I have been to some of the most beautiful places in the world. The great lakes of the US, the coast of my favorite vacation spot in the states, North Carolina. The great Smokey mountains, the fields and mountains of rural West Virginia and Kentucky, and the open farms of Ohio. I love natural vista. Seeing the home that God gave us in all it’s spendor. And, i enjoy seeing and discovering the differences of each special place. I have to say I’ve found another favorite.
The drive from London was beautiful and I LOVE, the English countryside with the old buildings , castles, sheep, cattle, horses, etc. People are always telling me, “You have to go up to the city of London, you haven’t been to England until you do.” I still want to go visit the inner city and Buckingham and all of that, BUT my heart is not in any city it is in the country. I am a country girl through and through. I have lived in big cities and i can navigate and enjoy their cultural diversity, but i do not enjoy the shops and crowds and totally dislike the rush.
So this area we are in right now is perfect for me, and Jim. He lived in the city of London for quite awhile and has lived in Surbiton, Surrey for the past 20 years which is a little quieter city, but a city. But, at heart my hubby is a hillbilly. He is more at home in the Ky hills than in the city he lives in here. Since we can’t be there, I am glad we have found a refuge and comfort here. Cumbria is different than our hills and spaces at home and I am amazed at how unpopulated most areas are since the UK is very crowded in cities, but i am glad it isn’t here. I am posting many pics on facebook, see for yourselves just how awesome it is.
The second day we were here we took a slow leisurely walk up the road behind the cottage. This cottage is set on a working farm. Mellfell House farm is the name and is owned and operated by Diane and her husband Ben. When we arrived she was out mucking up in typical farmers attire including the wellies you see often here. Ben is on crutches right now, not sure why but even at that you see him out helping. The place is immaculate. The animals are content and well cared for. The wildlife are as protected as they can get it , right down to the sign at the end of the road. Dead slow on this road, ducks are ont. I am learning that they have their own special language here. We are right on the old Scots border and very close to Northumbria so I hear many different patterns of speech and beautiful lilting voices everywhere I go.
Our walk was not a long one due to our disabilities but even a few feet in a different direction here gives you a different aspect of this phenomenal view. As we walk upward we start to see the lake below us. It has sail boats, houses on the shore, pontoons, and just looks so peaceful. Everything here is peaceful. The huge bull out in the pasture, ( I have a pic of him on fb.) The sheep are lazily munching the grass or laying down watching us go by. But the mountains, I have never seen such mountains as these. The variations of each color from one site to the other. We see greens of every tone, browns, the wonderful blue and white skies. God truly showed his majesty when he created this view. Words can not adequately discribe any of natures beauty and pictures are a poor substitute for the real thing but i have tried to capture some of it. I take pics every few steps. We thoroughly enjoyed this short walk but the first couple days here we just relax, let God start to mend our hearts and calm our spirts. We have also spent hours doing what we love best, talking. We share our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams. I am so very blessed to have found Jim, he is my love-yes very much so. But, first and foremost he is and has always from the very first time we talked been my friend. We enjoy being together even if we are doing nothing. I think the stress of all the immigration problems and moving his things has been a bit of a damper on both of us, so we need this time and we spend it well.
Today though, Tuesday we visited some very special places. I was not aware that this part of England has over 50 stone patterns, similar to Stonehenge. We decided to go into Penrith the closest town to get supplies and some warm clothing since everything we own is on it’s way to Ky. Sainsbury’s here has everything i needed from new toothbrushes, groceries, shoes, computer memory card reader, to baby oil for Jim”s very dry skin. After spending at least an hour trying to find everything I come out and just looked around the area. I love the mix of really old pubs, buildings, shops, and how many of the newer businesses have tried to build in such a way that they fit.
After we fill the car with our goodies Jim says he would like to visit one of these stone sites called Long Meg and her daughters. http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/long-meg-and-her-daughters.htm this is a great site telling about it. Seems Meg was turned to stone for dancing on Sunday. Or that is part of the legend. Part of the legend is that no matter how many times you count the stones you get a different number. Could be because every time i tried to count from a different view i missed some that were turned over or almost covered by sod now. the accepted number is 69. Jim asked me if i felt the magic of the stones, as some people say they can. I replied I felt the magic and magisty of God. Another panoramic view of absolute beauty. You can almost feel the history. I can imagine the effort and determination to get these huge boulders to the top of this mountain. I touch the stones and see the symbols inscribed and initials and am almost overwhelmed by the knowledge that people have been here worshiping, admiring, touching these same stones since before Christ. 1500 B.C. , think about it. No one really knows what the purpose of the stones or the individual patterns were about, but many think it was Druids way of keeping track of seasons, foretelling astrological patterns. They also believe they were used in the ancient religious practices, whatever they were. Who really knows. I feel no evil intent, no darkness, and when you think about it the belief in something greater than themselves had to be part of the need to move these massive stones up a mountain. You wouldn’t do it just for fun. There had to be a need, a real determination that it was the right thing to do. I wish there was a record, someway to really know what these ancient people thought or felt, but it isn’t so.
We noticed that if you stand several feet in front of the tallest stone, Meg. , there are two stones to the side and she is right in the center of them. This is especially noticeable because Meg is outside the circle. but if you stand in the circle in this specific area and look at her thru these other stones you get the sense it could be a guide point. Again, we don’t know but it is interesting.
There is a working farm adjoining the area, we see signs of cattle all over the place, what i mean here is “watch where you step.” lol.
We also see the fields and a large dozer working but it is still peaceful. From this mountain it is easy to see another aspect of the mountains and valleys around and it is equally as impressive.
From there we decided to see if we could find Hadrians wall, I may have heard of this wall at some point, but I never really understood. It is miles and miles of wall which was built by the Romans during their occupation of England. The English people have been attacked by everyone and their brother and the land occupied by several different races. To me it is a testimony of who they are, their backbone, the way they have incorporated the good from each one of them into who they are now.
The Romans left a vast legacy of roadways and other things, but one of these wonders is this wall. When we first spot it it looks like very many of the stone walls or fences around but when we finally get to drive up to the wall itself and look at it, it is wider than you think from a distance. It is said it was wide enough to drive a chariot over. It could be but i don’t think it would be a good ride. lol. A lot of the stones are missing now and you can tell that parts of the wall used to be taller . The portion we saw was maybe 4 foot wide and 3 or so foot tall. It is my understanding the wall was built by the Romans, and had manned forts about every mile along to keep the wild , untamed Scots from attacking this border country. When you think about it it was a massive undertaking, these mountains are huge, and the wall follows the mountain tops, down the sides through the valleys and back up the mountains. The system was put in place with these forts that if they got an attack in one area , they could call for backup from neighboring forts and have reinforcements in a short period of time. Especially since they had built fairly good roads along here and could travel easily. Compared to the Scots who had to travel across these mountains ranges, try to cross the walls which would have been impossible by horse, and if they managed to steal cattle or sheep or whatever they would have had to get them back over this wall. Not an easy undertaking.http://www.hadrians-wall.org/discover.aspx. We didn’t get to visit the fort or center as it was getting late in the day when we arrived, but i would like to try to on another day. It is said they have small wooden tablets, much like todays postcards. They have messages on them from one person or group to another and was left in certain places to communicate. Could be a farm family was having a celebration next Saturday and invited the surrounding families. I don’t know what they say, but would like to find out. Again, i find it amazing how much they accomplished, and their ingenuity and determination. This wall has been here since Emperor Hadrians time over 150 B.C. Just imagine…..http://www.vindolanda.com/ we wanted to visit this museum and site but maybe another day. this is where they have the post cards and it would be awesome to see them. Not only do they have postcards from the past, they have furniture, pieces of clothing, roman leather, tools, and much more. Apparently they are still conducting on site digs and finding new things. Maybe i should have been and archaeologist ? Nah, I just like the traveling and learning. Digging is really hard work. lol
We came home after dark, tired and hungry. It was another awesome day spent together exploring Jim’s home land and a part of the past for both of us. Fact is that although I know my great grandmother was part Cherokee Indian, if you look at the geneology on my dad’s side we can trace our family back to England. And if you look up my maiden name the roots are said to be welsh. So could be one of my far far removed ancestors was either raiding that wall or protecting this part of the country. Wish there were more records so I could know for sure. Maybe one day when we all meet up I’ll get to find out. Take care my loving family and friends. I’ll let you know what we get into next. But, i think tomorrow will be visiting the lake and maybe the seashore, if we go out at all. It is so peaceful here, just makes me want to curl up by the fireplace with my kindle and Jim. Lots of love. Jim and Lynn