Thursday, June 5, 2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

To say we started the morning with some trepidation would be an understatement. Picking up a car in the middle of London to drive on the wrong side of the road in an unknown area was harrowing! Ed was a little testy, and I didn’t help out much by gripping my armrests with wide eyed terror every time we turned a corner! Fortunately, the worst is over, and we are slowly acclimating to British driving. Did you know they also walk down staircases on the left side, as well as along the corridors of the subway stations? That also was confusing, but not life threatening!

Our first stop was Stonehenge, which we loved, not just because it was so beautiful, but because the sky was so blue! It was a perfect day—sunny, but cool with a little breeze.

The new visitor’s center is removed from the actual Stonehenge site, which gave it a more natural feel than it would have in the days of parking right next to it. They bused us up and back in little trams, which we appreciated. Some people chose to walk the 1.5 miles to the site, but we’d had it up to our necks with walking!

We ate steak and potato pasties at the visitor’s center cafĂ©. We liked them very much. Ed’s lemonade had ginger in it, an odd combination with lemonade, but a flavor that seems very popular here.

We had so much fun seeing stone circles that we continued on the Avebury, another ancient site even larger than Stonehenge. It had lots of stones, but none with the lintels that make Stonehenge special.

What Avebury had that was special was sheep grazing in the fields right next to the stones. It was so peaceful and pastoral, and tourists are welcome to touch the stones if they like. We did! 

We arrived at Bath by 5 and were happy to check into our very lovely B&B, the Kennard. The house is 220 years old, and has 12 feet ceilings, and beautiful woodwork. We’re sad that we’re only staying one night here!

After resting for an hour we went down to the city center to take the free walking city tour. It started right in front of the Bath Abby, a beautiful old church in the center of town.

Our tour guide, Patrick was very knowledgeable, and marched us around for 2 ½ hours while he told us stories of the peoples that have lived in Bath since Roman times.  Did you know only 80,000 people live in Bath, and 10,000 of those are college students? I thought it would be much bigger, as it has been around for millennia!

Did you also know the city lies on the Avon river? They have some pretty horseshoe falls to help mitigate flooding that has been a problem for most of those years. As we staggered back to our hotel room tonight, we were amazed that we had 16,000 steps on a day in which we spent much of it in a car.  No wonder we always have to rest up after our vacations!

1 comment:

  1. When I visiting mom I saw so many lambs in the fields. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. At least both sides of the global have baby sheep in common. Bath still looks a bit like how it must have looked in the 18th century, makes me want to pick up a J. Austin novel.