15 September, 2016

Yorkshire Dales

So once again I find myself behind on posting.  Outside of the hotel, the signal is a bit iffy so I end up doing more than one post back to back.  So this was another Mountain Goat tour.  This time we headed east to the Yorkshire Dales.  For those who follow me on Facebook, you know as I mentioned there that the weather yesterday was odd.  It was a beautiful day when we set out and just as lovely when we returned.  But somewhere, up on top of the mountains, we drove into another world.  More on that later.  First off... we stopped in Sedbergh.  A little town apparently known for it's book shops.  Though I didn't really have time to explore any on this tour.

Please note that the streamers/bunting are shaped like sheep!!

So these are antique spinning bobbins for sale in a store.  Have to appreciate the man on the street who told us they were "spud smashers."  Northern humor?
Then we drove into the town of Kirkby Stephen.  Mostly known as a market town.  You can see below the grand facade of the market which faced the square.  The local church (or one of them) is behind it.

I also loved the fact that at least one of the local buses is a vintage double decker.

view into the churchyard.

We continued our perfect drive into the mountains.
driving through the dales.

Higher and higher we went... until we were literally in a cloud.  Yep a cloud was hanging out on the top of the dales.  So thick we could hardly see five feet in front of the van.

It was beautiful and eerie.  Had I not been on tour with a few other people, I would have half expected to be transported to another world.   Instead, I was taken to the highest pub.  It's definitely an odd place, but charming and cozy too.

Pickled cell phones anyone?

For my Yorkshire friends.

After a quick stop, we pressed on.  Time for another charming village.  This time cloaked in fog.

The sun kept trying to break through, but apparently the ground is too wet and the air is too warm.

Next we stopped in Reeth.  Again... a charming town surrounded by fog.  I had a delicious steak and ale pie at the Black Bull inn.  :-)

Back into the mist we went.  Our next stop, a castle that should make any GoT fan quake...

Bolton Castle!  Well clearly it doesn't really have anything to do with GoT, but I got a kick out of the name.

Actually it seemed like a pretty cool ruin.  I was disappointed we didn't have time to do more than look at the outside and through the gates.  Maybe I'll try to make it back there this weekend.  One cool thing is that when you look at this last picture and see glass windows... there is a family that lives in the castle.  How crazy is that?  They live  surrounded by this ruin.  Oh and I suppose I should mention for my historical buffs... Mary Queen of Scots was held captive here in this castle for a little bit.

Next we went to visit what our guide kept calling pot holes.  Actually they're also called the Butter Tubs... neither of which sounded very interesting so I expected to be less than impressed.  Far from it.  The Butter Tubs are deep holes that have opened up to the surface.  They aren't sink holes, but since the whole mountain is laced with caves, they're most likely caves that collapsed ages ago.  Whatever caused them, they're fantastic.  They get their name because farmers used them as natural refrigerators.  And here they are, just hanging out on the side of the road.

Back on the bus we still managed to drive through more interesting landscapes.  And finally find our way back out of the fog.

The last stop on our trip was this amazing view of a railway viaduct.  It's not ancient, but it was a feat of engineering and a beautiful sight.

To end the day, I'll leave you with this stunning sunset I captured from the windows of the hotel.

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