I woke on my second day in Salisbury to discover the weather had returned to grey skies and misty rain. Today was the day for my visit to Salisbury Cathedral.
Anyone who happened to follow me around England would become very sick of cathedrals and abbeys, and even everyday churches. I can’t walk past a church without checking it out. Each one is a little different (or very different) to the one before, although after a while I have trouble remembering which is which without looking at the photos.
On my first trip to the UK in 2011, I hired a car and spent two weeks wending my way, nervously, around narrow roads and laneways designed originally for horses and carts. I decided this time not to put myself through that stress, and so took advantage of a British Rail offer: 8 days of travel within a month for under $500, which I thought, after checking prices for individual trips, sounded good, though the offer is only for we people living outside the country, which seems awfully unfair on the locals.
What is the best thing that can happen to a travel blogger when she’s lost all her travel photos? Get the photos back? And that’s what’s happened. I took the camera card to Payam Data Recovery, just to check out if something could be done with it. A week later, I was picking up my photos, saved onto a USB stick. And so I can share the more interesting parts of my recent trip to England after all. It’s fair to say I’m over the moon.
I had discovered while researching my trip to the UK that just 14 miles out of Cambridge was Ely, famous for its cathedral, and where Oliver Cromwell lived for ten years of his life.
The bus took an hour and a quarter to get there, the consequence of stopping at every local bus stop along the way but I had a good look at the suburbs of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside, and watched the locals coming and going, noticing the change in their accents the further away from Cambridge we got.
I’m sitting in front of my computer, asking myself what could be the worst thing to happen to a travel blogger. For me, it’s the loss of photos. And that’s what’s happened.
Back from a month in England and recovered from jet lag, I can now think over how my trip panned out. The first two days were spent in London. I wanted to use the time exploring many of the places I’d grown up hearing about and had seen on television and in films, especially those I missed last time around: Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Holborn, Soho.
On my second day in Oxford, I was wandering alongside the old city wall when I came upon a set of heavy wooden doors, a smaller door cut out and open, the same as mine at Balliol College. It seemed an odd place for them, surrounded by nothing but high stone walls, and I had to investigate where they could lead. Peering through, I saw a pointed arch, framing an emerald green lawn, turretted buildings rising behind. A sign said Welcome to New College.
While preparing for my upcoming trip to England, my mind wandered back to my first trip in 2011.
I’d always wanted to slip, ‘when I was at Oxford’, into the conversation, and so I booked myself into Balliol College, the oldest university in the city.