Our time in the Dales saw us going on a rigorous walk up Great Whernside, (the sixth highest peak in the Dales!) led by Susie and Jon. It was quite a steep climb, windy on top, with lovely views followed by a meandering, and boggy return.
We had some yummy “pub grub” that weekend, in a very traditional Dales pub. We also visited the Wensleydale cheese factory (which is the only place that Wensleydale is made). We visited their cheese tasting bar with about 25 samples of different cheese that are made there, most of them Wensleydale. Sam was especially happy to return there, as I’d told him about it before we ever went, sure that he’d never seen anything quite like it before. He agrees, calling it “idyllic and unspoiled”. It’s a hard place to describe, but for us the beauty is in the green hills, the high moors between dales, the narrow roads, the barns, the dry-stone walls, the limestone crags and the peacefulness.
From the Dales we travelled down to London, to get a bit of culture in the capital city. We visited the Foundling Museum, and took two tours with the company London Walks. It’s a great concept because you show up at a designated Tube stop at a designated time. No pre-booking etc. You just pay the guide. The tours we took were: Literary Bloomsbury, and The Blitz. In the Blitz tour we saw a very interesting sight (unrelated to the Blitz) in a rather hidden park: a memorial to citizens who gave their lives saving others. (The G.F. Watts memorial). Both tours were fascinating.
We also got cheap tickets to see “The Curious of the Dog in the Night-time” which was very well done, if slightly overstimulating! We also saw our friends John and Julia for brunch in a rather trendy area of renovated lofts near to Kings Cross, close to a canal which is also enjoying a rejuvenation.
You may remember that for reasons to do with immigration regulations that make it very hard for British Citizens to return to their home country with their spouse who is not a citizen to work (most Brits don’t know this, but I believe it was tightened up by Teresa May in 2012, who was then Home Secretary…in case you were thinking of voting Tory!)
For an article on this law see:
Sam had to leave the UK and be away for 6 months or more before being allowed back in (even though he is retired and has no intention of working!) Based on wanting to travel in Europe during the lovely fall months, we planned to leave a bit early, and should be returning to the UK at the end of May 2017, all being well.
So, in keeping with our “slow” sabbatical, we started our European journey taking trains from London to Nuremberg via Brussels and Frankfurt. Starting with the Euro-star and then ending with Deutsche Bahn. The latter’s trains are really lovely, except they have very little luggage space unless you want to lift your luggage above eye level and shove it on the large shelf above you. This was our first experience this trip in a country where English was not the native tongue, so a bit of a culture shock and challenge. Even though I speak German, my German was very rusty, but all I could do was try! Our friends Brenda and Douglas were so hospitable, and showed us around their corner of beautiful Bavaria, with its ancient castles, and fortress towns.
While in the town of Rothenburg, Sam and I came upon an old Jewish quarter.
The plaques in this neighbourhood reflected a Jewish community in the 14th century
and also in the 19th century.
The first record of a pogrom was in 1298. There was also a period of 350 years during which Jews weren’t allowed to live there. Follow this link to find out much more about the Jews in Rothenburg.
We also went to the exhibition on the Nuremberg Trials, which is housed right next to the Courts in Nuremberg. It was fascinating, and moving, and overwhelming. It was also not very well sign-posted, which we thought was odd.
Sam and I spent the day in nearby Erlangen, a university town and were bowled over by the number of bikes on the streets! We loved the Schlossgarten and the Botanical Gardens of the University.
We also enjoyed some walks in the countryside.
The weather was beautiful that week, so there was a lot of sitting outside on the pretty “Terrasse”.
Thanks again to all our wonderful hosts this month!
Which takes us to October, when we took the train to Paris, to spend the month in a little studio flat right by the Georges Pompidou Centre.