London-Day 8

When I woke up on the eighth day of our trip to London I found that the irritation in my throat was gone. However, that had been replaced with a runny nose. The fact I still didn’t actually feel sick combined with the fact that my symptom was different than it had been the day before and the day before that resulted in my continued denial that I was just getting sick. Since it was springtime I used my runny nose and sneezing as a way to convince myself that I was just having allergies and that I wasn’t actually getting sick, which when I look back I clearly was.

After breakfast and showering we headed out for the day. Our grand destination for the eighth day of our trip was way outside of London. We were traveling to the town of Salisbury. To get there we were going to have to switch trains twice. Rather than going into central London and switching among the crowds we decided to take the tube to Wimbledon and then switch once there and then switch one more time on the way to Salisbury.

Well…things quickly became more complicated than we had anticipated when we got to the tube station by our hotel and found that our oyster cards were out of money. Since our oyster cards had come preloaded with our London passes we assumed that we had enough on them for four more days. We were wrong. When we went to tap our oyster cards to get on the tube we got a “see attendant” message. It turns out our trips to edges of London to go to The Making of Harry Potter and Hampton Court had drained our oyster cards since one was in zone six of the London Underground System and the other was beyond zone six. That meant that we had to put more money on our oyster cards. Not only was this disappointing since we thought we had enough it was also confusing. Finally, after asking for help a second time we figured out how to put more money on our oyster cards. It really wasn’t that difficult once we knew how to navigate the screens.

Unfortunately, we were still in for some train drama. The attendant who helped us put money on our oyster cards told us to take the tube to a different station then we had originally planned. We got on the tube and headed in the direction she told us to go. But the more I looked at the times for the trains on my phone the more I felt we were going in the wrong direction. After confirming my suspicions to my husband that going the way the attendant told us to would cause our journey to Salisbury to take an additional hour we had to backtrack one station to get on the line that would eventually end at Wimbledon. As we were approaching Wimbledon we began to get a bit nervous. We would be cutting it very close to catch our connecting train. If we missed the connecting train we would have to scrap our planned trip to Salisbury for the day because the next train that could get us to Salisbury from Wimbledon wouldn’t be along for a few more hours. Thank fully we got to Wimbledon and made it to the platform to catch our connection with about five minutes to spare. We breathed a sigh of relief…At least for a little bit.

Before too long the train police came by. When we presented the man who was checking for tickets with our oyster cards he informed us that those didn’t work for the train that we were on. I had a slight moment of panic but thankfully he said it happens all the time and he was able to sell us the proper ticket to get to Salisbury. It was not a cheap ticket.

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It cost almost forty pounds but that’s okay. Once we had the correct ticket we were able to sit back and enjoy the train ride. I had some music with me so my husband and I split headphones and we watched the English countryside go by.

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We arrived in Salisbury at about 1:20 in the afternoon. Our main destination was outside of Salisbury and we had a little bit off time to kill before we caught our shuttle bus at 2:00.

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We were able to walk around a little bit before we got on our but to Stonehenge!

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The bus ride to Stonehenge took us through Salisbury. The medieval city was beautiful.

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As we left Salisbury I was taken by just how beautiful the English countryside was. There we fields and fields full of beautiful yellow flowers.

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When we got off the bus we found that we were dropped at the visitor’s center and not at Stonehenge itself. There was another shuttle bus that could take you the mile from the visitor’s center to Stonehenge but we decided to walk.

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The reason we decided to walk was because there were other ruins from the Neolithic era that you can take a better look at if you walk. Not to mention it was another beautiful and warm day.

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Making the decision to walk to Stonehenge from the visitor’s center came at a cost though. The walk was beautiful and nice but it did take up a lot of time. Looking back choosing to take that walk ended up costing us the ability to go to the cathedral in Salisbury. I don’t regret our decision; I think what I regret more is not getting an earlier start that morning. As we walked from the visitor’s center to Stonehenge we were both sneezing a lot and I had a runny nose. In retrospect it was our colds taking hold but we both were convinced at the time that it was just allergies.

The other ruins were actually earth mounds. If you didn’t know what you were looking for they would be easy to miss. Much like Stonehenge itself not a lot is known about them.

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I have always wanted to see Stonehenge and it did not disappoint.

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There, of course, were a lot of people there. However, if you were patient and you took the time to really listen to the audio guide you were able to get some good pictures without many other people in them.

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The audio guide was really interesting and I learned a lot from it. I think that without the audio guide it could just seem like a pile of rocks but it really is so much more than that. Unfortunately, in order to really get close to the rocks of Stonehenge you have to book a special tour because the general public began to tag the stones back in the 1970s. Still we were able to get close enough.

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After taking our time and taking lots of pictures it was time to take the shuttle back to the visitor’s center but not without saying good-bye to this amazing landmark.

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When we got back to the visitors center we took our time in the gift shop. We then got a bite to eat. Considering that we were in a world famous tourist attraction the food was actually really good. I had a ginger beer and an English Pastie.

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After eating we waited for the bus to take us back to Salisbury. Unfortunately, we didn’t wait in quite the right spot so we didn’t get the seats we wanted on the bus. Oh well. I enjoyed our ride back to Salisbury and took in as much as I could.

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My husband did fall asleep for a few minutes.

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When the bus took us back into Salisbury we were disappointed that we didn’t have enough time to go to the Cathedral but I now look at it as a reason to go back to Salisbury on a future visit. To return to London we decided to take the train directly back to the main station in Central London instead of going through Wimbledon. This would get us back to our hotel faster.

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Our ride back was very pleasant until about halfway through when some obnoxious children made it very difficult to relax.

When we got back to our hotel room we were both pretty tired.

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So we just decided to have a sandwich in our room and relax. We were both still in denial about the colds that were taking hold. We ended up having a wonderful evening just hanging out in our hotel room. Looking back that night was the last time either one of us felt anywhere near healthy on our trip which makes that night just a little more special.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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