Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Soaking wet!

But we enjoyed our day anyhow! The sun was trying to peak through yesterday morning, so we changed our schedule a bit and decided to walk to the ruins at Kirkstall Abbey. I love castles and ruins and there are quite a few of them surrounding the Leeds area here in West Yorkshire.

The main section of Kirkstall Abbey was built by the Cistercian monks between 1152 and 1182, but several parts were added on to it over the next 200 years. They believe the buildings were last used in 1539, and the site fell into disrepair. (Hm. Some kind of a formatting problem today. No time to fix it now!)


The trail to the Abbey was very muddy.

And the river was nearing overflow levels!

But mama swan and her babies didn't seem to mind the wet weather.

The ruins of Kirstall Abbey




From there, we wanted to visit the villages of Otley and Ilkley. There is no train service to Otley, so we used our West Yorkshire Metro Day Rover passes and took the number 33A bus directly from the stand outside of Kirkstall Abbey. Our main priority was to visit Chevin County Park which is just on the outskirts of the village of Otley.

When we made it to Otley, we stopped in the visitors center and library and got a map of the town and used their internet for a bit. By now, the time was getting on to 2:00pm and we hadn’t had any lunch yet. Several people have told us that Wetherspoons pubs have some good food deals, so we stopped in there for lunch and a cold drink. It was busy, but we did get a table for two. We’ve learned the procedure in pubs now! You normally go to the bar to place your food order, and pick up your drinks at the same time, then pay, then go sit down. Then your meal is brought to you when it’s ready. There is not normally any tipping involved with getting lunch in a pub, and the price on the menus is the price you pay…any taxes are already included in the prices that you see advertised. We had a “two meals for one price” special of ham and eggs and chips at £6.49 ($10.71) plus a pint of beer for me and a half pint of cider for Ruth. Total bill was £9.23 ($15.23) .

The pub where we had lunch.

During our meal, it started to rain fairly hard and the pub got quite full. When we were done, there was a break in the rain and we headed across the street to a major grocery store just to wander around and wait out the rain. Sure enough, a few minutes later it stopped and we headed out to hike up the hill in Chevin County Park. We had been told of a beautiful view at the park, and yes, it was uphill every step of the way to get to that view! But half way up it started raining again!

Ruth, going up the public foot path on the right.

And up.

And up!

To a beautiful view of the town of Otley!

It was 5:00pm by the time we climbed back down to Otley, and we were soaked! But we enjoyed the hike and we were wearing clothes that dry fairly quickly. We thought about skipping the village of Ilkley, but if we did we would probably never make it there again. Besides, it doesn’t get dark until after 9:00pm, so we decided to carry on. First though, we stopped in at that grocery store to pick up a few items we needed for lunches today. As we were entering the grocery store, Ruth spotted a £10 note lying on the ground! That’s $16.50! Some of you will remember when we found money while out for a walk near Valle de Bravo in Mexico this spring. How lucky is that?!

There are a couple of different buses that go from Otley to Ilkley. We used our Day Rover passes again and it was about a 15 minute ride. The driver was fast! He dropped us off at the Ilkley train station and we figured out the schedule to get back to Leeds on the train. That gave us only an hour or so to wander around. We headed up a hill for a bit of a view and then back to the downtown area. Ilkley seems a little more affluent than Otley, but we think we liked Otley better for some reason. Oh, one funny thing we noticed was that the Wetherspoons pub in Ilkley had the same menu as the one in Otley, but it’s prices were higher! Is that because it’s in a more affluent area? Strange.

The town of Ilkley

Lots of rain caused a bit of a river on the footpath!

Ilkley

Ilkley

And then we took the train back to Leeds. It was a 25 minute ride from Ilkley, and then we had to switch trains in Leeds to get to Burley Park area. These Day Rover passes are definitley the most versatile way to see the area, and especially for families!

Today, we’re off to do some family history research. I have a great-great grandfather buried in Outwood Cemetery near Wakefield, so that’s the first stop. And then into Wakefield itself to do some more exploring!

18 comments:

  1. You finally got rained on in Britain, but still had a great time, thanks for sharing.

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  2. Interesting area. My Dad was born in Hull. There are still some relatives there but I don't really know them, just their names.

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    1. Kevin's Mom's cousin lives in Hull. If we would have had more time in this area we would have made it out there.

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  3. Glad to hear the rain didn't last all day and you got to do the hike.

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  4. Not a bad day with found money that paid for your lunch.

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  5. At least you have a view once you climbed up that hill, not clouded it and a 'free' lunch. Well done! I won a case of wine the other day from a Mazatlan online contest:)

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    1. It was rather misty/rainy when we got to the top, but by the time we walked a bit at the top and were about to head down it cleared just enough for the header picture.

      Well done on the case of wine. That is our kind of prize.

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  6. In parts of the area where you are staying there's been a months worth of rain in a day or so. The Olympic Torch route (in Leeds today) has been blamed for the rain as well as the usual climate change etc.
    If in Wakefield see the Hepworth Museum which is a beautiful building housing Barbara Hepworths sculptures.

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    1. Yes, a gentleman in the cemetery was telling us about all the rain in the last month to this area. The rivers are really swollen and the fields very wet.

      You will see by our blog post for today (June 25) that we did in fact go to the Hepworth Museum. It is a beautiful new building and we enjoyed a few pieces of art there but art musuems/galleries aren't really our thing.

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  7. I like the idea of eating in a pub. It's just so British and makes one feel British!! But I've been told British pubs sell warm beer. Was your beer "cold?" By the way, where are you and Ruth staying in Leeds/Burley Park?

    Dee
    (in South Carolina)

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  8. butterbean carpenterJune 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Howdy R&K,
    Thanks, Kevin for the country views with uptilted nose!! Y'all finally found some English weather; sometimes it rains in Mexico!!
    Trains and buses and hiking, Oh my!!! We're really enjoying this whole trip!!Huzzah!!!

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  9. We just love the English pubs, can't decide if it's the food or the atmosphere. So many pubs, so little time...

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  10. I love all the footpaths in every town in England. They are so much nicer about allowing walkers on private property but then maybe their people are much nicer walkers and less trashy than we.

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    1. I don't know what it is either but yes, it is lovely having access to all the footpaths all over the area. We don't quite understand why we aren't able to this back in Canada and United States, maybe it has to do with all the legal issues and people are afraid they will be sued if someone is hurt on their property.

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  11. wow what a trip of a lifetime you two are having..stay safe..

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  12. We'll gladly take some of that rain here in Colorado... forest fires are ravaging our state. It's dry as toast, humidity 5 to 10 percent. I used to hate rain, not anymore, tho.
    Keep having fun, guys.
    mark

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    1. We would happily send some rain over to you if we could.

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  13. What a great day out. Lots of walking and sightseeing and of course the rain. Great photos of the villages!

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