11 September 2010

England Vacation Part 12

September 7, 2010

We took the long drive south, into Newport and Caerleon Wales - the road signs are crazy, they speak some kind of pig latin, with extra letters. It's quite neat to see.

We took the Severn Bridge across to England and into Bristol, then over to Bath. Bath is amazingly pretty, very European looking and built into a valley with gorgeous architecture stretching up every hillside. We went downtown and spent a few hours in the shopping mall, OK, mostly at the Apple store to poach their free wifi and then have a pizza, but what we saw was really, really neat. I need to come back to this city for sure.

The weather was perfect, so far, we have had sunny days every day, little bits of cloud and the odd spurt of showers, but mostly it's been great.

From Bath, we drove to Stonehenge, a world historic site. To think the stones used in making it were brought from so far away really makes you wonder about how they did it - they are huge, way bigger than they show them on Spinal Tap.

From Stonehenge, we went to Salisbury, a town built on the River Avon - a very pretty site, we went to Salisbury Cathedral and while we weren't expecting much more than the average cathedral, it was spectacular and had a hidden gem in the back charter house and medieval frieze... the Magna Carta. The original document with 63 charters outlining the rights of the people of England - only 3 are still applicable, but groundbreaking for it's time and a very important part of history. Seeing it encased in glass, under special lighting was really a treat.

For the drive back we relied on our GPS and our interpretation of the directions, missing turns and going on the wrong exits along the way... this turned out in our favor as we were happened upon one of the chalk horses on a hillside - we could't have found it with a sherpa... but there it was, across the field as we're driving by... Karen yells, 'look at that! Pull over!!!' and we quickly pull over and snap a few picks from about a kilometer away... really cool.

We then drove through Marlborough, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, you may know him from the opening of the Iron Maiden Album, Somewhere Back In Time. After that, we drove through Swindon, which has the most famous traffic circle cluster in all the world... seriously, look it up on Google, the map of it looks like a boy scout knot diagram.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat along the motorway and then made the long journey back home, at our furthest, we were 145 miles away from base camp. All in all, it was a really fun day.

Tomorrow, we'll have to drive south about 15 miles to see if we can bust into the Cadbury factory and get us some chocolate. The factory resides in a lush green valley, with nothing around it but farms - not what you'd expect at all. A marketers dream.

Cheerio!

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