John & Anne Wiley

2019/01/09

Muncaster

Our second day in Ravenglass we walked about a mile up the gentle grade to Muncaster Castle where we met up again with our Santa Barbara friends. They’re distantly related to the heirs (exciting for their grandkids), and were doing genealogy research. It was a fun day, and quite different from the rest of the trip.

8274 Regal Roost

8274 Regal Roost

More about the Birds we saw in a moment, but first we had to find a way in.

8258 Muncaster Gate

8258 Muncaster Gate

Because we’d gotten an early start, the main gate was still locked but with no cell service we couldn’t find the other gate. After walking further up the road, back down, and back up past where we’d turned back we found our friends. Inside those walls is a wonderland.

153027 Fairytale

153027 Fairytale

Walking around to the front door the misty day opened enough to get a glimpse of the valley domain.

8791 Domain Glimpse

8791 Domain Glimpse

Inside the castle is a rich art gallery and museum, where we wandered the rooms imagining (and reading about) days gone by.

8820 Castle Entrance

8820 Castle Entrance

Back outside the sky had cleared more, providing another angle on the valley.

121724 Valley Vista

121724 Valley Vista

Far in another direction a stout guardhouse perched on a hillock in the lingering mist.

8800 Lonely Outpost

8800 Lonely Outpost

Walking around the other side of the castle we looked back toward the entrance gallery.

143752 Looking Back

143752 Looking Back

Our little group was headed to the castle’s famous bird show, our second of the day. It’s very well done, intimate (wingtips gently brushed several of our friends), and thrilling.

8342 Fly By

8342 Fly By

8983 Takeoff

8983 Takeoff

The show is narrated by experts who love to introduce these beautiful animals.

8700 Free as a Bird

8700 Free as a Bird

All of this is in the open air, but the birds choose to stay with their caring keepers. Adding to various silent owls are several other species of magnificent raptors.

8883 Expert Aviator

8883 Expert Aviator

The second show ended with an amazing show of aerial maneuvers, chasing a lure and catching bits of meat tossed into the air in mid-flight. Quite a memory for this pilot. 🙂

9287 Fast Precision

9287 Fast Precision

Much as we loved the smaller venue of the first show, many of us were quite moved by this second one. Part of it was accompanied by epic music that fit perfectly with the grace of these raptors stretching their wings. All too soon we headed back to town for our last night, beginning to pack for our morning train back to London.

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