This is my travelogue from my visit to the southern part of England.
I arrived at London Gatwick at 8.15 am. My original plan was to spend the day in London, but with my suitcase full and heavy, I decided to go straight to Bournemouth and wait for my friend. To get to Bournemouth I took the train from Gatwick to Clapham junction and changed to the CrossCountryExpress, which stops in Bournemouth. The trip was perfect with no problems at all, and everything was on time.
When I arrived I went to the centre of Bournemouth guided by signs. I found the tourist office and got a map to locate the bus station, where I was to meet my friend. The weather was quite a bit warmer than expected, so I found my self a spot in the Upper Gardens to enjoy the sun and my book.
Later I decided to take a walk and went to The Lower Gardens to take a Bournemouth Eye – an air balloon. I did not get a chance to see Bournemouth from the air, as I could not leave my suitcase.
After that it was time to meet my friend. I went to the bus station shown on the map, but there were no busses from NationalExpress, as my friend had said! I called him, and we were in different parts of the city! Turns out there are two words in English: bus station and coach station! We found each other and took a stroll at the lovely beach, I got a tour of Westbourne and see the lovely view of the coast.
The next day my friend got up early to go to work, so my day started with a walk on the beach and then I got the train to go to Bath. I got to the station at 7, and the train departs at 7.10. I go to purchase a ticket in the machine, but I will not accept my card. I go in line to a member of staff and see my train leave. No problem, I’m on holiday, and the next train is at 7.26 and 8.10. The very polite staff member tells me that the machine has a problem with cards, so he offers to sell me the ticket, but his credit card machine is also broken! He then looks at me rather stressful and ask if I want to catch the train at 7.26, runs to the other machine, does some magic to get me my tickets and tells me to run to the train! Extraodinary service! DSB (The Danish railway company) could really learn something!
The train journey was nice, and I arrived in Bath at 10 am.
Before I left Denmark I have downloaded an audio tour and a map from visitbath.co.uk, so I immediately set out on that. There are hop-on-and-off busses in Bath, but as the town is not that big I prefer to walk. I it was love at first sight. What a lovely place! If you are in the area, you have to spend a day in Bath. The favourite part of my trip was The Pump Room, which unites my two interests: Romans and Jane Austen.
At 2.30 pm I took the train back, as my friend and I were to visit some of his new friends and their cats. It was a very lovely evening, and we agreed to take a trip to Burley in two days.
Saturday we spent walking around Bournemouth. We had a lovely lunch at a pub, walking to Bournemouth Pier, which was also very lovely. Everything was very lush and green compared to Denmark.
Sunday we went to Burley. We started the say at Starbucks. I tried to order a Tazo Chai Tea Latte, Tall (small in the language spoken in Starbucks). After several questions I managed to order it! After the Starbucks adventure we walked down The Avenue (what an address!) to my friend’s friends. We drove through beautiful New Forrest). We ate a potato lunch before looking at the many little shops with everything ranging from local wine, cider, fudge and cheese to jewellery, wands and kettles. It was a very charming place. We went to a market before heading back.
We went to bed early as I had to get up at 3.30 am to take the bus from Bournemouth to Gatwick.
This was another nice experience with the public transportation in the UK! Everything went smooth getting to Gatwick, but I had a bit of bad luck with the machines. I checked my self in at the airport, but the machine did not give me my boarding pass, so I had to wait in line to get a very nice member of staff to make me one. But after that I got home safely.