There's just too much to say about our whirlwind two-day tour of Bronte country and the seacoast town of Whitby. Improbably brilliant colors under changeable grey skies; every humble dooryard exploding with flowers; wide expanses of wild country in grays, greens and purples.
Walking through the village of Haworth was a lesson in floriculture.
Walking past garden after garden gave me a palpable sense of how deeply this art form is sunk into English culture. It is an art that many practice with a high degree of skill, and most know at least enough about to enjoy.
It's hard to come up with a North American equivalent...would it be cooking? Swimming? I don't know.
And we were not disappointed. This was another Sam-Baker's-Ordnance-Survey adventure, and we had a glorious time getting lost and then finding ourselves again under skies that alternately smiled and threatened, but were always spectacular.
At the Parsonage as in the neighboring churchyard where the Brontes are buried, the colors of the flowers against the grey stone walls and endless rows of tombstones seems to add to the melancholy atmosphere rather than cheer things up.
This mood continued when we arrived at Whitby the next morning and jumped off the bus to gales of wind and temperatures worthy of a Texas winter. A ruined abbey dominates the sea-cliff, surrounded by another enormous graveyard where key scenes in Bram Stoker's Dracula are set. But facing the ocean is also a cheerful crescent of Georgian townhouses worthy of Bath, fronted by--of course--a lovely garden.