Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"What Is Traveling?

 
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What Is Traveling? Changing Your Place? By No Means! Traveling is changing your opinions and prejudices.” Anatole France (1844-1924)

Part I

I started a new project today that caused me to stumble upon this beautiful bracelet - purchased at a “rag market” in Birmingham, England almost 17 years ago. It’s a stunning example of vintage jewelry with chunky amethyst glass and brass. But it so much more than an inexpensive piece of costume jewelry-it is a wonderful token discovered on a great adventure to a part of England I knew little about.

My husband and I traveled to Birmingham, England to visit a friend we had met on a Caribbean cruise two years earlier. Adrian was charming, energetic and had visited several times in the states before convincing us to include England in our upcoming travel plans.

We had simple plans to visit southern Germany where my father had been stationed in the mid-60’s. Nothing was set in stone! Typically, we get in our car and drive . . . making ours plans along the way.

But the lure of a new adventure was strong and caused us to change our plans! We agreed to meet Adrian in Dover, England somewhere in the middle of our trip.

We traveled from Germany to Belgium, driving along the Belgium’s beautiful North Shore, into France and on to Calais, France- where we hopped a channel ferry delivering us to the White Cliffs of Dover!

Exhausted from a long day, we checked ourselves into the closest and quirkiest Bed and Breakfast a few blocks from the ferry! The owners were friendly and gave us the last tiny room with two twin beds. The room was clean and adequate but had two of the firmest mattresses with barely enough padding to cover the springs inside.

Watching TV required dropping coins into a box, the toilet was located outside the room in a tiny closet, the shower was down a level and required an understanding of English technology in order to heat the water – if you were savvy enough to know where the control knobs were! We weren’t -outside in the hall- cold showers!)

Heavenly morning! Come quickly! Morning finally arrived and we were treated to our first proper English breakfast of eggs, bangers and scones served with fruit preserves, English butter and plenty of hot tea!

Adrian arrived early and off we went along the craziest highways and roundabouts I had ever seen. Believing that the earth had been thrown off its axis I remained dizzy for the two hour trek to London, cars whizzing past me on the left front passenger side! Oh, Lordy! Can we be delivered safely to London?

More Later!
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