Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Part 14... Time to go home!

I want to thank those of you who have been following along.  I hope these posts weren't too dull.  I think this may be the last one of my Scotland/England series.  To be honest, by Saturday, Bill and I were feeling a bit fatigued and just wanted to kill time.  Also, the weather wasn't so great on Saturday.  Originally, we were going to go to Bury St. Edmunds and walk around.  We did drive there and started to park, but Bill realized that he didn't have enough change to prepay for the parking.  Also, the weather wasn't conducive to walking around.  It was cold, windy, and wet.  So we decided to drive to Ipswich, which wasn't very inspiring either, although it did look like they had a lot of ethnic restaurants there!

Actually, I would have liked to have walked around Bury St. Edmunds.  There are a lot of impressive churches and it looked like there was a big park there.  I bet we could have found a cool pub or something.  When we decided to turn around from Ipswich, I initially said we should go back there.  But then I remembered my sister mentioned the Bird In Hand pub, which is right outside the gates of Mildenhall Air Force Base and around the corner from where we lived.  In the interest of nostalgia, we decided to have lunch there.


I enjoyed a local beer from Bury St. Edmunds...  I also had the Old Speckled Hen when we were on the Hebridean Princess.


Bill soaks up the atmosphere at the Bird in Hand pub.


My sister says it looks the same as it did in the 70s.

The beer taps weren't working when we first walked in the pub, so our first beers came from bottles.  In retrospect, we probably should have stuck with the bottled stuff.  I could tell this place is very popular with Americans.  They had lots of American style military awards on the walls, along with video gambling and darts.  Bill and I had burgers, which were okay, but nothing really special.  After lunch, we went back to the inn and decided to pick up some beer and watch TV...


I bought a few childhood favorites to bring back to Germany.  I love British sweets!

Bill went to tell the hotel folks that we had to leave early in the morning and we needed to know what to do with the room key.  They were kind enough to give us a tray of food so we'd have breakfast!


They even gave us a portable fridge and toaster!  That came in handy for the beer we bought at the local grocery store.


Some of my friends made fun of the Weetabix, especially since we were leaving Easter Sunday.  

One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post is that you can meet some interesting people in British pubs.  On Friday evening, we sat in The Willow House's bar and ended up talking to a couple who were visiting Watton.  The male half had a relative who had owned another inn in town and later sold it.  They had wanted to check it out, but it was closed.  So there they were in the only other pub in Watton.  

The guy had been a prison guard in Britain, while his wife, who was about my age, was telling me about her obsession with Dallas and J.R. Ewing as portrayed by the late Larry Hagman.  By the time we got the pub, the two of them looked like they'd been there awhile.  It was too bad.  I would have liked to have heard a few British prison stories from the guy, who also told us about his relatives in Islay in Scotland and how he'd once gone there, told the bartender his family name, and the bartender called up the guy's relatives.  They showed up at the bar and partied with him.

Later, we chatted with a British couple who had moved to Norfolk from London and brought their adorable Staffordshire Terrier with them.  I enjoyed a little canine attention as they chatted with Bill about Korea and Japan.  Yep... Brits are a friendly lot!  We sure appreciated their hospitality when we visited Scotland and England for two weeks!

Our drive to Norwich Airport on Easter morning was a delight.  Very few people were on the road, so we had no trouble getting there.  Getting through security was a breeze, though we had to pay 10 GBP each as an "airport improvement fee" and the machine wouldn't accept Scottish money.  Don't worry, though, you can pay with a card.  We had English money, too.  

The flight to Amsterdam was smooth as silk and took 35 minutes.  The flight from Amsterdam to Stuttgart was also smooth as silk and took an hour.  It was super easy getting to and from England and, now that we know Bill has left side driving skills, flying in and out of airports without train connections is a possibility!  However, because we chose to check out carry ons for the sake of taking up less overhead bin space, Bill ended up leaving his tablet on the plane in Stuttgart.  Fortunately, someone turned it in to lost and found.  He went back to the airport and got it after paying a 10 euro fee.


This is a curling iron...  You can pay and curl your hair.  It was in the bathroom at the Norwich Airport.  I had to take a photo because I had never seen something like this before.

So ends my two weeks of fun and vomiting in Great Britain.  I hope to be back sometime soon, though at this point, it looks like our next trip may be to Ireland.  Stay tuned!


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