Alright so I’ve been more than a little bit busy during the month of March, and April is going to be even more so. But I have taken some amazing trips and the posts about each have just been sitting in my drafts box for forever without the pictures (the best part). So hopefully before I set off for an adventure of a lifetime during the my 3 week long Easter break I can get caught up with helping y’all map where I’ve been (;
A little over three weeks ago I took my first solo trip ever and I absolutely loved it. Traveling alone is something I definitely think everyone should try at least once! Don’t get me wrong, traveling with friends or family is great and probably preferable for exploring big cities. However, for seeing more scenic, peaceful areas the solitude can really be an amazing escape. The craziest part of it all though was spontaneously deciding two days before that I was going to bike the 47 miles along an old costal railway from Scarborough to Whitby and back.
When I arrived in Scarborough and got the first glimpse of the North Sea I think I really was just in shock of this life I’m living. I was standing in the middle of these massive cliffs surrounded by beautiful flats behind me, the beach below me, the countryside to my left, a castle to my right, and a sky where I could actually see the sun and it was properly blue for once! Then from there, to my disbelief, the views only got better. From the graveyard surrounding St. Mary’s church you can see an amazing lookout to the water and vast red roofs lining the shore through a brick archway labeled ‘Paradise’. And as weird as it was being surrounded by these ancient tombstones I really felt like I was. The Scarborough castle once again had stunning views and so much amazing history. The pier and shops somewhat reminded me of my dad’s hometown in New Jersey only filled with fish n chips shacks (the best I’ve had yet) and much preferable British accents rather than pizza shops and the harsh New Jersey accents. One of my favorite things was just being on the beach during sunset with sooo many dogs all running free around me, ugh just thinking about it makes my heart happy (: During the day my phone died pretty early which sucked I couldn’t take pictures of all the things I wanted to but at the same time it really allowed me to just be more in the moment. Being by myself also allowed me to meet a lot of different people I wouldn’t normally have! Mainly because I’m an awful tourist and would ask people to take my picture but everyone was sincerely so friendly and intrigued asking me questions once they heard my accent. I’m positive I must have been walking around with the stupidest, big smile on my face all day and I’m sure that probably gave away I was American before I even opened my mouth.
Saturday night I hired (rented) a bike from this awesome shop in Filey that delerived it to me, picked it up the next day, and even gave me a ride to my super homey Airbnb for the night since my bike didn’t have any sort of lights. I know that traveling alone, especially being a young girl, I still need to keep my guard up but in a world where you continuously hear such awful news it kinda restores some faith in the genuine goodness of humanity when you meet so many nice people. This continued to be the case during my time biking the trail Sunday.
When I told people what I was doing from the looks they gave I gaurentee they didn’t think I would make it all the way to Whitby, or back for that matter. And I don’t blame them. I mean I run a decent amount usually but the most I think I had ever biked was maybe like 15 miles. So for me the first 6 miles I think were the worst. I immediately thought wow what did I get myself into this is harder than I thought.. but from there I could start to see the ocean along side me and maybe it was the motivation of the views or the fact that after a while you just really don’t feel anything anymore but even though the climbs sometimes sucked I loved every minute of it. Besides the amazing scenery the trail was also filled with wildlife, horses, sheep, the most beautiful and well behaved dogs and their owners, other bikers (mainly middle aged men in packs, so I was maybe a little of place), and LOTS of mud. After about 12 miles of a steady incline I was halfway at Ravenscar, from there it was maybe 4 miles all down hill (which was the hardest part back) but my favorite part of it all. The views were the best here and the town of Robin Hood’s Bay was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I cannot image what it must be like to wake up everyday and look out their clifftop cottage windows. The town itself is built into a cliff with steep streets and quite the extra booty workout amount of steps to access the different shops and flats. The beach here was sunny and beautiful and once again filled with dogs, and anytime I see more animals than people in a day it’s automatically a good one so this day was perfect.
From there I continued onto Whitby, which I didn’t realize until I headed back, was also a steady incline as well. To make sure I got back in time for my train that night I only had about an hour or 2 there. So I got some ice cream (because what else would I eat after biking 23.5 miles) and then climbed the 200 steps up to probably the billionth St. Mary’s church I’ve seen and Whitby Abbey (the ruins that inspired Dracula) overlooking the harbor and town. Here the winds were a little bit stronger and the sky was back to its normal overcast but the beach town was still gorgeous and I would love to go back and be able to explore it some more. I was dreading heading back and I’ll admit the thought did cross my mind to try to take my bike on a bus or train back but I sucked it up and I’m so glad I did. The ride back was still just as beautiful and it was so nice out I rode in just my tshirt even. Besides the massive climb from Robin hoods bay to Ravenscar it was mainly downhill and went way quicker to get back.
Without being too cheesy, I think this was overall one of my favorite trips I’ve ever done. Not just because the breathtaking sights, but also because the trip pushed me out of my comfort zone in multiple ways. It made me proud of how independent I can be but also made me appreciate the fact my thunder chunks (thighs) are useful for something!
The following weekend to Ireland was definitely a totally different type of trip but it’s all about balance ya know. Rather than all that self discovery type stuff, my mission here was to discover who really does have “the best ever St. Pat’s” (looking at you Rolla). So an update will hopefully come soon, along with one for Amsterdam and Cologne!