We left York. My friend, Mike, picked up a rental car. Everything about it seems dyslexic..right down to the gear shift being on the left. We all decided that he had to drive since he is the only one that is left-handed. He accepted this logic…initially. Unfortunatley that left me with the position of Navigator. I told Mike that my job was much harder since I was dealing with strategy, he only had to execute. He also accepted that…initially.
From York we drove through the English countryside to the little hamlet of Helmsley. From my backseat vantage point, it seems that Mike hugs to the left but I haven’t said anything because that seems preferable to a head on collision I suppose. It’s not my responsibility as Navigator anyway. Ann sits in the Queen seat and actually has much more power, so I will continue to defer to her judgement on these types of matters. Although today, we drove on a “Motorway” with rumble strips and I was personally vindicated every time I heard the padump, padump, padum, padump, padump, Mike’s natural reaction to move right, and then back to the padump, padump, padump, padump. Repeat.
We made it to a little village called Helmsley and we took an hour to just stroll around. It was a great introduction to the English countryside and was everything I had imagined. It was a bucolic setting, the people were beyond courteous, and the atmosphere was quiet and peaceful. I really liked it. While Helmsely was enjoyable, it was really just a stop-over on our way to Castle Howard. Castle Howard is about 15 miles north of York, but that translates into about three hours of driving when you factor in the time we were lost, stopping to gawk at things, and the miniscule roads. It was built around 1700 and is one of the more majestic private residences in Britain. The Howard Family still lives there. As with most of these large estates, the family’s wealth is not sufficient to maintain it so they open the house to the public and charge admission to help pay the expenses of running and maintaining the house and the extensive grounds.
After Castle Howard we spent the rest of the day driving across the country. There were even periods during this drive that we felt we actually knew where we were. Nonetheless, we arrived safe, albeit, tired in Kesswick which is smack in the middle of the Lake Distrist. It is an area of exceptional beauty and I will write a seperate post on that topic. Did I mention it is cold here? Whoooo-eeee. And rainy and windy too. No