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Ouatic-7 [userpic]
V+4, V+5, V+6: A Fistful of Culture!

I am writing this Saturday morning about 6; don't know when I'll get to post it.

Woke up about 3:30 and at 4:30 gave up on going back to sleep, powered up the laptop, and started uploading pics to it.

4:40 the fire alarm went off and kept going off. Even MD and pilgham heard it this time! I pulled on my jeans and jacket and grabbed my shoes. MD pulled on PJ bottoms and started to leave. I made her take shoes, thinking we would put them on in the street. We were the first ones out. This is the first time I got to evacuate down a fire escape! It was covered in damp gull shit! Next time I'll put the shoes on; there could have been glass.

pilgham was a bit slower. By the time he got to the fire escape it was blocked by a slow moving old lady. He kindly suggested she come in and use the stairs.

2 World Heritage Sites in 1 Day! OK, technically the City of Bath is a World Heritage Site but we didn't hit do anything cultural Thursday.

Did the Baths, took the waters; at least a few sips.

The Baths are pretty cool with a very nice museum with good balance of expository cards to exhibit. I gave up on the audio tour. It was over produced. Tell me what I'm looking at and why it's of interest; don't give me crappy mood music. In other words, cut to the chase.

Then a quick dash through the Abbey. Don't have much to compare it to but it was lovely.

After lunch we did a boughten tour of Stone Henge. It didn't include commentary around the stones but that was fine; admission includes a free audio tour. I gave up on this one as well. It was even worse than the Baths, including all kinds of supposition.

Regarding the fence, it is nice that you can get pictures without a bunch of strangers in them. It would be nice to go up to the stones but those clods (i.e. everyone else) should not be allowed to.

I did not successfully get pictures of the "Tank Crossing" signs on the route or the chalk horse.

It's now Monday. I'll post pics when I get a chance.

Saturday was the day we went to collect our car. pilgham was concerned there would be a problem with our licenses. It went swimmingly. The very nice young man was showing us all the features of the car when I noticed a possible problem:

O-7: Is this a manual?

VNYM: Yes.

O-7: I can't drive a stick.

P: It's been 10 years since I drove a stick. Is there an automatic we can have?

* VNYM goes off to to speak with manager and confer with computer.*

VNYM: The closest automatic is in Bristol. It's a smaller car. Would that be acceptable?

And that is how we ended up limping to Bristol. My hair was raised. pilgham's skills with a manual transmission far exceed mine but he doesn't get much practice. Either the card already had a severe pull to the left or it developed one on the way. Plus the trip was was complicated by not having an exact address to naivigate to. But we made it. Finally.  

We are now driving a Ford Focus. I drove all of yesterday and 140 miles on Saturday and I have this to say:

Driving on the left; piece of cake (so far). Driving 110 mph (on the M6); easy peasy. Driving on an 8 foot wide 2 way road; that's a challenge.

Saturday we stopped at Arbor Low (more in a later post) which was not in a direct route from Bristol to Carlisle (actually, Wetheral) so we didn't get into our room until 8:30PM. That's for the birds.

Yesterday, we did the Roman fort at Housesteads. 195 pictures.

Right now, I am sitting in a lovely apartment (So lovely that both MD and Pilgham queried me on how much we were paying for it. I pointed out that it is actually the least expensive place we have stayed because we only have one room instead of two. Throw in that it's the first one that hasn't charged for internet and it's even better.) in Edinburgh trying to figure out how I am going to get a week's worth of laundry for 3 people done in a washer/dryer combo (one hole does all the work!) that only holds 2 kgs of clothing and  yet get out to see the sights. The upside of having to spend the day in is I will get to surf to my heart's content.

Current Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Laughing Hysterically

Now why the hell do you think I was jammed in the luggage the whole time? It was fear!

I do, by the way drive a stick and am good at it. I also happen to be ambidextrous. I can do many things with my left hand and many things with my right and many cross straight over. I can, strictly speaking, trade from right to left but a learned thing like shifting would take me a few minutes.

Oddly enough, I can write and draw with my left hand but switching back and forth persistently causes me to have a vocal stutter. I must do either one or the other so I plunked on right.

Philgam sounds like he did nobly and you were both wise to change your car and the first vendor was a fool to rent the manual transmission to you.

May the rest of your trip be safe.

Re: Laughing Hysterically

We were both extremely glad that prudence got the better of valour.

Undies and shirts, screw the rest.

My thought was undies and socks. We've been doing a powerful lot of walking and the socks get crunchy.

I toyed with sending it all to the dry cleaners but they wanted 2 pounds an undie! Is that daylight robbery or what?

I have driven stick on the left side of the road in two places: Cornwall (place of 8' 2-way roads, bounded by solid hedges) and Auckland, New Zealand (very hilly).

In Cornwall, the spouse complained that I was too close to the hedge on his side, but I think I actually left more room on the passenger side than he had. What I wasn't prepared for was the scale on the map: everything seemed like it would be miles away, and we'd pass it within seconds.

I decided that, without a lot of practice, I can manage two of three factors easily: big hills, manual on wrong side of car, and driving on the left. Of course, this was before I owned a manual car, myself. These days I'd be willing to take on even New Zealand roads.

Oh, and you still might want to go to a laundromat for an hour or two--even just washing?

You are a better man than I, Gunda Din.

If God had intended for us to drive manual, she wouldn't have invented automatic.

The kindly concierge took pity on me.

Hilly in traffic=clutch foot. The downside of manuel.

Arbor Low is in Peak National Park. It was downhill all the way to Wetheral but in a fun way with wide enough roads to enjoy the twistiness.

Regarding the fence, it is nice that you can get pictures without a bunch of strangers in them. It would be nice to go up to the stones but those clods (i.e. everyone else) should not be allowed to. good point.

i find the idea of driving on the left side of the road much more disturbing than stickshift. but then, i drove a stick until about a18 months ago. i can see how the two together would be frightening....sounds like changing cars was a good idea

when we travel, my hubby drives and i navigate. it's safer for everyone that way.

whoever thought laundry would be such a blessing?

I expected to be the navigator but apparently pilgham was so traumatized by his manual experience that he kept hugging the left which traumatized me. So from Arbor Low I drove and he manned the GPS. He's happy and I'm happier.

My red-head would have been racing MD along the Roman wall, and thoroughly delighted to poke in latrines. That's the problem with the West Coast; oldest fortification barely tops one hundred.

Does the 'Bath' water taste as minerally as I've been told?

Definitely go to the laundromat. You'll be much happier in a much shorter period of time.

It's quite warm. I think it would taste normal after it cools...

I haven't been to bath, but I have 'taken the waters' in several Czech mineral springs. They were pretty bad at first, but I got to where I was okay with it after a few tries. Sort of like drinking urine. Just kidding!

*sigh* Wish I'd been around. Barefoot on the ladder sounded like the stuff of nightmares. I didn't learn to drive a stick until I was in my twenties, and that was only on a whim. I'm reading these backward, so I shouldn't say have fun in Edinburgh.

Well, the ladder would have been nighmarish if there had been flames licking at us. As it was it was mildly surreal and exciting.