Already near the beginning of our trip, and I note from my journal that it's "...difficult to recall what we've done the last two days. Hard to write in the van.Things are running together."
Ha! If I thought things were running together for me then, wait a couple of weeks. And it's true. That was one of the hard things with keeping a running journal. We were on a lot of twisty-turny roads with lay-bys so we were constantly jostled. A lay-by is a "... place at the side of a road where a vehicle can stop for a short time without interrupting other traffic", according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. And we say a lot of those on many of the small roads in the countryside.
Hedges border many of the country roads throughout England, but don't try to dive through them, especially with your car. The hedges cover rocks.
One of the road signs we noticed said "Queues likely for busy intersections where traffic is backed up."
Continuing on from yesterday, we saw poppy fields around Stonehenge. Amazing seeing the Stones close up.
Next stop: Exeter. Simon dropped us off so we could wander around town and get some lunch. We walked along the River Exe that runs through Exeter, and stopped off at Samuel Jones Smoke & Ale House. Kind of a modern appearance, faux industrial look, but a cool old wooden bar inside. Wendy and I had appetizers -- the Halloumi Fries with salsa, and Whitebait with garlic mayo. Delicious! Halloumi is a cheese made from goat's and sheep's milk; whitebait is a tiny fish about two inches long. Here's a link to check out the place: Samuel Jones
After lunch, we walked over (did I mention we did a lot of walking on our trip? -- needed a lot of fish and chips to fuel up) to Exeter Cathedral, a magnificent cathedral that just takes your breath away. Click here to go the cathedral's web site: Exeter Cathedral. I can't properly do it justice by writing about it, so here are a few photos.
On to our rest stop for the evening, a small village the likes of which Wendy and I first fell in love with -- Lydford, in the county of Devon. We're returning to our beloved Devon area. Along the way, we've seen more thatched roof cottages than I remember from our first visit. Just coming down the hedge-lined roads was magical and brought everything back from 23 years ago. How can it be that long ago?
Simon dropped us off at night. It's raining, naturally. Our inn here, in this country village, is beautiful, the Lydford House Hotel.
Couple of travel tips: many places we stayed did not have lifts, so you have to do stairs. Sometimes several. Also, especially in London, toilets are in the basement in restaurants. Might've mentioned those details before, but can't remember. Just something to keep in mind, especially for folks with disabilities.
One especially nice thing with country inns is they have windows you can open to get a cool breeze in. Worked great for us, as we had 50s and 60s (Fahrenheit) while we were there. Might get a bit uncomfortable if the weather turns warm, as we heard it was going to in another couple of weeks when we were heading back to the states.
More about Lydford tomorrow. In my next post, I'll tell you about our walk down the country lane, and the house we were tempted to buy. Also the watchmaker's tomb.
Keep writing, friends.