Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Lakes! (Part 1)

And now for a blast from the past - the long overdue post(s) about our trip to England's Lakes District last spring!

We stayed in a holiday cottage in the village of Ambleside on the northern tip of Windermere. It's a delightful place!

The view looking roughly north from our cottage on a clear, cool morning. This is a horseshoe formation (and may be called The Horseshoe). That's snow, and we were there in late April! It was about as far from Cabo Verde as possible....

Views from the Windermere to the north and west of Ambleside.

The Romans were here! The Lakes District is such a lovely place that it's been settled for thousands of years. This old Roman garrison at the northern tip of Windermere is evidence of that. The stile protects the site from grazing sheep who live in the field.

Bertie was in his element.

Views around Ambleside. It's a sort of commercial hub, chock-a-block with outdoors stores and outfitters. This is a jumping off point for all the hikers and climbers who come to the Lakes for the peaks. Although the Lakes District is now a site of natural beauty, protected and respected, it used to be a mining and quarrying zone. There are lots of rocks, and lots of building with rocks.

This is a building on a bridge, probably put there for tax evasion purposes hundreds of years ago.

And even though there was snow on the mountains, there were flowers all over town.

Because Ambleside is an established holiday destination for national and international travelers, it has something for everyone. Bertie was delighted with all the activities geared towards people his age!

We played in a nets course, way above the ground! We had to get into burlap sacks to slide down the net tunnels - and even with the help of the burlap, the larger members of the party sometimes got stuck!

Rolling on fitness balls on the elevated nets course. Bertie didn't know what to think!

We did a dragons and fairies scavenger hunt at a local home and garden store.

We jumped on pits at a really lovely children's park.

Ian and Bertie 'fished' in a local stream.

And of course, we threw rocks into the creek!

Beatrix Potter loved the Lakes, and she built a castle just for children. Wray Castle is a short boat ride (romance!!) from Ambleside, and we spent a good long day there.
Wray Castle!

Looking roughly north from the terrace of Wray Castle, back towards Ambleside. It was a beautiful day!

And we had cheese for lunch!

Our first stop was a room with soft but sturdy child-size building blocks. A previous visitor had lost a He-Man sword, and Bertie couldn't believe his luck! We made a toppled castles until the child came back for his sword.

After the disappointment of losing the sword, we found helmets and other swords. We demanded to know Ian's business several times in the castle dress-up room.

We visited Farmer McGregor's garden and got swept into a complicated and long-running vegetable crisis with two little girls who were playing there.

Then we found the mini bowling set. Bertie kind of understood the purpose, but he didn't see any reason not to get full points every time. If the ball doesn't take down all the pins, the belly and arms certainly will!

Then we made a crown, working very hard with the color orange.

And claimed this stump in the name of the Princess!

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