Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The First of the Scotland Trip Photos!

Hey guys, miss me? Lee and I just got back from a four-day trip to Scotland, which was amazing.  We signed up for a tour group so we didn't do any of the driving (which was nice since it was just shy of a thousand miles) and we saw a lot more different things than we would have had we just gone on our own.

So to start with, we left at 5:30 in the morning (which was rather painful) and drove for a long time to get to the town of Knaresborough, which boasts the oldest chemist shoppe in England (established 1720) and some castle ruins.  Ok, so it's not technically in Scotland, but it takes a while to get there from here and it was nice to have a stop on the way.

This mosaic was at the entrance to Knaresborough Castle, although really there's very little of it left.

Yep, that's most of the castle right there.  But it's up on a hillside overlooking the River Nidd, and does have a rather nice view.

And to enjoy the view from the castle ruins, you can sit on Slytherin benches ;)  Oh yeah, this tour took us to several places that have to do with Harry Potter, so we did some HP trivia in the vans and stuff.  Knaresborough doesn't have anything to do with HP, it's more to break up the driving on the first day a bit.

Proof we were there!  Turns out that two of the guys who were helping with the driving are also photography enthusiasts, so those two and Lee were trading photos and discussing photography for a good bit of the trip, *and* we were able to hand off our huge and intimidating camera to people who know how to work it so pictures of us didn't come out blurry.  Woohoo!

After we went through the castle ruins, we walked through town a bit to get to Mother Shipton's cave and petrifying well.  There's Mother Shipton herself, not likely to be mistaken for HRH Kate Middleton anytime soon, is she?  Mother Shipton is famous for being a prophetess; you can read more about her if you click the link.  I got a book of her prophecies while we were there, but I haven't gotten to read it yet...I would have read in the van, but I get carsick too easily.

Here's the petrifying well.  The water flows from an underground aquifer and basically calcifies things that are left in the water.

Lee said it was hard to get a good photo of the well due to the lighting as well as the fact that it was sprinkling on us when we were here (just the first time we got rained on during the trip).   Anyway, the people who run this tourist attraction put things in the dripping well to be "turned to stone", and then they sell them.  Teddy bears seem to be popular.

I took this one just for you, Miss Vicki--petrified ice skates!  And a teapot.  Other objects in various states of petrification were a top hat, at least one more tea kettle, a lobster, a tennis racket, and a mask.

Behind the dripping well is a wishing well:  you put your right hand in, make your wish, and then take your hand out and let the water dry naturally without drying it off on your jeans or anything.  But you can't tell anyone what your wish was or it won't come true ;)  Our tour guide, Cindy, said that she's made a wish there and had it come true.  I'll let you know if mine does!

We walked back around the well to get to the path out, and Lee got this cool shot of the half-petrified teddy bear.

This is what the dripping well looks like from above; the water runs in little channels over the side and that's where all the items are hung to petrify.

Here's a different view of the aqueduct and the River Nidd from the beginning of this post.

And the sign at the entrance to the cave, which I thought looked cool in silhouette.  Lee complained it's backwards, but if we'd taken this from the other side, then the letters would have looked right but you couldn't have seen the silhouette nearly as well because it was all over trees in that direction.

So that was our first stop on the trip...lots more photos to come :)  I won't tell you what all we did and got to see, you'll just have to wait and find out, which is pretty much what our tour guide did to us!  We knew a few basic things we were going to see, but not all of them; Cindy would give us an itinerary for just one day at a time so we could concentrate on that day's events.  I kinda liked it that way. 

We did have a great trip, but it's nice to be back home with the dogs!  We picked them up at the kennel this morning (got in too late last night to get them then) and they STANK to high heaven so Lee gave them both baths and I brushed them.  We've reached critical mass on dog hair...we'd better get a vacuum cleaner in the next couple of days or it'll be ankle deep in here.  But the kids are happy to be home and they now smell much better!


Liz Guidry said...

Very awesome, Christy! I love the pic. of the petrified stuff.

On a side note, if you need to borrow my vacuum, let me know!

Giffysk8s said...

Petrified ice skates: way too cool!!! Thanks for taking that pic! O course, I still have some skates that my grandparents bought me when I was 14 or so. I am now old enough that they are nearly petrified, LOL! But I must say that the half-petrified bear kind of creeped me out!

I like the backwards sign. It would not be nearly as cool without the silhouette. Good call.

I have very high expectations of you in regards to the Harry Potter references. I can't wait to see how many things you found.

Glad you are home safe and sound. Bet Sadie and Vader are, too.

Can't wait to see the next post!

Giffysk8s said...

That would be "Of course." Although I am half Irish, so maybe "O' course" is fine, too,

CCsMom said...

Hey, you could FLIP that picture of the sign . . . of course the signs below would then be backwards . . . just sayin'! I like to click on the pictures so I get a better view of you two . . . you look to be well and happy. That's what I always look closer to see. Sounds like you had a great trip. I am so glad. You are doing what I'd love to be doing . . . maybe after we retire. And we're coming to see you (some sooner than others!). I'll tell you what -- Dad said he's going to QUIT telling people he's going to Europe because they give him the stink-eye when he says I'm staying home. Ha! I think that's so funny. Love you!

CCsMom said...

You wouldn't like what I'd wish for . . . !!! (Hee Hee!)

Thoughts by B and M said...

Those Teddy's are a bit scary.......

Amber Hight said...

I agree...those teddy bears belong in a horror movie, lol! But the rest of the petrified stuff is awesome! What a fun place to visit:)

Anonymous said...

FABULOUS posting Christy! You and Lee both have a wonderful eye behind the lens of a camera. Bet ya'll are proud of that purchase from your Okinawa days :o) Can't wait to see future postings and LOVED your scrap pages w/your mom and dad :o} Love Ya! Robin