Today we took a day trip by coach (bus) to Stonehenge. It took about two and a half hours to drive from South London to Stonehenge. The terrain was much more hilly than I had expected it to be. Near the Stonehenge site there were nearby burial mounds. Of course for the sheep grazing this area they were totally oblivious to anything but those tender shoots of grass. Stonehenge was a fascinating site even though there was a moderate number of tourists, me included. You could hear various languages being spoken such as American English, French, German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. It sprinkled off and on and it was a bit blowy.
The next stop was Bath, which is situated within a bowl of conjoining hills. It is somewhat of a wooded area, surrounded by pastureland and many happy sheep. Beth and I hooked up to ramble about. First we made a stop at an Indian restaurant, on the second story that overlooked a chocolate shop in the foreground and the Bath Abbey in the background. While having our meal, we watched a chocolate making class going on and tourists milling in and out of the abbey.
The first stop after the Indian restaurant was Minerva Chocolate Shop for some specialty chocolates for later in the day. Next we went into the National Trust store and bought some British goods. After that we paid the fee to explore the interior of the Bath Abbey. Inside there were beautiful stained glass windows, an impressive pipe organ, and grave plaques upon the floor and walls.
Once back on the street we made our way up to the Jane Austen Center. Seeing as I don’t have much patience reading through romance novels, I have to admit that I don’t remember actually reading any of her works. Although I do remember watching movies based on them. Besides, I am much more of a Virginia Woolf follower than an Jane Austen follower (Orlando, A Room of One’s Own, and “The Mark on the Wall.”)
Shortly thereafter, Beth and I made our way over to what was once known as the Costume Museum and is now called the Fashion Museum. The collection had a large display of wedding gowns from the last two hundred years, women’s clothing from various eras, and some torture devices such as corsets and high heeled shoes.
After that museum we made our way back to where the bus was to pick us up. We didn’t go into the Roman baths because there were huge crowds and we ran out of time. We arrived right on time to load the bus, but there was no bus. The entire group was milling about waiting for the bus, but still no bus. Then the sky was darkening and wind started blowing towards us. Suddenly, the sky opened up as did our umbrellas and we were experiencing a deluge. Ah, Britain in the summer! Five of us made an umbrella huddle, but the angle of the rain got our legs and shoes soaking wet. Finally, the bus arrived twenty minutes late. Everyone was in a somber mood, feeling damp and cold. Fortunately, Beth whipped out the bag of chocolates to soothe our spirits. Closer to London we hit stop and go traffic. It was a very long and uncomfortable ride back. C’est la vie!!!