Published: November 14th 2010April 9th 2009
Thatched roof on the left! (or a trip to Bath and Stonehenge)
Once upon a time Paul and Emma were looking through the TNT magazine (a magazine for Australians, South Africans and New Zealanders living in the UK) and they happened upon an advert for a company called Tracks Travel. Said company was advertising for cheap day trips to Bath and Stonehenge. "What a splendid idea," said Emma. "Yes, it is isn't it," replied Paul. "Shall we go?" asked Emma. "Oh, yes, that will be ever so fun!" replied Paul.
And so, on a cold April morning in 2009, Paul and Emma embarked upon their first ever bus trip (outside of school excursions obviously). Paul and Emma got up early and headed to Victoria Station to wait for their coach...
We made it, nice and early, and bought ourselves a healthy breakfast of a donut and a coffee. Nice. It appeared we were far too early, and so stood around in the cold drizzle of London waiting, possibly impatiently, for our coach. A coach pulled up. Not ours. A lot of old people got on. Glad it wasn't ours. Another coach pulled up. Ours. We got on
and sat at the back. It seemed to be full somewhat of Australians/NZers/Saffas, but that isn't a terribly bad thing I spose.
Our tour guide was good, but by the end of the trip we were worried as to whether she was sane or not. She told us stuff as we went, as all good tour guides do, but did some odd things. For example, as we drove along the roads to our destinations there were many houses with thatched roofs. She felt the need to point them out to us. But only ones on the left. So there was a fairly constant stream of her screaming into the microphone, "Thatched roof on the left!" and then she would keep explaining something to us and break out in, "Thatched roof on the left!" all random like.
Our first stop was Stonehenge. Because of the traffic with it being a long weekend we got stuck somewhere in "outback" England. The driver and tour guide decided that we should take a detour. Which we did - through the parts of England where the army practice using tanks! Never before have we seen tank-crossing signs...yellow street signs with a tank on
them, with a giant zebra crossing on the road. Interesting, yes?
We made it to Stonehenge, a bit late, but there nonetheless. We opted not to pay to go "in" Stonehenge cause we could see through the fence and figured that they were just big rocks. Which they are. Massively big rocks. We took photos through the holes in the wire fence, and by holding our camera up over the fence - worked fine and you can't tell the difference. There was a strange old man standing at the fence with calico signs about reclaiming Stonehenge for the Druids or some such nonsense. We looked, laughed and took a photo. However, we got bored fairly quickly by looking at these rocks and so had to wait for the rest of the bus to be ready to go. We just tottered around and then it started raining harder. And got windier. And then Emma's umbrella broke. But eventually everyone else decided they, too, had had enough of the rocks and we left with the crazy tour guide.
On the drive to Bath, from Stonehenge, the tour guide decided that, while she wouldn't usually, she would do a little tour
of Bath for those who were interested to make up for the traffic problems. Excellent, thought we. She told us the place to meet and when to meet and we set off around Bath for a mosy while we waited for the assigned meeting time. It was still drizzling at this stage and we had a look round and took a few photos (with Emma's phone cause I left the camera on the bus and it had driven off). Eventually we went back to the Bath Abbey where we were meant to meet crazy guide lady and saw a few other fellow bus goers waiting as well. But she never turned up. Silly woman. We were all a bit confused that we had the wrong time or place, but surely not this many of us. The strangest part was, she never mentioned it when we got back on. So we kept wandering around Bath and had jacket potatoes for lunch.
We went up the hill and saw the Circus (no clowns, just the name of a round street), which is quite impressive. It is a big perfectly circular street, which has never been able to be copied for some
reason, with a massive tree in the middle. We also saw the Royal Crescent and admired the olden days style of Bath. The whole city of Bath is a World Heritage listed city, and apparently if Jane Austen were to return it would be exactly the same as she left it (plus a few cars and power lines presumably). We didn't go into the Roman baths on this trip cause of time restrictions.
From there we headed back to London in with the strange tour guide and all our bus "friends", surviving to tell another tale.
There are more photos below