Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 Bath
Woke up to bright sunshine at our Comfort Inn outside of Chester; couldn’t believe it was 8 am…wow…that’s the latest I’ve slept on the whole trip! Checked next door and the girls were up and moving so we were down to breakfast before the 9 am deadline. It was not a full English breakfast but an expanded Continental Style breakfast. We enjoyed the warm croissants with ham, cereal and fresh fruit.
Off to the south through the outskirts of Chester with a destination of Shrewsbury. It was only an hour away and the plan was to stay at least one night. Driving through Shrewsbury we decided to change again: Barbara suggested we’d like to see the Wedgwood Factory at Stoke on Trent this afternoon and then head south for Bath.
Stoke on Trent was about an hour north but all on Motorways; and, it was a glorious day for touring the countryside. We’ve decided that England is greener than Ireland. This is probably because of all the fields. Ireland has a rockier soil and less expansive fields. It looks like they’ve recently planted the winter crops and from a distance it looks like broad fields of green grass.
We arrived at Stoke on Trent about 1 pm and just as Barbara said; the posting of signs to the Wedgwood Factory was unbelievably good. Piece of cake! They had a wonderful Tea Room where we had a delicious lunch before heading over to the show rooms. No tour of the factory available but two showrooms and then the Outlet Shop. Wedgwood is owned by an American Company and they also own Waterford Crystal among several other fine china companies. So we had lots to look at in the shops.
After about an hour and a half we were back on the highway heading south to the M6 then the M5. The sky was getting darker as we headed further south. By 4 pm we were getting some rain. Barbara slept in the backseat and Nancy was my number one co-pilot. She did a super job getting me around the large cities and from one Motorway to the next.
We arrived outside of Bristol about 5:15 pm. With the time change last weekend it was dark by this time and we had to find A4 to Bath. WE GOT LOST BIG TIME! After many U Turns…some of them illegal; one road after another…we finally decided to get off the Motorway and find a gas station; we were down below a quarter of a tank.
Found the gas station and Barbara found a very nice gentleman who explained to us how to get to Bath. We were less than a quarter of a mile to the road we were looking for and it was clearly marked when we arrived. He was right; from that point on the signs were clearly marked to Bath.
But, after getting gas we decided to stop at a Pizza Hut for a great little dinner of pizza. Hit the spot after hours of driving. Heading to Bath was somewhat of a challenge because it was so dark. More wrong turns but we finally arrived and decided to stop at the first hotel we saw: Holiday Inn Express. Nice rooms and we can catch a bus here to go into Bath town center tomorrow to tour the Roman Baths, etc.
I must have gotten a bit testy towards the end of the day as both girls suggested I take the single room for a good night’s sleep. And that’s where I’m headed as soon as I finish posting my blog. Tomorrow’s another day and we’re not driving very far.