Aysgarth, Wensleydale, England

Notwithstanding the flowers in the bumper in the previous post, we did drive safely, arriving here on the afternoon of the 4th of July. Our bed and breakfast (Heather Cottage, see next post) is at the bend of the road just before you head on to Hawes, site of Wensleydale Creamery.

Aysgarth is actually about 3 blocks long, with two bends in the road. On one bend was our B&B, and on the other end was the George and Dragon Inn and Restaurant, where we headed for dinner.

We walked in and they to go sit in the pub and have a drink while you decide what to eat. This pub culture was new to us–let’s be real–as non-drinkers all pub culture is new to us. We don’t drink, I said lamely, but we went to a bar stool in the pub area where the evening’s menu was written on a chalkboard. We watched the bartender–always an interesting sight–as we chose what to eat. I selected squid and spinach pasta with salmon and Dave selected roasted chicken. They wrote it on a piece of paper, and impaled it on the hook next to a number–our table number, I supposed. Then the waitress came and got us from the bar and took us to our table.

First was our soup: an amazing tomato soup, but with a sweet taste like they’d added some apple juice to it. (Sorry the photo’s blurry.)

Dave’s chicken was artfully stacked. One of the challenges of eating in a foreign country is trying to match up what you think you are ordering with what they are actually serving. I thought I was ordering a pasta that was colored black with squid ink and colored green with spinach, all with salmon. Wrong.

I actually ordered SQUID and SPINACH and pasta with salmon. Yep, those long tubular shiny things are pieces of squid. “Calamari,” said Dave, trying to be encouraging as I stared at my dish. I cut it up into ribbons, but could still taste the rubbery-ness with the strands of pasta. I managed to eat enough to be respectable, but let’s just say that the salmon was the high point of the meal. I’ve never been a fan of squid.

We walked the two blocks home (about 8 buildings) but the evening was beautiful and a little lane behind the B&B beckoned.

What’s Harper Wath? we wondered. Later, at home I looked it up.

Wath: This surname suffix is said to be derived from the Viking word meaning “ford” or a shallow river crossing. Down the lane and around the bend was a small series of waterfalls and yes, you could have forded it at that point.

However, Dave thinks it led to another signpost that directed across the fields, heading upstream.

On our way back up, we saw these farm trucks moving across the field, then navigate the small opening in the rock wall. We waited while they moved on, then continued home.

We loved this tree, photographing it many times.

Dave braved the midges (and their biting) to get this sunset.

For the final entry in this post, the river and its sounds:

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