First stop, En-ga-land

Chipstead Travel Blog

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The annex
After staying up the whole flight to avoid jet lag, I arrived in London yesterday night and was met by my sister Suzanne and her two daughters. My sister's family lives in Chipstead, which is located just south of London in a county called Surrey.  Here's a shot of the guesthouse, or annex, where I'm staying.

Surrey is very rural compared to London, and is nicknamed the Green Belt because of its green meadows, rolling hills, and large amount of undeveloped land.  Other than the huge amount of greenery, I notice is that the roads have many blind curves and are very narrow compared to those in the U.S.--at times it's neccessary for cars to come to a complete stop, and pull over to the shoulder to let another car pass.  That is pretty scary considering that most drivers cruise along these roads at 50-55km/hr. 

The second thing I see is that there are pubs everywhere.  Some are really old, having been around for centuries, while others have been recently renovated and lack a pub's traditional charm.  In general, pubs are great places to meet your neighbors and catch up with friends, and talk about football (soccer to the Yanks).  I'm looking forward to watching the Champions League final of Barcelona vs. Arsenal.  I'm cheering for Barca, which has seemed to make me some quick friends due to the Brits distaste for the French (and therefore Thierry Henry, Arsenal's French powerhouse).

I'll be here for the next week before I head down to France for a leisurely drive from Paris to Provence, stopping in the Loire valley and Burgundy along the way.

Vikram says:
The roads bit scare me as well. But what I loved about most British drivers is that they seem really polite and mild mannered when it comes to driving, which probably explains why with fairly narrow roads you don't have the kind of traffic jams one would expect.
Posted on: Jun 24, 2006
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The annex
The annex
photo by: abaldwin