Sunday, 31 July 2011

Solomon's Temple, Buxton

Well, after a stressful week at work for both of us, we capped things off with a fabulous weekend.  In case anyone is thinking we are on a 3-year extended vacation, that's not the case.  Things have picked up at work quite a bit and we have plenty of things to do and worry about.  For the most part it's a good stress; the kind that makes you feel like you are contributing and that the company is counting on you.  Of course, sometimes they count on you a little too much and you worry about getting it all done.  It was one of those weeks so we were glad for Friday to come.

We started things off with a visit from a friend from the US who was over on a business trip and a pre-, pre-assignment trip.  We hope to see both of them on their official pre-assignment trip and the whole family soon as well.  We can certainly relate to the frustration of pushing the international assignment/move through.  Good luck!

On Saturday we had a wonderful evening with our neighbors.  Neighbors #1, whom we had over a few weeks ago, returned the favor and also invited neighbors #2 (our first time really conversing with #2).  This was our first meal in an English house.  I can't begin to say how nice is was to sit down and have real conversations for ~5 hrs.  We simply don't get the social aspect at work (that's different here).  The kids got along swimmingly too.  We had a wonderful time and the food/drink was great too.  She really outdid herself (I do okay, but I'm not in her league-- it was fantastic!).  That's as good as traveling any day.  I hope we can do this regularly and we'll have to return the favor.

The weather was picture perfect Saturday (low 70's and sunny) and supposed to be similar for Sunday.  Alas, the rain stayed away (mostly) but it was overcast most of the day.  We did have a few sunny spells (I've never really heard that term until moving here -- it's used frequently in the weather forecast).

Given the good forecast, we couldn't let it pass so we headed back to the Peak district; this time to Buxton.  Buxton is about an hour away as we stretch our radius out farther and farther.  We didn't get to spend much time in the town but we did take a nice walk that circled around and ended up at Solomon's Temple up on a hill with a view of the town.  There's also a nice [Poole's] cavern to explore but we decided to save that for some crummier weather.  Our shorts were generally fine for the walk, but I think we would have been a little chilly underground.

Solomon's Temple was a late 1800's Victorian "New Deal" program.  A rich landowner paid the local unemployed to build it for him.  It sits on a pre-historic mound (1300 feet) with a nice view of the surrounding area.  Unfortunately, it started to drizzle horizontally when we got there so we huddled inside and made haste when it let up.  Still a nice walk though. 

The walk was supposedly about 4 miles but we made it at least 5 with our directionally challenged ways.  The Family Circus Billy walk comes to mind . . . .

With the walk though, we've got the return of the farm animals though!

 this 12-week puppy was a cutie . . . saw him at the beginning of the hike
 Whoopi Goldberg as a horse?  Felt like I was getting the stink eye.
 ooo . . . pigs, that's new
When walking through a horse field this one came up to Kuk pretty quickly.  The horse was a little friendlier than we were expecting!  I think her hat looked like lunch.
 limestone covered hill adjacent to our walk
 Solomon's Temple in the distance
this was an intriguing picture . . . very chalky stream . . . figure it's limestone overflow from the nearby quarry

 obligatory sheep
 cow blockade!  (we took a wide path around)

 getting closer now
 and when we get there?  rain of course (just a little) . . . where did that come from?
 looking back to Buxton (again, the natural lighting didn't help me out here)

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