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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Home again (again!)

Did you miss me?! I returned Friday evening from a work trip to the North of England, but due to the beautiful weather this weekend I've been making the most of "outdoors" and walking on the beach etc. so have only just got back to my computer.

As I say, last week I was in the North of England, York to be precise. It's a beautiful city with lots of history, but my reason for visiting is because I work for the University of York as a researcher. So I get to visit every now and again. This visit was a short one, so apologies to those of you in York that I didn't get to visit! But it really was work, work, work!  Well OK, I also got a visit to Betty's Tea Room. A trip to York is incomplete without a visit to "Betty's"! I love the traditional English Afternoon Tea, served on a three tier cake stand, with sandwiches at the bottom, scones, cream and jam on the middle tier place, and "fancies" (small luxurious cakes) on the top tier, all with proper tea served in a silver tea pot with a tea strainer (none of your tea-bag rubbish here!).  Oooh I remember it well.......

As I say, I've been to York many times, so have done the "tourist" bits, and this time just had time for dinner out with colleagues, the aforementioned Betty's tea, and a visit to the cinema (or "the pictures" as we call it!) to see the new Woody Allen film "Midnight in Paris" - which I thoroughly enjoyed, in part because of the stunning views of Paris!

The journey to York can get a bit epic. I start with the ferry from the island to the Orkney Mainland, drive through to the airport in Kirkwall, plane to Edinburgh, airport bus to Edinburgh railway station, and a 2.5hr train journey down to York.  But I love train journeys so I don't mind that part!  But it does take most of the day from home to hotel!

My hotel window looked out onto Clifford's Tower (photo at the top of this blog post). I loved watching the sun rise behind the trees.  The tower is the Keep of a former castle and seems to have rather a bloody history, but I didn't dwell on that!

The street outside my window had some lovely traditional buildings and I loved looking at the trees just beginning to turn autumnal colours.

I took some photos on the train journey back from Berwick-on-Tweed through to Edinburgh. The rail line follows the east coast much of the way

If you look *very* carefully in the photo below you can just see a lighthouse! 

Lovely traditional "Scottish" buildings

The soil is so rich and red!

I had a great view of the city of Edinburgh on the bus from the train station to the airport. Below is the famous Edinburgh Castle. Looking a little gloomy on a grey day.

 I love looking up at the architecture.

I also had a chance to see part of the construction of the controversial tram system. The construction is way behind schedule and over budget, and very unpopular with Edinburgh folk! See more details of the controversy here

So... that's me home for a while now. Ready to hunker down for the winter!


  1. Sound like a bit of an epic journey - aren't you glad to get back to the peace of your small Island?

  2. Wow! I was expecting a newspaper link for the tram controversy, not its own wikipedia page!

  3. What fun to see your travelogue! We were in York in April. It's almost shamefully easy for us by comparison to you: we jump on the train at Perth and whizz straight there. But *how* did we manage to go to Betty's for my birthday treat and not get afternoon tea with a cake stand? Must be something to do with going with a man, and (whisper it) a rather impatient one at that - they just don't get the Importance of Cake.

  4. P.S. Love your atmospheric photo of Clifford's Tower. We have just been to Carlisle Castle, so it's fun to compare the two Norman 'motte & bailie' keeps.

  5. Harriet - oh yes! I enjoy visits "south" but I always love coming home - whatever the weather!

    VioletSky - Tee Hee - oh there are lots of sources of the tram controversy!

    DB - NO AFTERNOON TEA at Betty's - outrageous! But I can understand - it's the kind of experience I always enjoy with a group of like minded ladies!

    My room looked directly onto the tower (hence the reflection of the camera in the shot - sigh), and I tried not to imagine dark deeds of the past, and kept resolutely telling myself the noises I heard were the geese that gathered around the tower at night to sleep...... I have a rather fanciful imagination - if I ever come to visit I shall require a large teddy bear for comfort a night! LOL!

  6. Those are great photos you share to us. Very inspiring to visit the place. And enjoy its beauty and the wonders they give to us and to out nature. Thank you so much for posting this.