Saturday, April 15, 2017

We Survived Winter.....Our Last Days In The UK

Back in Panama we knew many people from the UK who had retired there. As they listened to us talk about our pending house sitting abroad and travels to the UK in winter they all expressed some concerns. "Why would you go there in winter?" Well, as Americans we can only stay in Europe for 90-days out of every 180 days. So to get out of Europe until our clock reset so to speak for three months or so we had to go somewhere. The UK is close to Europe and welcomes visitors for up to six month. Besides that it offers tons of house sitting opportunities just waiting to be filled.

Sights Of Lovely London

Clyde's Queen Poses In Front Of Buckingham Palace

The Changing Of The Guard During A Cold Snap
Freezing Temps, Standing In Crowds For Three Hours

Tower Bridge, AKA London Bridge

The Royal Coaches At The Queen's Mews

So while we KNEW we'd have to experience winter temperatures somewhere in our travels IF we wanted to stay close to Europe, the UK filled our needs.  And now that our time here is almost over for now, we have to say with a smile that WE SURVIVED WINTER! Although the temperatures here are not that low, the dampness and continual rain made it feel worse. While we saw occasional freezing temperatures, most of the time it was around 40F/4C yet felt colder with the wind and dampness. And we expected to see lots of snow but really only saw a light dusting two times. So all in all it wasn't that bad.

Snow....In England

The Dogs And Sheep Don't Seem To Mind

It's been almost five months that we've been living in the United Kingdom having a blast house sitting. We have met some great people, made some great new furry friends and learned a WHOLE lot about the UK and its people. For those that are not aware (like we were not at first) the United Kingdom consists of the countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lovely Coastline

We Walked Along Many Backroads

St Michaels Mount

Christmas In England
Perhaps Too Much Time On My Hands? Made This Hat Then Took Many Photos Of This Sweetie

One of our favorite experiences was a visit to "Chequers".  This beautiful home is the weekend / vacation home of the Prime Minister.  We were contacted by a friend from Panama and she told me that she was working there and would we like a private tour.  Of course we accepted.  We had no idea what an honor this was as Chequers is closed to the public as it is a private residence.  We enjoyed a two hour tour of this magnificent home.  That was a part time home for many prime ministers including Winston Churchill.

Chequers Estate
The Country Home Of The Prime Minister Of The United Kingdom

Our travels through England took us from London down to the tip of Cornwall where we lived in Penzance and visited places like Lands End and Saint Michael's Mount. Along the way we stopped at the world famous stone circle, Stone Henge. While there are many stone circles throughout the UK this one of course is the most famous.

Stone Henge

From Cornwall we headed back to West Sussex and stayed in the village of Storrington. Next we were onto Taunton in the county of Somerset and then onto the country Cambridgeshire where we stayed in the town of March.  From there we stayed near the foot of the Chiltern Mountains in the town of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

Terraced Houses Everywhere

Since there is more to the UK than England we headed over to the country of Wales. To break up the six hour drive we stopped a few nights in the city of Liverpool. Known for being the home of the Beatles it was a fun trip down memory lane.

Come Along On The Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Tour, Liverpool

The Famous Penny Lane

Strawberry Fields Forever

Famous Cavern Club Where The Beatles Performed

Once in Wales we visited the lovely city of Cardiff, toured many other parts of the country and spent some time in the town of Maesteg. Our short time in Wales was sometimes confusing as we experienced the most difficult language barrier in the UK. Sometimes we literally we could not figure out if people were speaking English or Welsh, the native language spoken there.

Sights Of Wales

Castles Everywhere

Speaking of language at first it was like a breath of fresh air to be living in an English speaking country once again. But there is English and there is American English, and sometimes the TWO do not meet in the middle. During our time here we learned a WHOLE new vocabulary of English words, phrases and pronunciations.

And lastly on our United Kingdom tour was to spend some time in Scotland. Another long drive landed us in the town of Dunfermline for our first sit. From there we crossed the bridge into Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh.  The correct way to pronounce this city name is Edin-burrah since the G is silent and followed by an AH sound. There we spent an entire month enjoying the sights, sounds and culture of city life. And something we both learned about ourselves is that we really enjoy city life and all that it has to offer.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotch Whiskey

What Can I Say Ladies....He's All Mine!
He Was Too Cheap To Buy This Hat But Insisted On Posing With It On

Bagpipe Players Everywhere

Our time in the United Kingdom has been filled with wonderful memories, good times with new friends that we will keep in touch with always. And many of them already asked us back to house sit for them again.  Surely we will return to the UK again sometime, but perhaps next time we will be here in warmer temperatures to explore more.......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter. the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE

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