Thursday, May 11, 2006


Today is our last day in Bath - we spent it doing one thing - going by bus to Glastonbury.

The bus trip itself was a trip. Big bus, often teensy little roads. And if there's only room for one vehicle, the cars give way to the bigger bus. It's amazing how fast folks can drive backwards around here!

The first stop was the Glastonbury Abbey ruins. Beautiful. The site was filled with schoolchildren. We've missed the heavy tourist load of summer, but I'd forgotten about how many field trips schools take in the spring when the weather is good and the days are longer. Some English schools, but a lot of the kids are obviously French. I love all the school uniforms, which is odd considering how I hate the uniforms on American kids. I enjoyed the ruins, the Abbey kitchen, the herb garden, and sweeping green gardens. William got kinda bored and I thought I'd have a crabby teen on my hand.

Fortunately he liked climbing the Tor better. In fact he went off without me while me and the cows were still at the bottom. The cows happily eating grass, me desperately trying to get my backback strap to work around my hips. I'd only used it slung casually over my shoulders before today. Eventually I managed something half helpful and up I went. Gasp, gasp, heavy breathing.

But it was worth it. So pretty from the top. I would have loved to focus in on the spiritual aspects of the walk, but with William in tow, that wasn't gonna happen, so I didn't try. But it is obviously a very high energy area. Several times I tuned into it - it's like a physical buzzing.

The walk down was easier and William was kind enough to carry the backpack and head on down himself so I could enjoy the walk alone and unencumbered. I stopped to admire some buttercups, got in a conversation with a couple of guys about dandelions, and when they went on their way, one of the guys left with a "Cheerio!" Yes, he really used the word "Cherrio". I couldn't wait to get down to the bottom and tell William.

Next we stopped at the Chalice Well. Did you know it's considered a ""World Peace Garden"? It might very well be my favorite part of the entire trip. It was so, so, so, so, so lovely. Beautiful. Peaceful. Stunning. Wonderful. Even William the Teen was respectful and quiet. Okay, so he did pretend to be the lion fountain and spent several minutes trying to spit sacred water in just the right arc. But other then that.....

Back down in Glastonbury town we had tea. Even though I was really hot from the walk, I had tea, scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. I had to so that I could tell my friend Shelly I had a proper afternoon tea. Shelly, if you're reading this, I did it for YOU! William had a ham sandwich and a milkshake. No,wait. A Thick Shake. Did you know in England a milkshake is just frothed milk - no ice cream? A Thick Shake is with ice cream. Even then, it was only about as thick as that bottom couple inches, when you let the last of your milkshake melt a bit. It was so confusing ordering it - two waitresses, William and I, and the couple from Australia at the table next to us were all laughing by the time we managed to communicate. One language, many different ways of using it.

We still had time to walk around a bit. Oh. My. Stars. An entire town filled with New Age shops. I kid you not. Not a block. Not two blocks. The entire town. Well, as much as we could cover that is. I could sit and people watch and soak up the counterculture atmosphere for days. But alas, we rushed for the bus and had another wild ride back to Bath. It was too late to stop in Wells, apparently the home of the largest Cathedral in England. We could see it from the outside though. Yep. Very large.

Tonight we're just taking it easy, planning our next stage of the trip, taking a few more photos around Bath, and having a late dinner. Tomorrow it's off on a series of train rides that will take us to Conway in the north of Wales.

Stay tuned......


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