Sunday 2nd May...London to Bath

With the girls having been so tired on their return from tour... we had decided that Bath was not a real priority for them...sleep, washing, resting,...was! However, I decided not to miss the opportunity so, today I am heading off on a tour of Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and finally Bath...It's pretty wet but I'm very excited about seeing 'outside'of London....

Today unfolded with so many little twists and turns and changes that by the end of it all it felt like I had lived 4 separated days in one!
When we had arrived at the hotel yesterday, the heater was stuck on full bore and we nearly expired trying to get organised so the concierge tuned it off and said that the next day I would need to moved rooms as it was broken. As I was already booked to leave early for the tour, I set the alarm extra early to pack, rush upstairs to devour a cooked breakky in 10 mins flat (burp!)...then off to pick up point to begin the day's journey!

We arrived at Victoria station half an hour early so we stood in a queue in the freezing cold meeting each other. fortunately the bus was warm and dry and I managed to get the front seat beside, Godfrey, the guide. (..the advantages of travelling single!...) As we left the busy streets of London the English countryside unfolded. It was just as I imagined...hedges and plantations dividing the green lucsious paddocks broken up with the vivid yellow rapeseed (Canola) crops and lots of heavy driving rain. I was loving it until we arrived at Windsor Castle and had to rug up and step out into it! I was well prepared but still my feet and hands went yellow (Yes, Gem, I don't think I would last a winter in England either!) It was quite a walk but surreal as I was pinching myself trying to believe that I was actually there! There were many Kodak moments but I didn't dare take the camera out too often as the rain was relentless. Once inside the Castle, the warmth thawed me and I wandered, almost alone, through the Royal rooms steeped in history and splendour and I marvelled at how far removed it was from my own wonderful life.....
Unexpectedly, I came across the changing of the guards. We were told it doesn't occur on a Sunday and especially in the wet weather! I secretly believe they put on a private viewing for me.....until lots of other tourists realised it was happening and merged down onto the very formal, but simple procedure! Not the same grandeur as some, I suspect, but very excitingfor me to have actually witnessed its occurence!
Not wanting to miss the bus, I made my way back through lovely warm cafes and shops to prepare for the next part of my adventure. Godfrey was very concerned that it was a LONG journey (1 1/2 hr drive) until we got to the Stonehenge Inn for lunch. Being an Aussie who is used to travelling distance, I relaxed and lapped up the beauty I was experiencing.
2nd part of my journey: Stonehenge:

A typical English lunch at a Typical English Inn....I had trifle but it wasn't steeped in sherry/port as I had hoped....I sat at a table with some who were on holidays but had been caught in the Vocanoe disruption and had completely missed their planned 10 days in Greece... so instead of the warmth and sun they went straight into cold and rain!! They were fun and friendly and at Stonehenge itself, were helpful in taking some shots of me to prove I was actually at the historical site! Rain had stopped but the wind was bitter...but I didn't care! It was spell binding! ........noone can agree on its purpose but it is certainly an intriguing structure set on the gentle slopes of Stonehenge.

Onwards...........another long journey......but the spectacle as we wound our way down into the centre of Bath was breath taking. VERY English....yes certainly is! .....and I loved everysecond of my brief visit there! We had 1 1/2 hours to wander at our leisure. I chose the audio self guided tour to try to understand the history and the significance of these ancient baths and hot springs. Somehow, with my distorted hopeless sense of direction, I managed to get myself very lost underground in the chambers filled with historical history!!!....For ages I was almost the only person around until some tour groups arrived but they were all going in the opposite
 direction from me...I tried really hard to sort it out and try and find my way down to the actual hot springs....but to no avail! I was quite frustrated but loving the spectacular visuals and history I was learning on this obscure scenic route! Having finally found my way to the end of the tour and tasted the spa water, Godfrey presented himself quite abruptly in front of me, informing me that the bus left at was then 5.05pm....and we had been warned that it WOULD go without passengers if we didn't show up at the stated time!.....Somehow in my distraction on arrival, I had registered a 5.30pm departure.....THANK YOU GODFREY ....(and thanks to the other 3 young girls, who were late as well, for whom Godfrey had come looking...otherwise...I might have had to hitch home to London!)
I had been hanging out for a Starbucks.....but it paled into insignificance as I settled into the warm, comfy, long journey loving the occassional sunshine that poured through my window.
I decided that a Tube ride to BrickRroad, Angel, was easy to do and so I found myself wandering along a street, not unlike Lygon Street in Melbourne. Every culture was represented by the many restaurant lining the Road, and as Monday was a public holiday (Bank Holiday) there were 100's of people raucously revelling and toasting the day away in the large beer garden at the Brewery and along the length of the narrow Brick Road. I dined at a very cheap very yummy Indian restaurant and happily made my way back to my hotel.
Arriving, they informed me that my heating had been fixed so consequently I was to remain in room #24...!!! Needless to say....I fell into bed almost in disbelief that it had only been that morning that I had packed quickly and fled to breakky!!

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to be able to share some of your English experiences with Gem. You seem to be having a super time exploring and learning about London. thanks for sharing it with me.
    Lots of love
    Evie xx


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