Travelling is just one of those things I love to do. The travel experience falls into simple categories for me, those which predominately I try to keep an open mind towards. Categories like the surrounding area and facilities, impacting scenery, food it's quality & local passions depending what's on offer and the engaging places that it is worshipped, accommodation options if I stay over, price impact, and the climatic atmosphere, which by the way are not in any particular order. A trip or a vacation has its impacts small to start, and then as it develops, the experience takes over, giving one a general culminating sense of reward sediment, leaving one with memories both high and low.
So for my first travel blog, the one to kick it all off, I have chosen to write about my Lakeland's experience, in the Lake district of the North West of England. This by the way was my first time entering into this arena of which I was informed to be a very "special" place indeed.
Which is in fact a dangerous statement for me to accept, especially if cast in my direction, as it automatically ups my expectation levels, and therefore I am actively on the look out for impressions in how this place effects me, what it is truly like and since my friend finds it to be special then what is that special piece that I would appropriate from this place, myself. Better a friend to say nothing ideally at all. But as we all know that isn't going to happen, as I am going to strangle their opinion out of them anyway, as personally I never like to go in anywhere, blind!
So the Lake District, driving, the options are easy and coming off the main northern bound motorways M61 or M6 from Manchester direction, Sat-Nav predominately controlling the way, and in so doing it is fairly straight forward to be honest to arrive into Cumbria.
After coming off the main motorways, we drove into developing tempestuous valleys, lifting up into higher rising hills to start and in the distance mountain tops. Below however at eye level and it's surrounding area's we found ourselves moving constantly towards still sandy reed lakes, crescent-lined and wrapped by windy roadways and pathways, old round stone walls giving the vista a general sense of older times which I must admit I love.
That possibility of an older world of times gone by, really sets me up for simply the unexpected, which keeps me if I am truthful on edge, watching for the unexpected, the strange, the unusual, ancient influences, you know the likes when you turn an unusual corner, a sight can open up right in front of your eyes!
And that is exactly what happened, wonderfully which gets me all tingly inside, with anticipations building, for we were on our way for a five to six hour mountain walk and that had it's own set of expectancies.
My expectations generally were in the mountains, as the day was setting itself up to be a beauty, with clear blue skies, but this just really caught my eye. On turning, a downhill steeply corner, it was there right in front of us, Windermere, even the name gave me goosebumps and set me riveting back especially when you stretch out the word Win-der-me-re. The name of course for me suggests Camelot, the round table, heroic knights, and even the sense of magic caught my imagination with a pure pre-raphaelite induction and feel. The areas that surround this name sake is transcending, for example small round towered land lying buildings, low lying cottages, surrounding Windermere with its state lakes that run into mountains.
A set in time, it's surrounding beauty is breath taking, so I made a serious mental note of it not that you could forget, to make sure we would stop there on our way back! Just to see what delights this hamlet and surrounding town lake lands would hold. Further on we went into the depts of the mountains, moving further into its silence, peaceful natural aspirations, of its own, moving further away from its spiraling roads, into a place of untempered national beauty.
Moving closer to it's heights, we parked around the base line of Hellvelyn (such an ancient name) and in climbing it, reaching spectacular views, massive openness you just want to keep stretching yourself out to more peaked tops of exploration, with that complete sense of open top freedom you can only find on mountain tops and pitted crevice walks.
With round-stone and slate huts, precipices, that jigger me with unexpected heights, all made the experience worthwhile. In reaching our Hellvelyn (central mountain) three hour trail, we settled down to enjoy a packed lunch all our own, and watched a vibrancy of fellow walking enthusiasts young and old of all ages, as them, enjoying the stellar views that encapsulated us all. From there we trampled onto Dolly Wagon Pike, and Nethermost Pike, across lined stones paths, grass reed walks, rolling green verges, and cool stone edged deep lake pockets, that warrants jumping in whole in such cool breezing heat quenching stillness. Our mountain stroll, finished by waterfalls, of capturing fallen colours, and as we descended back to base camp. We were still in-awed by potential future climbs, that would definitely push endurance to new limits. Jovially deciding which new routes to take, new mountains to climb, and what new hellish names to put on those potential grueling ascents, not for the faint hearted. This is what I loved about this place, the need to come back, the magnetic pull of the place to delve further into it's unknowns and play Attenborough.
Exhausted and now phenomenally hungry, we headed back to the parked car which was paid for, parking ticket that is, to uphold the preserve of the natural resort we had spent our time in. A great concept I think. Local money for local things.
So driving back in the evening, as cool breezes descended from the Mountains like ourselves, we ventured back towards Windermere. Found the local village quite quickly. This is where expectations can let one down, I was so in-awed by the natural beauty of the place, I must admit I was expecting the village to transcend that voluptuous essence we had travelled into. Don't get me wrong it is picturesque, but unfortunately I was expecting something more! Onwards we went, food being our central focus, and began to look around.
I must say on first impressions it did not have much to offer, general pizza and pasta predominated, I was looking for something, local, Mrs Beaton styled grub, but unfortunately nothing seemed to exist. After passing a number of potential, not exactly warranting venues, we settled for the inner village cafe, sitting on a traffic island so to speak, set with outside tables to enjoy the evening heat. We took the dive, hunger being a fore runner, we settled inside.
And from there my wonderful day took full fruit, with plates of garlic buttered langoustines, crab claws, tepid warm crusted bread, juicy olives, slices of local and italian meats, sun-ripened tomatoes, freshly made juices, we gorged ourselves, relaxed and under no pressure with desserts and coffee's to follow, I believe my day came promptly to an fabulous end. The only down-hearted event was the travel back, to collapse solemnly into bed.
I will be back.
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