We decide to eat a bite or two so we find a neat restaurant in town and are seated. This is so different from home. There is no tipping. I didn't realized that and all I had was a five pound note so I gave it to the waiter after we had eaten. There was no place on the tab to leave the tip, so I just handed him the money. He looked confused but he took it. We asked the couple at the next table what the customary tip was and they said it wasn't necessary unless you just got exceptional service and then it was usually only ten percent. I told them I had just given our waiter a thirty percent tip. They laughed and said then I had probably made him happy. Anyway, it was nice to know that, and well worth five pounds to find it out. I played it safe and had the fish and chips. It was delicious. Earl ordered something else and was not too happy with it.
We walk around the town and finally decide to take the lake cruise. The boat we choose goes to Ambleside and then turns and comes back, about a ninety minute trip. Are you game? Yes, I am, says Earl. So we queue up and off we go.
The lake is lovely and Earl wants to set up on top of the boat, in the open, so we won't miss anything. I snuggle down in my new fleece jacket and feel so alive with the wind on my face. It's chilly but exhilarating....and I am happy!
This is Beatrix Potter country. She loved the lake country and she bought several hundred acres to keep them from being developed and then on her death she donated them to the National Trust. It is extremely beautiful country. Time for picture taking. Being on the boat affords us a great opportunity to snap up the countryside.
When we reach Ambleside the boat docks to take on and let off passengers so while it's sitting still we go downstairs to warm a bit and chat a little with other passengers. I am so enjoying these people. They will not initiate a conversation but if you speak to them they are more than happy to speak back. And everyone is so helpful. If you ask for directions they will go out of their way to help you. Most of them want to know where you're from, how long you've been in the country, and why did you decided to visit. They seem genuinely pleased that you picked their part of the world to experience.
Our boat docks back at Bowness and we walk back through the country lane to our car. On the way we pass an old cemetery so we have to go in and walk around and read headstones. In the United States we think a hundred years is a long time. In the U.K. they think a hundred miles is a long way.
One morning when I was talking to the lady from Lockerbie she said when they visited America they noticed that everything was so new and there was so much space. Compared to here, she's right. This country is old. And I must say it looks it. Well weathered and well built. These stone houses could stand for hundreds of years, and some of them have. Some of the tombstones are so old and weathered the information on them is unreadable, but I do spot one going back to the seventeen hundreds...Whoa!! .