Monday, October 18, 2010
Today was our last full day in England. We got up early, packed, ate our usual cereal and toast breakfast at our very nice B&B and then walked through the walled city of Canterbury to the West Canterbury Train Station. We took an express train to St. Pancras Station (about 90 minutes), the tube to Victoria Station and then the Dorking train to Leatherhead where we visited our second cousins Ann and Phil. Phil picked us up at the train and took us to to their lovely home. It is a beautiful place with acres of lawn, many lovely trees, a field next door for their daughter's three horses, a river running past, plus stables and a chicken run. They had invited Jill and David to have lunch with us and served us delicious fish pie and chocolate cup for dessert. Ann and Jill's mother, Joan, was Bobby's only cousin. John became good friends with Ann and Phil when he was at Oxford and one of their daughters lives in Ontario. They had a lot of family photos on the wall- one was a really nice one of Bobby and Jessica taken about 10 years ago - both of them looking so well and happy. We had a lovely time.
Then it was time to go to Heathrow where we are staying tonight in a huge hotel - only 5 stories high by with over 600 rooms down endless corridors and halls. We had our last walk down the busy road past many other hotels. Tomorrow our flight leaves at 10:50 am and we will get to Vancouver about 12:30. Since we didn't find a post office, we are planning to check through our walking poles, swiss army knife and scissors and hope they will be accepted in their bubble wrap.
Our trip to England has been a fabulous adventure and tons of fun. It will be sad to leave but also nice to get home again. for me one of the most important things has been that England has become a real place. For most of my life it was a mysterious and wonderful place that I vaguely remembered from my childhood and from books. Now we have spent enough time here doing "slow travel" to know that it is a real place with real people and it really isn't THAT far away. Brilliant!
I am a retired library director and lifelong learner. My current websites are www.chucklingchimes.ca - experiences in learning after retirement - and www.pennygrantpaintings.ca - a gallery of my paintings. I have severe asthma and am a member of the Asthma Society of Canada's patient support group.