Since day eight was a travel day, we decided to share some of the non-plague related things we discovered.
Historic Sites1. Historic buildings are everywhere. After finding St. Bartholomew's in London, we decided to go to a local eating establishment for lunch. Our server pointed out that we were sitting right across the road from where Benjamin Franklin did his apprenticeship.
2. There are red telephone boxes all over Great Britain. We walked right past a special one that was dedicated to the fictional character, Sherlock Holmes.
3. One of our busses drove right by where Charles Dickens's father was imprisoned.
4. On our way to Cosmeston from London, we discovered that we were only 25 miles and $25 away from Stonehenge. We made a quick pit stop, and you would have too!
This is the Sherlock Holmes telephone booth. This is located on the street where many television shows and movies have been filmed.
Food1. Contrary to the cliche, London food is not that bad. In fact, aside from blood pudding, I liked everything.
2. They eat potatoes with almost anything.
3. They also like peas and gravy.
4. They eat baked beans for breakfast.
5. Skip the blood pudding. Please trust me on this.
6. As I mentioned yesterday, they do not use paper plates or plastic forks.
7. They do not put ice in fountain drinks. They do not put ice in water, even if someone specifically requests iced water.
8. Pepsi hasn't really made it across the pond; however, all of the restaurants serve Coke products.
9. Belgium chocolates! Fish and chips!
Noticed the baked beans. The black blob beside the tomato is blood pudding.
Climate1. It rains.
2. It rains.
3. It rains a lot.
4. It was warm (mid 70s) this week, and they did not have air conditioning.
Of course, the rain does help create beautiful landscapes.
Travel1. The cars are tiny. In fact, the side mirrors even folded in on our rental car to help it get through tight areas and to help with parking.
2. There are very few road signs. Also, there are almost no billboards along the roadway.
3. The roads are narrow and curvy. People drive about 80 mph on these roads. They have warning signs (see below).
4. People park along the roads, making the roads almost impassable at times.
5. Hedges line most of the roadways. There is no shoulder to pull over in order to check a map, answer a text, or make way for an oncoming lorry (truck).
6. When we arrived at the airport, flights were being delayed due to potholes on the runway.
7. The tube stations are very clean.
Money1. Everything is expensive.
2. They take debit cards everywhere except pay toilets and some parking lots.
3. Did you see the reference above to pay toilets? Yes, I managed to get myself in a situation where I had to use one and didn't have any cash.
Most of British money consists of coins.
Toilets1. The word toilet refers to the restroom as a whole, not just the throne. They do not use the terms restrooms or bathrooms.
2. Did you pick up on the fact that some places charge people to use the toilet?
3. They often have a separate faucet for hot water and cold water instead of both temperatures coming out of the same faucet.
4. The toilet stalls are very private. The doors reach all the way to the floor. I liked that.
5. The toilets themselves were often tiny and very water efficient.
6. Sometimes the toilet paper was in a napkin dispenser type thing instead of a roll.
Notice the faucets. One side for hot water and one for cold water.
Buildings1. Just about all the furnishings are old. I'm pretty sure that I sat in chairs in some of the restaurants that predated the invention of the fork.
2. The walls of the buildings are made of stone and are very thick.
3. Very few buildings outside of London have air conditioning. None of the hotels we stayed in outside of London had air conditioning.
4. The landscaping is beautiful. Ivy, roses, and all kinds of other plants cover the buildings. Most restaurants and hotels had fresh flower arrangements scattered around.
5. There are very few large grocery stores or big box stores.
Most of the buildings look like this.
This is one of the country hotels where we stayed. No air conditioning.
This a door to the country bed and breakfast. The curtain helps prevent drafts during the winter.
This is a bed and breakfast where we stayed close to Stratford-upon-Avon.