From Edinburgh to the Lake's District in England
Summer vacation in Europe officially starts today and the streets of Edinburgh are alive with tourists from all over the world. After our gourmet breakfast of tiny pancakes made with mini marshmallows to give them an extra crunch, we took a walk around the block passing an Olympic size pool and envied the families headed in to watch the competitive diving competition for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
We took a swift train to Penrith. On our car were six guys in their twenties wearing t-shirts that said, "Craig's Stag Do Blackpool." It was still morning, but the conductor had to say, "Lads. Please watch your language!"
It was pouring outside when we arrived. Two friendly men were selling very nice umbrellas. I felt triumphant when I convinced a man to sell me a second umbrella at half price until Dave told me the previous person had gotten their first umbrella at half price. While we huddled with a small group taking shelter from the rain until our bus for Keswick arrived, there was a commotion in the parking lot. A very stern man with a booming voice stormed around the perimeter of the parking lot three times hollering, "Do you want to see his ticket?" Everyone was snickering up a storm.
We made a couple observations during our bus trip, one of which is dogs are allowed on buses in the Cumbrian countryside. While this comes with some restrictions, we nevertheless wondered if this was the case on U.S. buses. Also, upon coming to a roundabout, we noticed two McDonald's trucks, each touting the fact that this fast food purveyor serves only free-range eggs. Perhaps the U.K. Is setting a trend in the fast food industry.
Our bed and breakfast in Keswick, England, Parkfield House, is beautiful. Our room overlooks a pitch and putt golf course. The owners greeted us warmly and we all sat down for a cup of coffee and shortbread biscuits together and compared notes about our dogs. Keswick has been voted the most dog friendly town in the UK.
Keswick is stunningly beautiful. Just across the street from our accommodation is a park with gardens, a putting green, and an old-fashioned miniature golf course. We followed the path down to the lake's edge where wooden boats rested on the pebbled shore. I bought some duck food at the National Trust store and fed it to them by the boat dock. Just above the lake on a gently rolling hill dotted with sheep, a man tossed a stick to his dog and disappeared into the low lying mist.
We walked into town which is a base for hikers. The shops all have flower boxes bursting with flowers and dogs are welcome everywhere. Stopping at the Dog and Gun Pub, we noticed that treat bags are offered to all dogs.
Dinner tonight was Italian. From our seat we must have seen 25 dogs go by. After dinner the rain had stopped and we walked around town. There is a happy vibe here as holidaymakers have now arrived. I can't wait to go on a hike and boat ride tomorrow.