A Glimpse of Royalty VS A Cream Tea
Trip Start Jan 27, 2010
32Trip End Dec 09, 2010
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The 2nd channel crossing of our trip included possibly the most terrifying moment of our ferry going lives. On arriving at Dover, we returned to what we thought was our car level on the ferry, only to find no Bone Bandit (formerly Van(essa) Amorosi) anywhere. We started to look for him, which involved making our way through a maze of tightly packed semi trailers, who all started turning their engines on in preparation for disembarkation. If that wasn't terrifying enough, the ferry door opened and the semi’s starting moving out while we were still stuck within the maze looking for Bone. We realised that if we didn’t get out in time, we would be literally crushed to death/run over by a semi from two inches away. Needless to say, we hightailed it out of there as quickly as we could. Death by semi was narrowly avoided.
On the road again (turns out Bone Bandit was two levels higher), Chris rejoiced in the reversal of lanes, while Kristine delighted in all things English speaking related on the radio (BBC still air radio plays or 'serials’)!
After buying a notebook in Canterbury (and surviving a nervous walk back to the campground), our next stop was LONDON!
Highlights of the Big Smoke:
1. Seeing Avenue Q on West End (It’s like Sesame Street for adults!)
2. Portobello Markets – we wanted to buy so many things.....
3. Seeing the Queen!!! We turned up for the Changing of the Guards ceremony on June 12 not realising it was the Queen’s official b’day parade, Trooping the Colour. We waited in the hot sun for 2 hours but it was worth it when she came out onto the balcony and did her famous wave.
4. London Eye!
5. Watching the Go Bare for Clean Air cycle parade go past Big Ben. That’s right, 100’s of butt naked cyclists......
6. Blue whale skeleton at Natural History Museum, seeing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Chair at the National Gallery and seeing the mummy of Cleopatra and the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum.
7. Shakespeare’s Globe
After hitting such a big city, it was quite nice over the next two weeks driving through the English countryside and visiting towns and districts such as Salisbury, Bath, The Cotswalds, The Peak District and The Lake District.
1. Avebury stone circle (better atmosphere then the fenced off, roped off, highway adjacent , £14 admission fee for Stonehenge. We were still chuffed to see it though). At Avebury, you can actually walk within the 5000 yr old circle and even touch the stones themselves. Eerie and probably why we passed a group of people beating on a drum and chanting and also viewed a few mystic diehards hugging the stones intensely
2. Free walking tour of Bath where we met two fellow Aussies (who we met for a beer and watched ENG VS ALGERIA at the local pub, The Hunstman, later that night). Roman baths were really cool too. The history was amazing.
3. Savouring a Cream Tea at a tearoom in the Cotswalds on the grounds of a ‘pick your own’ fruit farm - local strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream heaped onto a fresh scone! Riding through luscious farmland and taking photos of thatched roofed houses before the owners shoo you away....
4. Hiking along the Pennine Way for a few hours in the Peaks District (best morning tea view ever though bogs aplenty).
5. Taking a boat across the Derwent Water lake to our hiking starting point, then proceeding to climb to the summit of the Catbells, where a magnificent view of the Lake District can be had. Eating traditional Cornish pasties and Cumberland sausages – but not drinking an English ale just because it has a cute name, as it will generally taste like XXXX Bitter multiplied by 4 (Old Speckled Hen).
6. Watching Keswick's local cricket team with a beer in the park on a glorious day after a 4 hour hike up to Latrigg Mountain. Finishing the day with £4 fish, chips and mushy peas at the local pub.
We have truly enjoyed our time in England and are relishing being here while World Cup fever is rife. We haven’t missed an English game yet and have to admit that we have been cheering on England and Ween Wooney (not Craig – the real one) along with the locals. Join us next blog for Scotland.