The weather forecast was foreboding, but in the Lake District if you wait for sunny weather you never venture out. So we ventured. Yesterday we rode the 555 bus to Windermere, a town I remembered from a visit here in the ‘80s or ‘90s, since it bears the same name as the lake. Frankly, we were underwhelmed. After living in Kendal and visiting Keswick, a visit to Windermere was anticlimactic. Perhaps because the day was so wet and the sky so gray, this town seemed to lack the sparkle of the others. We did, however,
finds fine pathway to lake,
which went through the poshest part of town. We marveled at the mansions we saw.
Then at the lake Joy took some good pictures
and I had a stimulating conversation with a couple from Yorkshire who were on holiday here. Their dog, a golden retriever, thoroughly enjoyed playing catch of the “you throw and I retrieve” variety” in the lake. The path to the lake was downhill all the way, so the path back into town was uphill and it seemed interminable to Joy . I know I amazed her with my unerring sense of direction as
I led us back to the bus stop. Along the way we drank in the examples of what we think of (probably erroneously) as “typical architecture,” now adorned in their fall clothes.
On Friday we took the 555 again, this time to Grasmere, to visit the home in which William Wordsworth did some of his most important writing,
It was my second time here. I was a little disheartened to learn how much I’d forgotten from the first visit. Things fade after 40 years or so. Our docent was a no-nonsense woman who appeared to be about 90. She was delightful, combining an appreciation of the great poet’s accomplishments with
tales of his very human, not altogether admirable, side.
We had planned for a longer stay in Grasmere, but it turned out to be more a village than a town. We quickly covered the territory, then caught the bus back home—a very long ride,
with even heavier traffic
than we encountered before. That’s Joy’s report. I can’t swear to it myself. I slept through most of the ride. This is really good weather for the naturally indolent.
Tonight we were entertained by Kendal’s Torchlight Festival parade, which we watched from the bedroom window.
Fun. The rain showed no mercy and the paraders, from the elderly to the
very young children, showed no fear.
Most of the floats were covered flatbed trucks
with the sides rolled up to display musical bands, club members, and just plain—no, decorated—people in carnival mood. And then there were the many pedestrian paraders carrying banners, playing instruments, riding bicycles, and having a thoroughly good time of it. Joy said it reminded her of my hometown Tillamook’s annual diary parade, only at night. I agreed.