Today we say goodbye to England. It’s a bit bitter sweet as this has been my favorite country so far. I really could have stayed longer.
We finished our stay in London with a private tour of the British museum (thanks to Aunt Kathy!). Our tour guide was awesome as he led us through some of the highlights of the 8 million artifacts displayed there. (There really are 8 million!). Now that Charlottes had a taste of the private tour life our group tours with head sets are just gonna be a real let down.
We were able to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before leaving London. It was the best live performance any of us had ever seen! The theater, like most of the buildings in London, was so old and decorated so beautifully I could just imagine folks in formal gowns and suits strolling through the halls hundreds of years ago.
After London we headed to the country side to THE most adorable, quaint little city/village. We now refer to it as a human sized fairy garden. Our cottage was in a row of what used to be weavers cottages on the side of a cliff over looking the town. The roads were built for horse and buggies, not cars so they were so narrow in most places you’d have to pull over for oncoming traffic. The bridges and some of the buildings there were built as early as 700 AD. There just aren’t words to describe how charming the town and the people there are.
We happened to arrive on a weekend when they were doing a civil war reenactment so this incredibly old town was full of people walking around in colonial costumes and shooting canons off the Avon bridge. We got to have a proper English tea at a sweet little tea room where the servers dressed in period costumes. Charlotte and I had a great time with our finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream. Michael seemed to get a kick out of the experience but Trevor was less than impressed and left very hungry. Guess he’s really more of a burger and fries kinda guy than a tea party type. Who knew!
We spent one of our days exploring Bristol. It was raining all day but we found a great zoo to visit that kept us dry. I’m not usually much of a zoo person but this zoo had mostly smaller animals (so I don’t feel AS bad about them being locked up) and great exhibits! They had a whole room set up like a kitchen with glass cabinets that housed the rat display…hysterical! The rats were scampering all though staged cereal boxes and old China hutches. We even got to see a bat hanging over our heads which was super creepy but still kinda cool.
We made it to Stonehenge which was a must since we had traveled all the way to west England. Honestly…to me it was just a bunch of rocks in the middle of a field. Albeit cool rocks…but seems like they’ve found a way to make a lot of money touring you to a pile of stones.
We finished out our stay with a beautiful bike ride along the canals and through old train tunnels. We had a picnic along the water, stopped for ice cream from a houseboat, relaxed at cute little pub and then had the worst bike crash of my life! We were tootling through this amazing fairy-take-like day when Char slammed on her breaks sending her in a front handspring over her bike leaving me no choice but to do the same to avoid running her over. Thanks to a lovely young man who happened by us and drove char and I back to the pub, cyclists passing by who called us a cab, and a local cabbie/tour guide we made it back home to clean up and assess the damages. Poor Michael had to ride his bike and mine 6 miles back through the hilly path to the shop. (Side note- he ripped his shirt up to use as bandages for char and I so he was wearing a mid drift by this point). Luckily no broken bones (although I may have a cracked rib) and we’re off to Scotland…it’ll be a miracle if we make it back to the states with all our body parts!