We arrived in Plymouth too late to see the Mayflower Steps tonight but we’re going first thing in the morning. Plymouth surprised us.
We should have known, but as a port city, it was bustling with activity. The pace was calmer than London, though.
We missed the America’s Cup race by one day! There were still lots of tall sailboats in the harbor but no racing.
It’s a beautiful place with hills like San Francisco. It has winding roads, cobble stone streets, and colorful houses built right next to each other. We walked about a mile from our hotel to the coast. Along the bay, there were old book shops, antique stores and tourist shops.
Then…our main reason for being in Plymouth…Brian got to stand on the Mayflower steps where his ancestor, John Alden sailed from.
Not sure where the “actual” steps were, probably were none in 1620, or if there were they are eroded away, but this is where the marker is. There were some steps next to the memorial so I took a photo of those.
After walking around the bay, we saw a group of soldiers hiking up this incredibly steep hill wearing heavy back packs. I’m sure they were “thrilled to have their picture taken.” We followed them up the hill to an old fort that is apparently, still a fort today.
By then we were hungry. Lunch time! We ate in this “lovely” little place called Tudor Rose Tea Room.
More eating in England tips:
1. If you want cream in your tea or coffee, don’t ask for cream, ask for milk. Otherwise, you’ll get clotted cream which is a lot like cottage cheese. It isn’t pretty…
2. If you want wheat toast, ask for BROWN toast.
3. Salt and Pepper shakers are reversed. The salt has only one hole, the pepper has 5! And the pepper is white pepper. We thought it was just an anomaly at the first restaurant, but no, it’s been that way in all of them.
After lunch the clouds were moving in and we had about 2oo miles to drive. It didn’t start raining until we got in the car to go to our first bridge of the day. Then it rained ALL day and into the night. The first bridge Brian wanted to see was closed for construction. The second was having repairs done, too, but we were able to drive across, stop, and walk back across (in the rain). For bridge photos check Brian’s Facebook page or his Brian’s Bridges blog page.
Our adventure continued when we arrived in Staffordshire. We are staying a farm outside of the town of Stafford and trying to find it in the dark was almost impossible. Our Tom Tom Navigator lady stopped making any sense and we were driving down narrow roadways with hedgerows on either side, in the dark. No street lights, no road signs, just hedgerows and blackness. We finally found The Swan Inn, where some locals with thick British accents and iPads were able to give us good directions. Brian needs to tell this part of the story.
More on Stafford to follow on the next page.