Category Archives: England

Cibo Inglese … e gli Ospiti

English Eats … and Guests

Cornish Pasties ... at a rest stop

I *love* cornish pasties. They’re like an amazing pot pie with stew and flaky pastry that you can hold in your hand. The hardest part is choosing which ones to get … and not getting more than we need to eat. They’re the perfect rest stop food!

Fish and Chips in the hotel

One night we did fish and chips from a take out only place. It turned out to be really really good. The fresh fish and the fries were all cooked right in front of us.

This is half of one meal

We couldn’t decide what size to order, and since a large was only one more British pound, we went with that. We ended up eating fish & chips two nights in a row, as one large was more than enough for two people. But it was FANtastic. It’s the best fish and chips I’ve had yet.

Ryan meets our guest

We ate dinner while we watched a movie. When we turned on the lights at the end of the movie, we discovered that someone had joined us to watch the movie.

Seriously ... it was a really big spider

The spider that joined us during the movie was really really big. Yicky big. Fortunately I had a knight in shining armor to take care of it … ’cause I was clearly not going near that thing.

 

 

 

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Galles – il Parco di Snowdonia

A Ride in the Welsh Countryside – Snowdonia National Park

The long way home

Snowdonia National Park wasn’t really on our way back to London … buuut it was sort of kind of in the right direction. On the GPS it was a large green swathe of land with wavy roads, and we’d heard it was pretty. So, of course we took the long way home!

One of my favorite pictures - hiking trail entrance

Ryan as a passenger, on the US driver's side ... I think. It's very confusing.

Mountain views

As these things do, Snowdonia severely increased the length of our trip home – but then, we didn’t really have anywhere we had to be that day, so it worked well.

Snowdonia - countryside, mountainside and fog

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Galles – Llandudno

A Ride in the Welsh Countryside

The seaside at a seaside resort

Llandudno is a summertime vacation spot that, of course, we visited in the rainy winter. There’s a long beach with a wide promenade. There are boardwalks and hotels lining the whole waterfront. For us, it was mostly windy and rainy and cold … but at least it wasn’t crowded!

A local bar for dinner

After arriving from Conwy we took a quick walk through town – but there wasn’t much going on and it was starting to rain again. So we headed in for dinner in a local bar.

Ryan's Dinner - fish, potatoes, arugula, cream sauce

Ryan’s dish turned out to be the absolute winner – it was fantastic. And it’s awfully fancy for a local bar!

My dinner - fish pot pie

My dinner was good too … just not *as* good.

Flavored Ciders

In Conwy we picked up a couple of crazy ciders to try – Strawberry-Lime and Apple & Black Currant. We stored them outside our window on the sill to keep cool – and then we came back to the hotel after dinner to taste our new drinks.

In the freezing wing and rain - atop the Great Orme

The Great Orme is a country park right next to Llandudno. In the summer there’s a little train that takes you up to the top – of course we like the adventure of driving up narrow and steep one way streets in a stick shift on the wrong side of the street.

The Great Orme - one way street along the rocks

The Great Orme road is a one way toll road along a cliff. The rocks above us were populated with goats that stared us down, and while it was way too cold wet and windy to explore on foot, off season meant that we could stop the car whenever we wanted to take pictures. And the Great Orme was a fun diversion before our next destination.

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Galles – Conwy

A Ride in the Welsh Countryside – Conwy

On the castle walls at Conwy

The castle at Conwy might be my favorite one that I have visited. With a stellar combination of crumbling stone, rain nourished green grass and the sea – it was some beautiful scenery.

Climbing the castle towers

Conwy Castle was built in the 1280s under King Edward I – what remains now is only walls and towers – which I’m pretty sure makes it an even more interesting sight.

Playing around outside before we enter the castle. Welsh flags on the towers.

 

Walking through the castle

As we toured the castle it started to rain – it turns out no roof makes for dramatic lighting … but no protection from the rain. Ohhh well. We were already there – figured we may as well continue the tour. Good thing we don’t melt in drizzle!

Self portrait on the 'first floor' with archways and towers

Bridges to Conwy

It’s possible that I may have taken a million pictures in every direction of Conwy Castle … Just a warning. Note that the left bridge is an automobile bridge, the right bridge is a train bridge, the center bridge is for pedestrians. We paid to get into the castle, but it turns out that the bridge is a separate cost … to walk to the same place. We decided to skip that cost – as I imagine most other people do.

Castle and Countryside - view from atop a tower

The best views were from the tower we climbed at the far end of the castle. It was crazy windy and the rain was starting to pick up – but the views were just incredible. Ryan was only a little nervous at the edge …

View of the inner walls and towers from atop the tower

That picture is my favorite – I took a lot of versions of it – I’m hoping Ryan will stitch some of them together and make a panorama at some point. It was so gorgeous up there!

What's a Welsh Oggie?

After touring the castle we walked down to the port to check out the “Ffair Geltaidd y Gwanwyn”. The what? Yeah … good thing there was English too: “Celtic Spring Fayre”, at ‘Cei Conwy’ (Quay). There were a bunch of stands selling locally made goods – foods and crafts. We meandered through a little bit, and then focused on the food. Welsh Oggies are like Cornish Pasties … sort of like a british version of stromboli or something. A flaky pastry crust full of stew. Maybe like a pot pie. We got one, of course, with gravy and mushy peas.

Castle view from the other end of the bridge

Funny how one amazing castle and great street food is enough to get my high recommendation for a whole city.

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Galles – Boddellyn

A Ride in the Welsh Countryside – Boddellyn

Seriously, those are words?

Our second part of our countryside trip was in Wales. Do you know much about Wales? Nope, neither did we. The second official language of Wales is Welsh … and it has tons of consonants, and all of the words are so strange I can’t even begin to figure out how to pronounce them. But I really enjoyed taking pictures of them!

Self Portrait! Castle Boddellyn

We picked Castle Boddellyn ’cause we saw a drawing of it on a sign from the highway … or something. Maybe we saw the castle from the highway, I’m not sure. At any rate, it looked like it wasn’t too far off of our path to the next city … so we stopped off to check it out.

Castle Courtyard

We toured the inside of the castle – but it wasn’t nearly as photogenic as the outside of the castle. I <3 stones and sunlight and sky and green!

Getting ready for the maze

The castle had a small hedge maze that we did just for fun. Ryan and I made opposite choices at the first opportunity and then raced to the middle – laughing and running. As I recall, Ryan won. I’m pretty sure I eventually cheated (slipping between two hedgerows) … and he still won. But I got him to pose for a picture … and that’s a victory for me. :)

Not a bad view for the castle occupants, huh?

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Inghilterra – Warwick

A Ride in the Countryside – Warwick

Warwick Castle

Warwick’s main attraction is a castle – which we were either too late to go into, or didn’t feel like paying for. But … we did approach it from all available access points on the outside!

Self-portrait, of course.

I think I have a thing for those classic-looking streets. :)

A Warwick Castle gate

'cause awesome stone towers and churches at random intersections are ... awesome.

Who says it's always raining in England? - Look at that sky!

 

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Un Giro nella Campagna di Inghilterra – Stratford-upon-Avon

A Ride in the Countryside of England

Self-portrait ...'cause I always make us do that.

Last year we had an opportunity to take a long weekend in the English countryside – and since unplanned car trips are our favorite kind of trips …

How fantastic is this? Random Intersection ...

Our first stop was Stratford-upon-Avon, of Shakespearean fame. We had no agenda … no map or guidebooks – but we had our feet, our cameras and our appetite!

Thatched roof, white building, flower boxes - doesn't this just scream english countryside?!

Birthplace of Shakespeare

Walking the streets

Holy Trinity Church

Inside Holy Trinity Church - the grave of William Shakespeare

Stratford-upon-Avon isn’t generally listed on the lists of top places to see, but it’s perfect for a driving trip on a relaxed and sunny day.

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