Roben and Margaret – UK & Europe Trip, June 2017.
is very much work in progress, so is the short version.
niece Rosemary married Mike Round in June, and did me the honour of
asking me to walk her down the aisle, so we went on a tour of England
in June. We were there for two months, which we thoroughly enjoyed –
especially the wedding.
and Birgit were very kind and helpful. They took us all over in their
Ford van, with Birgit doing most of the driving. We stayed in B&Bs
while they camped.
arrived in London the day after us & hired a Nissan Qashqai in
which we travelled to Penzance, where we joined Christopher and
Birgit. We saw a lot of Penzance, Lands End (the most Westerly point
of England) and the Lizard Point (the Southernmost point).
we went to Taunton where our old family friend Andy Mayo, son of
Chris & Val has settled. He is working in a shop which sells
fishing flys and the stuff that is used to make them. David then left
us to go back to London to return the QashQai, and we travelled to
Sulgrave near Oxford for Rosemary and Mikes wedding.
wedding was held in lovely weather, and most of the South African
relatives were there as well as Mikes family and a lot of their
friends. The next day we went to a braai at Mik es parents home.
next day we went to visit Bletchely Park, where there was a top
secret establishment during the war which decoded secret German
signals. This information was so useful that it materially shortened
the war. This effort was greatly aided by the development of digital
electronic technology. Alan Turing, a pioneer in the development of
Computer Science, was involved in this effort. Because of ongoing
security most of Britain knew nothing about it until recently, and
the park was nearly sold for a housing estate. Fortunately it was
saved and is now an impressive museum.
there we travelled up the length of England and Scotland, visiting
places of interest along the way, to John o’Groats, the
northernmost village in mainland UK. The history of the John
O’Groats site dates back to 1496 when Jan De Groot, a Dutchman,
was granted a charter to the land by the Earl of Caithness to set up
a ferry to the Orkney Islands.
took a ferry to Kirkwall on Mainland – the largest of the
Orkney Isles. The weather was very stormy, but had a safe trip
although the ferry was corkscrewing through the waves. We saw the
neolithic village of Skara Brae, Skara Brae, a Stone Age village
which predates Stonehenge with remarkably sophisticated living
quarters for 5000 years ago, as well as the standing stones of
Steness, a neolithic monument.
returned by a different route visiting places such as Hawes in the
Yorkshire Dales, the site of the James Heriot books, and thence to
Norwich where Alan Benstead-Smith, Wendys Brother, lives in
retirement with his wife Hazel. They were very hospitable.
Christopher, Birgit & David stayed with them and we stayed at the
Best Western Hotel in Norwich.
there we took the Ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland after a night
at the Esplanade Hotel in Clacton-on-sea, which reminded us of Durban
about 40 years ago except for the windmill farm on a sandbank out to
Van Zyl family ancestors emigrated to the Cape of Good hope from
there. We visited the Royal Delft porcelain factory,
Potsdam? Stayed with Caroline & Roman & family in the house
they have bought and are renovating.
stayed at C & Bs home for about a week, catching breath &
Karlshagen C & Bs house near Bs mother & brother – let out to summer tourists. Visited mother & brother.
by ferry to Denmark and over long sea bridge from mainland to
islands. Stayed B&B farmhouse.
to “Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen” Kobnhaven.
Karen Blixen house “Ringstedlund” & museum.
Cultural history museum – Viking history & culture.
stayed youth hostel. Very comfortable. Fram & Kon Tiki museums.
(at head of Lyefjord) via 26 hairpin bends & a tunnel to floor of
fjord. Stayed tourist hotel. By ferry through Lysefjord to Stavanger.
Spectacular scenery. Cold.
stay youth hostel.
Cathy & Norberts house let out. C & B upstairs flat over
garage, us in van.
Munich Stayed with Cathy & Norbert
Fantastic! National Maritime Museum (Ernest Schackleton, antartic
explorer), past Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory (First chronometers),
Natural History Museum (Australopithecus skeleton & Naledi
represented) & Science Museum. Stayed Best Western Mornington
near Hyde Park.
thank Rosemary and Mike Pound for inviting us to their wedding.
are very grateful to Christopher and Birgit, who were great! They
took us all over the UK, and from Hook of Holland to Stavanger and
back to their home in Dresden.
Also to Caroline, Roman and Family and Cathy, Norbert and Family for sharing their homes with us.