Monthly Archives: September 2013

Where-ever the bus takes me.

14th June 2013

Whitby, England

Whitby, England

I let the buses decide my destination again today, whichever one came first is where I was going – Whitby won and I had another lovely day out. Whitby seems a very quaint place with a great little area below the Whitby Abbey full of twisty little lanes with shops galore. Then there’s the main town area where the harbour is, full of fishing and tourist boats with a huge long stone pier curving out to the sea. And all around are the big wonderful old houses mostly made of gorgeous red brick.

Magnificent, Whitby Abbey

Magnificent, Whitby Abbey

I conserved my energy (or maybe I was being lazy) and did a circuit on the tourist bus, which is usually a good way to see a lot in a short length of time anyway. I got off at the Abbey, spent ages there looking around and also had a nice lunch at the café. There was method in getting off the bus there – 199 steps to go back down to the village. When I was in the church, I heard some old lady saying they had the cubicles around the pews so people could do a tinkle during church without being seen, the sermons went for so long, it was necessary. Not sure how true this is but it was good for a laugh.

Whitby was Capt. James Cooks home for some years and I visited the house where he lived during his apprenticeship. Sadly, again, no photos allowed but they had some very interesting maps and drawings dating back to his expeditions.

I also found out that Whitby served up inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula – the things your learn!!

et jewellery, Scarborough, England

et jewellery, Scarborough, England

It would have been nice, I think, to buy a piece of jet jewellery, but that would have been the end of my travels – HUGELY expensive, nice to look at and read about though.

Back at the bus stop for the bus home and chats with some of the oldies again. Wouldn’t it be lovely to record some people’s life stories. Just ordinary people with memories. They’re so interesting, yet they think I’m the interesting one. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to remember all this when I’m older and grayer!!

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There’s more to Scarborough than just arcade games.

13th June 2013

I visited a little art gallery set in the most gorgeous street this morning, the gallery wasn’t overly impressive but the building was wonderful. Then I decided I might as well go see another castle, even if it did mean walking up a fairly steep hill – they all seem to be on the top of a bloody hill, although that’s probably the best position.

This one's for you Richard Chapman

This one’s for you Richard Chapman

I still surprise myself at how much I’m enjoying walking everywhere, it’s never been my favourite pastime, but hey, everyone can change can’t they. I passed the churchyard where one of the Bronte sisters, Anne, is buried as well as the premises of a TL Chapman and Son funeral directors – took a photo for you, Richard!

Towards the harbour from Scarborough Castle

Towards the harbour from Scarborough Castle

Had some tremendous views over both sides of the headland, Scarborough seems to be split into about four or five different parts above the cliffs, below the cliffs and on either side of the headland.

I totally enjoyed the castle, not that there’s really all that much intact now, but I walked right out to the edge of the headland and around it as well. I didn’t seem to do much with my day but it took me all day to do it!!

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Why are you going to Scarborough?

12th June 2013

Everyone seemed to have the same reaction when I told them I was going to Scarborough next. I’m guessing it doesn’t have a great reputation as a destination for overseas visitors. Quite often on this trip I haven’t really had a reason for going somewhere, except that it seems to be in the general direction I’m heading. But I can’t say that about Scarborough because I’ll have to backtrack to York to head south again.

Looking down to the beach from near the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, England

Looking down to the beach from near the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, England

I just picture Scarborough as one of the typical English seaside holiday places in years gone by, and would like to see what it’s like. There’s also a bit of a pull to see what the English version is like of the places where I grew up at home – that’s probably weird but there it is.

So – first impressions weren’t all that favourable!! The pedestrian street near the train station seemed to be grubby and full of not very savoury characters, and then as I got closer to my hotel it seemed to get even worse – but then I realised I was going down a back alley where hotels stored their rubbish bins, lol.

View from my room at the Mount Hotel Scarborough

View from my room at the Mount Hotel Scarborough

By the time I found the front entrance of the Mount Hotel, I really was expecting the worst but I feel in love with it the moment I walked in the door. It’s like walking back in time to, I don’t know, maybe the thirties or forties, just how I imagined holiday hotels would be by the English seaside. It’s all very old fashioned and gorgeous, the tables in the dining room have starched tablecloths and serviettes and silver tableware. And to make it even better, my room looks out over the ocean and the Spa Bridge, has free internet and isn’t going to break the budget.

I arrived about lunch time and felt like I’d walked the entire shore-front by the evening. I resisted the urge to take the tram down to the beach and walked down the terraced stairs, it’s a mighty big drop to the sea.

At the seaside, Scarborough, England

At the seaside, Scarborough, England

The seafront was an eye opener, full of cheap junk shops and arcade game places – now I know why people were looking at me strangely for going to Scarborough! It really is rather tacky in parts, seems much more so than the seafront of Brighton. But even with all that, it’s still wonderful to see and experience. The harbour was full of fishing boats, kids were having donkey rides along the beach and pretty much everyone on the sand was fully clothed – so English.

When I got to the headland and what looked like a full on side-show alley, with rides of all sorts, I turned back and headed towards the Spa Complex that I kept hearing about. I was sadly disappointed, yet again, to find there is no spa there – it’s an entertainment complex – bugger. But, what an entertainment complex, I’ve no idea what the inside was like but the exterior was gorgeous.

Near the Spa Complex, Scarborough England

Near the Spa Complex, Scarborough England

Then further along, I came to what looked like something out of a roman settlement – a covered curved walkway with cement columns right down on the water’s edge – just amazing, and a little bit creepy as there weren’t any other people around. But wait, there’s more – further along still were brightly coloured beach huts and a lovely café set a bit higher up the cliffs.

What an afternoon, I’m so pleased I cam to Scarborough, and I’ve got lots more to see yet.

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Huge Apologies!!!

I’ve got a very big apology to make to my faithful followers, I’m so sorry for not posting anything for so long.

As you’ve probably worked out by now, I’m massively behind in posting about my travels – and it get worse every day! I just don’t seem to be able to dash off something quickly.

One of the things I need to remember every day.

One of the things I need to remember every day.

To make matters worse, at times I’ve found it very hard going since I left England for France at the end of June. Instead of being a big sook and running home, I decided to join a bus tour to try and combat the loneliness.

So, a couple of weeks ago I joined a 15 day bus tour around Spain, Portugal and Morocco. I’ve just returned from that tour, had a wonderful time, met lots of beautiful people and saw amazing things.

Now that I back on my own again I should be posting two or three times a week, and I’d love to hear how other travellers fight the loneliness attacks and also make the time to write regularly. All help appreciated!!

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Filed under Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel