Plane ride was of little note. William slept a good bit, Amanda and I slept too, but not as well. The food wasn’t as bad as I expected though.
We landed on time, but getting through customs took some time. Given the size of the line it move a lot faster than I expected though. The lady who checked me in seemed a little impatient, but I wasn’t expecting otherwise. Still, a cheerful “Welcome to the UK!” would have been nice.
We found the cab driver Stanton had scheduled for us and made the 45 or so minute trip to Guildford, Surrey, a town to the southwest of London. We got to the house Stanton and Sarah are renting, unloaded and took a tour of the house. I think it, along with a lot of the houses, was built in the 17th century, according to what I’ve pieced together from reading Wikipedia. The prospect of staying in and sleeping in a house that has been occupied by people for so long was very cool to me.
After sitting and talking a bit, Stanton took me, Amanda and William around the town. We went down one street, High Street I think, with a bunch of shops, some old, some American. Stan went into one shop and Amanda and Will sat down, it i glimpsed an old church around the corner of the end of the street and went to check that out.
It was a very old church, and most of the tombstones in the cemetery were too worn to read. As I was looking around, an older man walked through and we chatted. He said he thought parts of the church dated back to the 12th century and told me that one of the King Georges (he wasn’t sure which, but said probably the one that lost to us, as in Americans) bought art of the church and had it cut back because it was in the way of a route or road he took.
We walked around some more and I found Guildford to be a very charming place. Apparently it’s one of the more expensive places to live in England.
We ended up at the castle,the ruins of the keep of which we were able to go into. The grounds had been made into a very nice park. Stanton told me it was a popular place for high school kids to make out, and sure enough I interrupted a couple at one point while walking around.
I looked up the history of the place and apparently it was somewhat important at one point, but it fell into disuse after internal threats died off.
After we got back to the house I took a short nap then we all (well, Amanda, Stanton and I) discussed plans for the rest of our time here. Tomorrow we go to London, the next day we rent a car and go see Stonehenge, then it’s off to Paris by train for a few days, hop a quick flight to Rome for a few more, then fly back here to chill a bit before flying back home. We talked about adding in another destination or two near Paris or Rome, but Amanda was afraid we might feel rushed, which might be a legitimate concern.
We went to eat at a pub and spent some time there just talking then walked back to the house. Amanda, who didn’t nap at all today, went to bed pretty much right away. I tried to stay up a little more, but ended up falling asleep on the living room couch before heading on downstairs to recap the day and go to sleep.