Edit before posting: It’s a little surreal reading about the attacks in London. Normally it’s my friends from there texting to see if we’re all okay here, the world seems to be turning upside down.
While Eli is busy splashing away in the tub with the cats under Husband’s supervision, I just might be able to finish yesterday’s post.
We agreed to meet up with an online friend at the British Museum on Friday the 19th, so while everyone walked around chatting and generally looking interested, I didn’t feel too bad about sketching a few things. I was pretty quick and loose with the drawings this time, as I tried to participate in some of the conversations. Still, I didn’t manage to quite see ALL THE THINGS, but my brain might’ve exploded otherwise. Here are a few of the hundreds of pictures my mom and I took:
I did take a lot of photos to “cheat with” later, and I intend to finish the sketchbook I started on the trip with those somewhere this month. Here’s what I drew at the museum that day:
After the museum we had some food and very slowly made our way to Buckingham Palace. And by “very slowly” I mean extremely super slowly, stopping to take a photo of every duck, pigeon, squirrel and interesting looking plant on the way.
The online dude gifted me a Big Giggly Pikachu, which Eli cuddled with for the next few days. And last I heard, he was feeling well, although I’m not sure he ate any of my Israeli treats. (I’m definitely drawing all the new toys tomorrow.) That was our last full day in London, we made our way to Barley the following morning.
The only reason we stopped there on our way to Edinburgh is because last time I visited England I ran out of time and did not climb Pendle Hill after admiring it from a distance for a whole day.
Despite a few logistical problems we had there, everything ended up working out just fine.
It was pouring pretty hard when I set out, and I might’ve taken too much clothing with me – I ended up taking most of it off by the time I reached the top, keeping my trousers and a top on, fortunately for my fellow-hill-climbers.
I decided to take the long scenic route, which took me A LOT longer than an hour and a half to get there because I stopped every few meters to take a photo.
Things were made a little more interesting by complete lack of signal, which only appeared when I reached the very top. There are too many photos to pick from, so I’ll just stick some of the ones I’ve already published on Instragram plus some panoramas and a few shots from the big camera.
Sheep! They’d stop what they were doing and stare at me till I passed. This other one was too looking at me, but then turned its more photogenic side as I took the picture.
More sheep! I got as excited about sheep up north as I did about squirrels in London 😀
The landscapes were so beautiful I braved my fear and figured out how to take pano shots, although not as successfully as I would’ve hoped.
The sweet, sweet after-rain air got to me, and I committed many photographic sins. Among those, taking a shot of my feet as I had to hop over numerous streams:
And taking “selfies” :
I was pretty excited to see this paved path after the narrow (and mostly flooded) paths I had to climb to get to the top. Plus the drastic change in colour (from happy green to dark brown) made quite an impression one me.
I fell in love with the stone walls and their little steps:
Okay, okay, enough already. This is the last pano shot I took on my way down. I took the shortest way back, by basically just taking the stairs, which reminded me of that one time I was climbing down Mesada, 3 months pregnant…
We only stayed one night in Barley. I was determined to not leave without a sketch, so I ventured out into the light drizzle and attempted a watercolour sketch of the street. It turned out so nasty I’m not going to even post it here, until I have some more time to work on it (or completely redraw it).
Edinburgh felt very tall, yet small and cozy. We walked everywhere instead of taking public transport (except the last morning on our way to the station).
We visited the seaside (where Eli stepped into a giant, smelly turd):
Explored Edinburgh Castle:
Climbed Holyrood Hill:
I sat down to do another watercolour sketch attempt, but it too isn’t ready to be posted anywhere just yet. I actually surprised myself with how determined I felt to sketch everywhere I went, as long as I wasn’t being rained on too hard.
In order for me to be able to go climb that hill, my mom took Eli off me for the day. Unfortunately, while they were in the Botanical Gardens, my mom fell and hurt her back (while climbing a rock to take a better shot of some orchid), which tainted the rest of the trip a bit.
It didn’t prevent her from looking after Eli while we went on the Free Ghost Tour late in the evening. Ryan was our tour guide, and he was awesome! I have an unhealthy obsession with the word “murder” (also curtain and burglar) said with a Scottish accent, and boy did he mention that word a lot! The ninety minutes tour flew by as if it was hardly 10, and I’m now a few interesting facts and anecdotes richer 🙂 Highly recommend you give it a go if you’re in the area.
The rest of us visited the Botanical Gardens the day before we left Edinburgh. It was hard to pick just one or two flowers to draw, because there were so many beautiful ones, and I realized I’ve not drawn flowers in forever! So I ended up picking those that I could sit comfortably close by (but my legs still fell asleep a little bit). The really great thing about drawing flowers is that they don’t have to be dead in order to not move around too much, so there was no guilt involved in this sketch whatsoever.
We stayed in a very cool place in Edinburgh. It was a very good looking flat, under the roof, by the clock tower, which gave us amazing window views. I’m actually pretty happy with my kitchen-window-view sketch. I’ll still work on it some more (after I salvage the two fail “hill” ones), but here’s what I ended up with the morning we left for Inverness:
It felt like we accidentally saved the best for last. We stayed in an amazing house on a hill, overlooking Loch Ness.
I got to meet two more online gaming buddies, who are now engaged to each other! And as I like to brag, I kind of introduced them (again, because of my Scottish accent obsession).
They took us on a boat ride to see the dolphins and brought their dog, who immediately became Eli’s best friend. We didn’t get to see any dolphins, but I immensely enjoyed the ride nevertheless, and didn’t get sea sick at all!
They also showed us a good place to hang out right by the river side. My mom’s back injury wasn’t going to stop her from going for a swim in Loch Ness, but not taking her bathing suit that day did. Such trivial matters didn’t stop my water baby from getting absolutely soaked though.
After that we went to the Inverness Botanical Gardens where I got to sketch a little while Eli napped and (almost) everyone else had ice-cream.
While we didn’t get to see Nessie, the monsters in the fish pond at the park more than made it for it.
As we walked around looking for more interesting things to do (and looking for more ice-cream) we came across a fair, horrible candy floss, bouncing castle and puking preteens included. I successfully avoided the latter two, but got stuck in the first one with a very bouncy toddler. Having torn Eli away from both the overpriced jumping structure and the very friendly dog, we called it a night soon after. I had very big plans for the following day.
I started Saturday the 27th with a short blog post that contained no pictures. After breakfast we drove to the Dores Inn Beach where my mom finally went for her swim in the famous lake, while I envied her from the shore, having lost both Eli’s and my swimsuits somewhere during the trip.
Eli didn’t care, of course, she played in the water, gathered rocks, threw the rocks into the water and blew a lot of soap bubbles, while I shot my Rubber Onion Battle entry for May, which will eventually get a post all to itself sometime soon. The video is already up, and you can watch it on my YouTube channel or on Instagram.
We then wandered around the town for a bit, and I almost made friends with a seagull.
After which we drove to Chanonry Point, hoping to maybe see some dolphins there.
We saw a very dead crap and possibly some seals instead.
The evening was the best part: the online friends couple visited with their pupper and the guys barbequed, or grilled, or burned some meat, while the girls got drunk on wine, cider and salad (Eli did neither, she was chasing and squeeking at her newest best friend).
My one disappointment is that I didn’t get to stargaze properly, apparently it just doesn’t get dark enough during that time of year.
We spent all of Monday 29th getting back to Israel. In the aftermath of the mess that was BA’s nightmare, our flight from Inverness to Heathrow was delayed. Then our flight from Heathrow to Ben Gurion was also delayed, as a family got lost somewhere in the airport. We then almost lost the stroller… And it took almost an hour to find a cab to Jerusalem. Long story short, we got home at around half past three in the morning 🙂
I’ll conclude this very very long post with a lovely photo of Eli and me, which my “selfie-queen” daughter took on the plane to Israel, as we waited for takeoff.