Tales of adventure

by Annalise on March 11, 2010

Admittedly, we didn’t do England any justice in 5 days. There is so much more to see than we could begin on in that time but the intent was a brief stop en route to a longer stay in France. I think we’d have spent some time absorbing the jet and culture lag associated with Kathmandu to almost anywhere.

The highlights of our trip in England certainly included our stay with Madi and Ian, parents of a Kathmandu friend, who welcomed us warmly into their home in Brighton. In our time there, they shared their experience of their visit to Nepal and trekking there, helped us with some logistics and shopping for a few items we’d need later in Europe and told of the recent and upcoming trips. They also introduced Robin to Merimite and now he’s on the lookout. I think I’ll be able to find it in Superstore when we’re back home… From our Brighton base we visited sites and museums in London over two days including The Grenwich Museum and Observatory and spent several hours at the London Science Museum which one could spend weeks exploring; it was fantastic! We took a tour from along the Thames and enjoyed the flexibility the tube provided as we moved about the city.

Leaving Brighton, we visited a Life Boat station in Hastings and were able to tour their vessel and hear about their operations and some incident they’d responded to. We continued North to Duxford to visit the Imperial War Museum with its world class aviation exhibits and stayed at a delightful B&B. Tim Gilbert and his wife Emma run the B&B. We learned that Tim had taken a small helicopter from England to Australia with another fellow about 10 years ago; both of them winning acknowledgement for their groundbreaking flight and the distances covered. I only got my hands on the book he’d written about the journey the morning we were leaving; Robin had it in his clutches most of the stay.

After Duxford we traveled south to Bath and saw the Roman Baths there; structures built over 2000 years ago. Once again we stayed at a B&B, itself almost 500 years old but beautifully restored. Over breakfast we visited with the other couple staying and learned he’d driven his LandRover to Kathmandu in the late 60s. What fun to hear about these adventures. We compared what Kathmandu was like then and now as he relived some of that memorable experience.

Our final tourist stop was at Stonehenge which was spectacular. Its scale, alignment to the movements of the sun and sheer enduring presence are impressive and the interpretation at the site was very informative. I left the site with a true sense of the passage of time in this very location; haunting but not in a bad way.

We were very lucky in all of these travels to enjoy sunshine each day, this is not a given in England for early March. It was cool and sometimes cold but clear and bright. We ate wonderful food at a variety of pubs and restaurants and made the most of the plentiful fish and seafood, having had so little while in Nepal.

At the end of our English week we made our way to Portmouth where we caught a night sailing of the Cross Channel Ferry to Brittany, France. The Brittany Ferries staff were most gracious and helpful about our 3 huge duffle bags in addition to the computer and the bagpipe roll ons (they had a fridge dolly!). We checked in, enjoyed our dinner on board and then settled into our cabin for a comfortable sleep, waking in France – and as Dave would inevitably add… “in our underpants!

Ah traveling with teenagers…

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