Flying Piglets Blog

In the land of Beatrix Potter and Shaun the Sheep

This is it: We are ready to set off from Ambleside (2nd picture) towards the east coast – a day late. The reason: First of all, a boldface nicked Gabrielle’s bike saddle and front light in broad daylight. Not really noteworthy in a city context, the local police, however, considered it important enough to put a message in the «Westmoreland Gazette» asking for any relevant information allowing to get hold of the stolen saddle, seat post and light. Inserat_klein_WebIt appears that in the placid Lake District the theft of bike parts qualifies as an act of unleasehd barbarism. René’s bike suffered, too and was brutally battered during transport by the British Parcel Force (nomen est omen) and needed a new fork as well as other bits and pieces…

The Lake District (aka «The Lakes») in North-West England – the land of Beatrix Potter and Shaun the Sheep – is one of 14 National Parks in Great Britain, an unrivalled idyll of roughly 2200 square kilometres. Its Cumbrian Mountains rise to nearly 1000 metres. Due to the changeable weather the green fells often appear speckled by the interplay of light and shadow of the passing clouds.

People here are equipped with a generous sense of hunour and a distinct soft spot for dogs, many of which undergo rigorous training to become high-performance working animals driving the thousands upon thousands of sheep living here. Others own a greyhound, some of which are rescued former racing dogs – a reminder of the professional greyhound races, which have been banned for animal welfare reasons in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but are a wide-spread and popular industry worth millions in Great Britain. The majority of people in the Lake District make a living from tourism and sheep farming. The latter has its dark side. But more of this in our next blog entry.

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