during the wettest summer on record.
09.07.2012 - 15.07.2012 15 °C
Windermere in the Lake District
We headed here from Edinburgh for a final meet up with Grandma and Grandad. We took the scenic route and it was fun, particularly stopping for the swans and their babies as they strolled up the road. Windermere was lovely but crowded (darn all those tourists) and we managed a walk and some footy during a brief dry spell. I got knocked out by a suspect smoked salmon roll in the evening and had to depart the pub midst drink, and then it was off to visit all things Shakespeare the next day.
Shakespeare's Stratford upon Avon
Stratford upon Avon is totally geared around it being the birthplace and home for many years of William Shakespeare, his mother, his wife and his daughter and the tour circuit involves visiting these four historic houses.
The first couple of houses were really interesting but by the third we were all getting bored. However the most interesting house by far was Cherry Blossom House; our B&B accommodation run by a horror called Christine. According to Trip Advisor, Christine is pleasant and accommodating and her B&B is modern and clean. This certainly wasn't the case in our room which resembled a bordello complete with toilet and shower underneath the stairs. She turned up her nose the second that she realised we had a "little one" with us as she only allows children over twelve - apparently because she targets her establishment at business men (who one might argue would be more concerned about her yapping dog). We have since added our own review to the Trip Advisor site.
Bath was a wash out, literally. By now we had the shits with the crap weather and crap food that Great Britain was offering us. (Dave: and the crap coffee.) Dave and I had high hopes of having a spa experience and massage in the roof top spa opposite the Roman Baths with the promised beautiful vista but didn't. It was booked out. We couldn't even have a bath in our own hotel room because a smoker had set off the smoke alarms the first night and the power was out for 24 hours. And it rained, oh it rained.
Stonehenge and Portsmouth
Yep, visited Stonehenge Then rolled along to Portsmouth to visit HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. I am not sure who was more excited out of Dave and Bodhi. It was the closest thing you get to a pirate ship and the cannons and sheer size of the ship was awesome. There was even a plaque on the exact point on deck where Admiral Nelson was shot. Satisfaction!
Dave: You couldn't do Britain without going to Stonehenge. Pull up, walk over the road, snap, zoom, snap... Back to the car and gone in 30 minutes. Couldn't help but feel for the poor buggers, hundreds of them, who endure the coach ordeal - wait at your hotel to be picked up, get herded onto and off the bus, line up in the monster queue to get in, walk around, bus again back to the hotel... Reckon it couldn't take more than 6 hours. My idea of hell!
Loved it. Loved the pebbles on the beach. Loved the pier. Loved gambling five pounds worth of 2 pence coins to try to win a $1 toy kombi van. Loved Kemptown, the gay district. Loved the Essex girls' hens parties. Loved our luxury accommodation. Hated the rain so much that Dave went close to having a mini melt down about his constantly wet socks and sneakers. Glad to head to the continent
Dave: Perth GMT+7, Sydney GMT+9, the Tenni-lane family GMT-2. Well that's certainly what it's felt like as we've all been living in this odd 'twilight' time zone. In large part this seems to have occurred due to it getting dark so late in Britain (approx 10pm) and our inability to explain in terms that a 5 year old will accept, that it IS in fact night time and way past bed time. Perhaps our little man is choosing to not understand? That being said it's been 10-11pm average bedtime for all three of us with wake ups somewhere around 8-9am - or when bubble starts whispering to see if we're awake (after which of course we are). This is all not necessarily a bad thing but by the time we've pulled our fingers out and got moving (aka. checked email and Facebook, showered, teeth...), breakfast quickly turns a bit lunch'ish and the afternoon soon turns back into the evening... "Do-do-do-do-do, Do-do-do-do-do" (Hummed to the Twilight Zone theme).