Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The UK Part V: Along the Seashore

Saturday 5 July 2014
After a misty morning, the sun is out today!! We headed into town to do laundry at a little place tucked amongst the row houses. It seems a very working class district. The Middle Eastern Laundromat owner was very friendly and helpful. We got a quick breakfast of sandwiches while we washed and dried.

We decided to take a drive-passing back through the town center. It was so amiable with lots of activities and people out on a Saturday. There are beautiful parks and a big castle.

Still slacking on the picture taking!!

We continued out along the coast. There was a lovely walking/biking path and the tide was very low. We followed the coastline down to a surf beach. It was very busy, but a little chilly for me. The waves were small, so Preston opted out of surfing. We ordered lemonades and enjoyed the views instead.

The panorama messed up, but this is close enough :P

We drove back through a rolling and rustic countryside with unbelievably narrow roads.

We got dinner near the hotel at a chain sort of restaurant along the water and turned in for the night.

Sunday 6 July 2014
We got a quick snack at McDonalds (I KNOW, but it was RIGHT next to our hotel) and headed back into England.

Back across the bridge

Departing from the motorway, we followed country roads to Stonehenge. I’d been here before in 2009 and boy has it changed!! Just 5 years ago, you parked across the street and just kind of meandered over to the rock structures.

Now-it’s a HUGE complex. The parking alone costs 5£. I couldn’t even figure out where we were in relation to the ancient monument, because you couldn’t SEE it.

We paid the (gulp) 28£ entrance fees and were issued tickets to an exhibit and tram ride.

The museum had a lot of info and speculation about the early people of the region and the making of Stonehenge. It was SO crowded, which made it difficult to actually read anything. Outside, there were replicas of the huts where the ancient people would have lived.

We skipped the huge cafeteria and boarded the tram for the 5 min ride up to the circle of stones.

As before, Stonehenge filled me (and Pres) with a sense of awe. It’s a very spiritual place and despite the crowds, there is a peaceful feeling there.
We took our time walking the perimeter (you can’t get close to the stones) and 
taking pictures.

The crowds!!

Deciding to skip the tram ride back, we walked the ½ mile or so back to the parking through open fields and a wood.

Our 5£ parking fee was waived with our entrance fee, but I think you could easily JUST pay to park and walk on your own up to the monument. It seemed to me that the astronomical entrance fee was just for the exhibit and tram ride. ? Who knows :P

Back in the car, we headed south to the seaside town of Bournemouth. I chose Bournemouth because I have family here. My grandmother’s 2nd husband’s daughter (still following?) Debbie lives in Bournemouth with her husband John and daughter Tiffany.

Since we weren’t meeting with them until later, Pres and I found our cute and small motel and then walked towards the beach.

There is a lot of activity here in Bournemouth. It seems very much a vacation destination. They are even constructing an artificial reef to increase the waves.
We got dinners of salads at a surfer themed restaurant with a view.

Back at the hotel, we met Tiffany for a drink and a chat. Tiffany was as sweet as ever. Later, we were joined by John, but Debbie was sick and unable to make it. It was lovely to see them and kind of them to make time for us. I’m glad for them to meet Preston too.

Tiffy and I share the same birthday :) 

 Tomorrow we head to one of my favorite cities in the world-LONDON!!

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