Monday, February 16, 2009
February 15, 2009
I forgot to tell you that “Mind The Gap” referred to the statement that is given over and over on the loudspeakers at the Underground and train stations because of the gap between the car and the platform!
“Over…Over..Over” refers to what Mary told me every few minutes while I was driving today to keep me from hitting the curbs and/or other cars as I gingerly drove on the left side of the road!
We were awake at 6 am this morning and after enjoying an English breakfast we caught the bus to Heathrow Airport. Arrived there at 9 am and picked up our luggage and headed by shuttle bus to the car park to pick up our rental car. I decided not to tackle the manual shift and upgraded to an automatic; a wise decision we found out! We saw a bit more of the airport than necessary but finally found the correct road to M25 and soon we were on the M40 headed north towards Stratford Upon Avon. Weather is clear and sun is out but there is still snow on the fields here and there from the recent weather.
We arrived at our Youth Hostel outside of Stratford Upon Avon in about two hours; checked in and then headed out to find Warwick Castle; a few villages over. Located parking just outside the entrance and enjoyed all of the various activities and tours available in the castle for the next two hours. Mary even agreed to climb the 530 steep steps to go up the tower and around the ramparts. She slipped coming down but caught herself and only stubbed her toe (she’s wearing sandals with three pairs of socks) and landed on her derriere! She’s fine but a reminder to us to go slow! She’s very good about always holding the rails but this was a step without a rail, dark, narrow and twisting similar to bell tower steps! But she was still glad that she made the climb with me.
This castle is one of the few that allows visitors to take photos inside. The state apartments depict a Royal Weekend Party in 1898; the wax manikins are very lifelike and are modeled after real people who attended the party hosted by Lady Warwick in honor of the Duke of Wales. A young (age 23) Winston Spenser Churchill is in attendance. It makes for a fun exhibit.
Arrived back at the Hostel about 4:30 pm; selected our bunk beds and made our beds. We each have a bottom bunk and clean sheets are provided for us to make up our beds with…that way we know they are clean. We have three bunk beds in our room so shouldn’t be too noisy. The price is great compared to our previous rooms, about half the price. London was 50£, the B&B was 65£ including breakfast and this is 37£ including breakfast. They also have a restaurant here and we were able to purchase dinner of Warwickshire Beef Stew for only 7£. We thought we’d have free wireless Internet but there is a few of 5£ so we decided to call Phil and have him email Jim that we’d arrived safely.
Right now we’re both in the common room with families with children…yes…it’s noisy…typing on our computers and preparing journals for the next wireless adventure. We may have a chance at the airport tomorrow night.
Tomorrow we’re spending the day touring Stratford Upon Avon; the birthplace of William Shakespeare and also where he spent his final days. We’re doing the bus tour, house tours and then tomorrow night we have tickets for a Shakespeare Play, “The Tempest” before departing for Heathrow Airport and our “four hour Hotel called a Yotel” that is located in Terminal Four. Our flight to Portugal leaves early Tuesday morning.
Monday evening…we spent the day exploring Stratford Upon Avon. Rode the on and off bus and did three of the Shakespeare houses. Ate dessert at The Dirty Duck and saw the Shakespeare play: “The Tempest”. A very full day and then a two hour drive back to Hearthrow Airport at night. We’re going in for a couple of hours of sleep in our Yotel.