FUN-travel: UK – London – Stonehenge – Salisbury

November 10, 2011 by  

Day 33 – Sunday, October 16 – London, Heathrow Airport – Hilton Hotel

Downtown Salisbury

  • Arrive Heathrow 4:30 (get our hour back)
  • Go through customs – get bags – Duty Free wine (2 bottles for 12 lbs) – figure out train to Terminal 4 – 10 minute walk
  • Arrive Airport Hilton 6:00 & get 2 free drinks! but that’s it (we really miss being spoiled in Concierge level & all the “extras” since Chris retired) – pre-paid, non-refundable rate (8 months ago) 119 lbs w/taxes 144 lbs per night (rack rate 400 lbs) internet is extra!
  • Check w/Concierge on how to get to Stonehenge – sounds too complicated – go back to Terminal 4 to both TI & National Express Bus Station – no help whatsoever! can’t believe this is so complicated
  • Come back & recheck w/Concierge – come up w/3 options – take 6:30 am bus (that’s not even an option) – hire driver for 200 lbs (that’s not an option either, too expensive) – or rent a car maybe – 100 lbs (includes fuel)

FUN-food Dinner – Hilton Deli/Coffee Shop – Burger w/fries ordered med rare & told only well done (after questioning manager he said he’d ask chef to cook less & if not happy would get me something else) was good served med – Greek type salad & 2 pints – 45 lbs

CFFO (Control Freak, Freak Out!) – gave UK & Europe road atlas’s to Mary since we weren’t driving anymore!

Day 34 – Monday, October 17 – London to Stonehenge & Salisbury


  • 7:00 wake up – go down for coffee – 4.20 lbs for small cup! (that’s over $6.00) 5 lbs for large cup – get that, take to room & share
  • 7:30 see first sunrise on trip!
  • 9:00 bus to Terminal 5 to check Stonehenge bus options – not going to work!
  • Pick up phones for car rentals – Avis 125 lbs for automatic, diesel w/GPS – EuropeCar 110 lbs – no one else answers – walk out to pick up area & Enterprise bus is sitting there – ask driver cost of car he says “60 or 70 lbs” – We’re on it!

    Salisbury Cathedral

  • Get to Enterprise & you’d think we are the King & Queen of California! Never have we ever been so welcomed and helped – service was off the charts 10 ++++ – our new car rental company for sure! 65 lbs – mid size, diesel, automatic
  • Depart 10:15 w/Garmin (programmed American English – Jack) to Stonehenge (73 miles) & return – I am the backup ” American English – Jill”
  • Arrive 11:30 – Stonehenge (meaning hanging stones) was up for  one of  the New 7 Wonders of the World – as old as Pyramids (5000 yrs) – older than the Acropolis & Colosseum – stone circle “built by giants” is different from others in England – has cross-pieces spanning the vertical monoliths & the only one with smooth, uniform stones – each one designed to calculate the movement of the sun, moon & stars – monoliths were built out of sandstone & weigh about 35 tons, came from 20 miles away – shorter “bluestones” came from  Wales – 240 miles away – question is, “How did they get there? And why didn’t they use the stones that were nearby?”
  • Ask bus driver in parking lot how far Bath is – he says, “Have you been to Salisbury? I’d go there. It’s really cute & close.”
  • Depart 12:30 for Salisbury (8 miles)
  • Arrive & Park 1:00 – really cute Medieval town

FUN Candy Store

FUN-food Lunch – Patisserie Valerie – Tricolore Salad – tomato, mozzarella, avocado, olives, balsamic pesto – Ciabatta sandwich w/same ingredients as salad – 2 cappuccinos –  24 lbs

  • Walk thru town
  • Salisbury Cathedral – built 1220 – England’s tallest spire @ 404 ft  &- took only 38 years to build  Cathedral Green – enormous area surrounding cathedral is largest in England

    Local Talent

  • Window shopping
  • Depart Salisbury 3:45 – American English Jack works wonders!
  • Arrive Heathrow 5:15 – need gas & saved again by Jack!

FUN-food Dinner – need a snack so order soup – the worst! tasteless, watered down – 8.5 lbs

FF (FUN-facts) – Had a lovely last day in Salisbury – even got Chris to feed the meter for 3 hrs! Major breakthrough!

Day 35 – Tuesday, October 18 – London to HOME! non-stop – full on sun w/light wispy clouds

  • Depart hotel 10:30 – arrive Terminal 10:45
  • 1st stop – Costa Coffee
  • FUN-food Breakfast – scone w/classic cornish clotted cream, strawberry jam & 2 coffees – 5.50 lbs (clearly cheaper to eat in airport)
  • 12:05 – check in for 3:05 flight
  • Duty free for Jameson you can’t buy in US
  • 1:00 – British Airways Lounge – never seen such a spread of food anywhere in world (or booze either)

FUN-Food Snacks – Cold Food Bar w/green salad, pasta salad, & bean salad, meats & cheeses – Hot Food Bar w/pasta, marinara, rice, beef stew, chili, Indian spiced chicken, vegetable curry

Belgium Beers

  • 2:20 – catch transit to Terminal 5 B concourse
  • 3:05 take off on time

FUN-food Lunch– smoked salmon & trout roulade w/radish & fennel watercress salad – fresh seasonal salad w/vinaigrette – Chicken Kiev w/tomato & artichoke sauce, parsnip chips & creamed spinach – chilled main course salad of grilled king prawn w/Thai noodles & cashews – wine choices Chateau Dasvin-Bel-Air 2009, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France – Medalla Real Carmenere Gran Reserva 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Belgium Waffles

FF – we have never taken the insurance option & never wrecked (let alone scratched) a rental car in all the years we have rented them for business & pleasure in the US

Trip Recap

Travel is very personal. So why did we take this trip at this time? Chris got the book “WHERE To Go WHEN” and said to me, “Honey, we can go to the Arctic Circle to see the Polar Bears or we can go to Galway Bay for the Oyster Festival.” Well that took about 3 seconds to answer! Galway sounded like the most FUN – and it was! Every time we take a trip we think about what we liked and disliked to help us plan better the next time. We also want to take the most physically challenging trips now rather than later. This trip had way too much driving! I think mixing cruising with land tours is ideal for us. Also, we like warm weather so we have decided the only cold weather trips we are willing to takeare to the North & South Poles. When it comes to buying travel  books – we LOVE Rick Steve’s!

FF – have renewed faith in GPS & am receptive to thinking about getting software for our Garmin for next Europe trip (don’t really ever want to drive again!) but you still need a road atlas!