Recent Entries


August 16, 2005

Jolly Olde England

Our last week of the trip was spent in England. We were super busy each day; it went really really fast!!

After seven weeks in our apartment in Haarlem, it felt strange to pack up our bags, but it was time to move on to our last country--England. We headed to England by the Eurostar train via Brussels to London. We've both visited London before, in 1999, so we were familiar with the layout of the city. It was very exciting to be back in an english-as-a-first-language country.

We checked into our hotel, and took off straight away to go on an evening walking tour with the Original London Walks group. Our guide took the group around London's West End in search of "Apparitions, Alleyways and Ale." Well, we didn't see any ghosts, but we walked down some creepy alleys and stopped for a pint. And we heard some really cool and quite believeable stories about a handful of London's numerous ghosts.

On day two, we took a full twelve hours of exploring the city. We started by walking from our hotel in Victoria down the Thames to the Houses of Parliament/Big Ben, continued down the Strand and Fleet Street, St. Paul's Cathedral, Millenium Bridge, Trafalgar Square (and nearby St. Martin-in-the-Fields), the National Gallery (highlights), Covent Garden, Soho, the British Museum (highlights), Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. London is such a great walkable city (as long as you remember to look the correct way before crossing the street) that it is easy to spend the whole day aboveground and only going to the Tube/Underground when you get tired of walking.

For days three and four, we took a train to the city of Bath, about 90 minutes out into southwest England. Walking from the train station to the bed and breakfast, we got caught in a heavy downpour - a shower in Bath. So, on day 362 of our trip we used our emergency rain ponchos!

It's a very pretty city, with the buildings made from unique yellow coloured limestone blocks and bricks. The architecture is mostly Georgian (neo-classical), since the heyday of the city was in the 18th and 19th centuries. Here is the "Circus", homes built in a circle inspired by the Roman Colliseum. Here is a view along the River Avon. Here is the Abbey shown glowing in the glow of the sunset.

The focus of Bath is the Roman Baths, fed by a natural hot spring. The ruins have been excavated on and off over the past 300 years or so, and the 2000 year old pools constructed by the Romans still hold water. We enjoyed the one and a half hour self guided tour which showed the ruins and artefacts from the sight.

We also took a free city-sponsored guided tour with the very excentric Giles. He was a riot. We really enjoyed his humour, but others did not quite appreciate it - it was one of those things.

Bath is renowned also for its gardens and the spectaclular hanging baskets of beautiful flowers everywhere. According to our guide, the city has won more than it's fair share "Britain in Bloom" flower and garden contests. It's quite a sight.

On day five, we went down the road to Bristol, and met our friend Nick, a fellow traveller whom we had originally met (with girlfriend Lou) over in Laos and Vietnam. Nick showed us around Bristol, then we went to a pub a watched England vs. Australia in cricket. Later, we got curry take-out. It was a fun time seeing our old friend.

We spent the last two days of our trip with family, in Teddington, a suburb of London. Matt's brother Bob and sister-in-law, Meg and their son Daniel are living in London while Meg works on an assignment for her New York company. It was a great way to cap off our trip, we had a great family dinner and spent the last two days wandering the Tate Modern gallery and the city, and hanging out in parks.

Our trip back to New York included a stop-over in Dublin and even through it was only about 9AM, Matt had to have a Guinness.

So, we're back in New York and enjoying time with family. Stay tuned for New York happenings!

Posted by Matt & Robin on August 16, 2005 02:47 PM
Category: Europe

Glad to have you back in the good ole' USA. Can't believe you've been gone a whole year. Loved seeing your pictures of London and Bath cause when I'm there next week I can say "I saw that!" Welcome Home!

Posted by: pam and don on August 19, 2005 11:45 AM

yay! We can't wait to see you!

Posted by: Kate on August 22, 2005 11:08 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Travel Resources
This Blog is part of the
BootsnAll Travel Network

Email this page
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Designed & Hosted by the BootsnAll Travel Network