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The Boarder Abbey Ruins

Today we ventured out in our rental car and visited the “borders,” the area on the border of Scotland and England.  We were there to visit some of the abbeys from the 1100-1400’s that sprung up there over time.  These were some amazing abbeys that held hundreds of monks. The border areas have a bunch of ruined churches and abbeys …

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Edinburgh art, parks, and cathedrals

After the castle in the morning we hit several other sights in town. We went to the Scottish National Gallery. They had a nice medium sized collection of Italian, Scottish and impressionist paintings. We saw several more Monets, Van Goghs and Rembrandt. Had fun in the gift shop and got another Monet magnet! The Princess street gardens were just outside …

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Edinburgh Castle – home of the honors…

Edinburgh Castle is at one end of the downtown area of Edinburgh, the uphill side, as the castle sits on the top of the hill with sweeping views of the city below. it’s a great place to build a castle. However, because it is a downtown castle, everyone wants to visit. We should have bought tickets in advance, as the …

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Old York, Old York…

Spent the day in York after a night by the river Ouse (in a hotel, not camping or anything crazy.)  York is quite the party town (for a medieval place) as a couple of places across the river were going well past 4am. We did a fair amount of walking around York over our two days.  There is a ton …

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The Birds of St. James Park

  Today was another low key day. The sun was out and we decided to have a picnic in St. James Park, right next to Buckingham Palace. Afterward, K scored himself a gooey nutella waffle treat. I was surprised by the variety of common birds in the park. Of course Jake was there in his leafy perch to great the …

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A lazy walk about town

After several days of train trips we slept in today and had a gentle walk about London. We started at Covent Garden for a very late breakfast in the sunken courtyard with the same buskers, a quartet and female opera singer we remember from our last visit to London. We mooched around the shops briefly and walked up embankment park …

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Sunday lunch with the clan

On Sunday we traveled north to the Luton/Dunstable area to visit J’s aunts and uncle, Pauline, Karen, and Jullian for Sunday lunch. They were very kind to pick us up at the station, Pauline having driven all the way from Wales to see us. Jullian and Karen had just the week before moved house and with kindness and good humor …

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Blenheim Palace

On Saturday we took the train west to visit J’s uncle Mark in Reading. He was very kind to wait for us at the train station and pick us up in his car (after some confused wandering around the station by us) and drove us about a half hour out of town towards Woodstock. There we visited one of his …

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Halls of stuff…

Friday we stayed in London and spent the morning in the Tate Britain, an art gallery of British works. They had a huge collection of William Turner paintings (think sweeping navel battles with a bright setting sun) and a few other well know pieces like Ophelia. Then we were off to K’s favorite spot, the Victoria and Albert museum, the …