Thursday, August 30, 2012

England/France 2012

Leah and I traveled to England and France for just over three weeks in May and June.  I'm a bit slow in getting a blog post out about our trip but it was wonderful.  We missed Emily, who did not join us on our European travels this year, but much fun was had and memories were made even in her absence.  I've loaded a lot of photos, so feel free to take a look as time allows...
William and Leah on our walk in the country.  I'd give anything to have walking trails at home like they have in England!
The Tower Bridge
Arlene and I on the train on a trip to Brighton on the coast.
Leah in the Great Court in the British Museum, the world's oldest museum.
Paella maker at Covent Garden.  Mmmmm!
Leah at the corner market, selecting apricots (the best we've ever had!) in Paris.
A row of trees in a park in Paris.
Opera de Paris Garnier designed by Charles Garnier for Napoleon III in 1862.  It took 13 years to complete!
Leah and I are fans of Phantom of the Opera and wanted to tour the Opera de Paris
but it wasn't open for tours on the day we were there.
Leah standing on a bridge over La Seine in front of Notre Dame.
Enjoying a morsel from heaven: Macarons!  It is our goal to learn how to bake
these challenging little treats.
We visited Sainte-Chapelle last year but had to return on this trip.
It's an exquisite Gothic masterpiece considered to be Paris's most beautiful church.
The stained glass windows soar 50 feet to the sky!

A close up of the gorgeous stained glass in Saint-Chapelle.  Amazing.
A view in a bakery window of the luscious meringues that come in all flavors.
Leah and I tried the rose meringue and it was delectable!
I'm so captivated by the locks on the bridges (or Ponts) of Paris.  The locks are placed there by couples in love who throw the keys in the river afterward and symbolize a never-ending love.  Sigh...  So romantic!
No caption needed.  The Eiffel Tower is gorgeous architecture at its finest.
Leah and I on a beautiful sunny day at Jardin des Tuileries with the gorgeous Musee du Louvre in the background.
Back in England, we took the train to the coastal village of Eastbourne and hiked along
the enormous chalk cliffs at Beachy Head.
A sobering reminder of those who ventured to close to the edge of the cliffs. 
There were more crosses than these shown here.  Sad.
So beautiful!
Old lighthouse in the distance.
We spent four days in northern England in the Lake District and took a tour of Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm.
Arriving at Ferndene, the lovely B & B in Keswick, the Lake District.
The Lake District has some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world! 
It also happens to be known for having some of the wettest weather in the world.
We were blessed with unseasonably warm and sunny weather while we visited.
Leah and I on the Catbells hike.
Please forgive me for going on and on about the scenery on our hike.  It was amazing.
Leah taking a little break on our hike.
What?!  We have to go still higher?!  These hills look deceptively gentle but they are more arduous than they look!
Leah at Catbells Peak.  Such a fantastic view with the bonus of blue skies!
I'm not too old to climb mountains (er, fells) with my daughter. 
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life and health!
An old bridge in the quaint village of Grange.
We enjoyed some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted there: Homemade Black Currant.  Mmmm...
Sheep are EVERYWHERE in the Lake District.  This cute little lamb was checking us out.
We also ran into cattle on our hikes and Leah enjoyed bonding with this cow.
More gorgeousness
Leah at the ancient Castlerigg stone circle.

I love old cemeteries and gravestones.  This one was across the street from our B & B in Keswick.
Leah looking out at Derwent Water on our final night there.
Cute lambs grazing in the field.
Flowers are everywhere in England, even in the crevices of stone walls.
A misty hiking path on a typical day in England.

Arlene was barbecuing sausages for the party on our last day in England.
This photo makes me smile.  She's drinking tea to stay warm and barbecuing in the rain!
Putting this blog post together makes me homesick for England and Paris.  We hope to return again next year, Lord willing.  In the meantime, the wonderful memories we have will have to suffice.