What a weekend in Bristol. I asked my friend, Mark, to come along since he had said he was interested in going there and to see all the sights around there. We took the bus 2 1/2 hours west of London to Bristol. Mark and I arrived at 5:15 and Rachael was waiting for us in the bus station. We walked a short 20 minutes to get to her apartment and hung out there for a while. We waited for Patrick to get home, and then Rachael made meatballs and potatoes, which were delicious. I had no idea how good of a cook Rachael was, but I found out over the course of the weekend. After dinner, we went down to a pub to meet some of Rachael and Patrick’s friends. We had a table with 3 English guys, a guy from Wales, an Irish guy, and three Americans. The night was great, and we met some interesting characters.
We woke up, had breakfast, and headed out by 10 a.m. the next morning. We got in the car and started driving around England. Our first goal was to make it to Stonehenge. We just happened to try to go to Stonehenge on June 21, the first day of the summer solstice. Apparantly there is an enormous gathering the night before out at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice. We got there and the roads were closed to get close there. We parked and asked the cops why we couldn’t get through, and he said it was closed for the day since 30,000 people had camped there the night before. We could still see hundreds of cars over there. For a little bit, I thought I was going to be this close to one of the 7 Wonders of the World, but we found a way. We drove around another way and happened to see it from the road we were on. Here is a picture of what we saw:
Great to see in person, and definitely glad that we just happened to get a short glimpse of it. Much better than no sight at all. From here, we began making our way south even further. Next stop was Corfe to see the Corfe Castle. Corfe is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, but the town and its buildings are ancient. The town is known for Corfe Castle, or what it used to be. The castle now is pretty much all ruins, but it is still a sight to see with it overlooking the town on a hill. We bought a sandwich here for lunch, walked around, and headed even further down the coast.
Picture of a cemetery with Corfe Castle in the background:
Next stop was Durdle Door, right along the coast. This is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Maybe even better than the mountains (sorry Chad and Kendra). Pictures do it no justice, but here are a few.
We climbed to the top of this steep ledge (I’m not sure what to call it) and got great pictures. Mark, Rachael, and I at the top.
View of the other way:
View of the beach and the ledge:
The hill we climbed up:
Patrick, me, and Mark down on the pebble beach:
View of the beach we were sitting on and the ledge we climbed up. If you can, mind the people on top of the ledge to get an idea of how high up we were.
After spending an hour and a half or so here, we drove back to Bristol to have supper and to call it a night. We went out to eat at an Indian restaurant, which was delicious. Trying new types of food has become a hobby of mine. In the coming weeks I hope to try even more. We watched the end of the Netherlands-Russia soccer match. Russia pulled off a huge upset in the second overtime.
We slept in this morning, Rachael made breakfast, and we headed to Bath. Bath was a great city to visit. It’s an old Roman city that was built around these public baths that were built around 60 A.D. The baths were built over these naturally hot springs. Mark and I took the tour of the baths, and it was one of the best tours I have taken. It is surprisingly the best tourist attraction I have seen so far. We had an audio tour, and overall it took about 2 hours. Since it’s getting late here, I’ll just post some pictures.
Here is the main bath below with Bath Abbey in the background:
Here is some stones that were on the actual Temple that was built in the 3rd or 4th century. Notice the condition a few thousand years later.
Sitting by the bath:
Bath was amazing to go to, and I would recommend to anyone who visits England and has the day to travel outside of London. It’s only about 100 miles west of London and 10 miles from Bristol, so it wouldn’t be a bad day trip. We headed back to Bristol where Patrick gave Mark and I a small tour of Bristol. He took us up to one of Bristol’s attractions, the suspension bridge that was built in 1850. This gave stunning views of Bristol. Here are a few:
View of the suspension bridge from another lookout point:
After this, Rachael had lasagna ready and again cooked a great meal. Rachael and Patrick then gave us a small walking tour of Bristol and dropped us off at the bus station. I can’t say enough of about Patrick and Rachael letting us stay with them and showing us around. They showed Mark and I a very good time all weekend and had everything pretty much planned out for us. We had a blast and can’t thank them enough for everything. Patrick would probably be one of the best tour guides in England with all of his knowledge and various facts that he can tell you. Their generosity is truly appreciated.
That is all for now. There are many other things I had to say but it is getting late here and I need to get some sleep for work tomorrow. Time to get back to the real world.
I may not be posting for a few nights as I may be heading to Wimbledon for Tuesday. Can’t wait!