Wednesday, May 29, 2019

England - Our Final Seven Days of the "Carol Ross" Adventure

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Having resolved, for the moment, the rental car damage issue, we were treated like royalty by our next rental car company with whom we rented another car for the English portion of our journey.  Our last five days would include two days in Birmingham, two days in Stratford-upon-Avon, and three days in London.  

It was a long six hour drive from Edinburgh and we reached Birmingham early evening.  It was a four and six lane motorway the whole time and at 70 mpg, thing passed quickly.  We checked into a nice new city apartment for two nights and went to work evaluating Carol's research on her family history, the sole purpose of our visit here.

We got up early and headed out to the church and cemetery.  There we wandered the grounds until finding the headstone of her ancestor.  An aunt from the late 19th century who also owned and operated the inn across the street.  Carol treated us to lunch.  We chatted with locals the whole time.  It was a lot of fun.

Then we headed into the city now pouring rain.  We wandered downtown for a bit before calling it a day and heading back home.

The following morning we drove to Stratford Upon Avon, stopping in Warwick to take a photo of an old family home for Carol.  This time it was the childhood home of an uncle who worked as a gardener at the castle.  Unfortunately the house has been renovated again and again and did not resemble in any way a home from the mid 1800s.  We found our cottage in Stratford and settled in for the night.  A great place behind a manor home that Queen Victoria once slepted

We spend the day touring...I should say watching Carol tour Stratford Upon Avon.  It is a small place, all about Shakespeare, and we had been there two years earlier.  We booked a Hop on Hop off bus and got on and off throughout the day.  Trinity Church, Ann Hathaway's Cottage, and Mary Arden's Farm.

We departed a day later for our last leg of the trip, and into London.  The traffic was a mess, as expected, and Ms. Google decided to take us on a full sightseeing trip of central London and instead around the chaos.  It took us almost three hours to get from the far west to the far east side.  Carol enjoyed the adventure passing all of the notable sites along the way.

We found our Airbnb easily and met the owner to be let in.  Another great apartment on the Isle of Dogs across from the Royal Observatory and 20 minutes to the city center by metro.  We had three full days left and

Our first day was spent visiting the observatory again, more of the walk under the Thames and through the park, than to see the site.  Carol tour the observatory and we wandered the grounds.  Next was a metro ride into the city to visit the Tower of London.  Once again Carol toured the site and Bobbie and I found a local pub in which to hang our for three hours.

For our next day Trump's UK visit disrupted most everything.  There were road blocks everywhere and thousands of police barricades.  Not a lot of least not to see him.  We used the metro to get into town and around the chaos and eventually reached the Churchill War Rooms exhibit.  We had been here two years ago and thought Carol would enjoy it.  She did.

We had hoped to get a close up of Buckingham Palace and Westminister Abbey, but both were closed off as well.  We eventurally worked our way north of the area and into Coverntry where we had booked Carol to see "The Book of Mormon."  While she we in the theater we wandered around, took in a movie and had dinner.  She was thrilled of course and loved the show.
For our last day we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.  It was supposed to be a few hours followed by Windsor Castle.  However the park was so big and so full of things to see and do, we opted to give Carol the whole day.  She took advantage of it while we took a nap in the car.  That night we checked into our airport hotel near Heathrow.

We said goodbye to Carol that night.  Her flight left very, every early the following morning and she taxied to the airport on her own.  We drove to Gatwick a bit later, returned the rental car and boarded our flight to Norway.

This thirteen week adventure was probably Carol's last world tour and she made the most of it.  It was quite a time and we are glad we got to spend it with her.

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