australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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Windy Whitby
train
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Since it's a 2 hour drive from Doncaster, we left for Whitby just after 9am, driving through the North York Moors covered in blooming heather & gorse. The bright blue skies of Doncaster were high gray clouds by Whitby, but the winds were blowing enough that we got some blue skies before we left. We headed for the abbey at the top of the hill first, up the 199 steps to St Mary's Church and graveyard, then further up the hill pathway, with lovely views of the crashing waves at the coast.



The Whitby Abbey ruins are stunning, especially the carvings and the checkerboard colors of stone in the columns. It must have been glorious in its heyday, but the monastery was closed by Henry VIII of course, like all the rest. We strolled the grounds, barely hearing the audio tour for the blustery winds, but it wasn't nearly as windy as Giant's Causeway! Working around the groundskeeping crew was a bit difficult for good photos. ;)



After we'd seen enough of the abbey ruins, we went back to the church, which is where Count Dracula attacked Mina Harker while she was sitting on a bench in the graveyard overlooking the sea in the original novel Dracula. The gravestones are very weathered from the constant wind, but quite a nice view. Funnily enough inside the church they have a sign posted, since they're obviously tired of questions over the years. ;)



After walking down all 199 steps again, we ate a light lunch at the Duke of York pub, fresh Whitby crab sandwich for me - yum! Cyd was back to Guinness, but I only have a half pint in the photo since they didn't have good cider on tap, so I didn't want to waste my calories on Woodpecker. ;) This was a new style of Guinness glass, with an embossed harp design, so I tried to take photos showing it.



We had about an hour left on the parking limit, so we strolled around the shops a bit, where I couldn't resist trying some Dracula's Dream Fudge with "bloody" strawberry with dark chocolate, and found an official Dracula sequel on sale for 2 GBP so figured it was worth a read as a souvenir even if the story was crap. ;) We looked at a lot of nice Whitby jet jewelry, all too expensive for me, but I found gorgeous costume jewelry rhinestone spiders! The large ones were too big and 46 GBP, and there was no black in the medium size that would have been perfect, so I just got a small one instead for 22 GBP, still steep for costume jewelry, but I took photos of the others. At the end of the street, I saw a poster for "Bram(ble) Stoker" ice cream, so I had to try. Very tasty blueberry & blackberry combination with white chocolate fangs...haha! They created the flavor for the big annual Halloween Goth festival last year, but when they took it off the menu, people begged for it, so now it's a staple. :)



We got back to Doncaster by around 5pm, I started reading the sequel "Dracula: The Un-Dead" while Cyd kept reading the original she bought in Whitby 4 years ago on her first trip, then after a pizza dinner I finally saw the Ricky Gervais Extras Christmas special from several years ago since Janet & Chris have it on DVD. More poignant & serious moments than I expected from Extras (well I shouldn't have been that surprised seeing how the 2nd series ended), but plenty of gut-busting laughs from me! Glad I was able to see it!

Except for a church luncheon for the harvest festival, we don't have much scheduled tomorrow, so perhaps it'll be a relaxing day? We'll see!

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