As a writer, it seems that my desk collects piles of scribbled notes, papers, file folders, and edited manuscripts. During my last effort to solve this problem, I came across a photograph of a group of forty foreigners who actually stood in the middle of the back row, a thatched-roof house as the background. Now I look at it and I remember a group with bitter nostalgia. They were all alien to me, but after eleven days on a bus in England I remember them.
When I told my father that I wanted to visit England, he said in his heavy Yorkshire accent: "What does bloo-dee dela do for there?" At best, not Mr. Happy, he had little idea of his former country. In response, I wanted to say, "I would like to know if your psychological problems are social in nature or are based on individual idiosyncrasies," but I kept my language. One day I was determined to visit the land of my ancestors.
I have given him many reasons for visiting England. The main reason was that besides being an Englishman, if not a citizen, he was a great cultural influence of modern times. The birthplace of many lights from Shakespeare to Churchill, the country has created an endless list of notable historical names in every field of effort. Just because he wasn't one of them, there was no reason for everyone to acidify on them.
Like hugging an octopus, one must choose how to approach England. You can buy any number of rail tickets at reasonable prices that allow you to board, get off whenever you like. There are a variety of options, from London walking tours to guided tours or motorcycle rentals and staying at Bed and and-Breakfasts. The problem is which one would work best for you. I finally decided to tour England with a guide, leaving Wales and Scotland, both of which I am sure are great, but we would extend it for another ten days.
A friend who made a tour recommended it to me. The reasons appeared after a while. English driving on the other side of the road, and all the life of the usual easy turn to the right, suddenly became extremely dangerous. Once you see how narrow some roads are, you will appreciate the magician's driving skills. For your convenience, a itinerary is planned. On the first day you will see Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral, stay at a hotel in Plymouth, leave in the morning and continue your tour of Devon and Cornwall etc.
Please note that catalog tours change frequently, if not every year. The tour I decided to take a year earlier was no longer offered. I settled on an 11-day England tour. The coach would leave London and walk clockwise around the country, stopping in picturesque villages and towns along the way. Pace listed as busy & # 39; an itinerary, a code that says he wasn't exactly calm. Sometimes when we stop, we only have time to buy coffee and use the toilet and then go back to the bus. A slower pace means you will be able to spend more time at each stop, but it also means that you place on fewer sites in the same timeframe. So if you stop at Bletchley Park for a busy & # 39; tour, you should better understand the encryption of the deduction in twenty seconds or return to the bus again without full doping on the German Enigma machine. This is a matter of designing your own tour; you can stay as long as you want if you're interested.
Think of a coach trip as an introduction to England 101. They give you an overview and you decide what you want next time you visit. Another good thing about England is that they speak English there. Well, outside of London they do. In London, you would hardly try to find any English people other than the Queen. In fact, throughout England, except for blocks dressed as medieval falconers and guides, you may have trouble finding true English people. Those amazing PBS programs such as Downton Abby, Upstairs Downstairs and the like are scams that reflect a nostalgic, non-existent view of England-England as it used to be. This is, in a way, what a tour of a bus is.
You will see, England has exported its lower ranks, people like Schofields, who have not yet killed the class system, needed a new batch of servants and coal miners from the colonies. This is where all foreigners can fit. Every service staff, hotel receptionist, room cleaner you meet will be from abroad, few of whom speak the language well. The first clue should be a customs agent who was an African who spoke with a heavy French accent and asked me, "How are you hare? Wuz da porpoze you visit?" Bloo-dee terrorists, I thought, the plane was rerouted to the Middle East while I was asleep! I was taken to my hotel by a Russian who answered all my questions with an unintelligible growl. The Egyptian receptionist had it for us colonial, the Polish room cleaner did not understand that I wanted to get her out of the room, and the Serbian maitre pointed at the buffet and gave energetic hand signals – "Eat!" He said, "Zix o – hours Oh, cheerful old England!
All hotels have a breakfast buffet. I hear I said that if you wish to eat well in England, have breakfast three times a day. The English kill their food with a hammer and then cook it for one day to remove the remaining taste. When traveling the world, note that there are no English restaurants, only a lot of Scottish (MacDonald's). Eating a buffet is the best on offer and is included in the price.
The tour was very reasonable for $ 2200 in Canada and put us in medium-good hotels. Please note that the English 4-star hotel is probably a 3-star hotel in the US or Canada. After the bus trip I stayed for two days in a dive, which was under the motel par, but rated three stars. Our prisons have nicer accommodation. This single room, with peeling paint from the ceiling and scary red stains dripping on the walls, cost $ 250 per night. There were certainly better options, but it was convenient for my planned trips to Oxford and the Imperial War Museum in the opposite direction.
After leaving London, the visit was great. We stopped at Salisbury Cathedral and saw a copy of Magna Carter. A lawyer in our group said it paid off. Lawyers must by nature be toastmasters; every time he spoke to me, I felt he was plowing a sleeping jury, his loud and slow statements being heard three counties away. We embarked on a boat trip to the port of Plymouth and saw steps where the first settlers to the New World would fly to Mayflower.
We visited some of the picturesque towns on the Cornish coast, especially Tintagel, the home of King Arthur's Court, and Clovelly, a curious fishing village on a cliff where donkeys still carry supplies up and down steep cobbled roads. A former South Carolina judge dropped his trouser knees when he fell. We visited Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, Bath, an ancient Roman village, and Chester, the picturesque, narrow streets of the Elizabethan town lined with Tudor houses, where our talented guide helped us understand the history of street toilets. At an ancient hotel in Stratford, there were instructions to my room: "Two stairs up, turn left, down one flight, think your head, then right, and then up one step up the stairs." By this time, you have developed the English accent of Bill Bryson. "Cheers," or "Jolly good," you answer.
Next, it's to Liverpool, a surprise, because it wasn't the city I thought it would be. I lived there as a child and I heard many stories about his terrible living conditions. It was also the second most important port in its time. The Beatles fans will see Cavern Club, Penny Lane and their homes. This excited a young lady from Texas whose mother bought her for her nineteenth birthday. She knew more than a guide of four. Liverpool, now quite modern, is also home to the White Star Line headquarters of Titanic Fame. I bought coffee from Liverpuddlian, but his English was worse than the Russians in Devon, so I gave up trying to get milk and sugar and took what was given to me. Please note that the average price of coffee is two pounds, about $ 3.75 Canadian. Think of it as visiting another planet, and you will be all right, don't try to understand it all. "Shoo's meat, dude. Ta." He says it, then you give him the money. Smiles all around. Until you drink coffee.
From there we went to the Lakes District and set out on a boat trip on Lake Windermere, ten miles long, the largest lake in England. It is home to many English authors and poets, which made me laugh because we have thousands of lakes, all bigger. But they got us to the rhythm of the poets.
Then it's off to York, the jewel of the city. We had dinner at a private estate where a well-performing couple graciously served all forty of us. It was on this soiree where two ladies from Singapore asked, "How long do you have to stay in marriage with a Canadian before you get half the property?"
The last stop of our tour was Cambridge and King's College. I found a store that sold an outdated military surplus, including the Grenadier Guards tunic and bear skin. Street crooks were selling rods along the River Cam, the famous flat-bottomed boats where a rod was used to power the vessel. Yes, and a lot of girls on bikes in poor clothes! Sorry I couldn't stay a doctorate or two.
I'm a big fan of Inspector Lewis and I added a trip to Oxford after the bus tour ended. I wanted to see a small dormitory town where three people are murdered each week, many of whom, appropriately, academics. I also wanted to say to people "I went to Oxford" and to please their reactions when they made the wrong conclusions. I sat on a bench beside the Thames and talked to an older couple who knew Collin Dexter, the creator of the original Inspector Morse.
Last day in England I visited the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, an easy Tube trip to the south side of the Thames. World War II has been my constant interest since I was fifteen. The museum turned out to be smaller and busier than I imagined. One day is enough to cover the exhibits, but I suspect I could spend my whole life in the library above.
I had an uncle who died as a pilot during the war, and I wanted to know if he was one of the few. to which Churchill referred in his famous speech. The librarian said the military archives are now in Kew, but since my flight home was the next morning, it would have to be another way.
If you are looking for a pleasant and safe trip, I highly recommend England trainer. If you are an Anglophile – what are you waiting for! And no, not everyone in England is as unhappy as dear old Mr. Happy.