It’s Sunday morning. Raquel and I are up early and we head to Gatwick airport. We are not flying anywhere; we’re picking up a car from the airport. You know what that means: ROAD TRIP! We are going to spend three days in the Cotswolds for some proper rest and relaxation in the stunning English country Side. The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England with landscapes which are typically associated with English country side.
My experience of the English countryside is very minimal. During my six and a half years in the country I left London very few times and when I did, it was usually in desperate search of sunshine abroad. Two of the most memorable trips though, were trips to Essex for a post-wedding celebration of a friend and to Wales for weekend of building things at the Centre for Alternative Technologies. Those two trips and others left me wanting more of the country, but most times my inability to move myself from the inside of my house past the front door.
Raquel and I had discussed the possibility of doing a road trip in the UK a while ago and due to my six day stay in London, we decided that now would have been as a good a time as any. On Friday, I booked accommodation in a tiny village for three nights and a car for three days. We knew that at one point we wanted to head down towards Bath (Everyone that I know that has been there, loved it). We were also interested in just seeing the tiny villages doted in the country side.
When we arrived at Gatwick airport to rent a car, I met a family (Part of it at least) which I know from Libya. Considering the negative press Libya was getting in the news it was good to know that at least some people I know weren’t there.
For me this trip in the UK seemed to be accident prone as I managed to hit the car rental sign (twice) before getting into the car, fortunately I don’t have a premium to pay for my own stupidity. We were off, down to Bourton-on-water where we would be staying during our time in the Cotswolds. The drive down was beautiful. Green hills, narrow country lanes at time, sheep all over the hills, even the cloudy and foggy weather couldn’t dampen the sheer beauty of the landscape.
The drive down made me realize that I never took advantage of what UK had to offer while I lived there. But hey, there’s no point in complaining about that now, however I think I will take advantage and try and do more trip when I’m out there for weekends.
After about two hours on the road (It’s really not that far, but I decided to be calm and slow down for the sake of my “rage” issues) we arrived in Bourton-on-the-Water. After the drive we decided to tuck into a good pub lunch, and went for a nap. Well, we weren’t supposed to go for a nap, as we wanted to go for a walk in the village, but, tiredness overcame us and we collapsed on the bed.
It was around dinner time when we woke up and realized we were hungry. We went to the pub, but they weren’t serving food anymore. We then asked if there anywhere close by where we could eat and the bar staff told us our best bet would be in town, so we got into the car and went that way. You know when a town is so small that you say that if you blink you’ll miss it. Bourton-on-the-water is something like that, except at night, it’s so small that it’s actually slightly frightening, like one of those ghost towns where some serial killer has kind of murdered everyone!
The only places we found was a Chinese take-away and petrol station. We got some snacks from the Petrol station and had our dinner in our room, while watching the news for more updates on Libya. The next day we were going to Bath!