Posts Tagged ‘ruins’

24
Dec

We Made it to Scotland!

   Posted by: MB    in Daily

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Lochmaben Castle Ruins on Castle Loch

Kyle and the Babes 2015. Day Eight

Our day of driving from Nottingham to the North, was made a bit more challenging by some rain and a lot of very high wind. The winds of winter storm Eva, as they whipped across the moorlands and dales of Northern Yorkshire were so strong they buffeted the car about the highway and prevented good photography. We got pretty good shots of the sign welcoming us to Scotland, though!  And, we did the happy dance in our seats.  The wind died down and the rain and flooding took over as the main attraction as we made our way to our destination town of Peebles. Less than twenty miles from town our proposed route was closed due to flooding and we did two legs of the triangle instead of only one.  But, we finally made it, checked into our little rented house, and went to the grocery store.

Grocery store trips here are rather like safaris…you know what you want to see, but you have no idea if it will be there, or exactly what it will look like if it is. (I call my fabric shopping trips “safaris,” too, for the same reasons.) We knew we needed to find food and drink to get us through this evening (Christmas Eve) and all of Christmas Day, as well as the morning of the 26th.  On this island, they take Christmas very seriously, and we’ve learned on previous trips that we cannot count on ANYthing being open on the 25th or 26th.  This is a bigger problem in England than in Scotland, (even the trains and undergrounds and buses don’t run in London on Christmas!), but we figured better safe than sorry!    The house came with the basics, like coffee and tea and sugar and cereal.  And we have stocked up on amazing local cheeses at various places. So, we bought some meat and veggies to prepare for dinner tomorrow. We bought milk and eggs and orange juice and avocados … you know the staples one cannot live without. 😉  And, we bought wine and beer and gin and tonic … you know, the staples one cannot live without.  😉 😉 I also succumbed to a salesperson offering samples of an amazing Irish Creme-like liqueur with a “salted caramel” flavoring!  We should be able to get through the day, watch the queen address her people on TV, and never run out of yummy things.

Our one real distraction from our day’s goal, was also the highlight of the day. As we found ourselves on familiar roads passing familiar places, I voiced a wish, and my husband granted it.  We made the last minute detour to share one of our very favorite places with Roxy and Mandalyn–Lochmaben Castle. Lochmaben is a sweet little burgh near Dumfries and right down the road from Lockerbie, which many folks know of for its unhappy involvement in a 1988 plane crash. Lochmaben Castle is nothing but a ruin of a medieval castle believed to have been the childhood home of Robert the Bruce.  Kyle’s family, the Caruthers, are in Scottish terms, a sept of the Clan Bruce.  So, we have an historical connection to the place.  And, since the very first time we ever happened across it (on our honeymoon) it was so completely by accident and without proper signage, that almost anyone would have to agree that we were simply meant to find it, we also have a very deep emotional connection to it. It sits on the shores of a small lake known as Castle Loch, completely hidden, especially when the trees are in leaf.  It is sadly, greatly diminished even in the twenty years since we first found it, with areas we’ve climbed all over, now fenced off due to unsafe masonry and being allowed to be engulfed by ivy and weeds. But, it is truly beautiful, nonetheless, and will continue to be on our travel plans any time we are near. We walked around for a short bit as the daylight faded, shot some great pictures, and logged this sacred place once again into our memories.

The little detour didn’t prevent us from getting to the house in time, grocery shopping before the stores closed, or even getting to our favorite local for dinner and a pint before retiring back to the house.  And almost immediately upon settling in, we found ourselves enthralled in first a trivia show all about Tudor times (!) and then a lovely little BBC film called The Scandalous Lady W. starring Natalie Dormer.  We recommend it!

The clock tells me it’s after midnight, so I’d better get to bed or Santa will be put out with me!  Happy Christmas to All … and to all A Good Night!

~MB

 

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6
Jan

Kenilworth and Farewell

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

A Tower of Kenilworth Castle

6 January 2009

Epiphany

We need no “epiphany” to tell us that our holiday is ending and it’s time to go home.  There is no describing the feeling of melancholy that accompanies the last day of a trip like this.  There is so much joy in what has gone before, and so much sadness at what can never be.  So much thrill and excitement at the plethora of new experiences and yet there is fear and a sense of dread that such experiences may never come again.    I am so glad that we got to end this trip by visiting a place as special as Kenilworth.

I have marvelous childhood (I was eleven) memories of being here with my family.  Kenilworth is one of those specific places from that childhood trip,that stands out  so clearly in my memory, along with Stonehenge (in the days when you could still walk among the stones and touch them) and Coventry Cathedral (I was in a phase where I was very interested in WWII history, and very moved by its stories), and the beautiful heather-covered hills of the Highlands of Scotland—so clearly it’s like it was a year ago, instead of more than thirty-five!

Why Kenilworth made such an impression on me then, I cannot say.  But, I do know that now, with all my historical research and interest in things Elizabethan—especially the relationships of Elizabeth and her favourites—it certainly means ten times as much now as then.  I was so happy to be there, today, I was giddy!

And, there was snow!  Again, not a lot, but a powdering of snow covered the ground and much of the stonework.  And, because of the cold, and the time of year, in general, we had the place practically to ourselves.  It was a lovely time, and a perfect final sight to see.  My  photo of the day, and the  others that I took there today, are very fun.  It was difficult to pick just one.  I’ll have the others up on Flickr in a day or two.

When we had exhausted all our camera batteries and a little more than our budgeted amount of time, we pointed the car once again toward London.  Less than two hours later, we were pulling into the American Airlines Cargo facility, where Kyle had been asked to  put in an appearance and see if he could fix an issue that had just come up yesterday.   After all—he was already in town!  He only worked a little less than an hour, and once again we were free of commitment.  We secured a hotel room, and endeavored to find some lunch.  Three pubs and a couple of jacket potatoes later, we were sated, and it was time to return the hired car to the folks at Avis.  With that done, we headed back to the hotel again, and learned a valuable lesson:  It is not enough to simply know what bus number you need to take to your destination; it is also important to know which direction you need the bus to be headed!  Eventually, we got back to our hotel, and they corrected a problem with the plumbing in our room, by completely reassigning us a room.  And that done, we headed for our last meal at the Pheasant—a walking distance event!

I am packed now, all ready for departure, except for toiletries and such.  I am reluctant to give up on the day, for I know it is the last.

But, alas, tired wins out, and and sleep must be the answer.

The next time I write for The Daily KRuMB, I will likely once again be back in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.  I will take this moment to thank all of our dear friends and readers who have followed our adventures, put up with our long-winded posts, looked through our photos, and even encouraged us along the way with comments on the  KRuMB.    Those  comments mean so very much to  us, especially while on this trip.  It has added a level of enjoyment to this holiday for us, that we never expected—being able to share our joys and our experiences with you, has been an amazing thing.  Thank you so much,

~MB

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