Sally in the Woods, near Bath, England

The drive to #Bath, #Somerset in #England is normally quite pleasant, with the gorgeous rolling fields, somewhat crumbling old stone fences & the narrow, winding roads. I love to watch for sheep & to see how green the fields are. But there’s one spot I’ve been made aware of that I’d rather not travel under cover of darkness… #SallyintheWood – that cuts through Brown’s Folly. This is where most locals agree that the woodland is #haunted by the #ghost of a young #murdered girl.

Many have blamed multiple fatal, otherwise unexplained, car crashes on the spooky sightings of a young girl running into the road & childlike screams from the darkness have been heard. Some say the birds don’t sing along this spooky stretch of roadway…

There are a couple of different versions of the tale (another involving a woman who lived in a hut in the woods that local children insisted was a witch) but the most discussed in neighbourhood pubs amongst the locals has been that Sally was a young gypsy girl held prisoner in a tower without food & water and left to die.

Travelling down that particular stretch of countryside (in full daylight I might add, thankyouverymuch) I noted a huge, steep drop off on one side of the road… this holiday we noted many permanent cement barricades (or bollards) being put in, which I applaud, since the combination of a narrow, winding road and a sharp plunge has certainly meant disaster in the past.

Apparently, a number of ghost hunting websites have tried to discover more but most are too afraid to venture down into the area since it’s the blackest black at night… so it seems though young Sally may be long dead, her chilling tale remains… watch this video below…

https://www.facebook.com/223915807945847/posts/806142939723128/

The Globe Inn, Bath England

Sometimes the best ideas come from the mouths of babes… our young grandson, Jack, is often quite wise beyond his years… an old soul in a 6 year old’s body. An innocent #dinner-out- together suggestion has become, in MY opinion anyway, a new favourite #dining #destination… The Globe Inn in Bath.

There were five adults & 2 children in all and each of us was quite satisfied with our evening and our meals.

Belly up to the bar, mate!

There was definitely lots to choose from – a full choice #menu or a #prixfixe menu that looked quite good too. We started with lager or cider, both deemed #delicious, then ordered things like #fishandchips #gammonsteak #lobsterfishcakes #burgerandfries and even #sausages Each one tasty & filling… so much so that #pudding was only ordered by the children There was #orangejelly & #fudgebrownie with #vanillaicecream

The #children’smenu was quite good for choices & provided some puzzles & jokes while we waited.

The meal didn’t take long to arrive & we had a lovely time in the cozy, #familyfriendly #pub style atmosphere.

The staff were polite, also efficient & the #restaurant was very clean, warm & comfortable since it was a freezing -2 outside.

A definite place to return to in the warmer weather as there is also an #outdoorpatio that looked nice.

Thanks for a great evening!

https://www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/south-west/theglobenewtonsaintloe/restaurantsfood#

Berlin, Germany πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ

When my husband, my travel partner, said this year when we go to see our family in England for New Year’s we will also be making a 3 day stop in Berlin… I thought, Berlin? Where on earth did that come from? We hadn’t talked about going there before but we do try to add on a little side trip somewhere along the way as it’s often much cheaper to do so once we’re already in England (rather than flying direct from Canada). He’s much more adventurous than I & sometimes I wonder if he feels he’s dragging me along in his fast paced wake… but he’s always well prepared & really, a joy to be with so hey… let’s do this!

We flew in to London, Heathrow & raced to find what gate we needed to be at after leaving our large luggage at the airport.

**PRO TIP HERE: Since we’re often bringing gifts for family & clothing for approximately a 10 day trip overall, we have learned it’s much easier to pay to have our large luggage stored at the airport & take only a carry on with the personal items we need for the 2 – 3 day trip… it’s not a lot of money to do this but it makes such a difference to be able to just hop on your connecting flight with a little carry on and take off. We only really need a few changes of clothes, our laptops, phones & ID so why drag everything else?

We boarded our flight & arrived in Berlin where it was fairly cold & as it was evening, we couldn’t see a lot but managed to find our way to the taxi stand so we could get to our hotel. We know that we’re pretty much at the mercy of any cabbie in the country we’ve chosen to visit but you always hope that they’re not going to take advantage of you… well he did and we ended up taking a fairly convoluted route to get to our hotel & charging way too much to do so. (We discovered this the next day when we rented a car & found the airport within minutes of our hotel… sigh) Regardless, we arrived at the Titanic Chaussee Berlin & immediately we’re impressed with how it looked.

https://www.titanic.com.tr/titanicchausseeberlin/default-en.html

It’s very classy & modern but has touches of history in the art that is everywhere, including Brandenburg Gate shown on the desk top in our room. The Charlotte Lounge is the first thing you see as you enter from the street, it’s across from the front desk & is pretty cool.

We dropped our bags in the room & then went down for a drink & a little something to eat at the Lounge. It was a nice place to sit & chat, the food was good once I finally got it. It did take awhile as somehow between writing down the meatballs with mashed potatoe I ordered (I even pointed it out to the waiter on the menu in case he couldn’t understand me), he’d forgotten it.

We decided to make it a fairly early evening, there’s at least an 8 hour time difference between home & Germany. The lobby was still decorated for the holidays, but even without that you can see it’s very lovely. There is a restaurant on the main floor & apparently another on the first floor for breakfast only.

Of course we did nose around to see the pool and spa area but were extremely disappointed in the fact that despite being hotel guests (& this is not a cheap hotel) that it would be a further 20 Euros per person per day to use the pool! That was not made clear on the hotel website or we may have decided not to stay here. We do enjoy a good swim, especially after a long flight spent sitting. Needless to say, we did not swim.

Our room was really nice, clean & a good size. The bathroom did not have a bathtub but did have a large shower. The beds were comfortable & when we asked for extra pillows they were brought right away. There is a safe & mini fridge but you’d need to ask for an iron & ironing board.

In the morning we headed out quite early as we had pre-booked a Cold War Walking Tour. We were to meet in town at a McDonald’s, so in true Franklin Fashion, we arrived about an hour and a half early πŸ˜‰ We can’t stand being late or rushed & since we had to navigate the underground in a completely different language, we thought we’d just get ourselves there & then have a wander about until the tour meetup. We actually found our way fairly quickly, really only stopping to ask a couple of questions… of course we did discover that many locals over the age of 55 refused to speak English to us, despite our efforts to speak German, so we found it best to ask younger people. They often spoke excellent English & smilingly corrected our attempts at their language. We saw an outdoor Christmas Market that was still running (but not open until late afternoon) & found an amazing old church, Gedenkhalle, but could see it had been damaged in the war. Massive beautiful round windows, that probably had held stained glass at one time, stood empty with dark, scorch marks all around them. It was still very beautiful, a work of art.

Of course we had to have a #Starbucks because well, we just did. It was cold & damp & hit the spot. You always know what you’re getting with Starbucks.

We met up with our guide & fellow tourists for our walking tour & set out after getting underground day passes (don’t forget to validate them!). It was pretty cold & damp but really only added to the feel of the whole history of the tour.

https://www.insidertour.com/tours.php/cat/27/id/42/title/Cold-War-Berlin

Sometimes, I suppose, as much as I like to think we’re open minded… I guess we can be quick to judge. We quietly said to each other how it was very drab & dull in Berlin… the weather certainly didn’t help much but it was just so… dismal. After having been on the Cold War tour with our excellent guide Rachel, we realized just exactly why it appears so sullen here… Berlin had just been through an awful war, its people poor & their homes & communities ravaged… only to have the Berlin Wall erected in less than four hours one evening, while most people slept. They woke to discover they had been divided in half, East & West, leaving many families torn apart, some could no longer get to their jobs & some, who had been at work that evening, would not be able to get back home. Berliners, who had already suffered so much, now had lost family members, jobs & their pensions etc overnight… due to the Wall. Our initial impression of a bleak Berlin was suddenly shown to be hasty & short sighted. As we shivered in the cold, we could sense the hopelessness, as Rachel described the years of struggle & sadness and we could only imagine the despair these people must have lived with. So many attempts to escape were made & thwarted. So many lives ruined. I felt guilty to know I could easily walk in to a cafe or restaurant to escape the cold & I could afford to buy something warm to fill my tummy when they must have wondered where their next meal would even come from… a very sobering day, for certain.

Berlin takes you back in time

rs6.JPGThe Reichstag witnessed a turbulent history of Berlin and is one of the city’s most significant historical buildings. You can feel the it as you walk to the front of this magnificent structure. The Reichstag is an internationally recognized symbol of democracy and the current home of the German parliament. The dome: it’s not often that you can enjoy such an amazing panorama while, just beneath your feet, the political decisions of tomorrow are being made inside of this architectural wonder.

 

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