Our first trip of the year was to Valencia, Spain for a 4 day long weekend with Roger's Sister, Val. We stayed in the heart of the old city. It is very easy to walk around and had a great Italian restaurant called Geppetto's in the square outside our hotel. The weather was lovely sunshine (a break from rain at home) and the trees were loaded with oranges.
Valencia is more of a proper working city as opposed to Barcelona's touristy feel. The main central train station still retains its old tiles and wooden ticketing booths with an elaborately decorated waiting room. The market is HUGE and very busy. The cathedral, as usual, is incredible. The beach is set up to cater to all ages with strolling areas, volleyball & football areas, places for little children, etc. We also spent a day at The City of Arts and Sciences. The architecture is incredible and the exhibits many and varied - from hatching chickens to models of chromosomes.
We arrived on Thusrday and returned on Sunday so only had 2 full days and 2 half days there but it was lovely and we would recommend it to anyone. We hope you enjoy at lease some of our pictures.
In August we drove up to Scotland. After a brief visit with Roger's Uncle Geoffrey in Bedfordshire we continued north. We stopped near the English / Scottish border and saw a fort on Hadrian's Wall. Our next stop was Kirriemuir. We went back to the "but & ben" at Glen Tairie, now a holiday cottage. Visited Piper's Hillock cemetery and also went to Aberlemno to see Pictish stones. We continued north to Stonehaven and visited Dunnottar Castle. In Aberdeen we visited the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Some of the Murray men had fought with the Gordon Highlanders in WWII. On the way back down we stopped near Huddersfield and had a lovely meal with Neil and Janet Burnett.
At the end of August we flew back to Edmonton for Darren and Mel's wedding. Had a great time and caught up with the Youngs and Ottos.We also visited Donalda, a small town south west of Camrose on the border of badlands. They have what they believe is the largest collection of gasoline lanterns in the world. The collection includes everything from a shallow dish with two stones and a wick to an elaborated chandelier.
When we arrived in Alberta it was covered with a blanket of smoke from forest fires in the north western United States. By the time we left it had mostly cleared and the acrid smell had dissipated. After the wedding we spent a few days in Edmonton with Brenda, Simon and Stella. We visited the Muttart Conservatory, Legislature Buildings and Art Gallery of Alberta. Stella had recently broken her leg and was in a cast so we had the pleasure of either Simon or Brenda each day as they were taking turns to stay with her. It had been over 30 years since I had wandered around the downtown area when I worked there. Needless to say much has changed. Reluctantly we flew back to Gatwick all too soon.