11 September 2010

England Vacation Part 15

September 10, 2010

Today, we travelled about a mile down the road to visit Stokesay Castle, well, it wasn't so much a castle as it was a fortified manor. It was exquisite. A real gem. The audio guide was great and explained so much about how it was built and how it was used in it's nearly 800 years.

We didn't want a big travel day so we stayed within 25 miles of our base camp today... there was so much to see, in just this little part of the Shropshires, we had no idea.

Further up the road was a town called Much Wenlock, a nice little town with a great pub where we had a delicious lunch. The pub was called the George & Dragon Inn. We wandered through the shops and happened upon their little museum and made quite a discovery, the father of the modern olympics was from that town and in the mid-1800's he began holding olympic games in England and pushed for an international olympics. In 1894 he was invited to France to form the international olympic committee, but was 84 and could not attend, he never saw his vision come to fruition but provided the spark for the modern games. The memorabilia in this museum as it related to this was really neat... the other stuff was quite typical.

Our next stop was a little town in a valley called Iron Bridge. It's famous for, wait for it... that's right, an iron bridge. Well, it's the first iron bridge ever made, this was the heart of the iron industry as metallurgy was invented and mastered in this area of Great Britain. The bridge was pretty cool, and the toll house at the one end made you think of the many people that had to cough up some coins to get across to the town in dry clothes.

We got home early and ordered Indian take out. Vinaloo, butter chicken and curry... it was a nice change from fish and chips, hamburgers and chips, pie and chips... heck, everything comes with chips here, it's worse than America for that.

Tomorrow we drive into London, I'm excited about it and a bit nervous... the traffic in the big centers are nuts. I wont say I've mastered the driving here, but I'm a lot more comfortable than I was two weeks ago. But, it's still a lot to grasp, quick changes, narrow roads, weird signs and all while on the wrong side of the road. One turn on our drive today required us to turn a bit, back up and then make the turn - and even at that, we had about 2" of clearance on each mirror as we went through the narrow channel. I was smart enough to load up a couple thousand songs onto my iPad before leaving... I've rigged it up to the rental car stereo so the music is good and we're not constantly trying to find a station.

Our second week saw us at a pretty nice spot, just outside of Craven Arms. The barn conversion had most of modern trappings, other than internet. We have a plasma TV, modern kitchen, washer & dryer and a shit load of spiders... bit hairy ones, in fact, one of them had biceps. I couldn't even muster up the courage (or strength) to kill it.

I am hoping the place in London has wifi, the lack of connectivity is killing me. I dunno, maybe it's good. I was hoping to post as I went along, but here I am each night before bed, recapping the day's events. This gives me some time to embellish and exaggerate, and that's always good for storytelling.



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