Canal Walk #Leeds

The weather this week has been bleak and miserable but I’m full of energy and wanted to do something on my day off that was a bit more than the usual shopping and cleaning but that wouldn’t break the bank. I decided to go for a walk down the canal. I started at a point that’s quite near my home and set off in the direction of Leeds city centre. It’s not the most scenic route. It’s far nicer walking the other way as you can see on my travel blog (link below). That way if you walk for 127 miles you get to Liverpool on the west coast.

The mile walk to the city centre would have once given you all the mills the city was famous for but now it’s mostly broken up by the train station, hotels and businesses. There’s even now a thriving bar/restaurant section. So not as pretty as the other direction but it was good to get out of the house, blow away some mental cobwebs and get a bit of exercise.

Canal Walk Leeds to Kirkstall

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Mystery Weekend #Bakewell #Buxton #Chester

I’ve done lots of day trips with coach companies but last month I decided to have a go at one of their overnight mystery tours. You have no idea where you are going until you get there. For me, who doesn’t mind not having a plan, I really enjoyed it and looked forward to where we could end up next and guessing what the towns could be.

In this instance we first went to Bakewell; home of the Bakewell tart. I’ve been before but only for about 90 minutes at night last December for a Xmas lights switch on. Lots more to see when there’s actually daylight! And it turned out to be a lovely little town. That was followed by the spa town of Buxton, a new place for me to go and I absolutely loved it. Finally a trip through the Peak District to get to our hotel for the evening. I loved this the most even though I spend it stuck on a coach. There’s something about our rolling hills (Peaks, Dales, Penines and more) that just makes me love the country I live in. It’s easy to forget how beautiful it is sometimes

The second day took us to Chester. That makes three times in the last 5 years for me going there so it’s beginning to lose it’s charm I think but it’s still a wonderful place to visit and would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been. Not too many photo’s on this trip. I enjoyed more just getting away from everything and relaxing

Canal Walk #Leeds

In my efforts to get fit (which haven’t amounted to very much so far) I bought a pair of walking boots and decided to give them an airing with a walk down my local canal. Somewhere in an earlier blog is another part of the canal (Rodley to Apperley Bridge). This time I decided to walk the other way and if I kept on walking the rest of the 170 miles I would have arrived in Liverpool!

Holiday curse

I’ve just been on holiday with my best friend for the first time. We were meant to travel for an afternoon in Amsterdam using the ferry as our hotel room. The week before I got an email cancelling the trip as the travel company had forgotten to book the ferry part of the holiday! A bit of finangling later we managed to book a trip to Edinburgh instead but I figured it was probably time to tell my friend about my holiday course.

Yes I have a bit of a curse. Of the many holidays I’ve been on many of them have had some kind of trauma before or during. Here’s a few of them:
•After booking my first ever holiday abroad the very next day 9/11 happened. At the time I thought it was something very horrible but didn’t have an impact on my trip. Except when it came to flying to America the restrictions and actions of airport security only a few months after the event was terrifying. I’d booked a week in San Francisco followed by a week in Anaheim. Except I’d forgotten to book the bit where you have to travel between the two. Turns out just because a 600 mile trip in England is fairly easy on public transport, it’s less so by Amtrak. My train trip included 2 buses and a walk through a field.
•The next year we went to San Diego. The trip itself wasn’t horrible…well except for my son developing a severe gastric infection and the plan being re-routed from the stop-over in LA to San Francisco because of yet another terror threat
•So then we went to Paris….and the roof of Charles De Gaulle airport collapsed the day before we set off
•I’ve been to Orlando and got stuck in 2 tornados, a hurricane, lost all my credit cards (reporting them lost then finding them down the dies of the bed…) and then almost involved in a collision when our plane landed in the Atlanta stop over before having to do an emergency take off straight away as someone and I quote ‘had left a plane on the runway’.
•I went to Barcelona for my 40th birthday and the airline lost my luggage. Everybody’s suitcase but mine came trundling out. Sighing deeply I went off to report it in my broken Spanish to the official who only spoke broken English. The friend I was with mentioned I was really calm. I mentioned the above list. She mentioned never coming on holiday with me again. Whilst trying to communicate in 2 languages the suitcase roundabout suddenly started up again and out came my case all on it’s own. I still to this day have no idea where it had been.
•Day trip to Brussels – the driver got lost and I end up with just 90 minutes in the city
•Went to Germany using the ferry and went through the worst storm on the English Channel in years
•And then I booked Amsterdam as above….

The funny thing is I’m sure I’ve missed a few events off. I find it amusing. I suffer from sever anxiety but have had so many trips with these little issues that travel is one of the few things that never set off a panic attack. It’s probably when I’m at my most serene.

So anyone fancy a trip????

Stratford

Last week I spent the day in Stratford; birthplace of Shakespeare. One of my customers at work had recently moved away from the area saying he couldn’t cope with all the tourists and despite being a tourist myself I kind of saw what he meant. Everywhere I turned were groups of students (all foreign languages) and at one point when I wandered into a church from a break from them (I get anxious when it’s too crowded) I ended up avoiding 83 Americans each one with his own Dr Seuss Thing numbered shirt. Definitely off putting when you are on your own. I couldn’t get into a couple of places such as Shakespeare’s birth place as the crowds were just too long. Thankfully it was a lot quieter at Anne Hathaway’s House and I got to spend some time in the garden enjoying some peace and quiet. I wouldn’t say it put me off but if I went again I would definitely avoid the summer school holidays!

EuroDisney (Nov) 2016

I wrote a blog on this page a year ago saying I’d been stuck in too long and needed to start getting out and about again. Then barely did anything. I’ve written on one of my other sites about having money problems and learning to budget and so with those lessons learnt I am going to try again and get out more 🙂

To start with by the end of the month I should have booked a short trip away to EuroDisney for November. My son is grown up and my friend doesn’t have kids so it’s a grown up having fun event and a pre-cursor to hopefully going to Orlando in 2020.

I’ve actually been a few times. One of the things on my bucket list is to see all the Disney parks in the world (I’m just a big kid at heart). So far I’ve been to Paris, California and Orlando. At the time of writing that leaves Hong Kong & Tokyo still to do. I’d have to do a lot more budgeting and saving up to reach those so they are on my ‘Someday’ list.

I’m still to this not sure how I managed to go to some kind of Disney park yearly but while my son was growing up for nine years in a row I did it. Despite being a single parent I saved up and we got to go to one of them every year. At the minute I can’t seem to get from one month to the next without running out of money. If I could go back in time I’d pay attention to how I actually managed to budget so well 🙂

I don’t care if you’re 4 or 44 there is something for everyone at these parks. I happily buy into all the shmaltz and cheese. I love the rides. I love the kids faces when they meet characters. I’m not so keen on how every other food stall is a McDonalds but you can’t have everything!

If I can be really well behaved I am thinking of either a mini-trip to Amsterdam or Edinburgh mid-way through the year but I really will have to get in control and save properly to manage both. But we’ll see. I’ve been doing my de-cluttering. I’ve sold some old books and DVDs on a cashback website. I’ve put some other bits on local Facebook selling pages. Every little helps when you’re holidaying on a budget.

Fingers crossed now I can keep this page more updated and get to see some wonderful sights in the coming future 🙂

Cologne and Dusseldorf Germany

I haven’t been able to get out and about much recently but at the end of last month I managed to finally get away with a National Holidays Xmas markets trip to Germany.

The trip involves a days travel each way and two days of sightseeing and Xmas shopping. In light of recent terrorist events security was at a maximum crossing the Channel but the coach operators handled it well and in the end depsite an extra wait that part of the jorney was smooth. Coming back not so fun as we got caught up in the storms that had been raveging England and moved onto the Continent. Our return ferry crossed on some of the worst choppy seas I’ve encountered. We had actually missed our designated ferry due to border control. A blessing as it turned out as the original one got blown of course and eventually landed two hours after our later one!

Dusseldorf we found to be nice and pleasant but quite small. We probably didn’t need to spend as long as was planned there. Cologne has much more to see and do as it’s quite a big city. We were told that many of the buildings were bombed during the war which was probably why everything looked like it had been built in the 1970’s.

Our end conclusion was that as nice as the towns were once you’ve been to one Xmas market you’ve probably seen them all. Each one sold pretty much the same things as you could get back home in Leeds (although possibly a bit cheaper). Overall though we had a fab time and would highly recommend it

Quiet retreat to Glastonbury

Has had a lovely few days in Glastonbury. It was a lot smaller than I expected. I think I saw it as being quite a big town however on arrival the main part of town was no nigger than a high street similar in size to one of the suburbs near me in Leeds. This just added to the charm for me though. It’s a charming little place and there is a lovely calm atmosphere.

I’ve also never met such a bunch of friendly people but had to laugh at the lack of taxis. We are so lucky in Leeds and big cities to have such a huge service with lots of cars while they have maybe 3 in total taxis all operated by seperate self employed people. And despite advertising themselves as 24 hour services they stop working once the pubs have shut and won’t do a pick up at 6.15 because “its far too early” lol.

Loved the peace & quite so much that on an afternoon trip to Wells city we found it too busy and it wasn’t a particularly busy place. Re-inforces my feelings that I need to move out of Leeds even if just to a nearby town. The peace & quiet also allowed me to have a proper think about future ideas and come up with some kind of plan for my own life and how I want it to go. 

We were there for three days and went to see the Abbey which includes the Holy Thorn tree said to have been planted by Jospeph of Arimathea on arrival from Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. Cuttings from this tree have been re-planted in several other towns. We also had some quiet meditation time at the Chalice Gardens complete with paddle in some healing waters and went to Wells city to see their cathedral. Here are a few pictures.

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