Current News -Still in Homer catching up with the blogs, enjoying the sun, doing a little TLC maintenance jobs to the bike and enjoying a little down time for a change.
Blog 256 More from England 23rd April – 2nd May 2013
The day was beautiful on our arrival at my parents (Arthur and Lyn) in Dinder, Somerset so after a quick lunch we bundled into their car and went to Ebber gorge. Stone stiles are normal round these parts. Here amongst the spring flowers we encountered a “bear” I put into practice my bear repelling skills ready for our onward trip to Canada and Alaska but my father showed how it should be done.
A little way down the road we stopped at a view point looking across the levels to Glastonbury Tor in the distance.
My parents live near Wells famous for its cathedral, in the grounds of this is the bishops palace gardens which I had not been to before, here are some photos from the palace and gardens.
We found a snug corner to enjoy our lunch purchased from the market outside.
As with all good fortifications this was surrounded by a moat of water fed by the natural springs of the area. Rainwater from the East Mendips drains underground to rise at this point. The resulting clear water allowed for stunning reflections of the palace.
Not content with fighting bears we now had a dragon to slay too. The locals were out on the manicured lawns playing croquet and didn’t even notice it.
Inside the building the ornate, high ceilings were evident. The chapel cat wasn’t silly underfloor heating warmed the flagstones and the chair offered protection against intrusion.
Outside the gatehouse life was going on as usual and the Saturday market in Wells was marking a long standing tradition of markets in this area.
Back in the village of Dinder dad obtained the keys the to the bell tower and we were rewarded with a unique view of their village.
Here are the steps we climbed up to the bells and the roof and after drinking the magic potion the very small door we were able to return through.
This is outside of the church with its spring flowers. Dinder also had a good use for the old red telephone box, it was now the village library.
When we mention we are from the UK (United kingdom, made up of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) most people have heard of Stonehenge, here is a photo of Stonehenge that we passed on our way to and from the counties of Devon and Somerset back to Horsham in West Sussex.
Most of our time back in England was spent working, to top up the funds we did the odd job here and there. We ran round like mad things sorting other things out. Many of our meagre belongings were stored in Kev’s mum’s loft where we found a mouse, war was waged and seven mice later we felt a lot better about leaving our stuff again. Winters have been hard in the UK for the last three years and the shed the mice lived under was destroyed last year, they found what they thought was an excellent new home.
We did manage some time out with Kev’s mum Margaret to enjoy spring and its abundance of flowers.
We also had to obtain our USA visa that would allow us multi entry so we could spend some time in Alaska. Obtaining our US visa wasn’t a walk in park either, first we had to apply in our home country so our immediate task on reaching England was getting internet access, filling in the myriad of forms which even wanted to know school, college and work history. We ended up with different forms as each new answer released a barrage more questions depending on the answer.
Next we had to arrange a personal visit to the USA Embassy in London and the only date available was in about two weeks time 26th April (It was during this time we travelled to Devon). Our trip to the embassy was surreal, we joined a huge queue outside to go through security which was tight. Were were not allowed in with any electrical gadgets at all, no cameras, phones, watches etc. Once inside we sat in a huge room with about 500 other people waiting to be called for our interview. Having finally secured our visa they kept our passports to be returned by post once they were processed.
Our flight was already booked for 3rd May. The day the bike was due in to Vancouver.
At 7.45 am on Thursday 2nd May the courier delivered our passports, phew….that was a bit close for comfort.
Next up – An introduction to Vancouver and Canada