- After spending a night at my friend's flat in London, we went straight up north. Our first stop was Haworth, a small town in Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters lived and wrote. Not that I was a huge fan of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. I just wanted to go to the moors.
The trail started in the town center, but soon enough, everywhere our eyes could reach were endless moors. The weather was not "wuthering" at all, by the way. It was rather spectacular and the moors were positively sparkling.
- We were supposed to go to Kirkby Lonsdale. There was a mixup at a hotel we booked, and they got us a cottage in the next town. Last time a "next town" happened, I ended up hitchhiking a 18-wheeler at midnight in rainy nowhere in Iceland, so I was a bit wary about this change of plan. But it turned out to be a rather happy accident.The hotel lady picked us up at the train station, the cottage was really comfy (heated bathroom floor!), and we had a nice long walk along the canal.
- Kirkby Lonsdale
- It was all good at the beginning. There were even super cute alpacas. Let's see the next photo.
- ...and then a marshland with no visible path happened.
We took a a wrong turn at a T-junction. Everything went downhill from there (although we kept climbing uphills) and what should have been an easy 3-hour hiking turned into a 6-hour-long lost-in-marshland odyssey.We were so lost that we had to keep comparing our map with a GPS, according to which we were often in a blank space.Nevertheless, or because of it, it was awesome. Not a LOL fun. But a we-are-in-a-blank-space-on-GPS kind of fun.
- Marshes! That's the weirdest thing. How come water's everywhere on perfectly normal-looking hills?We ended up taking a gigantic detour, went up and down various-sized hills, climbed thousands of stiles, went through millions of swing gates, and more than one occasion, we were threatened by gangs of protective mama sheep. We finally arrived back at the town around sunset. Couldn't feel my legs anymore.English dinner wouldn't cut it after all this, so we went for Indian.
- Back to the land where grasses are green and water stays in its path.
- This is the T-junction. Allegory for life, anyone?
- Ruskin's View... This is where we dragged ourselves after the hiking. (More like, I dragged my friend there. You thank me now, right?)
Turner painted this view from St Mary's Church, inspiring John Ruskin to write "I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine."Leg cramps be damned. It was beautiful, especially with the setting sun!
- The morning after. At the Market Square, waiting for the bus that will take us deeper into the Lake District.
- To Ullswater!
We took a bus to Lancaster, a train to Penrith, and then a bus to Glenridding. Our hotel was... locked. After 20 minutes of ringing, knocking, asking, poking around, we found a letter and a key lying on the ground by the door. He totally mentioned this during our phone call, that he might not be there when we arrive and he would leave the key for us. Between the common sense (that a main entrance to hotels are usually open at all times) and a German-like northern English accent (I don't even understand standard English accent), I assumed that the key would be at the counter or something. My bad!
After shedding our backpacks, we went for a walk around Lanty's Tarn. It had a great view of the lake and the town, and when we came around the hill, the view overlooking Grisedale Valley was very pretty as well.
When we got back to Glenridding, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant where we were the only patrons of the night. Should have known when nobody answered at the hotel -- it was still winter in Cumbria.
- Woke up with a cold... Had to give up Helvellyn. Below photos could have been filled with natural grandeurs instead of cute sheep and glorious scones. (Not to dishonor any of those...)
We took a ferry to Howtown instead, and had a nice easy hike around Hallin Fell. The post-hike afternoon tea at Howtown hotel featured the best scones I've ever had in my life.
- Walking along the Thames from the Hayward Gallery to the Design Museum.
What thought to be a dog at that time turned out to be a fox named Susan, my friend in London reports, and she has amber eyes like the vegetarian vampires from Twilight.
- Borough Market
- This is my third visit to London, and I never knew Tower Bridge was blue. Good for photos anyway.
- Dedham Vale
- I'm usually not too wild about landscape paintings. Rather than making me admire the art itself, they tend to make me admire the view, which I think is not the greatest merit when it comes to an artistic flair.So rather than looking at paintings by John Constable at the National Gallery, I wanted to go where he lived and painted.
- So those dramatic clouds in Constable's paintings... He did not invent them, apparently.
- Flatford is a picturesque town, and I mean literally. Constable's landscape paintings depict many locations in the area, including Flatford Mill (Above), Bridge Cottage (Below), and Willy Lott's House.
- Willy Lott's House
- Glow-in-the-dark white horses (Above) and Too-cute-to-be-English town of Manningtree (Below).