After a brief stay in London we took the train north to Yorkshire to visit some friends of ours. Helen and Ian live in a village called Kippax, which is just outside the city of Leeds. They had invited us to stay with them for a few days so that we could explore their part of England. I am so glad that we did this.
Helen and Ian opened their home to us, fed us, and showed us around the country that they love. I think seeing this part of England was one of our favorite parts of this whole trip. However, next time we go, we will be sure to take some Dramamine, as the roads in Yorkshire are rather narrow and curvy. I can safely say that I was holding on for dear life as Helen drove us up to the Yorkshire Dales. This area, as you can see from the pictures below, is stunningly beautiful. I had always wanted to see the English countryside and the Dales did not disappoint.
Getting to meet other friends that live in this part of England, such as Gail and Sue, was also a treat. It was fun to spend time with all of these people and hear about their lives. They all treated us with kindness and hospitality. I can think of no better example of this then Ian and Helen driving us from Kippax to Liverpool, which is a little over 80 miles.
It was a rainy day, and Amanda and I had just planned to be dropped off in Liverpool. We would then book a tour that would show us around the city that gave birth to the Beatles. However, Ian would not hear of it and he proceeded to drive us all around Liverpool so that I could catch glimpses of Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, John Lennon’s boyhood home, and other parts of the city where Beatles history had been made. The selflessness of this act is something that will always mean a great deal to me. Ian also made sure that we were safely escorted to the airport in Liverpool for our flight to Dublin. There are still good people in the world, and many of them can be found in England. Oh, and the secret to London’s public restrooms is a “radar” key. Helen and Ian provided us with one of these. It is a key that, according to the BBC, “unlocks the doors of more than 9,000 handicapped restrooms across the UK.” I accidentally brought this key back to the U.S. with us. Helen if you are reading this, we will mail it back to you!
P.S. – If you ever find yourself in the city of York visit Betty’s Tea Room for some tea and a piece of their lemon curd torte. Also, make sure you visit York Minster. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. You will not be disappointed.