Sunday, October 01, 2006

London Road Trip Pt 2

Hi All,

Well here I am again, and quite tired as today we finished our road trip around the UK. Boy it is getting hard now to remember what I have written and what we have done since, so hopefully I can sum this part up appropriately!

I think the last time I wrote we were in Llandeilo, Wales which was pretty uneventful, well in terms of blogging anyway *g*! Basically we spent the day and a half we were there catching up with friends which was nice and also relaxing. The downside of relaxing is that when we left the next day to head off to Bath, Mum and I were both quite tired only having 1/2 recharged our batteries which is generally the case when you relax for a day after being on the 'go' for so long. So on the day we arrived in Bath (Mum got us there by herself with me professing I was NOT tired in the car yet constantly waking up 1/2 an hr later and having no idea where we were!) we wondered around for a short while and went to the cathedral and vaults there (incase you are wondering yes I am cathedral'ed out!). We then checked into our B&B and decided to 'rest' for a while, with me waking up on the bed a good 1/2 hr later..... oops! We had actually arrived in Bath for the 'Jane Austen Festival' but would you believe that it had ended three days before we got there! So the next day, rather than repeating what we had seen last time we were there with the boys (Roman Baths, Pump Room and Jane Austen Centre) we went to the 'Costume Museum' which was really interesting (we got to try on corsets too and let me say i'm am not sorry they are no longer used!) as well as just meandering around the town yet again. After lunch we left Bath to make our way toward Basingstoke where we decided to stop for the night. This is where the fun begins! Before making our way to Basingstoke we decided to go to a 'small' village called Adlestrop which was supposed to have a connection with Jane Austen. The reason we found this out is that Mum found on the net prior to us leaving a 'blog' I guess of someones travels to see JA. She recommended that we go to this quaint little village where there is lovely countryside surrounding it and a charming curch to visit (for JA). Well we got there and lets just say that for what we saw there wasn't a whole lot there! The church wasn't anything altogether flash either! What a dissapointment! But we did pass some nice horses when we stopped to ask for directions to the church, and I was ambushed by a lovley Lab puppy so I guess the trip wasn't all in vain hey!

From Adelstrop we decided we better head onto Basingstoke if we were going to find accomodation. Unfortunately we didn't arrive at B. until around 6ish so we couldn't rely on the tourist info to find us accom. The couple of places we tried were booked out. Never fear we thought - we'll just travel down toward Alton which is where the JA museum is anyway and surely we'll find something along the way (Alton is about 20min drive away). Away we went but we didn't pass any B&B's to stop at.... hmm... surely Alton itself will have places to stay... nope after enquiring all over town it seemed that Alton was booked out - what is it - Census night in and around Basingstoke?!?!? The prospect of sleeping in the car was starting to look like a reality! Finally someone rang around for us and found us a room somewhere 20mins away from Alton (yep, you guessed it, back in the direction we came but down another road!). Well.... at least we found a room, right?!?!

After a rather adventurous night, we were planning on a uneventful day around Hampshire (Alton, Chawton and Winchester). First stop was to go to the Jane Austen Museum in Chawton - a short drive/20min walk from Alton. Sure we thought - lets be adventurous and walk. Well we spent a few hrs looking around Alton (in typical museum style it wasn't open until 11am), and then set off on our journey. I decided to be smart as the designated navigator and rather than walk on the road we'll cut through the park.... I know where i'm going I said! Well, we came to an intersection that I couldn't see on the map - surely we must keep walking straight..... Mum spotted a sign that told us to go to Chawton to walk straight on - so we did.... but the further we walked, the more of a sinking feeling I felt that we had gone the wrong way.... 20 mins the lady assured us.... but after 20 mins of briskish walking we still were nowhere (it seemed) near Chawton. I finally realised where we had gone wrong but decided that it was too late now to turn back so kept walking following the map around. So rather than taking the 'walking track' we had infact followed the driving area to get to Chawton - and the long route at that! But we got there at last and had a nice look around JA's house. I really enjoyed it there, being more into JA than the Bronte's, but of course not as much so as LMM. LOL. Well on the way home we decided to take the 'walking' route and low and behold we were back in Alton in a good 15mins..... no comments please!

From Chawton we then travelled to Winchester to which the attraction was Winchester Cathedral - a nice cathedral for one and another that it is where JA is buried. It is a spectacular cathedral and I reccomend a visit for anyone in the area. I believe they said it was the oldest cathedral in the world??? We both wish we had more time to spend around Winchester istelf, but we had to head back to Basingstoke as this is where we had booked our accomodation (this was booked before we left for a change).

So that brings us up to date to today. We had a fairly easy drive today not travelling for more than an hour. Also we had finished all of our 'sights' yesterday so decided that today we would go to Windsor and Steventon church (the one sight we hadn't seen). Steventon Church was where JA spent the first 25 years of her life as this is where her father was a rector. Again, an interesting church, but by this time I was getting quite sick of them and it was becoming - a church, is a church, is a church! Windsor was lovely but unfortunately we didn't put enough money into the ticket machine, not thinking it would take us more than 3 hrs to look around! I does! Queen Mary's miniature doll's house was amazing - each item elaborately made as a miniature of the original ie: real jewels, real silver etc. It even had working plumbing and electrical faciltiies! Unfortunately while walking through the state appartments we had to rush through a little so didn't see each room to its full value. On the whole it was most enjoyable however!

We then went to return the car back to heathrow (can you believe it was still in one piece!) and returned to my Uncles place where we are to stay again until our flight to Singapore on Tuesday Evening. Not sure what we will do yet - tomorrow will surely be for some washing and 'relaxing' again, and perhaps Monday back into town and possibly see a show? Dunno. As for Singapore, agian i'm not sure what is planned but we will only be there for 3 days before we return home! It seems like this trip has gone on forever yet at the same time has flown by. Well until next time I better go.... bueaty sleep is beckoning you know (yes, yes, I know i'd have to sleep for many years before it does me any good, but hey, I might as well try!)

Cya all!

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