UK trip #4 The Lake District

It's raining and the lady behind the desk at the visitor center in Windermere in the Lake District tells us the weather was exactly the last couple of weeks as it is right now; and it will be for the next couple of weeks as she is predicting. That instantly kills our idea of climbing Scafell Pike - the highest peak in England (a bit under 1000m) on the next day.

Windermere is located at a lake and is pretty comparable with Wanaka and Queenstown in New Zealand and Bariloche in Argentina, but a bit smaller. The Lake District is really worth visiting and looks to me pretty much like New Zealand except it has a higher population.

UK trip #3 Wales is ... strange

Leaving Wales has a bit of a strange feeling to it. First of all, there isn't much to see (yes, I know, feel free to teach me on what I missed out). We went to Barry Island, which got a boast in recent years through the BBC series Gavin & Stacey, drove down the southern coast, stopped in Pembrokshire National Park, visited Snowdon National Park and climbed Wales' highest peak 'Snowdon', which is a little more than 1000m high. The hike was great, except for the last 100m to the summit. There was a little steam train carrying heaps of visitor up the mountain and another track joined just before the summit our -until then - very quiet track. On the top was always a crowd of people chasing each other to stay on top of Wales.

All the cities and villages along the coast have something in common. They all got heaps of caravan holiday parks, where most of the people have their holiday home, or to be more precised 'static holiday camper van'. My suspicious is that a lot of those people are actually living in those caravan getthos. In norther Wales on the border to England there is one very dramatic area around Conwy. The region seemed to have lost there hype half a dozen decades ago, probably in the 60ies. These days it really looks like a caravan gettho, stuffed with amusement centers, and fish n chips take aways. And the language - I really struggle to understand you Welsh people :-)

UK trip #2 south England

Pitching the tent is always a good feeling, although it could be a bit warmer and less possible to rain this night. Having said that, the missing inflatable matrass makes my stomach groaning.

It's the second day and Kathrin and I are going to sleep in our tent tonight. The weather doesn't look too bad and we thought we wanted to use the tent anyway. So here we are. We are in Lynchett.

The day was a mixture of castles, city councils with a look and feel of castles and Pubs with a bit of a castle look. Putting that all together we saw heaps of bricks... Starting in Brighton there was the only exception, the Royal Pavillion. To cite a local journal: "Somebody took Saint Paul's Cathedral and pooped." It looks like Taj Mahel built by a number of British born Indians, that have never been to India.

Arundel Castle a dozen miles away from Brighton was closed. We got the idea though: a castle.

Arriving in Chichester, there was the wonderful renovated Chichester Cathedral. A church in a castle look. Many bricks. And here is my guess: "They will all look the same.". We will see what the next castles and churches bring. They had a funny parking system, which I'll write about later. I need to add pictures to that post. One interesting side note, they had credit card enabled donation boxes, as I would call them. They take everything, coins, notes and every card, you may have. Didn't put my miles and more card in there. You never know.

On the way to Lynchett - our final destination for today - we had to do a stop in Christchurch as this was just too Kiwiish not to do a stop for. The city looks actually quite interesting. It has a nice little tower that was once part of a huge castle spanning Christchurch. Go and visit!

Bournemouth has a wonderful beach, by the way. We stopped there on our route. They had little beach huts pretty close to the beach. I will add a picture of those later. They are pretty handy. A  little hut of about 2,5qm.

And yeah: First pub visit in Lynchett. Loving it.


UK trip 2011 #1 - Yes, it can get rainy in Britain

Sitting in a good old-fashioned Bed&Breakfast in Pyocombe near Brighton in East Sussex, the wind and rain gusterly pushing against the windows after a 26h long trip from Munich by car, is a wonderful feeling. Having a cup of tea in one hand, just completes the picture.

We started around in noon in Munich and made our first stop in the evening in Aachen at Manuels place. We gave us a short tour around the city center which isn't that big at all. When we got to Dunkerque, our ferry was already waiting for us, but we had to wait until 5:30 to get on the vessel. We passed the 2h trying to sleep in the car. Wasn't a pleasure though. It got colder and colder as we approached the British Islands and sleeping in a car at around 8 degrees for 2h isn't the highest on my 1000 Things Todo list.

We slept through almost the whole channel crossing. Just from time to time a glimpse of sun, waked me up, jet to let me know, that we haven't reached Dover yet.

The coastal between Dover south toward Brighton is just gorgeous. White cliffs with old fashioned small British villages along the way formed a remarkable picture about this stretch in my head. Unfortunately the wonderful sunshine in Dover seemed to abandon us. As we moved west, the weather got worst and worst. At the end, it was miserably raining in Brighton and freezing cold.

Brighton is a vibrant sea site city. I tend to avoid "vibrant" cities since those are usually packed with tourist and heaps of people anyway. The same counts for Brighton. After a bit of headache created by the common questions arising during a road-tripish holiday - what to eat and where and where to stay - we escaped from the city center and found here in Pyocombe a gorgeous tiny village, not really prepared for visitors. Staying in a B&B is actually on my list, that I haven't done so far. We are staying here at a family house. Louisa the mother of the family is doing here very best to make us a home. She is doing a fantastic job.

Looking forward to a full fledged English breakfast with scrambled eggs, baked beans and sausages tomorrow morning.