Tuesday Mar. 28th, 2000 Ipswich - Salisbury - Stonehenge - Ipswich

8 C/46F partly cloudy


Got up early today, same time as Matt, about 6:00am. Planned to do a "London Walks Explorer Day" to Salisbury & Stonehenge. This entailed being at the Waterloo Rail Sta. by 10:15am. Caught the 7:43 bus to Ipswich, then the 8:30 train to London/Liverpool Street Sta. This arrived about 9:45. Took the tube one stop up the Central Line to Bank, then transfered to the Waterloo/City line which HAS only two stops: Bank & Waterloo. One weirdness was there was no ticket gate for that line.

Got to Waterloo Station at 10am, in time for a smoke. We found our guide, Richard... surrounded by about 65 other people. He wasn't prepared for that many and was unable to procure a second guide. At least he has a good actors voice. He gladly took our 50: 10 each for the walk + 15 each for admissions/donations to the Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge. Good thing we already had our rail passes.

All 67ish of us trooped off to the platform and took over an entire rail coach plus. Kel and I got split up though. I sat with 3 others and Kel sat next to a non-group grump. The trip to Salisbury took 1 hour and 20 mins.

Got there and were shown the sights and sites. Merchants House First was a green with a tributary to the Avon running through it. It had swans, really pretty. We were told that even though the ground is marchy they could still build a hunkin' big-assed cathedral because 6 feet down are granite shavings, which are actually quite stable, if the ground is kept wet.

He told the story of the original town of Sarum, which was pointed out to us later, and explained that the cathedral was built in 36 years rather than 450, like most. He led us to the Cathedral Close Choirsters Green and the Cathedral Close, showing us various buildings and telling us interesting and funny stories. (Including some demonstrations with the security around Heaths residence). Then we went into the cathedral itself. Pretty awesome even though it's now the property of a heathen religion (Hi Mom!).

Stained Glass BIG! There were hundreds of annoying children running around and doing projects, but the stained glass was beautiful. We heard the story of the crusader, his wife, and a dead mouse (which is still on display nearby). We got to break time and did a bit of shopping in the gift shop, and then had lunch in the Cathedral Cafe. We shared a sausage bagette and a big slice of treacle pie. Yum! As we left the Cathedral the children were practicing a show and singing the tune of.. some hippy song, I can't recall what now (Turn, Turn, Turn).

We all met on Choirsters Green Choirsters Green after lunch and Richard showed us a bit more of the town market areas on our way to the double-decker motorcoach (bus).

We all piled on and took the ride out to Stonehenge. Whoa! Pretty neat seeing it in person finally. Couldn't wait to get pictures, and click! last shot in the camera Stonehenge . Damn!
Had to buy postcards of it instead. Richard confirmed that the druids used dinosaurs to put the lintels on top. And they have a postcard of that event in the gift shop.

Now is a good time to mention the weather out on the plain. COLD!! WINDY!!! Did I mention COLD??!?! (Stonehenge was amazing, awesome, and BLOODY F@#$%^&ing ICY WINDY BONE ACHING COLD! -Ke) We walked around one side, and then the weather changed. It became #$%^&* FREEZING! So around the rest, admire the barrows, kick ourselves for not bringing a second camera, and into the gift shop for "chachkees"/ticky-tacky stuff. Huddled in there a bit until it got too crazy and back onto the bus to Salisbury, where incidently, we never did see the 'mushy cows' the steak comes from.

Once back into the Salisbury Street town again, Richard gave us 45 mins. of free time which we put to good use eating mass quantities of tea and scones with jam, butter and thick cream (Hence why they likely call it a 'cream tea' -K) We took a bit longer than expected and we had to run the last 50 feet to the platform to grab the train as it was already boarding for the return trip to London. We got to sit together this time. Boring return trip mostly. Got back to Waterloo Sta. at 18:50 and Richard passed out flyers for his B&B. We purchased our "walkabout" cards so we could get the discount on the walks we had planned later in the trip.

Home Sweet Borrowed Home Took the tube back to Liverpool Street and hopped on the 19:45 for Ipswich. Another boring train trip. Pulled in at 20:50. Walked to The Plough, but they don't serve food that late. No coffee either. So we just hung out there with a pint until our bus came about 22:10.

Got back "home" to the flat with Matt around 23:00. Watched a Bab5 episode on tape (Gray 17 is Missing) then updated the travel diary for an hour. Going to bed now, it's about 1:00 am.

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