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Our Travel Adventures

Welcome to the Adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Week 8 (Final Week) - 2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure - Part One

Week-7.6-8 Edinburgh Castle, Scotand

Edinburgh, Scotland

September 29, 2023 - Our second day in Edinburgh was spent riding buses! Yesterday, we had purchased a 48-hour pass on the hop-on hop-off bus system that gave us access to 3 different bus lines and admission to the Edinburgh Castle, and a couple other tourist sites. In the morning, we took an Uber car from our campsite into downtown Edinburgh, Using Uber is so MUCH easier and cheaper than driving ourselves and paying for parking all day. We've found using Uber in the cities of other countries is very easy. Using Uber for a round-trip into Edinburgh was $50 USD. If we drove into town, parking would have been hard to find for our tall van and parking on the street costs between $4 - $8.50 an hour, usually with a 4-hour limit.

We arrived around 9:30am and rode on our first hop-on hop-off bus for the morning. We jumped off a few times for some walking around and cream tea (tea and scone). Our time for entry into the Edinburgh Castle was 11:30am. We arrived a little early, walked around the nearby shops and visited the castle. It was pretty crowded and busy, which is why you needed a reserved time to visit. The castle and history were interesting, but it was pretty windy and cold (luckily no rain). We spent a couple hours at the castle before hopping back on the bus. The bus tour we took yesterday had a human guide giving commentary. Today's bus tour was with an audio guide, which provided different information on the same sights we saw yesterday,

After this bus tour, we jumped onto a different bus tour that took us on a completely different route than the first two. This route took us out of the downtown area and to the northern part of Edinburgh. Our bus tickets included admission to The Royal Yacht Britannica, but Connie had a booking to make a purse at 5:00pm. This bus tour was nice, but not as interesting as the two tours in downtown Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Bus Tour and Edinburgh Castle

Once back in town, we jumped onto a bus that we'd already taken. This time, we were using it to get to the other side of town. We arrived near The Islander Workshop around 4:00pm. We had time for a drink at Greyfriars Bobby Pub before Connie's 5:00pm appointment. Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died on 14 January 1872. The story continues to be well known in Scotland, through several books and films. They even have a statue of the dog nearby, as well as his and his owner's grave.

View From the Bus Tour
Around Town
Around Town
Making an Islander Harris Tweed Handbag
Around Town
Making an Islander Harris Tweed Handbag
Around Town
Making an Islander Harris Tweed Handbag
This was for the "Starter". I ended up with a full portion.
Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties

Connie had booked into a workshop to make an Islander Harris Tweed Handbag while in Edinburgh. Within her session, she created her very own Islander Harris Tweed® Handbag by selecting the body color of the bag, her favorite Harris Tweed® cloth lid and decorative straps. She had a blast and returned with a nice-looking handbag. During this same time, I stayed at the Greyfriars Bobby Pub enjoying visiting with other patrons, a couple pints, and trying a traditional Scottish dish of "Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties". Pretty good, after being afraid to try Haggis. After her session, Connie joined me for dinner. I wasn't hungry, so I had another Scottish traditional dish of Cullen Skink, while Connie had a Cullen Pie. All was pretty good. After dinner, we walked around a bit then caught our Uber back to the Campervan.

Silly me. After we got back to the van, I realized I was missing my cell phone. Either I left it in the Uber car or lost it somewhere else. After making a few calls to the phone, the Uber drive finally answered it and had the phone. He was great and returned my phone to us in about 20 minutes, Yes - he got a good tip.

Northumberland, England

September 30, 2023 - Goodbye Scotland, Hello England! Although we need to get back to London soon for our flight out in 6 days, we only drove 80 miles. After leaving Edinburgh, we took our time and made a few tourists stops on the way. Our first stop today was at the Leaderfoot Viaduct. It is near the Roman settlement of Trimontium, which is to the south-west of the viaduct. To the east of the viaduct are the Drygrange Old Bridge, a road bridge dating from 1776, and its modern successor. This group of three bridges is sometimes known as Tripontium. Our next route deviation was to see the William Wallace Statue near the Scottish Borders on Melrose. Erected in 1814, it stands 31 feet tall.

Leaderfoot Viaduct
William Wallace Statue
Leaderfoot Viaduct
View from the William Wallace Statue
Drygrange Old Bridge
View from the William Wallace Statue
William Wallace Statue
The England/Scotland Border
Elf Hills Farm Caravanning Site

We finally reached our destination for the day at the Elf Hills Farm Caravanning Site. This very small campsite is on a sheep farm. For £26 ($32 USD) a night, we got a place to park with electricity. They had water and dumping facilities, but that was about it. Regardless, the "warden" was very nice, and we enjoyed our quiet night there.

York, England

Angel of the North
Angel of the North

October 1, 2023 - Today was another driving day, vs. a sightseeing day. It was a 120-mile trip, taking around 3 hours. This included a short detour to see the "Angel of the North" statue located in Gateshead, England. It was near our route, and we had heard about it when visiting The Kelpies statues. Since spreading its wings in February 1998, this statue has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced. For me, it looks like an airplane stuck in the ground. But what do I know, I'm no art expert.

Acomb Grange Camping and Caravanning Park

We arrived at our campsite for the night around 2:30m. It was another one of those unexpected, nothing there places. The Acomb Grange Camping and Caravanning Park was a small and quiet place to spend the night. For £25 ($30 USD) we got a place on the grass to park and have electricity. There was a toilet facility with showers, but the building was locked up. There are only 5 pitches for campers with electric. No office and nobody around. We were the only people there for the night. But it worked for us.

Yesterday, we decided to change our plans for returning to London just a bit. We didn't have a firm booking for tomorrow night, so we're now planning on driving all day straight to London. We were able to extend our stay at the campsite we already had a booking for. Tomorrow, we'll drive about 4-hours to London.

It took a bit of patience, but we were able to get tickets for touring the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio in London. We'll be doing this tour one afternoon, and a bus tour of London another day. This leaves us with a little free time to do laundry and pack for our flight home on October 6th. 

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Week 8 (Final Week) - 2023 "Lands" Epic Adventure ...
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Saturday, 13 July 2024