Saturday, September 03, 2011

great-britain trip photo-log part 6: Wales and Scrumpy land

Day 10, August 8, Monday

Today everything was supposed to work just fine. I think We've made enough mistakes during the trip and we have learned how to work together well by now, right?

Well, see, that's where you start getting it all wrong - when you actaully assume that I can learn anything at all.

There is a reason why I schedule things on the days I schedule them when I am planning the trip. THere is a reason for everything in my planning, that's why you don't mess with it.

Bath had been scheduled for Sunday for a reason. On Monday the Georgian House is closed!!!!

Well, Here we go. We leave our tavern in the tiny town of Avebury, we try to spot the Avebury stones on the way, but the paid parking tunred us off, and we figured we really did not have to see those stones. So we headed straight to Bath. The car park (parking lot) however played a nasty trick on us!!! I wouldn't let us put in all the money we had. Just like it happened in Oxford!!! What is it with car parks rejecting tourist money?

Anyway, we had to be back by 5 which ruined any tea plan we might want to make.

We walked to the Circus and to the Royal Crescent. The Circus is a bunch of buildings built in a circle, inspired by the coliseum. The Royal Crescent is a bunch of buldings built in the shape of a crescent moon. With a very interesting seamless wall marking the limits of their garden - to keep out the peasants. IN my picture yu can see the garden from the dwellers point of view and then the place where I am seating is the peasants' area. You can see the wall behind me.

When we tried getting into the museum Royal Crescent #1, nothing but a GEorgian style flat in the Royal Cescent that is open for visitation, we realized it said - not open on Mondays. Darn it! See! That's why you don't mess you my carefully laid out plans on a last minute basis. I am not a very good last minute person.

Well, let's walk. Let's go on to the Museum of Costume that Dean really wanted to see. The Museum of Costume has original clothes from the 1800's till today. Very interesting. We wasted some time looking at movie costumes and the amount of room allocated to 21st century clothing was excessive according to Dean. I especially enjoyed looking at the evolution of the Bridal dresses.

After the Museum of Costume, it was time for lunch. So We grabbed a sandwich and a drink at a small shop and that's when I tried the best soft drink yet. It is called Elderflower. I regret not having taken a picture of it. I hope I find it elsewhere. It's so .... I don't know, flowery?

Anyway, We headed to Bath's Cathedral for a tour of the tower. But not before crossing the bridge over the Avon River, and taking the river path to the Cathedral.

Oh, yes, we are taking the river path. During this walk, we say a Toyta IQ upclose. The tiniest car I have seen yet.

Oh, and this morning we also saw a Fiat Uno!!! At the Parking lot! Oh, I mean car park.

Oooh, then the cathedral! There we climbed up the tower and we took a picture behind the clock and saw the bells. We also got to see the whole town from up above including the Roman Baths, where we would soon be heading.

We got a little Bookmarker as a favor for having climbed all the way up. Oh, then girl that was leading us up asked me if I wanted to take my JUMPAH with me. By JUMPAH, she meant my hoodie. How cold is it? I asked. She said it got quite windy up there and she was often cold herself. Well, well, well, a local saying she is cold! I better bring my JUMPAH with me!

The Roman Baths are the whole reason bath is there, so that 's where we headed next. Why did we make it our final stop? Well, it was the only thing that would be open till late. So there we went. Out pass did not grant us line skipping privileges, so we had to wait like regular people. Darn.

Inside the ROman Baths however, even though touching the water was not allowed, I had a kick out of the thought that in tha very spot ancient Roman citizens walked and went about with their lives, unaware that one day, crazy tourists like us would be intrigued by the remains of their favorite bathing and hanging out spot. We say the belongings and remains of a person who had traveled all the way from Africa to Bath. World-famous Bath, attracting people from all the known continents of the world.

THe end of outr trip was rushed because we had that stupid timer at the parking lot saying we must leave by 5. Five it is! We rushed through the stuff that was meaning less, all the way to the fountain where we could try the actaul bath warm water for free ( I mean, included in the admission that was included in the pass we purchased six months ago).

The water was served in the Pump room, where it was time for tea. Can you believe it! Every tourist in town was having tea at the fancy Roman Bath Pump Room, but we had exactly 17 minutes to make it back to the parking lot, and by the time we got there and back it would be too late for tea. Another day in which tea plans would not work.

We hopped in the car and headed to our next Country - Wales, and the only reason we know we got to Wales was becouse the signs were now in ENglish and Welsh.

Day 11, August 9, Tuesday

Everytime I think about the time that's going by so fast I feel sad. But then I remind myself that worrying about the future is no good when the present is so full of things to enjoy. Yesterday we got to Wales and the place we stayed was my favorite of all motels we've stayed so far. On the way there we stopped and got cash at some shopping plaza where we also got some coffee (whch Dean hated - he has been hating the coffee here in the UK. THey serve some sort of Americano, but Dean says it is just expresso and water. "that is not what we drink in AMerica!" he told the boy back at the Day's Inn in Lanarkshire, much to the surprise of the boy!!!). I got a hot cocoa, and hot cocoa is the same everywhere - none are comparable to the one we make at home with real chocolate.
At that same spot we bought ourselves a new suitcase for deal! TEN POUNDS for a SMALL SUITCASE with wheels.

We visited 2 Castles today. Actually they were the first castles we actually visited since we've started our trip. Oh no! I'm wrong. We did visited the Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness. In Wales we visited the ruins of Caerphilly Castle and the fancy rebuilt Castle Coch. Castle Coch was owned by a very rich mommy's boy in the 1800's who liked the medieval times very much so he paid some highly priced architects to rebuild the castle the way it was supposed to be in the medieval times. It was supposed to be a vacation home for him.

OUr trip to Wales was this short. ON the same day we went back to England and drove into SCrumpy land - Summerset (i think it is a county)

Oh, let me just say that the people at the hotel in Wales were most helpful and friendly. They even didn't mind my ignorant inquire about what language was that in the road signs and started up a conversation about how they learned it in school as a heritage language.

But we left Wales soon nonetheless and drove to Sommerset. OUr tarvern in the town of Street is, of all the Taverns we have stayed, my favorite one. Also the best priced, which greatly influences my liking a place. But the ownner is very friendly and directed us to a place where we could try scrumpy. We tried scrumpy, we drove to Glastonbury and climbed Glastonbury THor, and we even had time to see the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey - another place destroyed by Henry the VIII. What an evil and nasty old man!

Glastonbury THor was the best though. We were told by our hosts that you could see all the way up to wales on a clear day. We have no idea what we saw, but it was one of the neatest places I have been. ALso one of the windiest ones. I was so scared going up! Scared taht the wind would take me away of course!!!! My whole life I always heard my family telling me I 'd better eat some more or a strong wind would carry me away, cuz I was so lightweighted. I am scared of wind alright!!!

On out way back from Glastonbury thor We saw the place where King Arthur Supposedly founf the fountain of youth. BUt they were already closed. See I did not know about this place. So, I could not possibly have planned for it.

But we made it back just in time for Tea at this very very cute tea room. A very traditional looking tea room in a very hippie looking Glastonbury. CRAZYYY, but we gladly stopped by and had tea and scones! Finally!

SInce the Cathedral ruins were still open, we went there to end our trip for that day and made it back to our tavern in time to eat dinner and talk with locals.

They asked us about our trip to London, since everyone is still talking about the riots. I am concerned, yeah, because our hotel is in the Croydon, the place where some of the riots happened. But they said not to worry. It's probably the safest place to be right now. Well, let's see. Tomorrow we are getting breakfast delivered to our room.

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