I was cleaning out my desk and I found an old travel journal I had kept during a trip to the UK and Ireland from a few years ago. This had been the first time I had returned to England after being expelled for working without a permit back in the late 80’s. (I have been back a few times more since) But I thought I would share the journal and some pictures with you all.
I didn’t sleep much which is pretty much par for the course when I travel. I don’t know if I am bi=polar exactly, but I do know I tend to get pretty manic when I on the road. Well, hopefully, manic in a good way. Went across the street to this mall that was attached to the Victoria Station and was pleasantly surprised to see the cafe where I used to eat when I worked at the train station was still in business. I had a very nice full breakfast (with real bangers!) and made my way to King’s Cross Station to catch my train to Thetford where my Uncle was living.
My Uncle Bill had a job working at the US Air Force Base near there selling insurance, He and my brand new Aunt Lona (who was originally from Indonesia) had moved to the UK just a year or two before. Thetford is in County Norfolk which was northeast of London. I had to take a train to Cambridge where I would have a short layover then onward to Ely and finally Thetford. Or so I thought. For some reason, trains in the UK and I seem to be at odds. More on that later. I really had no idea just how beautiful Cambridge and Ely would turn out to be, and I ended up missing my connection train both times.
I wish I had planned more time to visit. I was overwhelmed by all there was to see there. While I knew that Cambridge would be impressive, I had never even heard of Ely before. Ely is probably best known (but people other than me apparently) for its Cathedral I also really liked the canals with all the boats on them.
I finally got to Thetford, but I was a couple hours late. I couldn’t get a hold of my Uncle to tell him so when I got to the station I asked and was told his address on Canon’s Close was just about a mile away, so I walked over to his house. He had a lovely home, and in his backyard, you could see the ruins of a 16th-century Priory (monastery) I was told was dissolved by Henry VIII during the English Reformation.
After visiting the grounds, we all went over to a friend of my Uncles and had a big Bar B Que. They were also Americans and were working on the Airbase with him. They lived in a Manor House out in the country that had belonged to a prosperous Duck farmer in the 1800’s. The house was sumptuous. He even had a piece of a Roman Road on his property.
I am back at my Uncle’s house. Tomorrow I will either head to Scotland or Ireland. I haven’t decided yet. I just love being able to say things like that.