A cup of tea and a Chinese takeaway......

London Travel Blog

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Mark, at the train station at Gatwick airport waiting for our train down to the south coast of England.

As we landed, our faces were glued to the window of our 757 as if we'd never seen the neatly hedgerowed fields and terminal drizzle of that place we used to call home......... England!

We had resisted long enough and finally made our way back to my husband's home turf.  It wasn't exactly like we'd been away that long. It had only been a little over a year since our last visit  However, Mark was in need of a Chinese takeaway and our Tesco supplies were running low, so we decided to make a detour on our way to France.

We huddled together on the platform in semi-frigid temperatures, each train reawakening me as it blasted past at lightening speed.  I hadn't yet gotten my "second wind" after the nearly sleepless night I'd spent on the aircraft.

Mark is programming his GPS for our walk to the B&B.
  My head bobbed as we passed through the stations, until we reached our destination for the day.

We walked out of the deserted station and into the early morning hours, with no taxi in sight.  We decided to walk a short distance in hopes of finding a taxi stand on the corner which divided the train station from the ferry landing next door.  Mark consulted the GPS which he had brought from home and announced that we were only 500 meters from our B & B, Newhaven Lodge.  Great, I thought, as we pulled our suitcases across roadways and up a progressively steeper hill.  Five hundred meters...... wait a minute.....that's about the same as 500 yards.....so that's about the length of .........5 American football fields!  It would have been silly to hail a cab for such a short distance so we stiffened our upper lips and made our way slowly and painfully toward our lodging.

Our B&B, Newhaven Lodge.

The two young ladies who answered the door seemed rather surprised to see us, as if we'd randomly chosen their residence as our intended resting place for the night.  When we finally convinced them of our mutual agreement for room and board they cheerfully told us that our room wouldn't be ready for several hours but we could leave our cases in the hallway and come back again later.  Their parting words warned us that everyone throughout the country was ill with the flu, themselves included and sincerely hoped that we wouldn't catch it while we were there.  On that note, we decided to catch the nearest bus and take ourselves off to Brighton.

Brighton pier

Mark and I had not been to Brighton since we'd  first met there a little over 10 years ago.  It had been a very similar day, frigid and windy but with the added attraction of rain, which fortunately had not yet made its appearance today.  We retraced our steps of that earlier day as we strolled along the pier and later wound our way through the ancient shops in the "lane".  A stop at a fish and chip shop did much to brighten our spirits as did the delicious steaming cup of tea that kept us warm as we once more braced ourselves against the wind and the darkening clouds.

Back at our B&B we discussed our plans for the evening over another cup of tea before heading out in search of a local pub and a couple of pints.

Striking a pose.
   As the evening turned into night, we stopped at a nearby Chinese takeaway for an order of prawn toast and a chicken curry with chips.  Less that 24 hours in England and we'd already ticked off all the requirements on our list except for the visit to Tescos which would have to wait for our return at the end of the month.

A quick study of the British version of bathroom shower fixtures and I was soon hanging snuggly over the sides of our British version of a double bed.  I would have to get used to not having our king sized bed for the next three weeks.  What sacrifices one makes in the quest for cultural enlightenment.

We greeted the early hours of the next morning with resignation.  It had been my idea to take a ferry across the English Channel to France as it would be something a little different from our usual flight or train ride across country.

....while Mark does the same.
  I popped a few dramamine into my mouth as I thought back to the last time I had spent more than a few hours on a boat.  It was during the final day of the America's Cup yacht race outside of San Diego harbor where I was "trapped" off shore for more than six hours, taking turns in the "head" with the only other passenger who appeared to be ill on the boat.  I was taking a chance today but with luck on my side and "mal de mer" medication in my system I managed to enjoy the crossing, as I lay passed out in a reclining chair for nearly the entire four hours.  I awakened shortly before the ship pulled into port and after it was too late to take any pictures to record the experience.

christein says:
A cup of English tea is trully relaxing, especially when visiting England.
Posted on: Aug 18, 2011
DCBackpacker says:
Now what could you need from a Tesco that you couldn't anywhere in the US? Is it possible that there is something that Walmart doesn't have!

I hope your Ferry ride across the channel was better than mine, I went from Calais to Dover in the middle of the night, almost got denied by English Customs in France and then I passed out amongst a bunch of homeless guys on the ferry since I was so tired. On top of it all, there was a really drunk eastern European on board and he made things interesting...hmm...another blog I need to write!
Posted on: Mar 12, 2009
Vikram says:
So which part of the world are you originally from? You siad you call England home but I noticed you use American spelling!
Posted on: Jan 23, 2009
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Mark, at the train station at Gatw…
Mark, at the train station at Gat…
Mark is programming his GPS for ou…
Mark is programming his GPS for o…
Our B&B, Newhaven Lodge.
Our B&B, Newhaven Lodge.
Brighton pier
Brighton pier
Striking a pose.
Striking a pose.
....while Mark does the same.
....while Mark does the same.
The city of Brighton taken from th…
The city of Brighton taken from t…
Entering the ferry on our way to D…
Entering the ferry on our way to …
The white cliffs of Newhaven
The "white cliffs of Newhaven"
A view as we slowly move out of po…
A view as we slowly move out of p…
Sunrise on the English Channel.
Sunrise on the English Channel.
The same chalk that you find on th…
The same chalk that you find on t…
Something for all your lighthouse …
Something for all your lighthouse…
Another view of our postage stamp …
Another view of our postage stamp…
photo by: ulysses