Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Memoir of Two Innocents Abroad: Part Two

on September 2, 2014

After spending the night in our quite comfortable (but not suitably old-fashioned enough for our tastes) hotel, my husband and I set out to explore Salisbury. First on our list was Salisbury Cathedral, the highest Gothic Cathedral in England. It sits on a huge open space unlike the other cathedrals which are located in the center of town with walls all around them. Salisbury is a small town and we explored much of it on foot. We were amazed to find the plumbing on the outside of the buildings. Later we found out it doesn’t snow or get terribly cold in winter. It was so cold and damp in summer (the month of June) I would not like to experience winter. And the wind blows all the time. To compensate, the English serve hot milk with hot coffee and hot water with hot tea. They have hot towel (steam-heated) racks in the bathrooms which were the only means I found for drying clothes in England. The weather gets to you after a while.

Later in the day we headed toward Bath. We stopped by Stonehenge, which wasn’t as big as I had envisioned. We arrived at Bath and found an old hotel many famous people had stayed in, including Queen Victoria before she was Queen. We had an old English room which was just plain plain! So much for old English décor. In Bath we walked all around the town and saw the Roman Baths. There were people in costumes dancing in the city center (town square). We had tea at the Roman Baths and ate scones with Devonshire cream (whipped cream) and raspberry jelly – the best food we ate in all Europe.

Our next destination was Morton on Marsh, a very tiny town not far from Banbury Cross of Mother Goose fame. Remember “Ride a cock-horse To Banbury Cross To see a fine lady Upon a white horse “? We found a beautiful room in a hotel made from an old manor house with lovely gardens. We learned there is no marsh at Morton on Marsh.

After checking into our night’s lodging, we drove off toward Stratford to see Shakespeare’s birthplace. On the way we took a side road to see an old church and some Cotswold cottages. This whole section of England is known as the Cotswolds because of the cottages made from native stone of the same name. They are noted for their thatched roofs. The hills are gently rolling and the grass is lush. Not much is under cultivation. We arrived at Stratford and found the tour of Shakespeare’s house very interesting. The tours given by Englishmen are very good because of their sense of humor and their love of their country. The places we toured are very noncommercial and tastefully shown for the most part.

Next we went to see Warwick Castle, one that was lived in until recently. It was very un-Medieval and unauthentic. The owners had furnished the castle with beautiful antiques and original oil paintings but the atmosphere wasn’t right. The castle was in good condition but there was no water in the moat. The garden was lovely. One thing I really like about England is the flowers. Everything is so well-kept. One funny thing, the castle wasn’t in the country. It was right in the middle of town. This is incongruous with what I expected. In the little English towns the main attraction always seems to be at the end of a narrow winding path, but in the heart of the city. I guess the castles and Cathedrals were what kept the towns there.

EDITORIAL REMARK: Please excuse the abysmal provincialism reflected in my memoirs. That’s why I call this Two INNOCENTS Abroad.

9 responses to “Memoir of Two Innocents Abroad: Part Two

  1. I haven’t seen much of England besides London and your post is making me itch for some British Travel, Cadbury eggs and Fish’n’chips included.

  2. vivachange77 says:

    I do love England – and Fish’n’chips. On later trips than the one I’m writing about now I had my first Indian food in Birmingham. And I bought a bathing suit in Yorkshire at an Oxfam shop so I had something to wear in the co-ed part of the Turkish Baths in Harrogate. Wait till my installments on France appear. Marseilles is included.

  3. Silver Threading says:

    I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. See my post at http://silverthreading.com/ I hope you will participate. I love your blog!

  4. carolyninjoy says:

    I started following you. I found your account charming.

  5. Do you have photos from the trip that correspond with the places u describe?

  6. vivachange77 says:

    Sadly I have no photos of any of the places I visited. My first husband took pictures and I wrote journals. My second husband took countless photos and I had many in the computer I used in Chicago. I left that computer for him and got a new one which has photos of Cuba, our last trip together.

  7. Meredith says:

    I like to read comments and replies. I get more of you and your history, as well as personality. I make scones, usually with some kind of fresh fruit.

  8. vivachange77 says:

    I find the same thing about reading comments and responses. It’s wonderful to be able to pick up on little things that connect us. Your scones sound delicious.

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