It’s been a slice London but it’s time to see what else is out there in the vast United Kingdom.
My plan for today was to head east to the town of Bath and make a little pitstop on the way to the town of Salisbury which is home to Stonehenge.
I again headed back to the train station this morning but this time I had my big backpack with me.
I arrived at 8:30 which gave me plenty of time to find something quick to nibble on as my train didn’t leave til 8:50.
It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re looking for food.
So fast that as I stood in line at Marks & Spencers I looked at the time and it was 8:48. I quickly got out of line and ran over to the platform gate for my train.
I swiped my ticket on the automatic gate to enter but it didn’t let me pass. I tried again and again and then I looked up on the big board showing the departures and my train was no longer listed.
Yup, I missed my train.
Now, with trains here in the UK you can actually catch a similar train at a later time so normally it’s not that big a deal.
Of course, with the way I had planned the day, it was a huge deal.
I had to get to Salisbury in time for the 11:00 shuttle bus to Stonehenge. If I missed that bus the next bus wouldn’t be until an hour later and I simply wouldn’t be able to see Stonehenge as I had to catch an afternoon train out to Bath.
The train I was supposed to board had me arriving in Salisbury at 10:20 which was plenty of time to store my bag at a tavern down the street and return to the train station.
I ended up catching a train a half hour later meaning I would arrive at 10:50. Only 10 minutes to find the tavern, store the bag and return to the train station.
It was gonna be tight.
When the train pulled into Salisbury I ran out of the station to the tavern down the street.
I had read about Cat’s Tavern online as I was preparing for this day. The train station, like many now across Europe, no longer had luggage storage available but the tavern would store your bag for £4.
I got to the tavern and to found a note on the door.
Well, that sucks!
I guess I was gonna have to lug my big, heavy backpack around Stonehenge.
Okay, no worries. I’ll just gut through it.
I ran back to the train station, bought my shuttle ticket (£28.50, $45) and I was off to Stonehenge.
Well, it was a bumpy start but I made it onto the bus and that’s all that really mattered.
I will say that after so many cold and grey days that last few weeks that today was actually bright and sunny.
We arrived at Stonehenge under bright blue skies. It was still cold of course as it was early March but not as cold as it had been that last couple of weeks.
The place wasn’t overrun with tourists which was, of course, nice. There were maybe 40 or 50 people out at the stones while I was there.
The area itself isn’t that big so it didn’t take very long at all to see everything I wanted to see.
Of course I took the obligatory selfie…
After an hour I was back on the shuttle bus heading back to the train station.
This time I boarded my train without incident and by 3pm I had arrived in the town of Bath.
I’ll be here for a couple of days before heading up north to York and then Newcastle.
As for today, what can I say? It was beautiful out and I saw one of the great mysteries of the world.