Wednesday, 12 September, London - Gloucester

We had key problems -- for the second time, we were locked out -- just as we were preparing to clear out our room and check out to catch the bus. Took awhile to fix, but it turned out that it didn't matter, because just after we'd shut down our email, Trafalgar emailed to say the bus was delayed. Seems the driver had a family emergency and they had to bring in a replacement from Birmingham. So finally Adam arrived with Martin behind the wheel. It was a quick run to Windsor, but we were disappointed to find that a Castle tour was not included.
 Adam said that we didn't have time to do the tour and there were long line-ups. Some people paid the entry fee and did a run-through. They said it was wonderful. Meanwhile, we wandered the town. We had kept losing sight of Adam as we walked from the car park  into town, so we made him buy an umbrella to be more visible and asked him to slow down. He promised to try, but still far out-distanced us on the way back to the coach. Then we sat and waited for 30 minutes for a missing couple. So I guess we could have toured the castle after all. We did see familiar places from watching Megan and Harry's wedding. There is wifi on the bus, but it has a complicated 16-character password and it took all day before we managed to get on. The ride to Bath was long and very quiet, and then -- WOW! This is a lovely city. Everything built of Bath stone looks rather dull as you come into town, but in the city centre it is lovely. We walked through the main area and stopped in
a Welsh restaurant for pasties. There were buskers and musicians in the square and many pushy, rowdy, disrespectful kids speaking German or Dutch. We pushed our way through them to the entrance to the baths and paid our entrance fees.

They have a 2000+ year history and much of the Roman construction is intact.  Although it isn't appealing today, it's evident how great it was then to plunge into the water from the hot springs.

Our last stop was the beautiful Bath Abbey. We walked in and it took my breath away. This, for me, is one of the "thin places". It is undergoing major renovations to correct a collapsing floor (could the many graves beneath be a factor?), so it's not possible to see the altar area, but the many stained glass windows are glorious and the ceilings awesome (I mean really actually awesome, not "awesome" in current parlance). Leaving Bath we were caught in heavy traffic, but at least the sun finally came out. We got to Hatton Court in the Cotswolds. Martin had to back the bus down a long, narrow lane and around a couple of sharp turns to park. He managed, to our delight. We have a nice, garret room (luckily someone else had to carry the luggage up the 3 long, steep, narrow flights) that is very comfortable. The buildings are just like pictures of Cotswold buildings suggest they should be. Dinner was delicious, and now we're ready to turn in. It'll be an early morning departure tomorrow.

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