Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day Five- We're off like a Herd of Turtles

Hey all,

It's time to leave London and move on to another part of the world.  Ready?  Here we go!

We got up at a decent hour and did a quick run down to a place I'd always wanted to see.  I love teas and one of my favorite brands is Twinings.  We often use it at home and when we are at Epcot, we always go in and see what kind of new treats they have at their shop there.  So Jon and I stopped at their main store on Strand Street in London.  It is only open during the week, so we had to wait until today to go. I was looking for a special tea pot, but they didn't have anything I liked, so I wound up getting a  glossy wood tea caddy instead.  The shop is very small and narrow, but it is filled with the scents of tea.  Lovely.

We headed back to the hotel and after one last visit to the computer, we grabbed our luggage and headed to pick up the car.  Now THAT was an adventure...carrying luggage on the tube.  Luckily it wasn't rush hour.  That would have been interesting.  LOL

We made it to the Hertz agency and after a computer glitch was fixed, we got our car.  We thought we were getting an economy, but the car we actually got was nice and roomy.  Great!  Not so great.  Have you ever tried to drive in European cities in a bigger car?  Bloody impossible unless maybe you're the queen!

But after a nervewracking hour of "is that bus too close?" and "am I on the right side of the road this time?" we made it out of London and we headed toward a place I'd read about in a bunch of novels.  Brighton Beach.

Now I've read about this place in romance novels as well as a few mystery ones.  I was always curious about it, so we drove down to take a look and see the ocean.  It was well  worth it.  Brighton reminds me very much of Santa Cruz Boardwalk or Coney Island.  A pier on the shore with a carnival and rides, restaurants and great fishing.  Nothing was open.  Wrong time of year, but we walked the pier and the beach, collected sand and took some pictures.  It was fun.

The beach wasn't sandy, but instead made up of pebbles from the size of beans up to the size of a tangerine.  Very odd, but beautiful in its own way.  After our walk we had our some yummy fish and chips and then headed off along the beach road towards Cliffs of Dover.

Now that was an adventure.  The road was very narrow and picturesque, with small hamlets and villages along the way.  We lost light about half way through, but it was a nice drive until then.  Then it got scary.  The road has a tendency to just stop because people park in it.  Not on the sidewalk, but right there...where the lane should be.  Jonathon was totally stressed by the time we got to the ferry terminal.

But there was a bright spot that became a running joke for the rest of the trip.  Now we in the states are used to signs that warn of falling rocks or deer in the road, but I've never seen one like this before...

WTF???  It took us awhile ( I think we were in Ireland) before we realized it was a "Be Careful of Badgers" warning sign.  It's amazing how different yet the same our two countries are.  The exclaimation mark was what threw us.  LOL

By the grace of God, even with the narrow windy road, we made the last ferry of the night.  The trip over was pretty quiet.  Not many people.  Only problem was this family with a bunch of monster kids that couldn't settle and kept the crew jumping to keep them out of trouble.  After a quick ride, we landed in Calais, France and after some snarled tempers because we got lost, we found a motel I'd researched online and fell exhausted into bed. 

We have an early day tomorrow.  We're headed towards Paris and want to make a quick run up to Belgium first.  Why?  Just to say we did!
Take care and I'll see you next week!

CJ England


LuAnn said...

I love the badgers sign!

Phylis said...

I love reading about your travels CJ! I can well imagine poor Jonathan having a headache from trying to drive in London. I have a fit here in a big city, can't imagine trying to remember to drive on the other side of the road as well as make sense of the signs. Phylis

CJ England said...

Hey LuAnn and Phylis,

Glad you're enjoying the blog. It's fun to relive it and I can't wait to tell you about France!!!