Friday, September 30, 2016

Hiking near Cambridge and in the Peaks District


The first week we were in England we did a hike in Cambridgeshire and several more in the Peaks District. Trail descriptions in England are interesting. Plus the public right of ways are strange, just walk through a farmers field, his barnyard, or pasture pushing your way through cows and wondering by sheep. The scenery is nice, but the trails can be difficult.

Devil's Dyke in Cambridgeshire - an ancient defensive earthwork.


The trail starts in Reach. The book we bought says to start at the car park and pass a small playground. It is a very small village but we could not spot a car park with a nearby playground. We did eventually find it after circling the town several times.


The dyke was built about 1500 years ago and is still intact. Not sure about this gate, there were several. Just gates, no fences.


I guess the gates were to keep the sheep in or out of the area, but with no fence they wondered where ever they wanted.


The trail goes through several farmers fields. You enter the field through a stile and head straight across to the next stile.

Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire - a forest of ancient oak trees that are over 600 years old.

 The trail through the old oak tree.
 Major Oak - the branches have been supported for more then 200 years. The tree is approximately 1000 years old, the oldest in England.

Stanton Moor in Derbyshire in the Peaks district. This hike had a mix of terrains - pastures, a rock hill fort, moors, a stone circle, and picturesque villages.


We started the hike at a re-purposed phone booth. It now contains a Defibrillator and an emergency phone. Good use of the phone booth, but what does it say about the hike?


The trail takes off through pastures to reach the distant ridge line. We had to push our way through the cows crowding around one of the kissing gate stiles we went through.

 Robins Hood Stride - a rocky hill top with a fabulous view.

Woods on the edge of Stanton Moor. The moor was covered in heather in bloom.


Nine Ladies Stone Circle




 One of the buldings in the village of Stanton in Peak. 
Small camper van. I guess you can get any size to fit your parking spot and space is tight in England.

Malvern Hills in Worcestershire have wonderful views of the surrounding towns and countryside.


The highest point Worcestershire Beacon.


 Views along the ridge line of Malvern Hills

View of the countryside from the top of Malvern Hills.
Evening view of a bridge over the River Severn.

Upton on Severn - our campig spot was in the main car park along the River Severn.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cambridge


Cambridge is a college town with lots and lots of tourists. The colleges are beautiful, old buildings with wonderful gardens. The city is made for walking around and of course punting on the River Cam.

We climbed the tower of Great St. Mary's - the University Church Cambridge. Good views in all directions.

North view - Gonville and Caius College with Trinity College and St. John's College in the background.


West view - The Old Schools with King's College and Chapel on the left and the Senate House on the right.

South view - King's College.
East view - Market Square.


The classic red phone booth of England. These were even working phones. Most we have seen are in need of repair or the phones are missing.


Street musicians. These guys had a new age sound and were quite good.


Of course in a college town there are lots of flyers promoting up coming events, but in Cambridge it is all very neat. The flyers are laminated in plastic and attached with zip ties to iron fences.
King's College


Christ's College


New Court aka the "Wedding Cake"


We took a shared punting tour. Our "chauffeur" with the Bridge of Sighs in the background.


Punting on the River Cam.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Netherlands

We had a quick visit through the Netherlands. Our 90 day visa for the Schengen Agreement countries only had a few days before it expired. We visited Groningen and Amsterdam. We also drove along the coast and through the countryside. Netherlands maybe a small country, but there is a lot to see.

Groningen

Canal view in Groningen

Downtown pedestrian street.


The Gold Office dating from 1635. This building doesn't look its age.


Prinsenhoftuim - A Renaissance style garden laid out in 1625. The garden is surrounded by a hedge.


A view from inside the hedge.

The countryside - Everywhere you go in the Netherlands roads seem to be an after thought. Very nice paved bike paths are always alongside the roads.


Amsterdam 


We had just one day to spend in Amsterdam, so we did a Hop On Hop Off canal cruise. The only way you can see the city is on the canals. It is to crazy to see from the streets. They are packed with people and bikes. 

We camped outside the center of the city and rode the metro into town. At 8:30 in the morning the Red Light District is very quiet.


No one seems to be working the morning shift.


Canal Views



One of the parking lots at Central Station.


A canal tour boat. The canals are packed with all kinds of boats.


EYE Film Institute


View from the canal boat of the Public Library


Walking up to the roof top park on Nemo Science Museum


View from the top of Nemo.


 Rental bike in Amsterdam.
 Canal bridges

Flower market booth


Our last camping spot in the town of Maassluis. We caught a ferry for England the next day.