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In summertime 2011 I travelled "with my uke around the UK" - by car, again. It was not planned as a ukulele event this time, however, there have been meetings with ukulele players as well.


I started on 12th of July. Had a first stop in Brussels (Belgium), meeting Herman Vandecauter and his student Pauline Randou, at first for visiting together the Muesum of Music Instruments in Brussels, then, since rain did not stop, for an afternoon jam session.







Beachy Head in East Sussex, South England


Cliff Edge, East Sussex



Stonehenge, Wilshire - Salisbury Plains.



Pre-Celtic stone age monument, about 5000 years old



St. Michael Mount - Cornwall.



Tintagel - King Arthur's Castle


Caernarfon Castle - Norther Wales



Sheep on every country road. One has to drive very carefully..



Liverpool - one can't go around, there's a tunnel which leads directly in the city... Unfortunately rain is still my company...




Didn't care about the Beatles... Alex, you can drive your car...



On the way to the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse which has become famous from Paul McCartney's 1977 hit is no souvenir shop... You are really with yourself at this lonesome spot... However, I have met another car on the way back to the main roads.




100 miles and many crooked roads across a foggy hill just because of a song...



In a very little village called Stein, Isle of Skye, you may be surprised to view a palm tree.  Finally I am on the sunny side.



Neist Point lighthouse - one of the highlights during a trip around Skye.



On the coast of Loch Torridon I listened to a harp player, she is playing tonight with her band in a small village: traditional Scottish music


Next evening I visited the gig of the band in Torridon Town Hall



Theband's performence was, in fact, planned as a line dance lesson


Ceilidh: Young and old paricipate in the Irish and Scottish linde dance, also tourists hand in hand.



Orkney  Islands: peacefull countryside and archeological sightseeing... But Stromness and Kirkwall are grey towns... Grey roofs, grey streets, grey sky... You really long for leaving the islands as soon as you have finished your trip around...



If you have missed the morning ferry, you have five hours to the next... Then, sometimes, things that you never expected just happen
...



Standing Stones of Stenness, nearby some neolithic places.


Italian Chapel - Italian war prisoners were allowed to build this little chapel - after they buildt the "Churchil Barrieres" between the islands, a hard job for men from the sunny and warm south of Europe...



Dunrobin Castle, Victorian luxury of the Duke of Sutherland



Badbead - ruins of an old fisherman village (about 1800 to 1900)



Inverness - Pubs, shops, churches, castles


Sunset on the river Ness


At "Hootenanny" I meet the band again I knew from Loch Sheidlag and Torridon on the Western Coast


Bridge for pedestrians


Inverness Castle


Instead of the announced jam session another band gig... So my uke has not get a job that night.


Evening in Inverness: Kilts and bagpipes



The Inverness Youth Hostel has good facilities, however the chambers of Cowdor Castle have still some more comfort


Dores Inn - on the "other" shore of Loch Ness you can relax from all the Nessie-Monster-Tourism. The era has much more to offer: beautiful countryside with nice villages - and of course castles as everywhere in Scotland




If you still want to know what a Scotish wears under his kilt, at least postcards give a glimpse of the mistery...



Edinburgh - a town you can make tons of pics. On the tourist main road you can see many street musicians and much more cashmere-woolen-gift-shops. The Royal Mile ends at the castle hill, but on the Canongate Church the other end (I crossed it when Zara & Mike married, but left the crowd as fast as I could, there is so much else...


Edinburgh at night, a lot of pubs and bars and and...




Bagpipes can really nerve after a while, so I convinced this jung Scottish to convert to an ukulele.



After all those Kilts you may enjoy very normal pants as well, again.




Nostalgia: Old phone cabins are still on the back roads in the countryside, but they are more than relicts from a time before mobile phone and iPhone...



Oldtimers are often seen in GB... You have to overtake them because of the fumes, not always easy in the hairpin turns of the Cairngorm Mountains.




They are still in work!


Parks and big garden belong to every old castle. Big trees spread out their shadows on the meadows, like here at Cawdor Castle near Inverness.



Every first monday of month the Tune Army Ukulele Club meets in the function room of Bay Horse (Pub), near Nwecastle upon Thyne. I joined the session for an hour.


The White Horse of Kilburn - 1857 made by a teacher and his class, nowadays an attraction, that named hotels, cafes, bars and pub in a circle of 100 miles....



The White Horse of Kilburn







Bay Horse (Pub) - Monday Ukulele Session


Singin' in the rain... No postcard weather in York, but after an hour of rain i enjoyed a beatiful sunset, and coud take brillant photography from the York Minster (below).


The towers of York Minster dominate the skyline of "The City of York" - small ways all around in the old town - with lots of shops and pubs, of course.


The bells ring for about 7 minutes, have a breack for one minute, and ring again and again...




A job is job... Even in the heavy rain this young man has to catch tourists for readings of macabre storries, a tradition everywhere in Scotland



Cathedral of St. Peter





Old windmills are in Britain relatively rarely encountered. If well maintained, they have been converted to restaurants and souvenir shops. The modern counterpart however often perched in groups on windy hills and the coast.


The idyllic seaside resort on England's east coast, an hour ahead of London is deceptive.


How many wings has this modern facility on the coast of Clacton beach, Norfolk? The answer: Three, like any other! But standing in a straight run behind the front, which gives an optical illusion ....



London ... Actually I wanted to avoid the big city - I had the pleasure 20 years ago and since then I know that you have no chance here with the car. But then I'm curious, daring me in the middle of the city, where there are oases of calm, but never a parking space. The first attempt to find a hotel is sobering: "One seven plus tax", I find at the reception, in other words: 170 GBP, and taxes! ... Additionally 35 for the parking ... Taking into account the weakening euro I would therefore loose to 250 € or more - just to stay for one night! I prefer to leave it out ...



Tower Bridge ... I fight bravely through the permanent traffic jam in the center, photograph out of the car while waiting, sometimes propelled through the windshield ... No chance to park in the center! But the traffic is a challenge - and the lively goings-on at every corner and burst of adrenaline is to provide some supplies.



The outskirts of London, although no ghetto (where the mob ruled the streets, as it brought over the latest reports from the news), but also not the posh, expensive city, from which I can free myself straight. Before I see land again - or at least the country road - I still have an hour through the industrial affluent suburbs of London. Arrived in Dover, I have the choice to stay on the coast or equal to take the ferry to Calais. The latter is just ready to go - lucky! One day after my departure from the Kingdom the escalating turmoil in London and other British cities began. Good for me and my "Clio", that I was too stingy to stay there longer.

I try to escape the juggernaut of the big city ... Once a wrong turn and the adventure begins again. Then a gap in oncoming traffic - brash, I decide to take the opportunity to turn not quite correct. The one-time successor to the opposite carriageway now calls to me: "BANNED!" - but in German! He recognized my plate left over and smiles. Yes, I gesticulated with my thumb up: Germans are sometimes wide-awake motorists - and not quite as virtuous as our reputation. Then he returned my gesture in the same way.



Back on the continent, I am still with Paris. After London, the French capital seems almost serene. At the photo session on the Seine, the professionals do their business. And when it - as quite often on my journey - begins to rain, I realize: It's time to go home, finally back to sleep in your own bed - and to find in the morning everything in the bathroom located where it always was.



It is now my fifth visit to the city, I have to scour the museums and attractions no longer.


Still a bit wobble slightly in the travel, I forget the flashing when turning into the street before my house. Big honking behind me. A pedestrian cries: FLASH! - I am frightened and get it: I'm at home again
... Welcome to Germany!

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