So now that our holiday in England is over with I’d like to share with you all my experiences along the way. (WARNING: this post may be long)
When we first arrived at the Gatwick airport we were greeted by a magpie in the parking garage (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo) just near the car. I knew then that this was going to be a great trip! Mum right away said hello to the Magpie and said “we always say hello when we see a magpie.”
Here’s a bit of English superstition as to why she does this: One should make sure to greet magpies when they are encountered in order to either allay bad luck or encourage good luck, as related to the number of birds and therefore their place in the Magpie poem. Common greetings include “Hello Mr Magpie” “How is your wife/where is your wife?”, “Good Morning/Evening Sir” and other marks of respect.
And there is the rhyme that comes along wit the Magpie :
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.
And this was before we even got in the car!
Our first destination was Stonehenge, we were just an hour and half away… so this was our first stop. From the car it appeared much smaller than I had imagined but when walking up to it … it was much larger. One of the stones facing the pathway that leads you up to it had a face on it … THIS I shall never forget!
There were ravens all over the place and well you know me … that was my sign that I was were I belonged. We walked around the entire thing taking photos at every angle and then made our way back to the car park. Goodbye Stonehenge, thanks for the experience. As we left Stonehenge and began making our way to Devon…. a rainbow appeared. More verification that this trip will be wonderful.
Our next stop…. Devon. We have rented a cottage for the week with Mum, Dad, Tina, Gary and Ben and can’t wait to get there. It has been a long journey for my hubby and me… at this point we have been traveling over 24 hours straight and can’t wait to be out of the car.
Devon is located south west in England and is now one of my very favorite places to visit. The cottage was lovely. The building use to be an old threshing barn and is over 600 years old. The street taking you to the cottage was build by the Prince of Orange over 1,000 years ago. The cottage was quaint and warm and had everything we needed for a relaxing stay. We stayed in the Devon area for 5 days, each day venturing out somewhere new to explore. On our first day we walked down to the seaside, where suddenly I didn’t feel so well. Lucky for me the fellow that keeps the cottage showed up at the cafe where we had stopped for tea and offered to take me back. Thank goodness that only lasted for the day.. I was up and much better by morning and ready for our next adventure.
Day 2 in Devon lead us to several places. We traveled first to a village called Cockington. It was a lovely old world type village with small narrow streets, thatched roof buildings and artisan shops. We walked all over the area taking photos of everything including a funny squirrel near the car park.
Our next stop on day 2 was the seaside at Paignton. It was a beautiful sunny day .. but being December not many were out at the seaside. We took a walk along the pier and played a few games in the arcade and then grabbed a bit to eat at the cafe there. After our tea we walked along the beach in search of sea glass (my idea). I had everyone looking!
Our final stop on day 2 was another seaside village called Brixham. This is a port filled with boats of all sizes. Seagulls soared above as we explored the area. Brixham was filled with lots of great shops that I think we visited each and every one! When we arrived we were greeted by a fantastic rainbow! I would definitely visit Brixham again!
Back to the cottage for some dinner and relaxation.. oh and lets not forget another quiz by Ben.
Ben, our nephew, would create a quiz each night for all of us to do… it was lots of fun and lots of cheating took place…lol
Day 3 in Devon we traveled to Cardiff, Wales to meet up with Auntie Lynda and Uncle Tim. We all met at St. Fagans, the Museum of Wales History. This place was no ordinary museum, this place was massive! St. Fagans is an open air museum on 100 acres in Cardiff. The have taken various buildings from all over Wales and from different decades/centuries and moved them to the location at St. Fagans. I would definitely visit St. Fangans again and again. We spent the entire day there and still didn’t see everything. It was great meeting Lynda and Tim for the first time and I look forward to hanging out with them again.
After leaving St. Fagans we stopped off at a Toby Carvery for dinner. This is where I had my first taste of yorkshire pudding. The carvery experience was great and very filling … I couldn’t have eaten another bite!
Day 4 in Devon we traveled to Cornwall to visit The Eden Project. The Eden Project is a massive working and learning center geared around sustainable living. There are 2 giant bio-domes filled with plants and trees from all over the world. Our visit was in December so the garden grounds outside the domes weren’t in bloom.. I can only imagine what it would look like when everything was in full bloom. It took us all day to tour the grounds and I’m sure we missed a few things. There were lots of workshops for children and adults both to take part in. For families with children…. it’s definitely worth seeing.
Well that’s the end of week one in the UK. The next day we checked out of our cottage and headed for Binbrook in the North.