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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Catalonia, Carcassonne and Andorra

We're just back from touring the Pyrenees and surrounding areas! Some great sites, terrific weather and amazing places.
We flew into and out of Barcelona from Newcastle, which is very handy for us. We only had a short time in the city and will return for a longer visit soon.
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia is a favourite tourist site and really needs to be booked ahead. The queue both times we went there was snaking all the way around the block and people were expecting to be there for hours.
Other examples of Gaudi's design can be found all around town and other modernist artists and architects are well represented.
We visited the market and ambled down the Ramblas. This enabled us to pay an extortionate price for paella and beers for lunch at one of the cafes together with all the other tourists.
Our hotel at the Placa Espanya was well placed for the metro and local sight-seeing and the musical fountains played at night.
Then we travelled north to Andorra.
Cheers Gillian

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Railway Ride on the SETTLE To CARLISLE Line

We drove over to Kirkby Stephen to catch a ride on the Settle to Carlisle Line.
There was quite a chilly wind on the top of the Pennines. The second station to the south is Dent.
All the stations are very pretty with picture postcard buildings and structures.
Behind the station at Horton is Ingleborough, the second highest of The Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales NP.
It is 723m above sea level and spent most of the day with its peak covered by a tablecloth of cloud.
The old water tower outside Settle Station has been transformed into a unique and fascinating home. It was the subject of one of the episodes of "Grand Designs" on TV a few months or more ago. Wonderful to see it completed and so handsomely too.
We travelled south on the "Freddie Truman" but on our return we missed the name of the train in our desire to get a seat! A whole bus trip/day-out group had joined us on the station platform and we knew there would only be two carriages.
We were very relieved to reach Kirkby Stephen and even more relieved when the train stopped so that we could disembark. It hadn't stopped at any of the other stations along the way and we wondered if were on an unplanned trip to Carlisle. Not really the sort of adventure you want on a Sunday if your car is at Kirkby Stephen.
The Ribble flows through Settle and a house on the banks looks lovely. There was one for sale and I shall look it up soon and assess its appeal and value, but like many old and pretty places....parking is lousy.
Cheers Gillian