Catching up: the Lake District
Trip Start Sep 10, 2008
16Trip End Sep 29, 2008
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Where I stayed
Keswick was just lovely. The Crow Park Hotel is charming. Our view was spectacular - over Derwintwater (lake) toward the fells (mountains). As I mentioned, it reminded me of the Great Smoky Mountains, which I saw as a kid with my dad and brother. The town is small and charming. Many of the tour members - inveterate hikers, many of them - went up to the hills to go hiking. One of our few rainy/drizzly days so far, so I was in no mood to go for a walk, esp. after doing Hadrian's Wall the day before. They came back later with hysterical stories of lost trails, stiles, mud, and more mud. So glad we didn't go! Catherine and I did some laundry, I wandered around the town and had lunch with two other single gals on the tour, Vicky and (the other) Catherine
While having lunch with Vicky and Catherine2 - outside in the rain, huddled under a small overhang - we were joined by three very handsome 30-something men from Bristol, with whom we started talking politics. Well, first the weather, then 'where are you from', then politics. The natural progression :) Turns out C2 is a Republican (she and Vicky are from Houston), but we managed to both give our perspectives without too much confusion. After V and C2 had left, the guys asked me further what was going on with the Obama campaign. I gave them what news I had, from my work with the Dems in Iowa. Folks over here are genuinely frightened that McCain and Palin will get into office - they're financial sector is melting down just like ours, and they have every reason to fear any continuation of the last 8 years of nonsense and fraud. They believe Obama has the least chance of getting all of us (our countries being so intertwined, as I realize more and more) blown completely to Hell. Can't say I disagree with them. I gave them what encouraging words that I could and went on my way to the library.
It was fun to walk into the library and realize it *felt* just like a small town library. They had a number of internet terminals, and were very pleasant about my using them. It's a tourist town, so they're clearly used to it
Both nights in Keswick we ate as a group in the hotel. The food was not much inspired, but it was pleasant, and it was nice to spend time with the group. I keep sitting with the funny folks, which is great fun. The hotel's proprietor (? I think), Ian, is a nice young man in his 30s. Catherine and I ran into him on the way to the launderette earlier in the day. He had his daughter with him - she'd just turned two. Very cute! He was walking with his 'partner', a woman, and she was pushing their 12 week old son in a pram. As he said, now we know why he often looks exhausted! It's interesting how many people over here don't bother to get married. They have better legal protections for non-married couples, so have less need to, and of course the National Health system means they don't need to marry to get insurance.
I can't get enough of the scenery here. I'll try to upload some pics later, but I find I spend all my time uploading pics, then don't have time for typing, so I'm going to try to get caught up first.