Old York, Old York

Welcome again! 

Congrats on getting this far.

You've made the right decision though, for today we're starting our trip to Edinburgh, ye wee lassie. 

Getting up at the crack of dawn (about 9am...) in our Wembley abode, we said farewell to Marla and her family (not without several bags of road trip snacks, oh my lordie) with Bipin who took us to the airport, because he's ridiculously lovely. 

Morning is vairy naice. 



At the airport we said goodbye to Bipin and hello to Lizzie (who saw Johnny Lee Miller walking past how come she's in the country for half an hour and runs into someone famous that's not fair), and went to collect our car, for driving up to the Scottish Isles it is. We don't do this plane/train mumbo jumbo. 
Our hire car is this odd, long, rounded Fiat thing, whom we are calling Sir Toddington, because the entity to take us all around the UK needed the most British name that ever Britished. 

Unfortunately I keep forgetting the exact name and call it Sir Toddleskin instead, but that's a different story. 

Sir Toddleskin Toddington.

Road trip: commence! 

With snacks. #important

Gale is our excellent driver, into whose hands we entrust with our lives. 

You go Gale. 

Seven quick fun facts about road tripping up England:
  1. I always thought measuring and driving systems were on a scale of US to UK, but alas - they drive on the left side of the road like us, but still work in miles? It's odd. 
  2. Speed limits are more guidelines than actual rules. So you know in normal places where the left lanes are if you want to go a bit slower, and the right is where faster people go and usually edge past the slower? Yeah no. Not only is the base speed limit about 70mph (which is like 115km/h so pretty freaking fast anyway), but if you do that limit there are people on your right whizzing like the bloody Flash past you - they've got to be doing at least 100mph - it's bizarre and terrifying.
  3. England, unlike the rest of Europe, doesn't do winter tyres or snow chains and only salts some of the roads, so heaps of black ice fun to be had! 
  4. They are super obsessed with witch's hats around roadworks - there'll be a ditch on the side of the road where they'll be putting in a new pipe or something sURROUNDED BY HUNDREDS OF BRIGHT ORANGE CONES like some public servant intern put an extra 0 on the end when ordering them.
  5. Every now and then the main arterials of the entire country just randomly slow down to almost nothing for no discernible reason whatsoever, giving credence to the stereotype about British traffic
  6. Signs on the side of the road don't just tell you how many miles to the next service station/break stop, they tell you how many McDonald's there are for the next 200 miles. 
  7. England gets really excited about separating itself into quadrants. When driving, you're not going north, you're going to the NORTH. 

Calm down, England. 

At our first break stop, we ate stodgy British fare of pie and mushy peas, while Gale brought it upon herself to steal collect piles of salt, pepper, vinegar and plastic cutlery for reasons yet to be determined. 
And is really excited about it. 


Very late in the pitch black of night (lol jk it was about 4.30pm) we arrived at York, in the north east-ish of the country. 

Had to wait a bit outside our B&B because our host Nicky was not in.

Lizzie displeased with this sequence of events. 

Eventurally Nicky made an appearance - this great jolly old country lady, who was almost as welcoming as she was chatty - I would go into detail about her kidney issues that she told us about at length, but y'know. 

We made it to a pub down the road. 

ALL the sauces. 

Freezing, freezing, fkn freezing. 

Ah, but the next morning was worth it:

After a fabulous full English breakfast handmade by Nicky herself (including a tasting of Black Pudding, which tastes kind of like comforting nothing and is more about mind over bloody matter), we set off for Edinburgh.

Under the impression we were there to see York (which we would've liked to, but time), Nicky spent about 45 minutes in her awesome norther accent going into minute detail about the exact route we should take when touring the city.  

We also learned several other things about York/Nicky from this encounter, including:
  • For over 1,500 years York was the second biggest city in England
  • There's a museum there that houses a 1,000 year old pooh. So pretty sad we missed that one.
  • The phrase 'shit the bed!' (said in the style of, 'bullshit' or 'no way'.)
  • Her opinion on Australian politics ("Abbott - what a tosser" and "The first time I saw a photo of Kevin Rudd was in the paper and it said it was him and his wife, and I was confused because all I saw was two old lesbians.")
In honour of her time and hospitality, we took a quick driving tour through the centre of York. 

The old medieval part is through a gate like this:


Beautiful old building......Subway. Nice work, York. 

Yorkshire countryside. 

We took a quick stop at Alnwick (pronounced 'Anneck', I think, because England doesn't know how letters work in their own bloody language), which was a lovely town, but also exciting because Alnwick Castle was used for exterior shots as Hogwarts. 

I know that's a stretch, but whatever. Excite. 

The Barrow in Alnwick Castle car park??
Unloading Sir Toddington.


Explored the pretty town a bit, armed with take away tea, because England.

Plus hitting the road once more. 


Almost as soon as you drive into Scotland, it becomes all hilly and dramatic landscapes - funny old world. 


But we still haven't reached Edinburgh!

That's for next time, lovely people!

Until then... 

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