We were away pretty much all of last week. On Saturday we travelled by train all the way up to Settle to stay with Philippa’s parents for a few days. We were staying in a B&B called the King William the Fourth Guest House. The Guest House itself was very nice – our room was well equipped and decorated, and very comfortable. We even had a widescreen TV / DVD Player combo! Not that we watched any DVDs, but it was nice to have 🙂
Philippa’s parents were staying in The Folly, which is an old building that’s been converted into a holiday apartment (amongst other things). It’s a very interesting building with a lot of history, and it was a great place to go and stay! Although we didn’t actually sleep there, we spent a lot of time on the settees in the living room (doing a jigsaw, mainly!).
We also spent some time watching the H-U-G-E widescreen TV they had there. Seriously, it was a massive flat panel widescreen TV, which had a nice DVD player hooked up to it. The only thing they hadn’t done was hook the TV up to the rather nice Hi-Fi they also had in the room … but I’d probably better stop talking about the places we stayed and talk a bit about Settle and the Dales.
After arriving on the Saturday we had a fairly lazy evening, and then on the Sunday went to the local parish church. We enjoyed the service, it was quite traditional but they had some modern songs. Then, we embarked upon an 8-mile walk around Settle and the surrounding area. The Dales are beautiful, even if the weather isn’t brilliant, you can see some photos on my Flickr photostream. The walk was beautiful but we were pretty tired by the time we got back, so we spent most of the evening having dinner and then doing a jigsaw (you can see a picture of the completed jigsaw on Flickr as well – it turned out to be quite a hard one!).
On Monday we went out to a nearby town and did another walk starting from there. It wasn’t quite as long this time, but I did manage to get attacked by a horse (to be honest, I think it was just playing – it was quite a young one – but it was still pretty scary at the time). After the walk, we got back to the village and had a look round a rope making place (you could see ropes being made there), which was quite interesting. Then we went back home and had another fairly quiet evening!
On Tuesday we had a quite morning, and then in the afternoon went on a walk around Settle. Although we did get rather wet, it took us up into the hills around Settle and we were able to get some great views.
Unfortunately on Wednesday it was time to leave, so we said our goodbyes and caught the train back to Colchester. It was a very restful time off though!
On Thursday, we caught a flight from Stansted to Frankfurt Hahn in Germany, where we were met by Andy C. He drove us to his place in Trier (in Germany as well, near the Luxembourg border). We spent the evening having dinner and then chatting.
On Friday, we drove with Andy through Luxembourg and into Belgium (three countries in one day!), to the Ardennes region. It was beautiful – very lush and green. We started out on a walk through the valley (Andy was working on a project at a museum there so we had a look round while he was there). Anyway, the walk descended down a valley to the riverside – rather steeply, at times! I did slip on a couple of occasions but we got down safely. Unfortunately, once we were down by the river the heavens opened and the rain came down very heavily!
After waiting under a tree for a while to see if the rain would stop, we decided it would be better to keep on going, finish the walk and get back to the village. So we did, and it was probably a good decision – the rain didn’t stop! We got back up to the village and went into a restaurant / bar called “Point de Vue”. It did have a good view of the valley – unfortunately most of it was covered in mist by this point! I don’t think we were exactly flavour of the month either – we looked rather like drowned rats by this point. Still, we were able to order a cup of tea and some lunch (which was very nice) so it wasn’t all bad.
We still had some of the afternoon to while away, so we wandered up to the museum where Andy C was working and sat down there and read our books until he finished. (The museum wasn’t open yet, so there was plenty of space for us to sit down!)
Once Andy had finished, we drove back to Trier and met up with Rich and Martin, together with Rica – Andy’s fiance – to go for a drink. We had a great evening – drinking lots of German beer (some of us were anyway – plus a Jagermeister!), and playing pool and table football. We stayed out pretty late, and felt pretty tired by the next morning!
Still, it was a fairly easy day. On Saturday we went into Trier and had a German breakfast (very nice). Andy managed to convince me to have a beer with breakfast. Apparently it’s very common in Bavaria (which is a German state that’s nowhere near Trier). It was a nice beer as well, a Weizenbeer, can’t remember the exact brand though. Rich and Martin also joined us for breakfast and stayed around until the afternoon, when they had to catch the train back to where they were staying.
We had a look round some of the sights of Trier – the Porta Nigra, which is the old Roman gate to the city. It’s amazingly well preserved! There are actually quite a few similarities between Trier and Colchester, the Roman history being one of them, but I won’t enumerate the rest of them now…
In the afternoon we chilled out and watched “The Man with the Golden Gun” at Andy’s place. Afterwards, we headed out to a restaurant for dinner – the name of which escapes me. But it was very nice (I had steak, and Phil had schnitzel). [Let it not be said that I never do my research when writing these blog entries…]
On Sunday, we went to All Nations Church, Luxembourg, which is an English-speaking church. We enjoyed the service, and then afterwards headed out to a little village in Germany for lunch (Currywurst, which was delicious). After that it was time to head for home!
We got back safely on Sunday evening and just crashed out for most of it. Although the week was rather tiring, it was a good way of spending the holiday! And there are some photos of both our time in Settle as well as Trier on my Flickr photostream.
This week we’ve just been spending the time at home doing some decorating, which has made a nice change.
I think that’s just about everything for now… sorry it went on so long, but there you go!