Today we panned to go on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. And so we did. But not without a bit of trouble first!
We left our accommodation a little later than I had wanted and the road was quite busy. As we neared Pickering, we knew it was going to be touch and go. Then there were road works! Satoshi rang the station and was told that we would not have time to park and catch the train. Not to be thwarted, I asked about the next station. "No parking at all!" was the cheerful answer given. Bother! Oh well, let's give it a go anyway! So off we went down a VERY narrow lane that seemed to be going nowhere. Then we got to the town of Levisham. There were signs everywhere saying no parking so we went on towards the station. Again the signs. Again we kept going! We went over a cattle grid and there were cows and sheep on the road. We passed a few cars parked on the side of the road. There was room for us there but we kept going. About 500 metres further, we came to the station and there was, as we had been told, nowhere to park (or do anything else for that matter - it was just a little station in the middle of nowhere). OK, back up the steep hill to park the car. Then the walk down - Satoshi ran on ahead, with me following as quickly as I could manage. I heard the train whistle, saw some steam and the the train. Still a long way to go! Finally made it against all odds. Then found out that the train wasn't going to leave for another five minutes!
The wheels are big!
This is Goathland Station which was used for Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter movies.
It was a special World War I theme weekend on the railway. A lot of people were dressed up in the clothes of the day. These people were also singing some of the songs of the day!
It was generally very difficult to take photos out of the window as we went along. This was due to the speed of the train (quite fast), the dirty windows, and the reflections. This one tuned out OK.
There were even soldiers around.
This photo (which I stole from the internet as mine didn't turn put very well) shows the town of Whitby with the ruins of the abbey above the town. There are 199 steps up to the abbey. I got a taxi - my leg, although slowing me down, has been OK and I was able to wander around the abbey at leisure but I thought 199 steps was a bit too much to ask of it!
I'm getting very excited about the prospect of being able to buy and let off fireworks! They are still legal in England around the time of Guy Fawkes Day (5th November).
Whitby from the Abbey
Whitby from the Abbey
The ruins of the Abbey are really quite impressive.
Again, there are patches of detail left.
You can imagine what the Church used to be like!
Amazingly, a small part of the vaulting remains.
The east end wall
Only a very small portion of the cloister remains.
The sun was trying to come out.
A part of the west end of the church
The people in the photo allow you to grasp the huge size of the building.
It was actually quite cold and I didn't have a coat! I was glad of the opportunity to taste some mead (alcoholic drink made from honey)! We bought a bottle but have not opened it yet.
This house in Whitby is where Captain Cook stayed for a while as an apprentice. It is now a museum holding a number of interesting artefacts around his life. We were saddened to learn that he had six children but all died either in infancy or at sea. He had no grandchildren.
A portrait of Captain Cook
It was amazing to look at an actual letter written by him.
Captain Cook's signature
This replica of a sailing ship is about a third of normal size. We wondered why until we saw...
As there were hundreds of these traps, we surmised that they are still used for fishing.
The train arriving at Whitby to take us on the return journey.
I was standing here ready to take a photo (as was a lady). The engine suddenly emitted a huge amount of steam very loudly. The lady and I almost jumped into each others arms!
We did not get back to Levisham station until 7:30pm and then we had to walk up the steep slope to the car in the dark! On the way back to York, we had dinner at Toby's Carvery (again - such a great place!) and went "home". We were very tired - but what a fun day!!