Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The last stop on our trip...

was to England! We arrived at our final destination The Langton House in Windsor.

It was a long trip from Brugge to get there but we still had the evening to explore Windsor.
We walked around the town, saw the Windsor castle from the outside but never did go inside it. It is still a working castle that the Queen will sometimes stay at.

I love ferris wheels so I talked Chris into riding the "Windsor wheel" with me.

It was at sunset and just beautiful seeing the city and castle from above.

On our last day we took it easy in Windsor with a short walk over to Eton to check out the famous Eton college. We learned that the Princes of Whales went to high school here.Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a Britishindependent school for boys aged 13 to 18. All the pupils board. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor".

There is a beautiful park called the "long walk" with a great running path. We, however were too tired to run by this point and just chilled out in the park with a picnic and our books.
The kids there are still in school until mid July, here they are enjoying a school break during the day. Listening to the little ones speak with English accents was so cute!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The most beautiful Bike Ride in Brugge

Our next stop was back over the English channel to Belgium. We flew into Brussels, took a train to Brugge arriving around 9 pm. Right away, we realized we were once again in a country that English is not the language spoken but this time we did not have Tim. Spending time in Prague did help give us confidence and some skills to communicate. Most people can speak English well enough to help you.

The weather was much colder here than any place we had been so far. We were told the day before it was 40 degrees.Fortunately, the weather was absolutely beautiful today!
Our room here at this Bed & Breakfast is wonderful. Each place we have stayed has been very unique with its own character and this was no different.

We arrived late so we did not meet anyone until the morning. The breakfast room was one large table where everyone sat "family style". A fast way to get to meet the other guests.

We spent the morning walking all over Brugge with our first stop being the Bell Tower, where we climbed 366 very narrow steps to the top. There the view of the town square was awesome!

Next, onto find some chocolate and sit in the town square to enjoy! I got white chocolate/pistachio and Chris got dark chocolate/coffee. Delicious :)
Off to rent bikes and ride along the canals that run not only around Brugge but all the way to Holland! This is exactly what we did... a 26 mile bike ride ( round trip)from Belgium to Holland. A definite highlight of the trip and an unexpected country added in! We stayed long enough to have a cappuccino, take a few pictures, and then ride back.

Our son Tim told us when we  were in Brugge we had to try a beer called Hoegarden. Belgium is known for their beer, chocolate and waffles! As soon as we finished the ride we each tried a Hoegarden, and Tim was right.. very good!

The day ended with a Belgium waffle with bannana and chocolate syrup for dinner. I think we have covered all the bases here, next stop England!
  Beautiful Brugge!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Next stop on our trip....

Our next visit has been to Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon arriving, we grabbed a taxi and drove the 20 minutes to our next Bed and Breakfast. Our driver was full of information and we learned more about Edinburgh in that 20 min. than we ever expected. He then sang a song to us about the Alamo, since we are from Texas. All of course with his Scottish accent.. it was great! Although we arrived at 11:30 pm it was still light outside. It gets dark around midnight or so.
Staying at the B&B's has been a great choice, so far we would not change that decision. I am not a big breakfast eater so I kind of miss out on that part, except of course on the great coffee which is served in a "press". Chris however, has tried the full Scottish breakfast here and the full Irish in Dingle.  Where we are staying reminds me so much of the house and city I grew up in, in Massachusetts. The home is 130 years old and we get to stay on the top floor with fantastic city views!

Our first day we walked the Royal mile. Very touristy and full of all kinds of shops, cafes' and interesting people.

At the top we reached the Edinburgh Castle. What a beautiful site with so much to see. We took a quick 25 minute tour and Chris and I are almost positive the guide was our taxi driver from the night before!

I find the history of this part of the world fascinating but I must admit I ended up on the benches with all the other people waiting for their family members that must read "everything" :) We both decided that after a very long day of traveling, the first day in the next city, country, etc. should be a slower day and save the big city day for the second day, if possible.
Robert The Bruce and William Wallace statues were pretty awesome :)

We have so many great pictures from the castle and city that I will have to post them separately.
Our next day it was time to do laundry. Living out of backpacks has actually been very easy and this was the 2nd time to do laundry so far. We found a park, got some coffee and read our books while waiting. It was kind of nice to slow it down today.

We then hiked ( or walked, as it is called here) to the top of Sir Arthur's seat. About 1000 ft., easy compare to Mt. Brenden in Ireland :) Non the less, a beautiful view at the top as well. The city is amazing to see from here. We took some water and snacks with us and enjoyed those and a nap at the top :)

At the base,Queens Rd. encircles Arthur's Seat  and is unquestionably one of the most awesome places to run or bike. Neither, of which we did. We did walk it after the hike. This has been a wonderful place to visit and my one regret is that we did not take a day or so in the Highlands.Maybe another time, for now it is off to our next destination........

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dingle all the way!!!

The next 3 nights we spent in Dingle, Ireland! We arrived in the late afternoon and stayed at a Bed & Breakfast for the very first time. This was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed meeting and getting to know the owners, Barbara & Michael, as well as the other guests.
Chris experienced driving on the opposite side of the road and I experienced it as a passenger. I am happy to report the rental car has been returned and we are still in one piece!
Below are a few highlights from this part of the trip :)

Chris and I walked back from "town" to the Bed & Breakfast at 10:40 pm and the sun was just starting to go down, so weird :) Ireland is absolutely breathtaking!!


We are getting ready to go hike around Ireland today!

 just did our laundry in the sink..... now we are heading out for a night on Dingle town to a concert with the local musicians.

Love Ireland!!! It is everything you think it would be and so much more.... what a great night we had tonight, even had a standing room only filled pub sing an anniversary song for me & Chris... so funny :) Have it all on video :)

 We climbed Mt. Brendan today! The 2nd highest mountain in Ireland! A total of 18km- about 6 miles up and then a steep climb of 6 miles back down! It was absolutely amazing at the summit!

I knew I would love this place before we ever arrived... leaving beautiful Ireland this morning and heading off to Scotland!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our last day in Prague... nearly perfect!

On Day 4, we went for a run in the morning while Tim was at work. This was definitely a highlight for Chris and I. Letna park is beautiful and we had a fantastic run there! Our plan is to do a run or some activity in every country we visit. For the Czech Republic it was about a 3-4 mile run ( with lots of stairs).
In the afternoon, we went to the King's Vineyards and had a glass of wine overlooking the city . The view was magnificent! On the way out I twisted my ankle walking through one of the garden paths and fell, landing on the opposite knee. This was the only thing that kept it from being a perfect day :)

Then on to tour Voja Park, ...and went to U Medvídku, a traditional Czech Restaurant & Brewery, for dinner. Again, a great choice by Tim and Chris's favorite of all! After dinner we toured the brewery where we saw the beer still being brewed in old wooden barrels in the back.

The next morning we headed to the airport, saying goodbye to Tim in the subway station as he headed for work. Our stay in Prague was wonderful, and as we flew out I looked at the city below and felt really sad. It was such an adjustment when we first arrived but just 4 days later I really grew to love this city. Now off to Ireland.....


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