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Published: August 28th 2006
June 27 to July 4
Catching London in good weather gave me a bit of respect for the locals, they really take advantage of it. People outside of pubs, (glasses are allowed in the streets), public movie events (tried to watch Constant Gardener but it was super echo) and lazing in Hyde Park or on cathedral steps. English bitch constantly about weather so it was good to see them outside en mass.
Football = Get beaten up, I was outside a pub when England loses to Portugal in the World Cup on horrible penalty kicks, it was amusing to see just how sick it made the fans. Guys pouring out of the pub looking like they had been kicked in the stomach after eating rotten eggs. I made eye contact with one while walking by and was told that he would do me the service of knocking me off my bike. Best not to open the mouth with thy accent.
Five days in London and its hard to get bored, with the nice weather its a pleasure to cruise around on a bike, get shocked after looking at real estate office listings, take in the fantastic state
museums or just grab a pint available on every street in town. A favorite of mine was people watching in Piccadilly, a scene of diversity that only New York can match.
Setting out from London, charming becomes ugly and lost, I kept with the plan of not crossing the Thames while heading west and therefore I cant get too lost. I wander for half the day on small roads before finding myself right in front of the 'long walk' of Windsor Castle, a nice place to find bearings. The idea was to linger in the English country side before crossing Wales and towards Ireland. Places like Henly on Thames and Chipping Norton with rowing clubs and exclusive villas for London's well off, the weekenders still dress with top hats and throw back dress from old English high society. Having met an unproportionate amount of English students attending Oxford I was given the short list of things to visit in the university city. As the academic year is really short, more American students were there on short summer terms than English. With all the Harry Potter film sites, lots of kids pulling parents around gave me a feeling
There, mandatory photos of the sites.
of University theme park. But with the quads of the individual colleges I agree that collegiate life at Oxford or Cambridge must be unique for its inclusion and togetherness the students enjoy. Heading into the small villages of the Cotswold area, my first village was Stow on the Wold, town motto, 'where the wind blows so cold the cooks cant roast their dinners.' My favorite village was Bourton on the Water. A raging 6 inch stream cutting though the village filled with soft pebbles and kids peeing in the water surrounded by flower filled stone homes.
Visits to Blenheim palace and frequent stops in so many charming villages such as Ledbury, Hereford and my favorite, Hay-on-Wye (an entire village devote to book sales, over 20 small book shops) I was a bit behind and ended up racing through Wales. Arriving early and dead tired for my ferry to Ireland, I fell asleep in Fishgraud's public park where local 18 year olds thought I was dead or drunk and kicked soccer balls at me till I woke up. Sitting around with 8 of them drinking milk while they were half drunk I was hit with more questions than
when I left the Israeli airport. As they said its not every day a skinny Yank shows up for a sleep in their park.
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