in trouble times.

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Information on Lendal Tower.  It is now a private residence.

IMG_1683 (Small)Nicole and I just to the left of the Lendal Tower.  The River Ouse is in the backround.

IMG_1684 (Small)Beautiful lamp on the bridge by Lendal Tower.

Enough for today.  I have to clean my house.