Wednesday 14 August 2019

Summer Breaking away to the UK

This summer we thought we'd stay close to home as the weather was very nice again, but a week to the UK seemed like a good thing to break away and stock up on our supplies of Yorkshire tea, Chocolate Caramel shortbread and Austin Seven spares.
In stead of camping we booked a nice B&B in the little village of Prior's Hardwick not far from Rugby. Very nice indeed.  Our Wolseley seemed right at home at our B&B. 
 The scenery around  the village is beautiful and the lawns and gardens are very much you'd expect in ye Olde Britain. The Wolseley was enjoying the trip as much as we were.
 This picture could have been straight from a faded copy of "Country life".
 On the way we visited several larger towns like Rugby
 This pub looks nice from a distance, but it could use a new coat of paint.
 In contrast this shed full of airplanes at Old Warden looked pristine and newly painted.
 The Shuttleworth collection has planes and cars.
I always say that each time we're at Old Warden, there is something interesting being started up. Usually it is an old plane, but this time there was this 1913 De Dion-Bouton lorry.

I'd never seen a rope used for starting, but it makes sense and seems much safer than just hand cranking such a big engine.
Driving back to our B&B we were greeted by some "red at night".
 Of course we had to go back to the British Motoring museum in Gaydon. This time we got a totally different tour of the colection. With an entertaining bias towards film car trivia.
 This crumply mini will not be restored as it was the last Mini to leave the Longbridge tunnels. 
 The "The car, the Future" exhibition was very interesting. Especially this 1892 London Electric car.
Still I prefer looking into the workshop. Appropriately smelling of oil, grease and the occasional whiff of petrol. 

If we thought the museum was busy, the old town of Stratford upon Avon was crowded with visitors to old William. I can see why he wasn't available.
 There were people everywhere poking their umbrellas in each others faces. 
 The old buildings are still pretty though.
 Fine dining is available in several historic hotels and restaurants.
 But we stopped at our favourite dining room, the "Fourteas".
Tasty food and friendly service in a Forties ambiance. Minus the famous  cabbage smell of course. People were queuing genially to get a table.  
 Out in the country it had been dry for a spell, so many fields had lost their green hue.
  But after some rain the flowers recovered well.
Upton house was brought to our attention as housing an interesting art collection. 

So we joined several tours of the house.
 And it was an amazing collection.
 How about this portrait by a follower of the school of Rembrandt.
 Or this  triptych by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch. It is a copy of the famous "Adoration of the Magi"in Madrid.
 I suppose this portrait by Jean-Bapiste Greuze was not meant for the Masters study.
 The new and old sandstone match nicely. It is hard to tell when  the extensions were built to Upton house.
 Meanwhile the farmers were trying to get the hay into their barns.
 Driving along the lanes past charmingly named places.
 Ely with more old buildings and famous Cathedral.
 Medieval streets leading to the Cathedral.
 Back at the ferry we were friendly but conscientiously searched and frisked before boarding the ferry. When I asked they told me they were Harbour security:"Not as scary as Border Force, Sir."
Well you never know who'd try to escape Britain just before Brexit.
 After a few days at home we decided it was time for a few more daytrips in Starbuck the Wagoneer. Xanten was our first stop.
 For lunch we tried this wonderful cake. Up to par with any British pastry I must admit.
 Then off to the North of Groningen. Starbuck enjoyed the trip, though it was raining quite a bit by now.
We were very close to the sea. Here we saw plenty of pretty Sea-lavender, though the Latin name sounds more enticing: Limonium Vulgare.
 Fishermen from several ports stay here in Lauwersoog as their home ports often are locked in by dikes now or farther from their fishing grounds.
 Glad to find old rusty engines up here too.
 And then there's a truly Dutch windmill at Usquert. (try to pronounce this)
 The same town has this very interesting town hall by Berlage.
 A little later we were back in Xanten
 This must be the most extraordinary Zabaglione we ever had. A fitting finish to a great and very different summer holiday.