North America, Europe · 19 Days · 37 Moments · August 2018

Jael's adventure in United Kingdom & Ireland

14 September 2018

First day in the ministry! There may have been a bit of excitement in the air... 🤪 Some of the scenery: cows doing what cows do, a beautiful stone house, stairs to the top of an old fort wall, the wall of an old Viking fort, the view, a curious horse, StarWars memorabilia at a hotel. It is so green and beautiful!

13 September 2018

The great vacation rental we had in Buncrana - 3 bedroom, fireplace, walking-distance to most everything. The owner was kind and took great care of us! Our first full day was all about relaxing and not pushing ourselves too hard. We slept in, did laundry, and had friends over for lunch. It was exactly what was needed.

12 September 2018

First evening in Buncrana: a petrol pump stands alone in the middle of town, laughing and hiding from a drunk toothless man while having fast food for dinner, an Irish pub, sipping on Irish whiskey. By the way, most pubs in Ireland don’t serve food.

11 September 2018

Scenes along the river walk in Bakewell.
Chatsworth House: Pictures from the grounds... and didn’t even get to see it all! So so so beautiful. How can you not have such a feeling of awe and contentment being surrounded by all this?
Chatsworth House: This home was used in the Kierra Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Darcy’s house - Pemberley. The house is lived in by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. These are just a few pictures from the tour. The first two are walking up to the house. The stone is so beautiful! I expected it to be smooth like a marble countertop or tiles. It isn’t!

10 September 2018

Loved strolling through Buxton. The Pavilion Gardens park is so beautiful and calming. Made a few feathered friends along the way...
Beautiful plants in the green house attached to the Opera House in Buxton.
Peak District, England: Seems kinda dangerous...all these heads!
Sights around Buxton. The 7th picture is a water fountain from a natural spring that has been around since Queen Victoria. To this day, residents bring their water bottles and jugs and fill them from this fountain. Bottled Buxton brand water can be bought at stores, all from this water. It tastes MUCH better than the water at the Roman baths.

9 September 2018

Last meeting in Caernarfon. These lovely new friends gave us such thoughtful gifts. Be sure to read the tag! We enjoyed hospitality with a fun family and couple. They were so encouraging!! Jonna got lessons on how to pronounce various Welsh names from one of their sons while I was in conversation with another son. There is a new Welsh translation office (RTO) in Bangor.

8 September 2018

Caernarfon Castle - compliments of King Edward. Astonishing how castles are romanticized, when the reality is they are evidence of war and oppression, a reminder to all residents of what invading government is in charge. The architecture is beautiful and the construction amazing. Without the technology we have today, a structure was built that has lasted far longer than much of what has been constructed using modern methods. Hmmmm....
Betws-y-Coed, Wales and Snowdonia The rustic and rugged beauty of Wales is breathtaking: pastures, slate fences, sheep, creeks, boulders, fog, mountains, rain, lakes. All create an atmosphere that feels right and humbling.

7 September 2018

We saw beautiful scenery on the bus ride from Caernarfon to Beddgelert, in the Snowdonia National Park. Beddgelert is such a pretty village, with walking/hiking/biking paths through pastures of sheep and over rushing streams. Snowdonia draws in hikers and bicyclists from all over the world. On the way to the village we saw a few camp sites for these adventure tourists. There is also a fairly well-known ‘bike the UK’ race (?) that goes through the park. Had a pint of a local ale with lunch... I would drink it again! Beddgelert has a story. Check out to learn more.

6 September 2018

After the excitement of changing train schedules, we arrived in Caernarfon, Wales. First item on the agenda - find the Kingdom Hall so we could get to the meeting on time and without getting lost. It is located within the ancient city walls on one of the narrow stone streets as less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel. After the initial wandering, we checked out the castle and city walls and walked back to the hotel along the shore. Looking forward to the tour this weekend. The meeting was great. The had their first Welsh language group meeting last night. Over half the congregation attended! Met some wonderful new friends and will get to know a local family better Sunday evening as we’ve been invited for dinner.
Checked out of The Henry House in Bath this morning. Our room was on the top floor - the servant’s quarters. 52 stairs one way. Yep. Counted them. Three times even - - had to make sure I counted right! The woman running the B&B actually carried our suitcases to our room. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ service!! When we left, we slid them down the 3 flights of stairs (it felt like more). Super cute room. Great location.

5 September 2018

This morning started with a train ride to Bradford-on-Avon to meet a friend from Salisbury and a walk around town. Then we were back to Bath and seeing the sights, meeting up with a friend we met in London (who is traveling from Montreal) to visit the Jane Austen Center, then a stroll to the Royal Crescent. Interesting factoid: the light stone buildings in Bath are a result of a massive city-wide power washing project. The buildings and city used to be quite dark due to the soot and smoke from burning coal for heat. A picture of a building that somehow missed the cleaning memo is included. Over 18,000 steps and sore feet by the end of the day...and well worth it!

4 September 2018

More pictures from Cotswolds
We did a tour of the Cotswolds. Cotswold is a breed of sheep that was raised in this area, the economy was built upon and the area was named for. The Industrial Age required rivers for shipping, so the wool market in the area was relocated elsewhere. The first stop was Castle Coombe. The population of the village is in the 200-250 range. There is no industry here, nor is there a castle! There was one at some point. It fell into disrepair, and rather than being restored it was taken down and the manor house was built in its place. The manor house is now a hotel and golf course. The pictures below are the weavers’ cottages and the overseer’s home. The woman who lives in the overseer’s home let us explore the garden.

3 September 2018

Bath and The Grand Parade next to the River Avon. PS: We have been saying Avon incorrectly for years! It is AY-vuhn, not Ay-vahn.
The Roman Baths, and some Roman Bath history. Yep, I drank the water... meh.
Tea for two at Pump Room. With such small portions, you wouldn’t think you wouldn’t be able finish it all... #properlystuffed
Good bye, Lyme Regis! Thank you for the perfect weather and wonderful memories. On to Bath...

2 September 2018

More scenes from Lyme Regis

31 August 2018

Some scenes around Lyme Regis. Perfect weather for visiting the shore. ☀️

30 August 2018

Britain Bethel Tour - 2: More pictures from the Heritage display.
Britain Bethel tour - 1 While the factory is pretty quiet since most printing has been moved to Germany, the Bible display was so cool! We got to see an authentic Gutenberg’s Bible! The new Heritage display was also very interesting, tracing the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Great Britain.

29 August 2018

Dinner was yummy: Margherita pizza (locally and/or organically sourced), No Logo pale ale for me and “hot” red wine for Jonna. We saw a Kingdom Hall on the way back to the hotel. It was between 7:00 and 7:30, so met some friends whilst taking pictures. REALLY felt like a tourist in that moment.
Walking back to the hotel, we came across this bicycle. California plates on a bike with a THICK chain locking it up in London... did the owner get car-jacked earlier in life? Yes, that is a steering wheel, not handlebars. Maybe THAT is why there are plates. 😂🚲 #thethingsyouseewhilstworkingtokeepyoureyesopen #theysaywhilstherenotwhile
Scenes from Kensington 8/29 aka Staying Awake Thru Movement - Part 2
More scenes from Kensington aka Staying Awake Thru Movement - Part 3 I fell in love with the architecture! ❤️
The Albert Memorial aka Staying Awake Thru Movement - Part 4 The sculptures at the 4 corners represent lands that fell under the monarchy at the time of Queen Victoria: Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Kind of glad it was overcast. The sun hitting that gold could have been blinding! We did get a giggle from the pigeons sitting on their heads... 😂
Scenes from Hyde Park 8/29 aka Staying Awake Thru Movement - Part 1
Feels like home! ☕️
Made it! Got NO sleep on the plane... SO tired. Good thing the plan is to walk around after we get to the hotel, otherwise I would probably sleep this trip away!

28 August 2018

Getting settled in
About to board flight to London... *insert total girly shriek here*