Thursday, June 22, 2017

Europe Day 24

Tuesday June 20

We were very pleased with our choice of B&B. Can you believe that at the agreed time the breakfast was brought to us into the apartment which as I said before was more then a B(ed).



And shortly after 9 am we were on our way. 


We were on our way to Ironbridge near Telford. Generally the roads where not bad. Hundreds of roundabouts which work pretty well most of the time. James' GPS was great. It kept telling us which exits to take from them: first, second or third etc. Or: be in one of the two right lanes. Super!
But it can't help with traffic jams. An accident in Birmingham added an hour. Boring. 


Finally we arrived at the prebooked B&B, settled in and went on foot into town. This is not the famous Ironbridge but interesting. 



It was 1:30 pm by now and we were thirsty!
The first pub looked good. We could sit outside in the shade and could see the river Severn. 


A beer and a sandwich later we continued the walk. 
No idea what this was. Looked like olives. But this is not Spain. Too small for plums. 

Ah, the English gardens everywhere. 

This is it. The first iron bridge in the world. Very impressive. 



After a while and a coffee somewhere we wanted to do more investigating and went into a side street. It made a curve and then went straight up and very steep. For the photo to show it you probably would need the huffing and puffing. 


We came to the church but unfortunately it was not open. Those steps are funny. 


Instead of going "around the block" you can go underneath to the other side and to much lower ground. 



From the church you had another view of the bridge. 


The church board outside had information. 

So, we continued and thought we would go to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. We were there 4:04 pm and they just had closed. Bummer. 


So we decided that it might be actually time to go back to our place ... over THE bridge and along the other side. 


There is a lot of history about the bridge and about the area as a whole. 
We walked back on a lovely path which used to be the railroad track. 

Location, location, location. It couldn't be any better. When we first had arrived we looked at each other and our thoughts where "oh no". It looked quite run-down. But it was alright and the owner was very nice and even insisted to wash clothes for James who only had asked whether he could hang them after handwashing them. 


From there we walked to a pub called the Black Swan. It was a bit awkward because we had to use a street without pedestrian pathway. 
There were quite a good number of people. We could have sat inside but across the street was a grassy area with picnic tables. We ordered inside and paid, got a wooden spoon with a number and carried our drinks with us. We found a nice table. 


James liked his glass. There is a saying: Hobson's choice! = no choice really because it means take it or leave it. 


Children (teenagers) were swimming in the river a little further and we also could see kayaks. 



Food was brought to us across the street. 


We discovered that we did not have to go back on the street. The rail track path went behind the pub. 

It was lovely. Here we stopped to listen to a brass band practicing. What fun. 

And a little further there was a little tree blooming. It looked like a Japanese maple but I have never seen them bloom. Anybody know?


It was time to fall into bed ... with the windows open (without screens) because there is no aircon. Of course not. It hardly ever gets this hot. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Europe Day 23

Monday June 19

I am very disappointed with my photos for this day. They really don't give a good idea about this day. 

We had a pretty good sleep even with this hot weather, no aircon but windows open. Happy with The Saracen's Head in Towcester. 
Full English breakfast included. 


Yup, open window top right. Time to pack the car though. 


James' GPS is invaluable. Besides speed limits he gives other great info like in which lane to be in and things like 3rd Exit in the roundabout. 

We can see the cathedral driving towards Lincoln and then the GPS finds Nocton without a problem. James had emailed Stephen that we might arrive 11ish and we were there with 2 minutes to spare. 

Stephen is James' younger brother. I can't remember when I last had a chance to meet him and Jill. So great to see them. 
Their three rescued westies greeted us too. Stephen and Jill have lots of animals and almost all are rescued. 



We got a tour of the house and of the gardens. They have made wonderful enclosures for all the (different) ducks, chickens, rooster, bunnies, Guinea pig, birds. 


Jill introduced me to most of them by name. I told her that she needs to forgive me if I can't keep the names apart. It was very impressive. 




After a cup of tea we drove into Lincoln. Stephen just knew where to park. I don't know why the picture looks so gloomy because it was a nice day. We walked to the castle. 





We wanted to see the Magna Carta and the Domesday book. The Domesday book  is on an "once in a lifetime" loan (probably three months) because the council had just built a special vault for the Magna Carta and The Charter of the Forest. 



It was all very interesting. This Magna Carta is one of four who have survived. Nobody knows how many there actually had been but they were carried through the land and read to the people. 





Of course I wasn't allowed to take a photo of the Domesday book. The keeper/officer told us a lot about it though. But it was incredible writing. Couldn't read it though because it was in some lawyer latin shorthand. 

Next we wandered into the prison on the castle grounds. OMG. Don't want to go there. 




The prison chapel. An enclosure for each person. 



Outside on the pavements we found these plaques. Also interesting. The second gives me the creeps. 


Here is the text:
Sentenced to death for poisoning her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Milner hanged herself with a red silk neckerchief the night before she was due to be executed. ... the waiting crowd appeared generally disappointed because the disgusting exhibition did not come off. 


Looking back leaving the castle. 


Looking forward towards the cathedral but no time to go in. 



There was enough time for an ice cream though. Guess which one I had. The flavor could have been a little stronger though. 



Back at their house and another cup of tea, Jill showed me some duck eggs. She told me that duck eggs make way better sponge cakes and that's why she wins the ribbon every year. Different size eggs from different size ducks 


We left to check into our B&B in the next village, "The Lincolnshire Poacher" in Metheringham. It was very nice and satisfactory, Spick and span clean. Actually it was more like a townhouse with a kitchenette and living room downstairs and two bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. 


We had agreed to meet again at 7:30 pm at the Red Lion in Dunston for dinner. It is Stephen's birthday next week and we wanted to celebrate with them. 


The four of us had a good time. In case you wonder about the food pictures ... how else can I remember that chorizo with mushrooms make a good soup?



James and I had a pie each. 


Ha-ha, this used to be rhubarb crumble. 


It was a lovely day/evening. We were so happy to have had a little time with Jill and Stephen. 
Happy Birthday on the 25th, Stephen. 
Hope to se you both again soon.