Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Romans, Pagans, Sheep & Various Waking Nightmares
The shows were all (admittedly, unexpectedly) great as we criss-crossed the kingdom a couple times. England's charms were in bloom and the surprise attendance of our friends Rich and Chris (from Atavist) brought me round to the brighter side of this small island. I took few pictures as I was either concentrating very hard to stay on the right side of the road and reach for the gear-shift with the wrong hand (read: left in both instances), or constantly bracing for impact as Aidan drove. Okay, it was only terrifying for the first few hours- and then every roundabout we ended up on after that. I think they should provide a practice track near rental agencies so that drivers could get the hang of things before jumping on an expressway.
What helped me relax, and in turn annoy the hell out of Aidan, were the fields and fields of sheep! It took every bit of will I had to not commit some sort of lamb-theft. They wouldn't let me get too close to them, sadly heartbreaking, but if you're in Toronto you should make a trip to Riverdale Farm where the big old sheep there will allow you a pat.
After jumping from Nottingham to Cardiff to Leeds then to London, we ended up with 3 days off before making a brief appearance in Dublin a couple days from now. Leaving London a little late in the afternoon meant that we'd miss Stonehenge's opening hours (for real) so we headed a little further west to the massive stone circles of the tiny town of Avebury. I have to admit to my kinda, sorta indifference to stone circles. I've seen them in books and have found myself more drawn to the surrounding landscape, but as we wound up the narrow road and the scale of the circle and it's stones became visible, it was pretty incredible.
We thought we'd stay at the local Avebury B&B- it was a chilly March mid-week and there was no one else around so we thought it would possibly be affordable, but they take tourism seriously here. A lot more than we evidently do. We were tired and broke down at the first affordable hotel in Bath.
I've wanted to see Bath for a little while since someone, somewhere told me about this old Roman outpost devoted to hot-spring baths. It's a beautiful town and I was thankful for that, at least, as we tried to actually enter THE BATHS we were asked to cough up a ridiculously prohibitive fee. You can't actually immerse yourself in the original baths anyway so we tried to find a window somewhere...
This is where we laid low: