Week 2, part 5

The Elleray Hotel, our home for two nights in Windermere.

RoZ poses at the tree under which we picnicked on Lake Windermere.

Some of the wide variety of mushrooms found near our picnic site on the shore of Lake Windermere.

Wednesday was another travel day - lots of time spent on trains and in train stations - as we made our way to the Lake District, an area that every native we've talked to has raved about. We spent a day and two nights in Windermere, which is near the shore of one of the largest lakes in the Lake District. While waiting for our last train connection, we heard one of the funniest station announcements we'd ever heard: "The train to Glasgow has been delayed because it has run into a herd of cows." If the cows weren't mad before, they probably are now.

Windermere is what we call "foo-foo," with lots of overpriced food, guest houses where you pay for lots of fancy furniture (kinda like American B&B's), and more antique shops than pubs. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the lake. At the bottom of the hill, on the lakeshore, is Bowness. This is where people go to play golf, buy souveniers, and get on chartered boats. Windermere is high-brow, Bowness is low-brow.

But we didn't come for the towns, we came for the countryside, so on Thursday we took a ferry to the other side of the lake and spent a couple of hours hiking along the quiet side. It was interesting to notice that, of all the people out walking, we saw no one younger than us. We also couldn't help but think of what a zoo this place must be in the summertime, with the motorboats, jet-skis and crowds ... not to mention the foot-in-mouth that had all the trails closed last summer. As cool, grey and dreary as it was that day, we were glad we picked the fall to come up. And the fall colors are beginning to come out - just enough to be noticeable, but not enough to bring out the hordes of leaf-peepers.

A swan comes begging for a treat as we picnic on Lake Windermere.

A home on the hill overlooking the quiet shore of Lake Windermere.

A view of the Bowness Rectory, and of the abbey with its accompanying graveyard.

An assortment of "postcard pictures" from Lake Windermere.

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