24 Aug 2016

BO'NESS TRAIN STATION - WW

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


 
The view I had in our bus, during the whole trip


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The second day of our tour we stopped in Bo'ness  to ride on this old steam train through the very green landscape. Unfortunately the day was a little grey but even so our eyes hurt with all this green and afterwards somebody baptized this journey "the green trip". Not even a white cow or some sheep interrupted the green trees and grass.

The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is a heritage railway in Bo'ness, near Edinburgh, Scotland. It is operated by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, and operates a total of over 8 km (5 miles) of track (between Bo'ness and Manuel Junction, via Kinneil and Birkhill),



Besides the green landscape we expected to see something special, but after the 8 km the train stopped and made the same way back with another steam engine.




Fortunately the station was very nice and time had stood still here



I had never thought that a station could look real cute



There were pick nick tables but unfortunately it was a little too cold for that.


There also was a restaurant and a shop.



Very old luggages showed us with what people used to travel !



Unfortunately the museum was closed.






After having admired the old engines, and walked a little around we quickly returned to our warm bus, it was really cold this day in August !

23 Aug 2016

GRETNA GREEN SCOTTISH WEDDING TOWN

When I was about 13-14 at school we talked about Gretna Green. I don't know who introduced this subject but you could read about it everywhere in the newspapers. At that age we were very romantic and in this town you could get married without the permission of your parents from age 16 on !

We hadn't heard very much from Las Vegas but Gretna Green was in ! How romantic to run away with your beloved to Scotland and get married ! (and the fathers running breathless behind) So my imagination. Of course when I read that on my tour to Edinburgh Tattoo we would stop there, I was more interested in Gretna Green then in the Tattoo !

And this is the history of Gretna Green :

According to English laws, couples had to reach the age of 21 before they could marry without their parents' consent and their marriage had to take place in a church.

Scottish law however was different: you could marry on the spot, in a simple 'marriage by declaration', or 'handfasting' ceremony, only requiring two witnesses and assurances from the couple that they were both over the age of 16 and free to marry.

With such a relaxed arrangement within reach of England it soon led to the inevitable influx of countless thousands of young couples running-away to marry over the border. Gretna Green was the first village in Scotland and conveniently situated on the main route from London into Scotland.

So not only English couples hurried to Scotland but also European once.

The run-away weddings began in the Blacksmiths Shop which was the first building couples reached in Gretna Green. It very quickly became synonymous as a hot bed of scandal and intrigue with many daughters from respectable families choosing to flee here to "marry a scoundrel". The 'Anvil Priests' would perform the ceremony for "a wee dram or a few guineas" depending on your status and financial standing. The hammering of the anvil soon became a notorious sound; romantically it is said that like the metals he forged, the Blacksmith would join couples together in the heat of the moment but bind them for eternity.

Over the years, the Famous Blacksmiths Shop became Gretna Green's best-known marriage venue, with the Blacksmith, and his legendary anvil, becoming synonymous with Gretna Green weddings.

Even today it is a very attractive place to marry ! Everything is organized, you pay a "package". In my bus there were two couples who had recently celebrated their daughter's wedding here in Gretna Green.

Some photos of the village :






















Here the weddings took and take place




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The old forge

Horse shoe decoration



Entrance to the museum. Unfortunately I had no time to visit.














more participants here


22 Aug 2016

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

I had half a day in London and had ordered an entrance ticket to the Buckingham Palace, where I could visit the State rooms but also the Queens clothes.



It was very well organized and at 11.15 I was in. Outside was a huge crowd  lining up to buy a ticket ! Via internet it is far easier.

There were a lot of guardians, mostly students as it seemed because they looked very young.



I was a bit surprised to see an obviously Muslim women working at the bag control. I mean I have nothing against wearing a scarf on the street and everywhere else but not at work ! I have never worked wearing a big cross on my head ! Religion has nothing to do with work ! I have never seen that in Belgium.



The controls went quite quick and soon I was in and could see the famous balcony from where the Royal family always waves to the crowd a little closer.




The Palace seemed smaller to me compared to what I had already seen in my life.



It was not allowed to take pictures inside, but I managed to take these.



Hiding my camera behind my cat case I took a picture of the thrown, unfortunately a person just went by and I didn't dare to take a second chance. I can understand that taking pictures of paintings is not allowed but why furniture or rooms ?

Anyway there was not much to photograph as the State rooms where rather poorly furnished and besides the beautiful crystal chandeliers nothing special to be seen except the paintings.

I was surprised to see the Queen's clothes, what a short woman she is ! I had never realized when I saw her with her family. So Prince Philip must not be that tall  either ! Of course everything is relative, for me tall is 2 m (6.6) which is the size of my son and my husband is only a little shorter. But what a character in this tiny woman !!

On the plastic models the dresses looked not that nice, fortunately there were pictures where she wore them and indeed she has a good taste.



The tour didn't last long for me and then I stepped out in the park !



There was a café in a white tent and of course I had a little lunch there.



There were not yet many people



My coffee was served in this light blue carton cup, and I forgot to steel it, fortunately I have the picture.



The café filled up slowly slowly more and more people arrived.



From there we walked to the souvenir shop !



and what a shop !





You almost could find everything from cushions to plates, toys and clothes etc



My modesty forbade me to buy myself a crown



There were a lot of people in the shop !



and then came the best part for me ! the park ! What a beauty ! It smelled so good and it was just gorgeous !


very well entertained






Beautiful corners and benches everywhere. So I decided not to go out into the under construction London but to stay in the Buckingham palace park. It was so nice, I chatted with people and felt good. When it was time to go back to the station I left the park.




I turned around and saw other people just arriving.

What a beautiful day !