I’m typing this as I’m barreling down the train tracks at 125 mph on a First Great Western train headed for Swindon, then I’ll switch trains and jump on one that stops in Kemble, where I’ll be picked up and ready for a night out with my South Cerney boys/men and a night at the Old George Pub.
Since I’m anticipating a slow start (read: likely hangover) tomorrow (those guys can drink), I figured I would get a jump start on this post today.
Woke up and laid around Ines and Ian’s for the morning, then decided to get up and dressed and out the door. I researched train times and also found that I could drag all my stuff with me (saving precious time back and forth on the Tube) and store it for a small fee (£12 for 2 bags) at Paddington Station at their “Left Luggage” office. This was perfect, since the train for Swindon leaves out of Paddington Station.
I then traveled back to the Tower of London, because I was hell bent on actually doing the tour before I left the city. I got down there around 2:15 and purchased my tickets, just in time for the 2:30 Tour.
The Yeoman Warders, also commonly known as “beefeaters”, live on site and also offer tours of the Tower of London’s popular spots, with GREAT stories and lots of history. I spent an hour there, needing to leave time to get back to the train station on time and decided before leaving that I’d like to come back when I get back to London to spend more time exploring the grounds. I also didn’t get to see the Crown Jewels because I ran short on time, but I’ll make sure I do next time!
The Tower Hill Underground station is incredibly busy partially due to the Poppies Exhibition still occurring, and I got to the train station with just enough time to grab my bags and a Bagel Factory Ham & Cheese Bagel and a bottle of spring water before dashing to the train.
I bought this BritRail pass prior to leaving, and I’ll have to do a bit more exploring, but so far, it seems like a very easy option for train travel in the UK.
While onboard the train, I just realized that Swindon/Kemble area is not at all far from Bath (or Stonehenge) so that may be how I spend my Thursday. Well, need to put this away for now… I think we’re approaching Swindon.
Arrived in Kemble, where Hobbs met me at the train station. We got in the car and then he brought me to his home where I met his daughter and his partner, Jen. His home is a BEAUTIFUL old English farmhouse.
After showing me to my room, and some smalltalk, we walked over to The Old George. Luckily it’s right across the street from his home, so dinner and drinks were easily found!
My friend Brian was waiting for us there, and Tim and Darren showed up later after their badminton game. I’ll be brief about this part of the trip because after many pints of Thatchers cider and several shots of the apple pie moonshine I brought for the bar to taste, we all just got liquored up and were enjoying each other’s company.
Dinner was Thai Chicken Green Curry. It was delicious.
Highlights include “Sparky” the dog at the bar (and on the bar), jukebox sing-a-longs and they told me that I had been “properly Georged” which is a nice way of saying they got me drunk.