Although our ultimate destination changed multiple times that morning (lake district, beach, Angel of the North, High Force), it turned out to be a blessing. We ended up going a route that had us stumble upon a great area with streams and waterfalls everywhere. It had an amazing cafe and it was a great detour as it let me practice getting the right exposure and aperture to blur water from waterfalls. As we walked around, Gertrude the dog was having a lot of fun jumping about in the water and learning how to swim. Between the visitor's centre and the car park was a river with a bridge. Katy decided that she was too cool to use said bridge and attempted to navigate the slippery rocks to ford the river. Unfortunately for Carolyn and me, she was eventually successful depriving us the chance to laugh at a dripping Katy.
After we had a great lunch, we headed over to High Force. It's a fairly short walk from the parking lot to the falls, but you do have to buy tickets first (proceeds go towards upkeep, etc.).
The walk down to the falls was really nice, as it followed a very luscious path on the side of a hill and wove around some streams and over a bridge. High Force was one of the neater waterfalls I've ever seen, and quite tall. The water at the bottom of the falls looked like black ice and it made the photos look pretty cool!
Carolyn, Katy, and I took the day to go visit High Force, a huge and very powerful waterfall along the River Tees. For some strange reason on the way there, I got really dizzy and felt nauseated. We pulled over and got to see a great view over a bright green valley cloaked in fog.
So today Carolyn, Billy, Dan, and I drove around the moors and visited a place called Aysgarth Falls. Any day I spend with my second family is awesome, and we had a great time exploring!
The most surprising about this whole adventure was that the moors were all so different from each other. We had spent the morning in Wenslydale, but had seen so many different scenes throughout the day it was tough to imagine all of these things were in one place! It has definitely cemented Yorkshire as #1 on my "Favourite Places in the World" list.
It is a really cool castle, but I can't show you any of it because photography wasn't allowed inside. I can say that it's easy to spend a couple of hours there, especially if you read all of the material in the various rooms. My favourite part about the whole thing was what we dubbed the "man cave" whose purpose was the equivalent in the middle ages. Another neat thing about the architecture was that while it had been built in the mid-1300s, but has been changed, updated, and renovated throughout the centuries.
Today Carolyn took me on one of the best trips I've been on yet: a quick drive to the Dales and Moors which make the North so distinctive. The trip was rather short, but I took a LOT of pictures which are uploaded to my Flickr account. We also stopped off at Britain's highest pub (Tan Hill Inn) which is 1,732 ft above sea level.
This trip solidified Yorkshire as my favourite place in the world! The sheer amount of space and the scale of everything was overwhelming. Apparently it's even more stunning when the heather turns purple in the summer.
Click on any of the panoramas below to see them larger.
These 360 degree panoramas are interactive, but you can also view them full screen by clicking on their red titles.
For the past few days I've been staying with my uncle (Christpher AKA Tiff), aunt (Chey), and my two youngest cousins, in Tunbridge Wells. Since it's on the correct side of London for such a visit, we took the train down to Hastings for the day. Oddly enough, even though I've been to the UK too many times to count, this was the first time I'd gone to the seaside in England!
If you're ever in Hastings, I HIGHLY recommend you take a ride on one of their two funiculars (we went up the Eastern one, the tallest in Britain), partially for the ride but also for what it brings you up to...
It was such a great shock, moving from the sights and sounds of the carnival to the absolute silence we found above the city. If you keep walking up the hill, you'll get to a surprisingly large open area with spectacular views. There's even a spot for a barbecue!
I learned a lot about planes, as Steve's son is going to be a commercial airline pilot some day. He's only 12, but I know for a fact he's smart enough to be able to do whatever he wants when he grows up. I also found out that Steve’s eldest daughter liked photography, so I taught her a little bit about how to use aperture and shutter speed, etc.
I just want to take this time to thank them profusely for having me to stay and putting up with me for a week! I had a great time and I’m going to miss them all very much!!
Caroline, my godfather's wife, was running in the London Marathon today (we went to register for it the other day) so we went into the city to see her torturing herself! Mobilizing the group was tough but we managed to get out on time (even with the dog in tow).
I should mention, the reason we knew when to look for them was thanks to the "Track a Runner" function on my phone. This would track them every 5 kilometers and publish the time on their individual page. Only one problem: they didn't have kilometers posted anywhere, only mile-markers. This meant that the process included converting kilometers to miles, then estimating the time they would arrive around that kilometer mark based on their previous pace. I hadn't done this much mental math in a LONG time, but I was accurate to within 2 or 3 minutes, so I consider that a success.
After taking the train back into Central London, we headed to Caroline's sponsor organization's room where we met up with Caroline and the other runners. All-in-all it was a great day out and we all had a lot of fun!