Summer Solstice Sprint

It’s odd where the ideas come from, often it’s just a simple conversation that sparks me off with an idea. This conversation was about the sunsets and how after the solstice the nights would start drawing in. A sobering thought when you realise we are half way through the year and you haven’t done much towards all the plans and ideas that were floating around at the beginning of the year!!

Now for the Solstice (from the conversation) I have for many years wanted to experience it at Stonehenge – maybe not dancing naked….but then why not!!😂 The only problem with that is the amount of people that I would be sharing it with!! They go in their thousands and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy it. So the question was, where to go?

Before that was answered I checked when the 21st June was, luckily it was a Friday so I booked it off. The excitement began.

Now the next question, where to go? I racked my brains – which didn’t take long🤪- and came up with the idea of driving from East to West – sunrise to sunset. I originally thought starting somewhere like Skegness and driving over to Wales would be cool, until a friend suggested Whitby. I had a look on the map and it looked doable, it’s quite narrow from coast to coast up there and given that I Never drive in a straight line it was probably a wiser choice than driving to the coast of Wales!

The next thing was the hotel. Can’t beat it. Unfortunately there weren’t any hotels close to the coast that I could afford – having done Yorkshire at the beginning of the month. I widened the search and settled on Scarborough and found what I hoped would be a nice hotel. I booked it and went on to find a destination in the west. This became Morecombe. I found a hotel on the outskirts and booked it. Now all I had to do was wait for the day to arrive.

It did. I was Very excited!!

I was very good and drove straight there without any self made diversions and straight away found the hotel, parking was a challenge but I managed to parallel park in a space made for Vinnie. I got out of the car and just stared, it was overlooking the bay – just beautiful.

I went into the hotel, it was in a terrace with steps up to it. The door was locked, I rang the bell and a lady came to let me in. Now I bet you’ll never guess what she said as I walked through the door… yep, you guessed… ‘are you on your own’ as she looked behind me🙄 Now this one I thought about afterwards, in her defence she was maybe wondering if she should hold the door open a little longer. But no, I told her it was just me.

I checked in, she showed me up to my room, I was knackered by the time we reached it! Stairs are becoming quite a challenge for me lately.

Oh my goodness it was stunning! The room was ok but the view was simply gorgeous. It was a bay window and all you could see was the sea straight ahead. Perfect for me. I told her so. I went to get my bags from the car and settled in.

As tempting as it was to crash on the bed I made my way downstairs, I was starving. She met me as I reached the bottom – she probably heard me coming!! – and gave me a booklet with a map and she talked me through where to go and where best to eat. I thanked her and made my way out. It was a beautiful evening, quite warm, with blue skies and sunshine still. I opted to go the opposite way to what she’d recommended – that’s me – and made my way up a path with steps that went towards the castle on the hill. I climbed up and over and down the other side, not really knowing where I was going but just going in a generally rough direction.

The hills were steep and some of the roads were cobbled, it was very lovely. I eventually found the harbour, stopping to buy some rock for work, our 81 year old post lady likes rock to be brought back from the seaside – she doesn’t eat it so I’m not sure why!! Maybe it’s just the symbol and a childhood memory of the seaside.

It had a lovely feel to the place, I walked around, past the boats in the harbour/marina, the masts were creaking and the seagulls were flying overhead. I went up onto the sea wall, it was a kind of recce to see if I could find a spot for the sunrise. I made my way over to the lighthouse, stopping for photos and finding lots – and I mean lots – of benches around the base of the lighthouse. Each one had an inscription on and I

walked round and read each one, very moving and thought provoking.

By now I was hungry, I found a posh chippy and sat inside and had fish and chips which were lovely then made my way back to the hotel as the sun was going down and I can’t miss a sunset opportunity😍

I wasn’t disappointed. I’d made my way back to the other side of the hill, back to overlook the bay that my hotel did and sat at the top of the steps and watched – and took photos. It was beautiful.

I had it to myself apart from an older gentleman who came up the steps and stopped to take a photo and have a little chat with me – we both agreed sunsets were easier than sunrises so I told him why I was there. He thought it was a fab idea and proceeded to tell me where the best place would be to see it. I thanked him for the information and he went on his way. I made my way down the steps, at the same speed the sun was going down and eventually got back to my hotel room. I made a drink and sat in my bay window and watched it go dark.

It wasn’t long before I was in bed, I had to be up at 3am, I didn’t know how far I would have to go for a view of the sunrise so wanted to give myself plenty of time. I could see the sea from my bed and it was still fairly light so it was hard to go to sleep, it was so beautiful.

I dozed off and the alarm woke me at 3. I was so excited and scared of missing it that I got up straight away and got dressed, making my way quietly out of the hotel and into Vinnie. I drove down the hill to the road along the waterfront and followed it round the cliff face.

This is where I found lots of parking spaces with a fantastic view out to sea over the sea wall. It hadn’t taken me long so I had a while to wait and I wasn’t entirely sure at what point on the horizon the sun would makes its appearance. I got out and took some photos.

I felt like I had the world to myself. It was wonderful. Peaceful. Apart from the birds that were nesting on the cliff face behind me. It was all so calming.

Another car drove past. He stopped and parked further along, that was allowed 😄 he obviously wanted to be on his own too.

I was leaning on the wall when I saw a little fishing boat coming round the corner, followed by another one. They made for lovely pictures. As it went in front of me and continued right to left I heard a man shouting! I have no idea where he’d come from and I’m not entirely sure he was sober because he had a lot of things to shout to the fishermen!! All I hoped was that he didn’t notice me and stayed there. The boat went further away and he stopped until another one went past him!! He must have been wronged by them or something – poor guy😟

I turned my attention back to the horizon in front of me. It was getting close to sunrise. I could eventually tell where it was going to happen and focused on that point….and then there it was…my summer solstice sunrise.. just so incredibly magical and utterly stunning. Our planet never ceases to make my jaw drop in awe. I was so glad I was there to see it, so grateful and very happy.

I took more photos until it had risen above the horizon then I jumped back in Vinnie and made my way back to the hotel. It wasn’t long before I was back in bed – I could still see the sunrise from my room – I had a couple of hours before I had to get up for breakfast….

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