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Travelling all along the UK ( Part II )

Headquarters: West Kirby.

After my interesting and quite amazing experience in Stamford, I got packed and caught a coach from there leading me to Liverpool, after more or less six hours and a half on the road. That’s because my coach went around the houses! But it was a nice trip, after all. Our first stop was in Grantham, and because we were on time, we could strengthen our legs doing a ten minutes-walk. Our kind driver told us where we could go to have a drink before continuing our long trip, and when asked, I said to him: “Well, as a matter of fact I have to pee.” At that, he told me the coach had a toilet, placed at the very rear. Astonished, I said: “Okay, I had no idea! I’m not used to travelling by coach at all, that is pretty obvious I dare say!”

So, you see? And I was a bit worried about my long trip because of having to pee whilst on the road! Well, after arriving at Liverpool Coach Station, the rest of my trip was quite known: a short ten minutes walk from there to Liverpool Lime Street Station, and then the Mersey Rail train to West Kirby, where my friend Julie was waiting for me in her homely household, where I had lodged for ten days the previous year, in July.

According to a friend of mine, his son was staying more or less at the same time in Bath for a whole month, studying English. He asked me to check on him, so I decided to get packed one more time and go to Bath.

Bath and Stonehenge

As soon as I set foot in the city of Bath (after spending 70 pounds in train tickets, and changing 4 times in a trip lasting for about 5 hours), all I could see (apart from that magnificent Abbey), was leaflets and adverts about visiting Stonehenge. So, I contacted that friend of mine’s son using my cell phone and started wandering around the city. The next day I would be headed to Stonehenge after hiring a 3 hours round-trip by bus. The place where I stayed in Bath is called Milton House, and it is a bed and breakfast though somehow it reminds you of a small hotel. Don’t get me wrong there; it is familiar and warm, and Judith, her manager, is kind and lovely. But there are four rooms, that means a total amount – when full – of eight guests. I’m used being with another guest, or two other ones – if there is a couple – at the most.

The place is highly recommendable, so don’t hesitate: if you want to be comfortable, and you are looking for the facilities you can find in any hotel (like bathroom in your own room) but at the same time you are looking for something warmer, this is your place. Call Judith (I, myself, did so) and book a room: +441225335632. You can visit its web page, Milton House. Anyway, because bath’s a stone throw from Stonehenge, there are plenty of tourist trips you can book on the tourist information centre – among other suitable places all along the city of Bath -. In fact, visiting Stonehenge does not take more than three hours – basically because there is a one-hour trip by car -. Although the place is really amazing, there is no much to see, I have to admit. Besides, it is always overcrowded, so forget about staying right there, in front of those ancient stones, pondering about existential matters: the hubbub of the place is even worse than the one you can find, let’s say, one sunny day in Piccadilly Circus, London! But it is interesting, nonetheless. So if you come to happen to be in Bath, take the quickest trip available – three hours – to go there. More than that you can get really bored.

Trains, trains and even more trains …

Before coming to the UK for the third time, I knew I would be travelling from Stamford to Liverpool, but I could not imagine I would be going to Bath, as well. Four trains took me from West Kirby, Wirral, to Bath. After spending 70 pounds and almost 6 hours travelling, I reached Bath. The funny thing is that here, in the UK, all the trains are ran by private railway companies. There is no “public transport” as in my home country. So one expects that thing they call British punctuality. Although I have to admit that most of the times they work pretty well, I missed my last train from Bristol Temple Meadows to Bath, so I had to rush myself in order to catch another one going to Frome. When I was about to board my second train, from Liverpool Lime Street to Stafford, I asked someone about where I could find my coach. He told me: “The first one off.” So I was thinking: I have to find the first coach off. That made no sense at all, so I decided to ask him about that. He smiled and told me: “I meant the seat; the first seat off!” Ah, that’s because in the train there are certain seats already reserved, so you have to find your first seat not reserved or in other words: the first seat off!

If there is someone out there a bit interested in my long journey, here it goes: Train 1 (MerseyRal): From West Kirby to Liverpool Lime Street. Train 2 (Virgin Trains): From Liverpool Lime Street to Stafford. Train 3: (CrossCountry) From Stafford to Bristol Temple. Train 4 (Fisrt Capital Connect instead of the one I was supposed to travel with) From Bristol Temple to Bath (Finally!!!!).

Liverpool, West Kirby …

Now I’m writing these few lines in West Kirby, where now it’s pouring down and it is really cold.! It seems someone put the central heating on! Today I’ve been in the Liverpool World Museum, and I had even a planetarium session… for free! You don’t have to pay for visiting any museum in the UK, and not even for getting in the planetarium! Anyway, it’s been not quite interesting, very basic stuff concerning our solar system. But there’s an anecdote to talk about briefly, I think. Whilst waiting for entering the planetarium room, I’ve met a German. He has told me using a strong accent, about his house being bombed three times in a row during the second world war. I’ve asked him about that, about how he felt at that time being bombed by his own people. He has said to me something like: “I don’t have the English so as to say that; I’ll use German instead.” And then, some expression in German I could not understand. Before bidding our goodbyes, he has got enough time to tell me about a family where the man got bombed and died on his way out from the shelter in order to get his false teeth back!

Well, this room is starting to get warm I think, so I’ll be posting soon. Keep in touch….

Album

There are some pictures related to this incredible trip right here.