Today was a transportation adventure. We decided to go back to Bath and check out the town.
We bgean with a three mile stroll down country lanes to the town of Keynsham. Our research led us to a bus that traveled to Bath from there, but did not desecribe the price. We got to the stop and, not trusting what we saw there, headed down to the petrol station to find out more information. A helpful stranger reassured us we were in the right location. So we waited. When the bus driver pulled up we found the fare was £4 each from a bus driver that my friend took offense to. We declined the offer, and went to the local pub to call a taxi. The local pub assured us that the bus was the cheapest way to travel, so we walked up the line to the next stop and waited again. A double decker bus pulled up, we paid our £8 and rode in style to the wonderful town of Bath.
In Bath, we upgraded our tickets to day passes for the return trip and proceeded to tour the ancient town. We walked north and found a lovely bridge over a river with some sort of dam or two on it. We took the riverside walk and I got an ice cream while BFF ate her picnic pasta as we watched sailors park their long boats along the riverbank.
We then strolled over to the abbey and took some photos of the architecture and what not while tourists from many countries milled about watching street performances and talking in different languages. It was pretty nice.
Our next goal was to find the Jane Austen stuff since this was her hometown and BFF is a big fan. We grabbed a cheesy tourist map and made our way up the road to the Jane Austen something or other. Tickets were too expensive, so we just hung around for a minute or two and BFF bought some tea towels from the gift shop.
In our tourist book, it mentioned a veggie pub. So naturally we had to find it and check it out. It was merely a block from the Jane Austen thing, actually! We stopped in and Tessa had a pint and we checked out what band was playing that night to see if we wanted to stay. No, we did not. However, we learned of a vegetarian restaurant in town that looked promising, so we added that to the list of things to do.
Right after watching Harry Potter (in England!) of course. Wait, isn’t that a popular movie? Wasn’t that group if kids we just saw dressed up like Hogwart’s students? Perhaps we should have planned ahead, because it was sold out for hours in advance. Ah well, maybe tomorrow.
We then made our way to someplace with Internet (back to our favorite!) to find this vegetarian restaurant after failing to do so without GPS tracking. Making your way around England is like trying to join a secret club. You have to know where you’re going in order tone able to get anywhere. At any rate, we found the place and it was booked for two and a half hours. So we went to the Moroccan restaurant down the street. I had vegetarian couscous and it was pretty delicious.
By this time, our time in bath was coming to an end. We got back on the bus and headed back to Keynsham to try to get back to Compton Dando. We stopped in at a wine bar and BFF had them call us a cab (my phone costs too much to use except in dire need and hers plain doesn’t make outgoing calls). We got in the cab and it dropped us off in Compton Dando and we walked the mile or so back to the cottage.
The neighboring cottage was hosting a massive 70th birthday party for the gentleman of the house and they invited us to stop by for a bit. BFF brought a stash of Seattle stuf to give out as gifts, so Frank got a little box of salted caramels from some local company. We chatted with English people about this and that and ate some pudding, a.k.a. dessert. I spent some time talking to Tasha, a lovely lady my age (who has a boyfriend) about what to do in Bristol and her general travels abroad. I got some good tips. They also had fireworks at Frank’s fifties themes 70th birthday. I think the best description is “it was a hoot.”
Now I’m back in the cottage on the couch and the minor annoyance of traveling with girls and transportation difficulties are fading away and I think today was quite an adventure and I saw lots of things. However, I’m getting kind of tired of England already. On Monday, I’m definitely trying to get to Paris and do touristy things. But tomorrow, I’m headed to Bristol.