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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another full day

So after a delicious full English breakfast this AM, bangers, ham, fried eggs, hash browns, toast & beans, we piled into the car and headed off into the countryside. I think that for poor Mark, who was driving the first leg, it was the most harrowing half hour of his life. When I was last in The Lakes, I was a) in my 20’s and b) what driving I did was in a Mini which was about half the width of the giant Chevy SUV we’re driving. The road was, in places, about eight feet wide, at blind curves on hills with stone walls on one side & twenty foot drops on the other while the car is six feet wide. This was a two way road. Poor Mark performed brilliantly but we turned a ten minute drive into 30 and he swore he’d never drive again.
So we got to Chapel Stile, a village in Great Langsdale where I spent some time with Stella & Elsie when I was in my early twenties... about fifteen or twenty years ago. (I know. Dennis called me on that too when I switched from twenty years to in my twenties.) We parked near the local (pub) and walked into the center of the village (sort of walking to the center of Enchanted Place only on a curvy hill & everything was 200 years older) and I found Ivy Cottage, where we’d stayed and then walked up to the old church which was pretty much unchanged since the last time I’d walked up to it to services. The big difference was that when we walked to Morning Prayer that Sunday morning in June, it was snowing lightly and, because it was summer, they did NOT see a need to turn on the heat in the church.
Today, the weather was superb with a temp in the mid 60’s and clouds coming & going.

We left Chapel Stile and headed to Grassmere, having decided to skip Buttermere because the map assured us that the roads from the one to the other would be even more narrow and no one wanted to try them in our huge car. When er got there and found a place to park, we headed into the Wordsworth Museum and then toured Dove Cottage where he lived for 9 years and did a great deal of his writing. Both were very interesting, especially the size of the house where four adults and three children lived. Very cramped. 
After a nice lunch we came pack to Ambelside & took a walk to the park about a mile away for the great views of the lake. It was very chilly standing by the shore so we headed back & I diverged through the church yard and went in to see the church which had some very nice features and, seems to have a thriving spiritual community, but then there’s little else to do up here I guess.
Back to the B & B, rested, showered, dressed, and we were off to Farenelli’s for dinner & a movie. It’s a large complex at the bottom of the road where they have four screens, a bar, a lounge with live music, and a restaurant all fitted into several adjoining buildings that are very old but have been gutted & redone. We saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Well done. I’ll need to see it again. there were lots of great throw away lines and other references to the original like in one of the last scenes, as the apes were heading through the trees, heading out of town, you saw the headline of the paper, just thrown in the drive, saying ‘fist maned mission to mars lost.’ 
Home at ten. To bed.
Now, to pack, breakfast, and then, we’re on the road again to Edinbourgh via two stops, one of which is a portion of Hadrian’s wall that’s survived in good shape and a museum.
More later from Scotland.

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