Travel Diary: Europe, 2018

Join Stephen and Rona Yarrow, and Steve and Debbie Hall, as they trek around England, Wales and Scotland during September 2018. In the first week of October they take the ferry to Amsterdam, then travel by train through Germany, Austria and Switzerland on their way to northern Italy. There's a lot to see in a very short time, but somebody has to do it!

Penny Lane will be "in our ears and in our eyes", though being "there beneath the blue suburban skies" is a bit of wishful thinking, knowing what the weather is like in Liverpool in September!

Previous posts

4.9.2018: Sydney to London
5.9.2018: London

6.9.2018: Canterbury, UK
7-9.2018: London City

8.9.2018: Greenwich, UK
8.9.2018: Goodwood Revival
9.9.2018: London

10.9.2018: Trip to Edinburgh
11.9.2018: Edinburgh

12.9.2018: Glasgow, Scotland
Stirling, Scotland
13.9.2018: Inverness, Scotland
Loch Ness, Scotland
14.9.2018: Train To Leeds, UK
15.9.2018: York, UK
16.9.2018: Leeds, Scarborough, UK
17.9.2018: Liverpool, UK
18.9.2018: Otley, Dawes, Grassington, Appleby-in-Westmoreland, UK

19th September 2018

Listening to the news and watching our weather apps, we have been aware for a few days that the north west coast of Britain was in for some wet, windy weather and the general message was "batten down the hatches". We awoke this morning to find it had arrived overnight. Trees were shedding not only leaves, but also small branches and anything loose was blowing along the street.

That didn't include us, fortunately, as we sheltered by the safety of Appleby Castle, where we were ushered into a majestic dining room with high-backed chairs and huge wooden tables. Here we dined on an english breakfast, to the haunting sounds of Celtic singer, songwriter and musician, Enya. The atmosphere was quite surreal. When anyone spoke it was little more than a whisper, and no one in the room would have been surprised by the sound of knights in armour clanking their way past the door along the corridor, or had a guard entered the room, breaking the atmosphere by grabbing one of the guests and dragging them off to the dungeons or out into the courtyard for execution.

Fortunately, none of that happened and after eating to our fill and those guests who were checking out today had backed their bags and loaded them into their cars ready for departure, we assembled in the Great Hall for a castle tour. Half of the tour took place in the Great Hall, with the at-times animated guide giving us a very detailed history of the castle and its many and varied occupants down through the centuries, using the paintings and shields around the wall and ceiling as prompters for his talk.

The dialogue was continued when we visited the games room, numerous passages and a basement in what was one of the original castle towers which he lovingly referred to as the dungeon. Our final destination was the ground level entry to the keep, a large square stone tower separate from the other buildings. Here he showed us his personal collection of weapons and armour and got most of the guests to put them on and pose for photographs.

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