During July and August I took Long Service Leave and had a wonderful holiday to the Uk in the main, plus a touch of France and Holland.
After an interesting few days in London, doing lots of walking and exploring, I boarded Princess Cruises ‘Royal Princess’ in Southampton for a 12 nights circumnavigation of the United Kingdom. The cruise had lots of ports including the Channel Islands where I visited Sark, a small Island that still has its own set of laws and its own parliament and a population of only 600. There are no cars on Sark only tractors and horse drawn vehicles!
Some other highlights were Liverpool and a visit to the Beatles Museum which is an UNESCO World Heritage site at the Albert Dock. It just happened that John Lennon’s sister Julia was at the Museum that day, so I bought her book called ‘Imagine This’ and had a nice chat to her! I also visited Belfast, Greenock (Port of Glasgow), Inverness, Edinburgh and then into Le Havre where I met Belgian friends and had a great day in Honfleur which is a picturesque and interesting port.
After the cruise, I hired a car and had two weeks exploring various parts of the UK. The roads were extremely busy as it looked like every ‘Brit’ was on holidays at the time! You certainly need an automatic vehicle and a GPS, and also allow twice the time you think you will need between destinations.
I visited the Eden project in Cornwall (largest indoor rainforest in the world) built in a reclaimed Kaolin Pit, Dr Martins village of Port Wen (real name Port Isaac), and the wonderful Glastonbury. I then spent a couple of nights in Gloucestershire and had a tour of the wonderful garden at Highgrove House home to Prince Charles and Camilla. I spent time in Southern Wales including time in Cardiff and drove through the Brecon Beacon Mountains, and finally Stoke-on- Trent which of course has a long history of pottery production.
It just happened that John Lennon’s sister Julia was at the Museum that day, so I bought her book called ‘Imagine This’ and had a nice chat to her!
The last part of the holiday was spent in the Scottish Highlands and also back to Edinburgh for the Military Tattoo and then an interesting few nights in Amsterdam during the Sail Amsterdam festival, an event held every 5 years attracting hundreds of sailing ships including many heritage ships. A day visiting Rijksmuseum and Rembrandts famous ‘Nightwatch’ was a treat plus a visit to the quaint village of Volendam. So many memories of a fast paced 6 weeks!