England and Wales

Our trip was grand. As I mentioned in my last post, after Scotland, we headed to Wales, and we stayed in a Medieval castle. We even had a medieval dinner at the castle. The castle was haunted. I know this because the story teller (bard?) at dinner told us it was haunted. Pam and I were on the first floor. Well, not exactly the first floor since we had to take the stairs down to get to our room. It was way in the back of the castle — the most remote room possible. It was room number 113. So here we were staying in a haunted castle, in the 13th room of the basement (dungeon?), in the most remote part of the depths of the castle, with a ghost! Ooooh… Scary stuff.

Well we survived the haunted castle, but the next day we lost half our party. You see, not everyone could take an extra week off, so some folks headed back early. So back to Manchester to drop off the folks who couldn’t continue, and then we would resume the tour.

There was no included dinner in Manchester. So Ester arranged transport and a dinner at a pub just a few miles from the hotel. The hotel wanted an absurd fee for a buffet dinner. The pub was great, and quite a bit cheaper. We had the best fish and chips yet, and the beer was good too. No whiskey that night!

At some point we had a boat tour of Windermere. Actually, I think it was before we got to the castle. It is in the lakes region of Britain, but whether it is in Wales or England, I couldn’t tell you. Lots of ducks, swans and funny little gulls too. The gulls were small birds with black heads: maybe Black Headed Gulls or Little Gulls. it was a lot of fun. Look for the pictures when I get them up.

After Manchester, we visited a castle in Cardiff and then we went to Bath. Bath was great. One of the highlights of the whole trip. I spent hours wandering through the museum, exploring all the Roman ruins and artifacts. Afterward we had tea in the very fancy dining room.

Stonehenge was interesting. We spent an hour there, and later we stopped at Woodhenge. The weather was fantastic. It was crowded at Stonehenge. It was the day before the solstice. It is closed on the solstice because of the druids. I bought a book, but Stonehenge is a prehistoric mystery, so the book could only tell me so much. Wikipedia probably has as much information.

After Stonehenge we moved on to London where we spent three days, much of it free time. But I will save London and Stratford-upon-Avon for my next post.