6.26.09 Lake District to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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6.26.09    Lake District to Edinburgh

 

Wow-Wow-Wow!  The incredible scenery through Lake District National Park was spectacular!  We traversed rolling half-lanes lined by high hedges or stone walls that made me shiver.  Across roller coaster roads that made our stomachs drop.  And Down 20% grades. 

 

TWENTY PERCENT!  I’ve never driven an RV down 20% before.  Normally, in the U.

S., we have warning signs for 5% up to 8%.  Very rarely, we’ll have 10%.  But even with the Rocky Mountains, I do not remember more than maybe 13%.  Umm-umm.  We’re talking 1st gear all the way down (1.75 miles) with emergency blinkers flashing.  But we made it down safely without smoking the brakes and without a long line of cars behind us thanks to a few pull-offs.

 

A little aside:  Speaking of mountains, I was so surprised with the Alps!  We hardly had any gearing down or major hills at all.  With tunnels, natural mountain passes, and high bridges, the roads were rather flat.  I think roads are more steep in the N.C. Smokey Mountains than in the Alps!  Who knew?!

 

I’d asked the nice campground owners this morning if I could take that road.

  They checked the RV length and I confirmed being confident (and also crazy), so they suggested I take it.  They also advised seeing Aira Force waterfall, so we paid the 3.40 P for the car park (I think every single parking location in England, including the grocery stores requires payment by machine and posting the ticket on the windshield). 

 

The hike up to Aira Force was lovely- it’s a National Trust area and many people were hiking through the lush woods, tapping a 1 pence or 2 pence coin into the bark of a large downed tree, and enjoying the lovely countryside.  You can understand how the incredible beauty of that romantic countryside inspired the sonnets of so many British authors.

 

A Tea Room, in a stone cottage, sat in a grassy, tree-shaded pasture a short grassy path from the Falls.  We ordered ham sandwiches, two tea-for-twos, and creamed scones (jam and clotted cream).  Then we sat at a wooden picnic table under the ancient trees and had a most delightful time.  What a special memory!

 

Flash about 2 hours forward, down the busy M3 motorway- we made it to Scotland!  Hooray!  We stopped at the Welcome Rest Area, but no tourist info there (another 54 miles), although we welcomed ourselves with some Scottish shortbread.

  Charles is trying to get a kilt and bagpipes, but I don’t think there’s room in his luggage.

 

We drive into Edinburgh in busy traffic at 4pm on Friday afternoon- what are the chances that busy Scotland (as we’ve been told) has room on a weekend during what is now high season, since British kids are out of school?  We’re in luck!  The campground has room for us! 

Hooray!  We sign up for 2 nights, pay 5P for 24 hours of internet, and here we are.  Spaghetti for dinner, hot showers, and tomorrow we explore the Royal Mile, castle, Edinburgh Woolen Mills (which we’ve seen in nearly every country), and relax a little. 

 

It has been a terrific tour of N. England and Scotland so far and we have 4 nights more to enjoy before our ferry to N. Ireland and just one week before our flight home).  We are so happy to be in lovely Scotland! 

 

 

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photo by: vances