Saturday, September 30, 2017

On Our Way to Britain

Dan and I are off on our next adventure -- a four-week tour of Great Britain. We've been wanting to do this for some time, and now the time is right. We flew overnight from Chicago to London. All went well, although it was disappointing that the line for immigration control was more than an hour long. But it meant that our bags were waiting when we finally got to the baggage reclaim area. (So, why do we "claim" our bags in the USA and "reclaim" them here?)

It took a bit of time to get things straightened out with our car rental. It is a Vauxhall small SUV and drives very well. I'm so glad that Dan is comfortable driving on the left, and with a standard transmission. I can do the latter, but not the former, and definitely not both together!

The drive should have been about four hours, but ended up taking five. There was a huge traffic jam that caused us to lose an hour while three lanes condensed into one. Compounding the situation was that it took place right at Stonehenge and people were slowing to look, I'm sure. I was surprised at how well we could see it from the highway; this photo was taken through the windshield. We visited it a few years ago, so weren't planning to stop there on this trip, but what a treat to see it like this!

The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful. We had one stop to get a sandwich to share and some coffee/tea. Rain spit at us off and on and by the time we got to Bodmin it was coming down steadily, although very lightly. We are actually staying in the village of Lanivet, just south of Bodmin, at St. Benet's Abbey. This is a wonderful old building that has been made into a B&B with six rooms. I hope to see more of it tomorrow when it isn't raining. (I can hope.)

Our proprietor opening the front door

A view of the front of the abbey
There are two good places to eat nearby. We went to Welcome Stranger, a fish & chips place that also has other things on the menu. It was a friendly casual place and the fish was excellent. (We're going to the other, the Lanivet Inn tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it compares.)

I especially liked the condiment assortment on the table. Malt vinegar for the chips, of course, and packets of many other things you might want to put on your food.

We are trying to stay awake this evening, hoping to not wake up terribly early, but that is probably a futile wish. Tomorrow we explore far western Cornwall.