Friday, July 11, 2008

Pigeons, England and no Skype

Tjep and I have been to the UK. Only for 6 days (incl. the Ferry), too short but so lovely.We returned on the 27th of June but I could not find the time to write about it sooner.

Let me first update you about Pigeon who was too young to eat properly. I fed her until the day we left and then took her to the bird sanctuary “De F├╗gelhelling” in Ureterp – Friesland. I had never been there before and was highly impressed by their skills and equipment to help out birds of all sorts.
We saw baby Owls, a Stork, baby Blackbirds, a Kingfisher, etc. etc. All the people who are helping out in “De F├╗gelhelling” are volunteers. They do a great job and I know financial gifts are very welcome.

There were also many pigeons and our Pigeon soon found a little friend. We left her in good hands.

As always my and now Tjep’s destination, was lovely Yorkshire and we travelled by Ferry from Europoort (NL) to Hull. The weather was lovely and we had a nice and relaxing stay on board with good food, a good bottle of Chablis and great conversations.
When we arrived in Yorkshire the weather was dull but who cares. First we visited my foster Mum and her partner for lots of hugs.
During the afternoon we cleaned the cottage of my foster Brother. The cottage is having a redo and like David said, it was a building site. They tried successfully to squeeze a bath tub in a small bathroom which required "some" work to the old, thick walls. We could use the bath, the toilet but nothing was tiled yet. I have to see it is quite an experience to bathe between bare walls made from the rock where the cottage is built in / on. The room on the first floor was redecorated and I promised David to clean it properly. A good thing to do on a rainy day!

Our first visit on Sunday was to Fountains Abbey. I did not take any pictures because I already took so many over the past years. It was a windy day which developed into a stormy one. It was so ‘bad’ that they closed Fountains Abbey due to falling branches and trees and walking back to our car instead of accepting a ride back by the National Trust, was on our own risk. After the visit, we took an alternative route back home, exploring the surroundings of Kirby Malzard, Grewelthorpe, Ripon, all situated in Nidderdale.

On Monday avoiding this way the tourist traffic, we travelled around the Yorkshire Dales. Glorious weather: sunshine, beautiful clouds, kind people, quiet roads.
I had told Tjep about how special it is to see the shadows of the clouds moving over the hills with bright pastures in between where the sun is shining. That day it could not have been more perfect and of course I took many pictures. The day ended at one of my most favourite spots “Jervaulx Abbey
Ever since I visited it for the very first time back in 1978, I left a little part of my heart there and return as often as possible..
In the meantime Jervaulx got a new owner who is now looking after it well. They also changed an old glasshouse into a lovely tea room where they serve excellent food and drinks.

I had a surprise waiting for Tjep….. the Coat of Arms of Jervaulx is exactly the same of that of Tjep’s family, the Mulier’s. Of course it triggered our fantasy and we now will get in touch with the owner of Jervaulx to learn even more about the history. The Mulier’s origin from France and received their Coat of Arms around 1200, just at the time the Abbey was founded.

Back in Holland we learned that there is another family called “Keppel” who has a similar Coat of Arms (different shell’s) and one of the Keppel’s moved to England around 1850. Now it is getting even more interesting!

On Wednesday we stayed close to home and visited Ripley Castle which is definitely worth a visit.
Besides all the culture things we also did some ordinary shopping in Knaresborough and ate our Fish and Chips overlooking the river.

Thursday was a day of reorganizing the luggage, a last brush through the cottage, visiting Mum and Ian for a farewell hug and back to the Ferry. This time the weather was very, very bad. So much rain!! Driving was a hazardous adventure and we were happy to arrive at the Ferry without any trouble.
Wind kept the ferry wobbling and it was not a surprise that I felt slightly seasick when up and running the next morning. I seem never to have overcome that….

Lovely memories of our first holiday together, translated into again another web album!