Lake District, 12.11.2017
Lake District, 12.11.2017
Weekend break in September to see my grandmother for her 85th birthday. Glorious sunshine for 4 days straight! We could not have asked for anything better! Oh wait, we also got the Northern lights! Amazing!
This summer we went to Morocco. The first two days we spent to drive through France and Spain. We entered Morocco on the third day and we were quite excited. As it was our 2nd year anniversary, we decided to spend two days in Marrakesh. We had booked a nice five star hotel, but unfortunately it was the biggest disappointment during our whole trip. We had horrible air condition smelling like sewage and it was unbelievable hot. We went out to the Medina (markets) one afternoon and the next day we decided to see some of the history of Marrakesh. The next day, we both felt sick, so we went for the short drive instead of driving by a beautiful waterfall. We decided to take care of our health and get well sooner rather than later. We drove over the Atlas Mountains. We did not really get any sunshine, it was like a fog laying over the country the whole time we were there. But it was very beautiful. We drove until we reached Ouarzazate and here we got a two star bed and breakfast which was the best service we’ve gotten in a long time. It was in the end of a beaten track, and when we arrived, we were a little skeptical on what could be inside, however the inside surprised us. It was like an oasis with a pool and different porches you could decide on which you wanted to be served. We really enjoyed this town and we stopped by the road to buy some stuff to our house and we also managed to go by a rug shop and it was a once in a lifetime experience. We were led to the first floor of the shop where they had all the rugs, and they showed us all different kinds. Two people went to get different rugs after our taste and one folded them out to show us. We were there probably almost an hour before we decided. It was a shame that we forgot to take a picture. Before we left for Morocco, we had a list over what we wanted to buy when we were there, and a rug was one of them. We drove from there to the outskirts of the desert in Merzouga. This was the place for tourists, close to the Algerian boarder, sand everywhere. The hotel was just where the desert started. We slept on the roof in an extra outdoor room built shed that they’d put there. Quite special. Haha.. We heard we had to go on the camel for either a sunset or sunrise, so we did that at 4 in the morning. You should think that in the desert you would have some sunshine, but no, fog and actually rain. Unfortunately we didn’t get the best of sunrises the hours we sat there on the sand dunes awaiting for this amazing sight..
From here we drove into the mountains, and there we saw where we were supposed to sleep, it looked halfway finished, so we relocated and the guy who owned that place brought us to a lady who made the rugs and covers. Unfortunately we had already bought a rug, but we decided to buy a cover for a cushion as this went straight to the maker of the products. Here again, we were on the top of the building and it was actually quite cool as we were around 1400 meters.
The reason we went by the mountains was to see this beautiful Gorge called Todgha. The nature was amazing and we were enjoying the scenery. The next day, we went towards Fez, and Jared looked at the map and found a road that apparently had great views. We drove towards it, stopped an Italian and asked if we were on the right track. Yes, they said, but you should not go this way as you are in this car. He had used over four hours to cross. Someone told my man that he could not do something in a car? Oh boy … So off we went, yes, correct, he did not turn around. So, two hours later, after shaking up and down by bumps and steep hills and curves and all, we survived! Here’s the picture of “We just survived” and very relieved. And no, the view wasn’t worth it, but it’s a great story to tell our future children/grandchildren one day…
When we got to Fes, our car was dirty and of course we had checked into a five star hotel again… And this hotel was amazing! We really relaxed, but we also went into the medina and got some Fes porcelain and we got a good friend who spent an hour around getting the whole set for us. So we went with the taxi two times from the hotel. We really enjoyed Fes and Jared even had a swim in the pool. The last day we were going to see some roman ruins further north in the country, however before we could go, Jared noticed we had a puncture. So he fixed that .. oh and wait, an hour later on the road, we got another one.. Two of our tires in a short amount of time, so now we just hoped it lasted us back to England.
And it did. We got back to Spain where we visited Jareds parents and stayed there for a couple of days before we headed home. A great new adventure with plenty of memories.
It’s from the 16th of April 2017, and I got my favorite picture of these two:
The summer of 2016. We spent our day 348 to 366 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting on a new adventure. We decided on a route from North of Norway, Sweden, Finland, through Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before we were back home to England. That is four new countries we have never been to.
Day 348 we started the day off flying to north of Norway where my grandmother lives. It took most of the day to travel and when we got there it was over 20 degrees!. What a surprise! Every time Jared joins me, the weather always turns to the better. We are north of the polar circle and the sun never goes down. We spent some time with the family, ate great food, and went to bed.
Day 349. Another sunny day! We have relaxed together with the family today. Jared had to go to the store today to get a toothbrush, always something we forget.. and when he came home, a police car was driving in front of him. We were speculating what had happen and if he had forgotten his driver license too. However when we came down to ask what had happened, the police officer was just querying where someone lived. We also went for a walk today with the nieces and nephews and had a calm day at home as we have a long journey ahead of us.
Day 350, Jared and I were in Amalie and Jørunds wedding. Such a beautiful wedding! We had a 2 hours drive there and on the way we stopped to take a picture which you can see to the right.
The bride looked absolutely stunning and the groom looked very proud. It was a great day with a lot of food and good conversation. We also got to meet two friends of us, Marta and Likota. It’s always too long in between the times we see them, but our friendship always keeps the same which is amazing to have.
Sunday, day 351, we started the journey towards Finland. We drove on muddy roads in Sweden which made the car unrecognizable and we had to wash the number plates. Jared counted the reindeer we saw.. he came to 20, however suddenly a bunch of probably over 25 of them turned up and we lost count.
Starting in Finland, day 352. What a day!! This have been one crazy day. We started off the day with sunshine and breakfast. We decided on the scenic route in Finland through the wilderness and roads that looked like the picture on the left side.
Did I mention that we got lost, took another detour and when on route we found that the bridge was gone and we had to go for a new detour. Ohh, and we punctured… But these are just normalities..
Did you think that was the end of it? Definitely not. When we arrived at the finnish boarder we were told that no nationalities except Finnish, Belarus and Russian were allowed to pass. What did we have to do? Drive to Norway and Kirkenes to a different boarder not in Finland. This was the biggest detour and we were not in Murmansk until 23.00. 13 hours of driving. We ordered room service, full meal for £20. Time to say goodnight.
We woke up in Murmansk today, day 353, and wondered what we would want to see. We had a hectic day yesterday so we wanted to have a slow day. Luckily we got some assistance from a taxi driver, Anna, which helped us through the whole day. I got to see the famous cat in Tivoli Park and Jared got to see, well, Murmansk.
As he said he just always have wanted to see it. We got to see a lot of places with the help of Anna, and she even brought a friend of hers that sang to us in the car. It was kind of an absurd and amazing day at the same time. Hehe.. You can see the picture of Jared and I together with Anna to the left and Jared and I with Murmansk in the background to the right.
Now we have arrived in Kandalaksha – after great guiding from the arrow on the satnav, that only had coordinations, not showing the way, and we are tired and looking forward to a new day tomorrow with no english speaking people.
Kandalaksha, day 354. It’s taken me some time to type the name of this town. But we managed to write and pronounce it after some practice! We woke up to a great breakfast. We could decide what we wanted which was great.
We thought no one would speak English, however the son Alex on the B&B was here to assist us.
Also, we are very lucky with the weather, as it is glorious sunshine! We spent our day off to drive 8 hours to see a church on the World Herritage List. Well, you can see it here on the picture to the left, but it was locked and we must say we were a little dissappointed, but a fun drive for Jared, with another puncture. We had to drive one hour on gravel and Jared was very excited. It all went fine until we came back on the asphalt and 35 km from home where a big machine was cutting down trees next to the road and when we passed we got a splinter in the tyre. 2nd puncture and time to get new tyres. Michelin of course. On the way we also saw a little town and another very little church/chapel.
We also found our way to a supermarket to buy some food. Russia is growing on us.
Day 355 have been a drive day. We have basically been driving for 8 hours. The landscape contained of trees, trees, road and more trees. Not any houses or anything exciting really. Just the road. In the last 35 km. we found a sign to a church which we followed and we found this amazing church that you can see on the left. This is probably one of the nicest things we saw, and that was just by following some signs and be a little spontaneous.
We arrived in Petrozavodsk in the evening and we were pleasantly surprised. It is a pretty little vacation town for Russians, and we have now eaten one of the best meals we’be had in our life, and it cost us £17 with sea view and all!
Goodnight from Russia.
It’s day 356, and we had no internet all day, however we spent the whole day traveling to see this church that is on the UNESCO world heritage list in the middle of an island. This is the reason for us stopping in Petrozavodsk in the first place.
It was raining and the boat trip took 1,5 hours each way and it was impossible to leave the island before 4 hours had past.The church and the buildings around was basically a tourist attraction and Jared was not too impressed. It was also raining, so not the best day.
We arrived at our hotel at midnight, in the middle of nowhere, I don’t think we even took a picture. It was basically in the middle of the forest.
When we woke up to day 357, we drove directly to St.Petersburg. It’s been pouring with rain, so we have spent the day reading and eating in our oh amazing hotel room. These are our two days of luxury and we are going to enjoy it to the fullest!
Day 358 started with a great breakfast. This hotel is amazing. We gained a new toothbrush and toothpaste too. New fresh water in the room every day and smiley and helpful staff. We planned to see the winter palace and the museum that’s inside. It poured with rain when we got there, and when we left it, it was nice and shiny (see picture to the left). We also went to see the church of the Savior on blood (right).
Other than that we have been strolling around town, and been enjoying the city life, except when it rained so much that we got soaked. So many people everywhere though and it was like we went in a never ending queue wherever we tried to walk to. We walked a lot and after buying a piece of art and the traditional russian wooden lady in 6 parts, we decided to go home to the hotel. But we definately have to go back to St. Petersbourg in the future.
Leaving Russia on day 359 and we drove into Estonia. Spending day 359-362 to see 8 other castles around in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We loved the old town of Lithuania the best and we bought a lovely green vase from there as a souvenir. We will probably go back to see the capitals of Latvia and Estonia in the future though.
Day 363 we used to drive to Poland and the next day, day 364 we visited another castle in Poland. Below you can see a panorama shot from Lithuania. In time, I hope to create a page where you can read all about the castles we visited.
Finally houseowners. We got it!
Last summer, Jared and I left for the trip of a lifetime. We had a goal to drive through most of the countries in Europe. It was a great adventure. Day #1 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting, we started off with a huge wedding, gathering our family and friends from all over the world. It was amazing and we were blessed with the warmest day in England. It was glorious! Day #2 as Mr. and Mrs. Whiting we started our trip in England, left for France where we the next day met some bikers from Germany that needed some help. They treated us with breakfast! Our adventure had definately begun.
Day #3 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We changed our plans as the tunnel in Austria was closed and decided to give Switzerland another chance. A scenic route was chosen and off we went. Up the hills went quite slow and without a navigation system there was no warning of any speed cameras when Jared wanted to go a little quicker on the flats…ups Jared.. I guess you need to do a lot of housework the next couple of months :p Well, up and down the hills we went.. then..wait for it… We broke down!! No brakes!! Luckily we were alright and amazingly we found a nice man who fixed the car for free and we continued our journey 3 hours later. An angry hotel receptionist waited for us when we arrived in Venice 40 min passed his bedtime. Sweaty and tired.
Day #4 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Waking up in romantic Venice, more tired than anything after a long day yesterday. Going outside was almost unbearable as the temperature was between 30-40 degrees. We decided to go touring three islands as the boat had air conditioning. We decided against the gondola as it was €100 for a trip, €80 special price for you… No thank you. We ate next to the grand canal and decided that if we come back it must be in winter… Ending the evening with eating ice cream …twice in Jareds case. Day #5 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We woke up early to escape the heat. We got out of Venice heading towards Slovenia, a country neither of us had been before. The car has started to get lots of stickers in the car from all the toll vidgets we have to put in the car. We spent today at Predjama castle which is the biggest cave castle in the world. It was sunny and beautiful! We have checked in at a lovely guesthouse with a couple from Wales and Finland so Jared could speak English and I could speak Swedish.
Day #6 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We had a slow start this morning, but we only had 3 hours of driving. As we came into Croatia, we got a proper English “Cheers” from the toll guy. Over the boarder, we could see forest everywhere, and the further into Croatia we went, off the motorway, we could see scars from the war. We could see houses with bullet holes and destroyed. We saw farmers that is still living in camping wagons and half build houses abandoned.
Still, in all this, we saw beauty. We have had a good relaxing day in Croatia. Day #7 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We woke up in Plitvicka national park in Croatia. We decided for the scenic route down the Croatian coastline. The scenery was amazing. Jared tried to teach me a few new English words that I have already forgotten… :p We ate the best omelette I have had in a long time and Jared went for a swim in the freezing ocean (I believe only because I bet him £5 that he wouldn’t). We entered Bosnia after a little miss on the boarder. The brilliant new motorway boarder did not sell us car insurance, and was in a right mood, and they sent us country road to find it (at a different boarder).. we got a bit lost but we found it in the end and there was no que and the people there were nice! 🙂 We got to Mostar only to discover that we missed the world series of the Red Bull cliff diving from the old Mostar bridge by 6 hours. Jared was most gutted about this. But at least we got free water and air conditioning at the hotel. We ended the day with a walk up to the illuminated old bridge which was very beautiful.
Day #8 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. I could sum up the day with 3 words though; thunder, lighting and rain. When we woke up in Mostar, the rain was already pouring down. We had a quick walk over to the bridge and got some ice cream on the way back. As the weather was that horrible we decided to drive to the Montenegro boarder to get car insurance. We went to see some old town walls on the top of a mountain and a monastery in the middle of nowhere on the way there. It said the monastery was from the 9th century on the signs, however when we got there it turned out to be from the 1500s. Still quite unique. We drove further in thunder and lighting and past an accident. Jared is an excellent driver and I’m glad that he is driving as people here are nuts at times. We waited over one hour to cross the boarder (100m with cars) as the men were chatting with each other and didn’t really care about the cars, but in the end we managed to enter Montenegro. 20 min later we crossed the boarder back to Bosnia Herzegovina from another boarder as we could not face going back with the same slow speed. This was an excellent choice as only one car was crossing at this point. We headed off to Dubrovnik, crossing yet another boarder, still raining, lighting and thunder, but we achieved what we wanted.
Day #9 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Rain!! How horrible! Well, Jared said; we are going to see Dubrovnik as we are here, and off we went. It was not just rain, it was elephant drops of rain! We almost ran to the old town, bought two umbrellas and found a place to eat lunch. Luckily the weather got better and we then walked along the old walls. Great views and not too many tourists as it had been raining quite a bit. In the end of the walk suddenly a stream of people appeared together with the sun. We headed off, but of course not without an ice cream, and I got myself some nice sunglasses. Montenegro here we come! And ohh how amazing Montenegro is!! We drove over a mountain pass which was absolutely stunning!! We have now checked in for the night in the town Niksic where we stand out a bit… Outside is a selection of nice cars and we feel we should dress up for dinner…
Day #10 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Today we drove to Ostrog monastery. It was a spectacular sight on the mountain side. We debated wether or not to go in as the que was very long, but we were there and would probably regret it if not, so we went in. We were quite disappointed as the whole experience was more kissing doors and statues, but as said, we wouldn’t know if we didn’t go in and regret later. We continued our journey towards Albania and made sure we filled up the tank with petrol as we will try to avoid filling in Albania. As we came closer to the boarder we got even more amazed by the nature around us. At the boarder we met some goats, a dog walking across the road and men who wanted to sell car insurance. We had to show the guard police our route in Albania before he sent us on our way. 5 minutes later the police pulled us over. Oh no, we thought, what have we done wrong? Luckily Jared had just forgotten to turn his lights on, the policeman was very nice and we got no fine, just a smile and a wave. People cannot drive in this country.. or what they do is to drive and not look where they are going. We have gotten to our very nice hotel room, safe and sound and we have eaten so much food that we cannot bother to go out and look around…
Day #11 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Where should I start? Albania, Albania, Albania… People driving like crazy. Why not park in the middle of the road, go around the roundabouts the wrong direction or cycle any direction in the road.
We had decided to go over the Albanian alps in the north. The scenery was amazing, and the views where great and Jared had a lot of fun when we went out of tarmac and the road was bumpety bump, bump!! We went out of Albania and into Montenegro, buuut before that at the boarder we noticed that we had punctured. So the Montenegro police at the boarder helped out and then one of them asked for a lift… Haha! So we had the police with us for a while all gunned up and with no seatbelt.. I did not feel I could tell him off.. We went a short route into Serbia but ended up detouring through Kosovo and Macedonia. 5 countries in a day is a record for us.. Now we are exhausted after a 11 hours drive.
Day #12 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We started off in Macedonia quite early today as we had to get to the top of Bulgaria. The Macedonian boarder wanted to research our car and asked a lot of questions about Albania. In the end we found out that what they wanted to know was if we had any marihuana with us.
Our passports have quite a few unusual stamps with Albania and Kosovo now so they seemed to look twice at the car and take a little longer. A Norwegian and an English traveling together with different last names (in the passport).. could seem suspicious I admit, but we explained as much as we could and they let us go on. Unfortunately it was raining in Bulgaria, but we headed to Belogradchick to the fortress there before we headed towards the hotel in Vidin. When we got there we looked around… Did not feel comfortable to leave our car in that area and left for Romania. Our question is ; whyyyy is there NO HOTELS close to the Bulgarian boarder??? Well… We drove to the closest city and we got ourselves a hotel room. Yey!! Looking forward to explore Romania further tomorrow.
Day #14 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Lets say it’s been the worst one yet… Nothing today went as planned, just the visit to one of the castles we planned for, Peles Castle. What we have thought about today is how funny it is that in England we walk our dogs, but in Romania they walk their cows. We have seen so many on the road today. Also we drove in rain, fog and completely darkness over a mountain pass that apparently is lovely. We tried to help two Swiss guys that were stuck in the middle of it, but without luck. I guess they were worse off than us as they are camping in the rainy mountains in the middle of the night. We just arrived at the hotel, which luckily was happy to have us at 01.30 in the morning… And the hotel is the best one yet!! Hint; Dracula teamed. It’s time to say goodnight, a new long day tomorrow.
Day #15 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We have loved being in Romania. We hope to come back when the weather is better. Today the sun smiled to us again , but we headed into Hungary. We have had a late start today and we arrived in Holloko, which seems to be a closed museum at the moment. We are a little worried that we cannot lock the front door in this traditional little town (museum) but luckily we can lock the bedroom. Interesting to see if we wake up to people watching us or what… Right now we are parked outside someone’s house to get some internet and its not awkward at all…. We have mostly been driving and eating today but here’s a picture of the little town.
Day #16 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We woke up early today to head for Spis Castle in Slovakia, but before we left, we went for a walk up the little hill in Holloko to see the castle there.
Holloko was improving in daylight, but we had to head off as Spis Castle closed at 4. We spent a couple of hours at the castle which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, before we headed to the hotel and it was only 15 minutes away! We are very excited to have a short day today and we will now have a nice rest and maybe walk in the town Levoca, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Day #17 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. The day started with Jared having problems with the shower. He could not manage to turn the taps off or down and he said we had to go down to reception to let them know it’s broken and go for breakfast. While we were eating breakfast the lady in the reception said nothing was wrong with the tap, he just had to turn it right to close it. Back to the room we went and Jareds second try to take a shower.
Jared came out again, laughing and saying he could not turn it on now. I went in myself to try but it was completely stuck. Back we went to the reception and she then brought a man up to help us… it was an easy fix for him to turn the tabs around….Haha!! Well.. it’s never been this hard to take a shower before. The third attempt was successful and finally we were ready to go. On route we found a place called Lucky and there was a beautiful waterfall. We also went to visit an old wooden church on the UNESCO World Heritage List and we saw a castle, but we did not go in as we had to wait for 1 hour til the next group was going in. It has been raining and miserable again, but we have arrived in Poland. We saw a pizzeria we definitely will visit later tonight.
Day #18 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We had a really early start this morning waking up at 06.45. Jared had the wish to go to Auschwitz as we were so close. I tried to say no as it is our honeymoon, but then again, we have been traveling for 18 days and we have seen traces of war, bombed houses, empty villages, signs that indicates land mines, poverty, we have entered countries with tension as there is still conflicts going on. Seeing Auschwitz today was also emotional and upsetting, but we all need to see it and never forget. With the early start in the morning, we managed to avoid the big crowds and we were happy with that. It was good to walk by yourself and reflect in your own timeframe. We have also arrived safely in Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic, and tomorrow we will spend the whole day here.
Day #19 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Today we spent the whole day in Cesky Krumlov.
It’s an amazing little town south in the Czech Republic. We woke up to sunshine and we had probably around 30-35 degrees today. As we went for a stroll down the streets and over the bridges, Jared noticed people where rafting on the river that goes through the town. This was quite tempting as it was quite warm so we went to find this place, rented a rafting canoe and had an hour trip down the river. We are trying to rest too as the trip is soon coming to an end and we do not want to be completely exhausted.
Day #20 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Today we had a short 3 hour drive to the northern Czech Republic, but before we left Jared managed to help two ladies to back up their car from a narrow-ish space. They seemed forever grateful and Jared had done his good deed of the day. On the road I gently told Jared the car in front had stopped and we were getting dangerously close. Jared hit the breaks, but figured the car would not stop in time and manoeuvred the car quickly around on the right side of it, and we could continue our journey after a bit of an adrenaline rush. We visited Radyne castle after that and just drove to the hotel. We have watched a movie and we are enjoying having a bit more luxurious 2 nights. A visit to the hotel spa tomorrow maybe??
Day #21 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Jared ended up in hospital. If it’s heat stroke or food poisoning, we don’t know.
The hospital is keeping him here til tomorrow. I’m happy that they found a room for us to stay together. We might come home a day or two later, depending on what the doctors say tomorrow.
Day #22 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We have spent the whole day in hospital. I went to check us out of the hotel but other than that just slept and eaten a little. He is looking better, but we are waiting for the results of the blood tests tomorrow to know if we can leave and head towards Germany. Thank you to everyone for all the love and support! I got a little smile of him today.
Day #23 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. Finally out of hospital!! Before 08.30 in the morning. Efficiency is not an unknown word in this country. We love Google Translate which saved us on more then a few occasions. Today we have driven from Cheb in Czech Republic to Mons in Belgium. Quite a long day and I’m very proud of Jared driving this long way.
As there were no towels in the hospital we have smelled horribly the whole way, so now we feel amazingly clean and ready for a rest before England tomorrow.
Day #24 as Mr. & Mrs. Whiting. We are finally home!! Weird and surreal! The everyday of Mr. & Mrs. Whiting starts tomorrow… We are both exhausted, but we agreed that we have had an amazing adventure and we have enjoyed the trip a lot!! Actually so much that we planned something amazing for next year already, but we will let you know more about that later. Ohh, and of course it was nice to see Blake 😉 He knows exactly how we feel now. We need a decent nights sleep. Goodnight world!!