A trip to England wouldn't be the same without a stop in busy, bustling London! It was exciting to be there during the run up to the Olympics, although it did mean that some areas were off limits, and other areas were very busy. We managed to get all the priorities done though! The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, The London Eye, Covent Garden, etc, all in one day!
I have always been fascinated by ancient graffiti. One thing I like to do when visiting very old castles and buildings is to see what is the oldest graffiti I can find. In the prison cells of the Tower of London there are beautiful, intricate wall carvings. Some were done by the prisoners, others were done for the prisoners.
One thing I really enjoyed in many of the places we went were the "living statues". Mime artists who paint themselves and create really elaborate poses.
And of course, there is just so much prettiness and visual interest wherever you go.
York is full of interesting carvings like these, that date back to the time before most people could read. The shops would have a carved sign to indicate what they sold; a sheep for a wool shop, etc. This devil's imp shows that this shop was originally a printer's. The boy apprentices who ran around delivering the work were called printer's imps!
Of course, I can never stay in cities for too long, so we headed for the coast. This is the castle on Lindisfarne, an island that can only be reached at low tide. At high tide the road is completely covered, so you have to time your journey carefully so you are not marooned!
From there we drove to Seahouse, where we could hop on a boat to the Farne Islands, a bird sanctuary. I was in bird watching heaven! We were very lucky with the weather; as you can see, the North Sea is quite calm, which is unusual!
We saw so many wonderful birds. PUFFINS! of course, and terns, guillemots, razorbills, just about every sea bird you can imagine. It was one of the best days I have ever had.
And to top it all off, after we left the island we saw seals!