My British Homecoming Day 2: Cambridge and Norfolk

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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 ’80s. (I have been back a few times more since) But I thought I would share the journal and some pictures with you all.  (Day 2 two of a 5-day series)

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. I 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.


The grounds of the former Monastery were vast. Most of the tombs were removed after the Priory was dissolved in 1540. But a few were left, and you can still see them among the ruins.

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.

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