Friday, July 1, 2016

Europe Adventure: Day Six, Part Two- Haworth and Bowness

After York, we said goodbye to our B&B and set out. 

It didn't take me long to get lost. I turned down one wrong road and we had to turn around to get back to the main road. We were kind of glad it happened though as we ended up on this road that reminded us a lot of Privet Drive!

The roads were pretty good until we got close to our first destination: Haworth.
Then they started getting REALLY small again. 
It is so scary to be driving down a teeny road that in the United States would be the size of a small one way road with hedges and rock walls along the sides so that it makes it hard to see what is coming or have anywhere to go if you need to and have another car come at you from the other direction going 60+ miles an hour. 
Terrifying actually.
But soon we made it to Haworth. 
It wasn't quite what I expected. 
I imagined it out in the middle of nowhere, very isolated. 
But in reality we drove through a city to get to the house. 
It was very hilly and I was, again, so glad I wasn't driving a stick shift. These hills were steep!
Online I have seen so many people going here and being the only visitors so we were shocked when we got there and it was packed. It took us forever to find a parking spot in the little parking area near the Bronte's house. 
Afterward I thought it was probably because it was a Sunday. If I ever make it there again I will go on a weekday!
I was pretty excited to see the sign and the home!

The Bronte Parsonage

I really wish that I could do this activity over. 
I love the Bronte's. This was one of the things I was looking forward to the most on this trip. 
And it ended up not being what we expected. 
The house was great. They had so many cool things belonging to the family and it was amazing to think about walking around where they walked and wrote their novels. 
But there were just SO many people. 
And, the church was closed. We couldn't go in. I was so disappointed. 

But, now I just have to look back and be grateful for what we were able to see!
And the fact that we were there during the 200th anniversary of Charlotte.
My favorite part of the house....

The Dining Room- where they did most of their writing

Mr. Bronte's study

The kitchen: where the young Bronte children would gather to hear tales of the Yorkshire moors from their servant Tabby.

In the hall, the painting that Branwell painted of his sisters. He also painted himself into it but then painted over himself. You can see where he was in the middle. 

In Charlotte's room we got to see a lot of her teeny clothes. 


Charlotte's writing desk...

The Children's Study:
Tamar Stone created this small "Bronte bed" embroidered with their words. 
It is displayed in the Children's study where they played and sometimes slept. 

The view from the window...

Mr. Bronte's bedroom

The Exhibition rooms were full of artifacts that tell the story of the Bronte family. They had so many things and it was really cool to see. 

Examples of their tiny writing...

After exploring the house we went down to the gift shop. 
Then we went out to see the other buildings, the church, and the graveyard. 

I wanted to go into the church so bad to see where they attended and sat and where their graves are. 
But we couldn't get in. 

We walked around Haworth for a few minutes and then went back to our car. 

This drive was the worst one of the entire trip. 
The roads were so small and there were so many cars. 
I could not go the speed limit. It was way too fast for this road. So I would end up with tons of cars behind me every few minutes. 
That was making me even more stressed out because I didn't want to be holding people up. 
After a a little while I saw a place I could pull off the road and took advantage of it to let them by and to de-stress for a minute. 
I was so glad we were able to pull over  because we also got this stunning view. 
It was nice to remember where we were and take it all in for a few moments. 

After a few minutes I got back out on the road. 
My mom tried to take some more pictures as we drove along...

My mom captured my joy as we finally ended up back on a dual carriageway. 
They were my very favorite kind of roads there. They were basically two lanes going each way and separated from the other direction. Woo hoo. 

The thing about England was that everywhere we looked was stunning. 
We kept saying over and over again, "This is so beautiful!"
My mom was in charge of taking pictures as we drove along. 
We were getting closer and closer to our destination for the next few days: The Lake District!

Soon we were entering Bowness-on-Windermere. 
This would be our home in the Lake District. 
We were staying at the Oakfold House B&B.
It was a beautiful place and we were excited to stay there as it has won a lot of awards over the last year.

Our room was a nice size and pretty. 

Our view: 

After settling in we walked down the steep hill to the lake. 
The lake was beautiful. 
For the second time today we were shocked at the crowds. I do a good job of keeping them out of my pictures but trust me, there were people everywhere. 
I asked our B&B guy about it because I imagined the Lake District at this time of year being quiet and empty. He told me that when they moved there they thought that too but that this particular town was like this every day of the year. 

Lake Windermere

We were hoping to have Sunday Roast at a pub and got a recommendation from our B&B to go the The Albert. 
It was about halfway back up the hill from the lake so we stopped on our way back to Oakfold House.

We ordered our food and found a table. 
As we waited I suddenly felt really sick. 
It was REALLY hot in there and I felt like I was going to pass out. 
I went outside and got some fresh, cold air and then went back in. I went to the bathroom and took off my sweater but I wasn't feeling any better. 
My mom suggested we leave. 
I went up to the bar and explained the situation. 
I asked if we could take our food to go but they said there was no way to do that. 
But then the cook said someone else ordered the same thing and they could give ours to them and they reimbursed us. 
I thought that was so nice of them as they did not have to do that. 
I felt so bad that we were missing out on this experience and hoped that I wasn't going to get sick. 
We stopped at a little store on the way up the hill and got some food items.
We went back to our room and I laid down for a while. My mom gave me a massage and I started to feel better. 
We made peanut butter sandwiches and Pringles for dinner which was no where near as fun. But we did read while we ate and it was really relaxing. 
This was my first night of feeling really homesick. 
I think it was a combination of not feeling well, being tired, and having been stressed for a couple of hours while driving. But I just felt spent. 
Some day I want to go back here and do it over!
Part of me was so worried that the next day would be a disappointment too because of the crowds. I was so worried that I would have a repeat of the Bronte house experience at Beatrix Potter's house... spoiler... I would not have the same experience!

I got a few souvenirs at the Bronte Parsonage. I bought Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and the bookmark with a quote from her. Then they gave us the Charlotte Bronte book for free with purchase as part of the 200th celebration. 

Next up: Hill Top Farm and one of the best days


The Kings said...

Your pictures are beautiful, Cheryl...the ones at Lake Windermere were so good. I loved the one of the swans spreading their wings! I am so glad we got to visit the Bronte home but wished it hadn't been such a "crowded" experience. Probably that and the horrible roads led to your "sickness" in the hot pub!

cheryl said...

Thanks! I agree. I think the heat of the pub, the tiredness of walking 10+ miles and the stress of the day all collided.

Seth and Julie said...

I love that you centered so much of your trip around literature. I took a Brit Lit class a year ago and so I have become very familiar with all of these authors so this is fun for me to see as well.

cheryl said...

It really was- mostly centered around literature and history!
I REALLY want to take a brit lit class. I think that would be so interesting.