October 18, 2006

Wessex Bound

Having enjoyed London for a couple days, my brother and I rented a car and set out to explore the West Country (as an aside, good on ya' Enterprise Car Rental for stocking Priuses).

I nearly killed us a couple times by turning into oncoming traffic (turns out it comes from the right over there). And I got an automated speeding ticket for going 36 in a 30 mph zone. I plan to throw my ticket into Boston Harbor at the earliest opportunity.

Nonetheless, it was a rockin' good time during which we saw:

  • Stonehenge. Unfortunately, dirty hippies ruined it with some sorta Solstice LoveFest that went awry and now you can't get too close. Also they give you an audioguide with goofy sound effects of druids clanging on stones. But it's mad old and you can totally work on your Nigel Tufnel impression.

  • Salisbury Cathedral. A lovely town and a cathedral you shouldn't miss seeing. I saw something like 8 cathedrals during my trip and only Chartres is more impressive. We also stayed for Evensong services and got to hear their choir which was a treat. All this and they have one of four copies of the Magna Carta and the oldest working mechanical clock in the world. All in all, one of the best places I went on the whole trip.

  • Corfe Castle. On the southern coast, this is a total wreck of a castle that was already in ruins before I convinced David to storm it. It's also close to Lulworth Cove which is quite the pretty spot. Incidentally, not everything in England labelled "castle" actually is one. Maiden Castle, for example, is what remains of pre-roman hillfort. What remains are attractive sheep, it turns out.

  • Bath. This place has english quaintness baked into every georgian stone. It's quite the designed little town. In one night we went to places named The Pig & Fiddle and The Moon & Sixpense. So as a real-life set from Oblivion, it's pretty cool. Also it's got them Roman bathing deals where you can still take the waters. They don't taste too good however.
I skipped over the time we spent in Exmoor National Forest (pictured above) because that adventure deserves its own post. More pictures of David with handsome livestock forthcoming.

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