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Published: January 30th 2013
Today, we should visit in the morning the little towns Bourton-on-the-water & Chipping Campden. Really nice towns, but not spectacular. In the afternoon, we should visit the Roman Villa (Yanworth), where ruins of one of the biggest villa's from the Roman Empire were open for public. This would be the highlight of the day. However, this day was a disappointment (not by the weather).
Today, at 9 we left our hotel in Swindon after the breakfast. First, we should visit Bourton-on-the-Water. We took a tourist route with the bus. Our driver drove "adventurous". Some roads were very small, and we had a big tour bus. The driver drove maybe a little bit hard, also through the curves of the road, and sometimes we had to brake very hard, because of oncoming traffic. However, I never felt myself one moment unsafe, I thought it was very nice, actually. Well, some other people of our group didn't shared my opinion. Our tourist route brought us in the nature field Cotswold, also area of small towns. Most of those towns you only could reach by the local (small) roads. The Cotswold nature area is 2038 km2 big. At its broadest point is 40
km broad, and the length is 90 km. The highest point is 330 meter and called the "Cleeve Hill". They say that Cotswold nature park is the most beautiful nature park of England. Of course, a lot of pastures (some hosting sheep’s or other animals), parted by shrubs. However, I think it was very beautiful. The bus drove though this area. The small towns, the nature, lovely. I really liked this tourist routes; seeing small towns in the middle of the nature.
Bourton-on-the-water was called by our driver/travel guide "The Venice of England". The River Windrush flows in middle of this town, and nice, small bridges were build over it. The town also had a motor museum. However, we both don't like cars or motors, and especially for that entrance fee we decided to do something else. So, we took a walk. We wanted to visit the local church, ending up in a church service. Ooophs. Anyway, we visited some gift shops. Here, Hans bought a local English teapot. Also, there were a lot of gift shops with old aircrafts. One lady told us that close by these town diverse military aircraft bases from WWII were. Sometimes, they gave
The Market hall of Chipping Campden
a demonstration on one of those bases.
After Bourton-on-the-water we went to another small town, Chipping Campden. We couldn't park our buss in the Centrum, so we had to take a little walk. First, we took a lunch by a small tea house. O that house was so lovely, and the toilets were in a beautiful garden. We ordered tea with a toast with cheddar cheese and ham. It was served with a salad, and it tasted very good. Then, we walked through the town. In Chipping Campden an old market hall, in the middle of the town was open for public. Probably, the market was famous about its wool handle. The hall was nice to see. However, there was not much to see at this town.
Then, The Roman Villa (close by the village Yanworth). Well, that was the plan. It should be the highlight of this day. The towns were nice, but that was it. There was not much to see and to do. It was not bad, but also not very spectacular. If you want to visit them, you have enough of 1 to max 2 hours each, including lunch. So, the Roman Villa would
be a great addition to this day. So, we drove to the Roman Villa. The Roman villa is one of the biggest Roman Villa's which they ever found in England/UK, and the ruins are in good state. They made a museum of these ruins. We liked the Roman Bath's, a day before in Bath, so we had a little bit an idea what we could expect, otherwise, this ruins would be different. Still, we (and the other people of the group) were very excited to visit the Roman Villa. However, when we arrived things change. There was no parking for the tour bus. There was few parking space, actually. So, our driver/tour guide stepped out and wanted to buy tickets. However, there were some problems. He couldn't park his tour bus. Also, the people of the Roman Villa were upset that our tour operator didn't reserve, so they also could reserve parking space for the bus. We blocked with our bus the way to the road. So, the driver had to turn his bus. Well, there was so few space, that it took a half hour, and it was very close to not hit other cars. Also, a lot of
The pub in Swindon
other people were just looking and didn't want to replace their car, or they did after 10 minutes. Well, some people... After the bus was turn, the bus driver drove away. A lot of people became angry in the bus and asked to park the bus in the bank of the road, so we had the opportunity to visit the Roman Villa. However, the bus driver didn't want to do this, and drove straight back to the hotel. Some group members told us they want to complain about this by the tour operator.
So, then we were back in Swindon, very disappointed of course. Today, it was not a day as we expected. The towns were nice, but that was all. We missed the highlight. So, we took a drink in the pub. After that, diner in the hotel. After some relaxing at our room and drank another pint of Abbot Ale in the pub.
The next day we should visit Oxford... well that is a lot nicer than today!
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