02 September 2010

England Vacation Part 7

Wednesday, September 1

6:45 and the coffee's on. A quick breakfast and on the road North.

We headed up to Alnwick (pronounced Anik, you ignore every second letter) to see the castle where many parts of Harry Potter 1 and 2 were filmed as well as numerous other films including Elizabeth and Robin Hood Prince of Theives. ...In my opinion, I thought Kevin Costner's English accent was bang on.

The town of Alnwick is beautiful, as are most old English towns, the market place was on two winding roads that were intersected by another road forming a nice triangle shaped plaza.

Again, no wifi, not until the pubs open that is. We went over to the castle and started to explore. The tour guide took us through the castle exterior and explained many of the scenes from Harry Potter and how they filmed them. The castle itself and Haggreds house are very recognizable and there are still some remains from the film crew like metal hangers for torches that could not be removed from the arrow slits.

We visited the poison garden, a collection of all plants poisonous including the extremely dangerous and dreaded cannabis plant. But seriously, there were some pretty nasty little flowers to see. Someone asked if the Angel's Trumpet flower was traceable if used to poison a person. I think everyone was thinking the same thing... wondering if that little brat in the tour would like a cup of tea. The answer was yes, most all of the poisonous plants can be traced.

The interior of the 700 year old castle was gorgeous, quite typical by castle standards, silk wall coverings, framed masterpieces, massive libraries, beautifully painted ceilings and stuffed family pets. That's right, the nut jobs that live in the castle, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland felt it necessary to call the taxidermist each time their dog died and proudly display it in the castle.

After Alnwick, we went to Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. Which is only an island part of the time. When the tide goes out, it's attached by a narrow road and a large sandy plain, when the tide comes in, it's a full fledged island... that you can wade through the water to.

At the top of the island is a fortified castle that is likely a thousand years old - it't a really neat spot and the kids enjoyed combing the beach for shells and mussels. The narrow road on the way out of the island was demonstrated when my daughter spilled her drink and I veered off the road for a few meters, luckily it was just sand where we went off and not the rocky bit a few meters before.

We got back onto the motorway and headed north, to Scotland. The kids were pretty excited about visiting the wee country north of England. We stopped at a town called Burntmouth to have dinner. Yeah, that's what I thought. We found a great place to eat, it was called the First and Last Pub and the proprietors (the people filling in for the actual proprietors) were very friendly and were from Inverness. They thought it was neat that we lived in Prestwick a community in McKenzie Towne, along with Inverness and Elgin - all cities in Scotland.

The drive back was only 80 miles, but it was getting dark and it was a long, long day. Our arrival at Stinkholes, er I mean Foxholes was greeted with the strong smell of fermenting animal carcass or something less sweet. The accommodations are nice, but it smells like hell. We can't even open the windows, luckily it does not permeate the interior of the dwelling.


Blogger thepoisongarden said...

Glad you're enjoying your visit.

'Is there anything undetectable?' is more of a FTQ than a FAQ. Most people think it but they are often shy to ask it.

I hope the weather holds for the rest of your time.

9/02/2010 11:01:00 AM  

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