Saturday, 15 October 2016

Summer Holiday - The last days

August 4 – Pickering 

The last few days seemed to rush by and for the last of them here, we simply walked around Pickering once more.

Walking down the alleyway on our way back from the shops, I suddenly saw a railway engine go past along the road. It must have been going to the NYMR rail yard to be added to their collection and by the time my camera was ready it was obvious it was on the back of a lorry and not going along by itself. This reminded me of the old movie The Titfield Thunderbolt, which I loved as a boy.

 In the movie, a couple of drunks attempt to steal a railway engine and manage to drive it off the end of the tracks and it carries on straight through the centre of the town before it crashes, much to the amazement of the local copper who cannot believe his eyes.

 If you look closely at the still from the movie, you can see the lorry wheels behind the train wheels, but in the movie it is hard to see as it rushes past.

Apart from that and a great view of the real trains in Pickering, we spent a lot of the day packing up ready to leave.

 August 5 - Leeds and Liverpool 

The next and last day, whilst the Cumbrian members of the family said their farewells and headed back to their home, we drove our two cars back across the Pennines to Liverpool Airport taking the US contingent. 

 On the way we stopped off in Leeds and visited another football stadium, this time for TS, who happens to be a Leeds fan. There we were able to take some pictures of him outside the grounds and we then went into the store to look at the merchandising that football fans desire. 

 After a browse and some purchases, we then went for lunch in Billy’s Bar, the Leeds ground restaurant.  Whilst we were there, one of the staff let us into the VIP stand and we were able to take a few pictures and look at the stadium.

Finally we returned to the hotel at the John Lennon Airport and booked in for the night. 

 We still had some time to kill, so we took a taxi to visit Liverpool One, the big shopping mall in the centre of Liverpool. After a preamble around the shops, including all the easily located sports ware and book shops, we decided to return to the hotel and started to look for a taxi rank but could not find one. On a small map we had it showed there was one near the docks, so we made our way there only to find the map was wrong. 

Still looking for the taxi rank, we came right down to the Albert Docks but had no time to explore further. What we saw suggests another trip is in order at another time.
We then made our way back into the shopping area and hailed a cab which took us back to the hotel. 

On the way I managed to snap the Anglican Cathedral, but we did not see the other one with the glass roof.

That evening we had our last meal of the holiday in the hotel and then made our way to our rooms for the night. We needed to get to bed early, because the flight was early enough to require that we arose around 5.00am in order to make quite sure we were there in time. 
Next morning, groggy and irritable we had breakfast and made our way to the airport departures lounge, only to find that the connecting flight had been cancelled. A harassed official told us that a taxi was waiting to take passengers to Manchester where they could catch another connecting flight to take them to Dublin. So after some brief farewells, they were driven off. We then headed home, negotiating the considerable roadworks between us and the M6. 

So that was the end of our holiday, but not everything finished there. The trip home for the US contingent did not go well. On arriving at Manchester they arrived too late for the connecting flight they were supposed to catch and had to reschedule. This eventually got them home several hours later than planned and so they had less time to un-jet lag before the normal routine of life began once more.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Summer Holiday - Day twelve

August 3 – Scarborough 

This Wednesday we took the two cars and drove off to Scarborough. As before one car went to the mobility centre whilst the other drove to the Park and Ride. Although we missed the first bus, we were able to quickly meet up in Scarborough.

It is a long time since I last went to Scarborough.  It must have been when I was around six and is so long ago that I have forgotten everything about it apart from there being a cliff tramway. I think this was the very first time I ever saw one and I remember being entranced by a train, as I thought of it, going up a steep hill. My father explained that it worked by filling and emptying water tanks under each carriage to make the heaviest one pull the other up as it went down and I have been impressed by the simplicity of the idea ever since.

Scarborough has a moderately high sloping cliff and some grand old Victorian hotels overlooking the sea from the top of the cliff.

You can get down to the beach via a whole series of paths and steps or by riding the cliff tramway.

 On the beach level were all the traditional seaside activities, from amusement arcades to donkey rides.

 Towering over the sea front is Scarborough Castle, which is a steep climb from the beach level. We did not climb up to visit the castle but walked around the harbour and the sea front until lunch time when we found a cafe and had a meal.
This sign was being unfair.  The red and yellow flags were planted in the sand and it would be very difficult to follow these instructions to the letter since swimming in sand is not at all easy.
Out at sea was the, nowadays inevitable, pirate ship giving trips around the bay

I did find the old Skylark, but it was providing fishing trips, not doing trips around the bay as of yore.

After some more ambling taking in the sights of the seaside, we returned to the town centre, some of us less enthusiastic about climbing the cliff path, via the cliff tramway.

Going up.
Along the top of the cliff, everywhere you looked on almost every tall building, there were seagull nests.  I do not recall seeing so many at any other seaside resort and they have spoiled a lot of otherwise attractive old buildings.

And talking of birds, I do like the oddball solicitor's names you find around various towns. This one was in the town centre shopping area.  In the town centre we did some shopping and then left for home. 

On the way home, we took a less direct route and went via Whitby and then across the North Yorkshire Moors.

In the wide open moorland, you can see RAF Fylingdale from a long way around.  Originally built to provide early warning of Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) during the Cold War era, it continues to serve a similar purpose plus the more up to date task of tracking satellite launches.  

On the way through we stopped to admire the view and take some photos.  Where we stopped we could see the track of the NYMR railway running through a shallow valley, where you can also see Fylingdale from the train. I was hoping we might have seen a train to get some photos but we were a bit too early and would have had to wait a considerable time to catch it passing by.