Friday, 14 August 2009

A Lion, A Bookshop, Kippers, A Flat Cap And Blue Sea

By Friday we had done so many things we wanted a more relaxed day. First of all we popped to Alnwick. When you drive into the town from the direction we did, you can't help noticing this lion on a monument. He is the symbol of the Percy family-Earls of Northumberland.
The two linked articles have different stories to tell-who knows which is true-not me that's for sure. Anyway, the lion is famous for his straight tail, though pictorial representations have curly tails. There is a famous one on the bridge where there is a good view of the castle-used as Hogwarts in Harry Potter.
Here is loads of information about the bridge should you want it! I am trying to find out why the tail is straight but so far no luck! This could be it! This is the fabulous Barter Books-a huge second hand bookshop where you can barter should you wish-well-you hand your books in, they give you a price and you can spend that in the shop. I just spent money though as I did not know the system! It is a heavenly place if you have a weakness for books, especially old and strange books which I do! Andy bought two books about Northumberland by his neighbour from when he was growing up and his donkey Jack is mentioned! I bought some children's books-I have a small collection of old children's books so had the perfect excuse in my mind! I bought one called 'The Book of Vision'-not as exciting as it sounds-it is about vision in the sense of sight rather than foresight. I also bought 'Getting To Know The Birds'-beautiful illustrations.I did not buy this-it may be fascinating but the title tells me not!
A lot of the shelves look as tempting as this so we were in there for quite some time. It has a cafe and a toy train running round the second room you walk into. It also is the source of that poster-'Keep Calm and Carry On' which you see everywhere. Apparently it was found neatly folded at the bottom of a box of books and it grew from there. I suppose it can't have been the only copy but a lot have been copied from it.Here's the train!When we finished in Alnwick we decided to go to Craster-it is famous for its kippers. We parked outside the village as instructed and shunned the kipper in a bun next to the carpark and toilets. We would come to regret that. We walked into the village, looking for food-we had driven a long way to get there and thought the place would be bursting with delicious kipper related snacks. We ended up in a horrible pub eating greasy chips and a stottie cake(a big bread roll) pizza-mine had an added hair on it. Needless to say we left there and headed back to the kipper stall as there was nothing else. We had a kipper in a bun but that was horrible too! Craster was the only bit of the holiday that we did not enjoy!As some sort of compensation there were loads of butterflies on some buddleia bushes near the carpark-they were a very popular photographic subject.The view from the pub. Dunstanburgh castle.

We left Craster for Low Newton-a much nicer place. The sea was blue, I paddled and we had a cup of coffee at the lovely pub there!
Andy in his new flat cap! It really made me laugh when he appeared in it in Alnwick but actually it quite suits him!


Candace said...

Wow, such great photos and mysteries abound here! Why IS that lion's tail straight out? Mmm. Maybe it just looked better... from even less, have myths sprung up!

That butterfly gave you a truly wonderful shot and I did look over those links and the books and the stories quite enviously... what a great time you've had of it.

And hooray for Andy's new cap! You go, fella!
Take care.
Candace in Athens.

Sonia ;) said...

Oh the mystery of the tail..must investigate more tomorrow...Sorry to hear about icky food. But it makes you appreciate the good food. Oh how blue that water looked..The history in that bookstore, I would of never left...Oh what a wonderful trip today...TY...dreams filled w/ lions and straight tails, castles and blue water...TY

xoxoxo S

Helen McCookerybook said...

I'm so glad you had a nice time! I want to live there again, especially after seeing your lovely photos!

Liz said...

Glad that you ha a great time! The bookstore sounds awesome!