It has been weeks since I posted part 1, and the vacation is almost over. I am at the United Lounge in Heathrow awaiting the final leg of my flight home. But internet access and time have not coincided for blog writing opportunities whilst I was away. So, over the next few days I will post about the rest of the trip.
Part 2 begins on Saturday June 17. We got up early and drove to the airport in Reykjavik Iceland. It was amazing, in the most awful way. The line to check your luggage wrapped around endlessly…. but we got through it and had a short flight to London. It took quite a while to go through customs and find the Hertz car shuttle and get our car.
Then the adventure began – driving the streets of England from the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road. It took some getting used to. I put in the address of the Vyne Garden and Estate -a garden/historical house we wanted to tour. After leaving London it had us on the byways outside of town. These roads were often too narrow for two cars, one would have to stop and let the other squeeze by. Both sides of the road were typically bordered by 10 foot hedges giving you the feeling you were driving through a tunnel. For Cheryl it was nerve wracking. By the time we got to our destination there was not enough time left in the day to justify the entrance fee, so we continued on our way. We found a little pub/restaurant and had some dinner. Then we made our way to our hotel.
Sunday morning we woke up at the hotel and went down for breakfast. The hotel was a very nice golf country club. Very few people were there and those that we saw were older than Cheryl and I. After awhile I headed to the Hampshire Hoppit Trail Half Marathon.
The race location was about a mile or two from the hotel. The had a field all set up for parking.
There was about a half mile walk to the starting area.
It was HOT! The marathon was not scheduled to start till 10 am. By 9 it was already in the 80s…. and muggy. I had downgraded from the full to the half mainly due to this late start time. After arriving I found out that the half was not scheduled to start till 11 !! Ugghhh…
By time the race started I was already sticky and wet. Still, the race adrenaline kicked in and I headed out at a good pace. We ran straight up the hill in the background of the picture and then wound down and across a road and eventually into a little path between two pastures. Like the road it had big hedges on each side. The hedges blocked whatever wind there might have been. It was stifling. I eventually gave up on trying to maintain my early pace. I even stopped and took some mid race photos.
At times I was reduced to walking, especially when the course got onto some pavement out in the sunshine…. eventually, after 2:05:23, I finished…. There was more than 1000 ft of climbing, by the way…. and of course I had someone snap my photo with my medal.
As soon as I recovered enough I made the long walk back to the car and the short drive to the hotel. After a quick shower Cheryl and I headed out to the Lockford Water Garden.
The garden was supposed to be one of the finest, and it only opens to the public on certain Sunday afternoons… and this was one of them. We made our way down tiny lanes until we found ourselves at the entrance. They were right, the place was beautiful.
Monday we packed up and headed to the town of Salisbury. Our main objective was a tour of the Salisbury Cathedral, but we wondered about town and some other sights along the way.
We finished the day driving to Southampton where we turned the rental car and got ready for the cruise beginning tomorrow ….