June 6, 2006

European travels, pt. 1 England (wot wot) continued

allo allo there then! I've managed to procure a computer for a short while, so I'll send on the next update. Today's topics: English roads and English foods.

First, the roads. My God, what an adventure. How to describe them... imagine you've got a wet spaghetti noodle. no. thinner. angel hair pasta.yeah, that's it. Now, take that freshly cooked noodle, and let it drop onto the counter. see how that narrow little noodle has all those twists and turns? that's an english road. take that narrow road, and put stone walls on either side. and I mean, right on the side. no sidewalk, no curb, just road, then wall. throw in a dash of 60 miles an hour, and you've got yourself a driving experience!

there is actually a perfectly good explanation behind the shape of the roads--they were first laid out between those stone walls which serve as boundaries between farmlands, and were designed for horses and carts, not cars. and said farmlands do not fit into a nice little grid, which thus explains why the twists and turns are as they are.

I can't complain about all of it. very little of the driving is done on these wee roads, if it can be helped. The motorways are lovely modern roads with speed limits set at 70 miles an hour ( =120 km / hr), so you tend to get places fast. AND, despite speed cameras placed here and there to slow you down, there seems to be a complete lack of police highway patrols. So really, there's nothing to stop one from going 90-100 miles / hr(=135-150 km / hr), slowing down of course at the well marked speed camera locations. uhhh, not that we would EVER drive as such excess...

okay, FOOD. :0)
If my cardiologist read this, he'd have a heart attack (pun intended). Okay, I don't have a cardiologist.But I had to get that delicious food-related pun in there (pun not intended, in retrospect, but approved of none the less). But I do have a gastroentrologist, and he'd have a right shitfit (again, pun intended) if he saw what I've been eating. Largely, the English don't believe in eating something if it's not fried or deep fried, so it seems, and vegetables aren't high priority in any case. So, breakfast is bacon, and sausage,and eggs, and fried bread, and fried mushrooms and tomatoes. It's heaven. throw in the occasional cornish pasty (pronounced pass-tee)--a tasty steak and potato concotion wrapped in breading, add a pint of beer, cornish clotted cream, and ice cream, and I'm on the fast track to a serious belly.

As soon as I get home, I'm hitting the gym.

as for where we've been in the last week, we spent a few days in cornwall at my aunt's house visiting there, then is was on to the Welsh coast in the seaside town of Porthcawl. It was a picture perfect spot, and we did some day trips from there. Of none of the above, words can't describe some of the amazing scenes, so the photos will have to wait for my return home. amazing country all around.

As of yesterday, we left Wales, drove to Oxford to drop some bags (we'll be back by week's end), then travelled up to Stratford-on-Avon for the night. If the name rings a bell, it's the hometown of mr. Shakespeare... and since we were in his neck in the woods, we felt it was appropriate to take in a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare theatre before retiring to our picture-perfect 16th century bed and breakfast in Wilmcote, the hometown of Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother. Life is so trying. sigh. :0)

I awoke this morning to another of those gigantic greasefests which was formentioned, then Kate and I booted it back to Colchester to return our car rental which was due back today, and we're now in London staying with our friend Alexandra for the night, before heading back to Oxford tomorrow.

hopefully I'll check back in after the Oxford experience. Pip pip, Cheerio and all that, eh wot?