From Edinburgh we drove to Newcastle-upon-Tyne where I used McDonald’s’ wifi to book us into the nearby Holiday Inn Express, which was sheer luxury in comparison to the previous night’s accommodation. It was on the outskirts of town so we went for a drive in the evening to find somewhere to have dinner.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast which was included in the tariff, we got the very friendly, helpful staff at Reception to print out our boarding passes for our upcoming flight back to Dublin. We were flying Ryanair. With them you have to provide your own boarding pass, or pay something like €50 per person for them to do it at the airport. Your boarding pass can only be accessed within four days of departure an,d if you are not on a European passport, has to be in hard copy not electronic format. So it’s no easy feat producing one when you’re on the road without a printer in your backpack! I have noticed printers for public use in some airports but there’s no guarantee that it will be operational if you’re lucky enough to find one.
The rest of the morning was spent visiting the ancient South Shields’ ruins of the Arbeia Roman Fort. Parts of the site have been reconstructed to provide an insight to fort life at the time, around AD160 to 275.
Hadrian’s Wall was next on our list of ancient locations.
We got to York in plenty of time to have a walk on the city wall and around the old town including the Shambles and various churches and ancient buildings.
We tried Nepalese cuisine for the first time at TAAS restaurant where the staff were so attentive and friendly I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish the huge meal they’d served me.
Next morning we went for a walk to the River Ouse and around part of the town we hadn’t been to the night before. Saw some interesting wildlife.
On our way from York to my cousin’s place in Skelmeresdale, Liverpool, we visited more ruins: Sawley Abbey – a Cistercian abbey founded in the 10th century and the Roman baths at Ribchester.
It was a relatively short drive from Ribchester to Skelmeresdale. My cousin was working late but her husband welcomed us with a delicious dinner. We talked well into the night before going to my aunt’s house next-door to sleep. My aunt is in a nearby nursing home.
My cousin took us to see her the next day.
We took her around the corner to The Fox for achat and a cuppa.
She joined us again that evening for another sumptuous dinner at my cousin’s place, along with a family friend and later her sister who lives nearby. We had a good night talking about all of our travels and adventures past and planned.
After saying our goodbyes the following morning, we spent our last day in England visiting Antony Gormley’s Another Place – statues in the sea; and
the Beatles statues on the Mersey promenade, Liverpool.
Then it was back to Ireland for a few days before taking off again to Europe.