Thursday, January 26, 2012

Summer Tales ~ Edinburgh - Lake District - Birmingham


Today we bade farewell to Scotland and continued our journey back to London. Like our journey up north where we spent a night in Manchester, we spent a night in Birmingham for our journey down south.

We left Edinburgh at about 9.00 a.m. and took pictures of other tourists attractions around Edinburgh. There's so many that I wanted to go to but realistically, travelling with children, we were short of time so I guess it was suffice that we got to take pictures. Overall, I was just mesmerized with the ancient building facades amidst a city.

Palace of Holyrood House

Souvenir shop

Our next destination was Lake District. I wanted to go to Lake District because of Beatrix Potter and because many famous English writers/poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge  actually stayed there and was inspired. Everyone we asked said that we HAVE to go to Lake District to experience the beauty of nature. On our way to Lake District, I requested that we stopped by Rosslyn Chapel, which gained its popularity in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

"Rosslyn Chapel - often called the Cathedral of Codes - stands seven miles south of Edinburgh, Scotland, on the site of an ancient Mithraic temple. Built by the Knights Templar in 1446, the chapel is engraved with mind-boggling array of symbols from the Jewish, Christian, Egyptian, Masonic and pagan traditions.
The chapel's geographic coordinates fall precisely on the north-south meridian that runs through Glastonbury. This longitudinal Rose Line is the traditional marker of King Arthur's Isle of Avalon and is considered the central pillar of Britain's sacred geometry. It is from this hallowed Rose Line than Rosslyn - originally spelled Roslin - takes its name." ~from Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

Renovations at Rosslyn Chapel

I must have felt the same excitement as Robert Langdon upon reaching it. Unfortunately, it was undergoing massive renovations so I only get to take picture from afar. Throughout the journey, we saw some magnificent landscape and we as usual take pictures of fields with cows, horses and sheeps *jakun*. We reached Lake District National Park at about 1 p.m. and dark clouds were visible. We were praying for a rain-less day as most of the activity around Lake District are outdoor activities. With regards to the place, I think no words nor any of the pictures will do justice to the beauty of Lake District. It's just so beautiful..Rafiq said that he'd never imagined such place existed. No wonder all the writers and poets lived there!  

Cows and sheep melepak

Since I cannot put in words how the magnificent beauty of Lake District took my breath away, I shall make reference to Wordsworth famous poem "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud", which I will post in my next entry. As a background, the inspiration for the poem came from a walk Wordsworth took with his sister Dorothy, around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the Lake District.

"When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park, we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.

I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.

This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway. We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea."  Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal , Thursday, 15 April 1802

Our first stop at Lake District was the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. It is the only official Peter Rabbit attraction in Lake District which showcased the life and work of Beatrix Potter. What was funny was the fact that Rafiq thought that there was a connection between Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter. When I mentioned that she wrote Peter Rabbit stories, he went, "Ahhhh.." I also told him that one of the reasons I wanted to name our daughter Jemima was because of Beatrix Potter's character, Jemima Puddle-duck. Although there were six parts of the attraction, we had to do a 'touch & go' visit because we were running out of time. After taking some photographs, we had lunch at the Beatrix Potter Tea Room. We had sandwiches and a lovely pumpkin soup surrounded by Beatrix Potter's drawings painted on the furniture.

With Miss Potter and her characters

Next on the agenda was the lake cruise. Since there are many beautiful lakes around lake district, the cruises ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours covering famous lakes like Windermere, Ullswater and Grasmere. On our way there, we saw a signboard leading to one of the waterfalls in Lake District called Aira Force Waterfall. We had to take the 45 minutes cruise as time wasn't on our side. We truly enjoyed the scenery and natural landscape and thought how lucky it was for those people residing around lake District. It was surreal!! Agung sungguh ciptaan Allah!

Best nyer kalau tu rumah kita..hehe

After the cruise, we let the kids run around the park while we sat on the grass admiring the beauty of the place. We bumped into other visitors who told us how lucky we were to have such a beautiful weather when it has been raining non-stop 3 days earlier. Alhamdulillah.

This is life!

We wished we could stay in Lake District forever but we had to make our way to Birmingham as we had promised my friend Ayu that we would stop by for dinner. Ayu is my SMDU friend whom I haven't seen since she got married in 2005. Actually I totally forgot that she was studying in Birmingham until another friend, Cheq, mentioned it. If not, it would be lovely to spend the night at her house and catch up. But I found out on Ayu's whereabouts after I booked a hotel in Birmingham. Anyways, we arrived at Ayu's house in Selly Oak at about 8.00 p.m. Ayu served us with a lovely beriyani meal and a tiramisu dessert. It was nice to see her because when we were in school, we were so close. She used to lepak a lot at my house while waiting for her father to pick her up. It was then that I realised how I truly missed her. We filled in the gaps about what's happening in our lives whilst our kids played. We left her house at about 10 p.m. and upon reaching Travelodge, there was nothing else to do but sleep.


No comments: