Yorkshire Rose, Cherry Tree, Red Lion: Tour de Yorkshire

Huddersfield was the closest pick-up point for the Urquart Lochs and Glens holiday. In addition to yesterday’s blog post, it’s about £170 per person so not so much of a bargain for individuals. Sometimes they have single surcharges, but I don’t think they had one for that holiday. I’ve already posted a review of Huddersfield Travelodge on Trip Advisor.

There was lovely food in the Yorkshire Rose pub just below the Travelodge, as there was for breakfast in the Huddersfield Cherry Tree Wetherspoons and Red Lion in Skipton. In the Yorkshire Rose I had the added bonus of being there at the best time of day to sample the excellent Boondoggle and Wainwright’s golden ales.

Tour de Yorkshire

I relived travelling through Yorkshire in hot spring sunshine last weekend, as the televised (ITV4) Tour de Yorkshire enjoyed glorious sunshine. On the last day it passed nearby, and it was great to see them clear and close-up, after not really seeing them through the crowds during the Tour de France in 2014.

Moreover, breakaway winner of that day’s stage, France’s Rossetto, reminded me of me when I was thin from travelling in the 1980s/90s; and leading from the front like his epic 100km breakaway was my favourite kind of running style when young… it would have been when I was older if I could’ve done it!

Stéphane ROSSETTO

Here’s some photos and a video.

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Lochs and Glens Holiday Real Bargain

We stayed at the Glenmorag in Dunoon, which was a nice old characteristic hotel, with good organisation and delicious food; reminding me a bit of The Shining, which was shown on television that week and featured on Gogglebox! Also had the bonus of seeing a deer in the greenYgrey grounds.

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I don’t have any connection with David Urquart coaches, and lots of other firms provide similar holidays, but I think the value for money promise of their advertising is shown by the four nights holiday only costing about £170, and normally one night at the Glenmorag costs £65.

Apart from all the coach travel, we also had a nice hour-long cruise on Loch Lomond:

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While it had been a nice holiday, and quite lucky to have mild temperatures, and dry sometimes sunny weather when out and about, never getting wet, it was also nice to head south to the tail-end of the heatwave going on south of the Clyde.

It’s also been great to spend some quality time with the Sun again this week, after our busy schedules meant we haven’t seen each other much since our Sunnymoon/Honeysunny!

Tighnabruaich great greenYgreyish

On the morning of our final day, we travelled west to Tighnabruaich, which is kind of pronounced tea-an’-a-brew-ish, which was apt, because the region had a lot of nice cafes etc. The island of Bute is across from the mainland town, beyond Loch Riddon in the patch of sunlight on the horizon photo and the Kyles of Bute in the green park close-up. The other photo is of a loch while travelling west.

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Sunnymoon is Over, Honeysunny Time in Loch Lomond

The sunnymoon period was over the next day, visiting Loch Lomond, but it was dry, and atmospheric. As in Norway where the narrow fjords with steep mountains are the most spectacular, I think lochs such as nearby Loch Long and Loch Awe are more picturesque in places, but Lomond is nice too, with several islands, and a visible mountain line dividing the Highlands and Lowlands going through it. As the biggest freshwater body in Britain at about twenty-four miles by five, it also has been-there-and-done-that value.

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No O Ban in Oban

As we headed farther north-west, I thought we might face questions about our human-star mixed relationship, but I was relieved to see there was no O ban in Oban, and my beloved star was able to shine as brightly as possible in the lovely coastal town facing the island of Mull across the Firth of Lorn.

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Sunnymoon Full Moon Coincidence

I didn’t know it was a Full Moon yesterday when I wrote of going on a honeymoon with the sun, calling it a sunnymoon. The first I knew of the Full Moon was when I saw it shining very brightly; with its shine a reflection of the sun.

Seeing the orca in the Clyde made me think they look like aquatic pandas, and could be derived from a common ancestor called a pandorca: originally from Majorca.

Sunny Inverary

We continued our sunnymoon in historic Argyll and Bute Loch Fyne (also a restaurant chain!) fine sunny Inverary.

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Orcas Late for Sunnymoon

I have never
written fiction
I just transcribe
musec into words.

Listening to Klaus Schulze ‘Timewind‘.
Music is derived from the ancient Greek muse: Origin Middle English: from Old French musique, via Latin from Greek mousikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of the Muses’, from mousa ‘muse’.

After the Sun and I’s marriage at Gretna Green we travelled north on our sunnymoon. Three orcas were supposed to escort us, but they spent too long enjoying Orkney, feeling at home, so they didn’t make it to the Firth of Clyde until five days later; a day after our return journey on the Gourock-Dunoon ferry.

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Orcas in the Clyde.

a bird swimming in water
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Gretna Green Sun Marriage

I returned north of the border last week on another Urquart coach holiday, about three years after the first to the Highlands. After first stopping in Skipton we then stopped over the border in Gretna Green, famous for conducting marriages for runaway couples. It was a sunny day, and a marriage had just taken place.

I didn’t see a vole there for a love anagram, but there was lots of lovely greenYgrey, and bright sun creating a Scottish flag sky!

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Viking Pagans Were of their Time, Monotheists Worse in More Recent Times

If I.S. have done one good thing for humanity and the world it is to show the horrors of war; of course, they weren’t meaning to do good for humanity and the world. As Simon Schama pointed out at the start of the Civilisations programme with the account of the killing of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, at Palmyra, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of art pieces, they were doing it to intimidate and threaten, using new information technology.

Art of the Vikings

My interest in Viking culture (500-1100 AD) was inspired by The Vikings movie (1958), and when I was young it was all about their scenic sailing warriordom; as I was intrigued by wild pagan Native American horseriding culture from Hollywood movies.

However, in modern times; I intended starting my travels by taking the ferry to Bergen, Norway, but then changed them as I waited for the Monsters of Rock in late August, and so headed south straightaway, before reaching there for the Midnight Sun Marathon in 2007; I admire Scandinavia for its democratic civilised qualities and environmental initiatives.

In the latest NASA’s Unexplained Files I liked the story of the skydiver seeing a rock fall near him, causing a year-long search. When a NASA worker worked out it must have fallen from his parachute, the Norwegian investigator said he thought everybody would be angry, but they were all happy and congratulatory, because they’d been honest, and science had worked. That’s the kind of scientific ethos I try to have with my writing and research.

In Secret Knowledge: The Art of Vikings I liked the jadeYgrey Buddha statue they found some Vikings had from the 6th Century Swat Valley in the heart of Asia, which was then Buddhist (about 14 minutes of the documentary).

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Then just after about 20 minutes of the 30 minutes documentary, Dr. Ramirez says she thinks one of the main interests the pagan Vikings first saw in the Christian religion was the part played by fish, as they were a part of their natural folklore too, and they valued living things the most. This thirty-five piece gold, silver and bronze (me: Olympic medals relevance?) Viking fishtail necklace shows their respect:

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Vikings in Historical Context Compared to Monotheism

Inquisition Documentary Shows Christian Horrors

The Yesterday channel series about the Inquisition has showed the horrors of the Christian church in Europe from the 11th Century to the 19th, with the last episode focusing on the British witch trials. Thousands of people were killed, with most being women who were the community healers; or victims of grudges and land grabs. Britain wasn’t as bad as continental Europe, and one man called Matthew Hopkins killed the majority of victims in a three years period 1644-1647.

Muslim Pirates Acting Like Vikings Until 19th Century

Barbary pirates were raiding Europe as the Vikings had done up to the 19th Century, capturing victims for sale as slaves, until European nations united to repel them. Over a million Europeans were enslaved from 1530 to 1780. Some of the enslavers were European ‘converts’.

When I was reading about Iceland around my January visit I saw that it suffered horrific such attacks in 1627, with hundreds of victims killed, and hundreds forced into slavery. (Wikipedia).

Conclusion

I’ve grown out of my childhood and youthful Romantic Viking Hollywood movie inspiration now, and relate more to Odin than Loki of the Valhalla pantheon; wisdom over trickery; especially after seeing the Valhalla Rising film featured heavily in the Scandinavian section of XaW Files!

As Dr. Ramirez pointed out at the end of her Art of the Vikings documentary, the battles for ‘England’ in 1066 were basically a Viking civil war, with the Normans (Norsemen) Vikings who settled in northern France, and those already resident in ‘England’ having strong Viking links after hundreds of years of residency.

I updated my thoughts on the Americas migration, and its connection to the Middle-East, last night on fmpoetry.wordpress.com, arguing that what is most amazing about it is that the Mayans featured similar structures and symbols (500-800 AD) about 20,000 years after their ancestors must have left the Middle-East to start the migration to the Americas, and where the Mesopotamians would signify the importance of the bag-carrying Apkallu around 2500 BC.