To misquote Charles Dickens, “It was the worst of times, but with many goods times.” It has been a crazy, difficult year, but we had some wonderful travels. I share them with you on this day, December 31, 2016.We enjoyed the first two months of the year in Carmel. Walked the beach, watched the birds,
And gazed at the clouds.
We love to walk in the spring and enjoy nature.
And our garden in the summer.
In June we traveled to London, York and Edinburgh with family. We have been to London many times for work and meetings. This time we were summer tourists.
We toured the Tower,
Watched the changing of the guard.
We met cousins for a family tea and friends for dinner. We rode the Tube and walked and walked and walked! We also happened to be in London for the Brexit vote and sat in a Pub in York to watch England lose to Iceland in the World Cup. Hmm, we broke Britain.
We traveled to Edinburgh and what a beautiful city it is.
The view form our bedroom
We walked up the. hill to the Castle
The views were beautiful.
And joined hundreds of others.
Toured Holyrood Palace and missed the Queen by a week or so.
Had a fun experience in the Palace. The last part of the tour is climbing up a circular staircase to a room, where it is believed a murder took place and then exiting. As I could not climb the stairs, a guide opened a door and told me to walk down the corridor. As I did, the door at the end of the corridor opened and another guide waited for me. I felt like royalty going down the hidden corridors and rooms to the secret exit. These are the guides who led me out.
I love ruins and Holyrood Abbey is a beautiful ruin. This is what it looked like
We took the train from Edinburgh to York and stayed in a B and B in the Shambles, which is an ancient cobblestone road, free of traffic.
And with shops like this
The market still in the same place through the centuries
A must visit is to York Minster
And take a walk around the outside and visit the perfectly “framed” gardens.
Our family love trains, so the train museum was a must. It was definitely a highlight of our stay.
We bid farewell to the United Kingdom and flew home, but wait, there is more. We spent two days in Reykjavik, Iceland. It is really worth putting on your bucket list. Here are some pictures of the town and its environs. I will dedicate a whole blog post to this lovely place.
Art in the streets
Bike and pedestrian streets
Culture is everywhere. Bookstores abound and a beautiful music hall for those long winter nights.
A stunning church
Geysers, waterfalls and horses are worth taking the drive to experience.
Waiting to erupt
There she blows
Horses on the road
If you travel for any length of time, especially with kids, you know that finding a laundromat is essential This is what we found in Reykjavik.
We took our pile of laundry there and after depositing it in the machines downstairs
We ate breakfast!
It is also a bookstore, be still my beating heart, what could be more perfect. Love that they are arranged by color.
The only downside to the trip is that the airport is small and has difficulty handling the traffic. But it is a wonderful place to visit.
In 2017 I will do a blog post about our trip to Prague, another bucket list trip.
Back in Carmel we are enjoying walks on the beach and around town. The tourists are here too but the next month should be quiet. We will visit with friends at the coffee shop and sit in our backyard reading and watching the birds chase the squirrels.
I wish all a year of fluffy clouds in blue skies
And wonderful sunsets,
Most of all I wish you good health, a safe planet and peace.