Backpacking trip begins! Avebury and Bath

London Travel Blog

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Avebury

I've written my first two days in London in my other travelogue titled "London, August'05". This travelogue focuses on my backpacking and budget travel across the rest of England and Wales.

I got up at 6am. Not that I had a choice, the stupid sun came up by 5a and my room in the YHA was facing the east. Breakie was awful but had the pleasure of meeting some Canadian prof who was leaving for back home that day. I made my way to Haggis Adventures near Victoria Station and saw  lots of backpackers there. It was a very weird experience I must tell. Lots of young people, from all over the world. I could hear everything from a Canadian to an Ocker accent, Europeans, just about everyone. This place was the starting point for lots of tours and not just Haggis.

Lacock where "Pride and Prejudice" was shot
Our bus left prompt at 8am. Nice small bus, we were about 16 people. We got going, first time I was on road on London during this trip. Acquaintances got done quickly, everyone on the bus seemed Aussie. I felt weird... months and months of planning backpacking, and this was IT. Really IT!

I chose the last seat on the 16 seater bus, and we left London by 30 past 8am. Driving through London was a nice experience, although I can never imagine myself driving through those roads. 635 and I-35 for me baby! Sitting with me was Chris, cool transport engineer from Perth who was in the UK on a 2 year assignment. LOL, 3 weeks here and he already said he was hating it. We got to talk a lot, usual stuff - Dallas, Australia, lifestyle, and stuff.

Our first stop was Uffington White Horse. It was a long walk from the carpark through those hillocks, gates and finally to the horse.

Bath Cathedral
And it was all such a disappointment. Looked like a bunch of white lines drawn on a hill, mysterious my arse! Met Sarah, another charming Aussie who's a professional nanny and she was telling me about her adventures in Thailand, South Africa, Atlanta and Hong Kong.

Back on the bus and onwards to Avebury which was a charming little town. Those rocks as such were so-so, more tourists than sheep but it felt nice to walk around in the English countryside. We had lunch at a local pub and were on the bus again.... stopped midway in Lacock (a bit boring and overrated, can't believe 'Pride and Prejudice' was shot here) before reaching York late afternoon.

Bath Cathedral
Our hostel was the beautiful St.Christopher's Inn right in the heart of the city.

We made our way to the room and met up with our final busmate, a Brit named Russell. Everyone was wondering why a Brit would be doing a backpacking tour of England but he claims that he wanted to see his "backyard" first before seeing the rest of the world. He was also going to do an eight day tour of Scotland.

Anyways, the Ashes was going on so all the Aussies in the pack were obsessed with sitting in the pub downstairs and watching it. It was tempting I must admit, esp seeing as Aus was doing so well but I said f*** it, wanted to go see the sights. At times, the whole thing seemed so unreal, I was on a backpacking tour and these strangers would be my roommates for the next week. The first set of people I bonded well were a lovely family from Melbourne - Charles, his son Charlie Jr and daughter Fiona.

Roman baths, Bath
I also met another couple, well not couple but half brother and sister Phungh and Wang. We went for a walk together around town. First stop was the Cathedral which was magnificent for lack of a better word. The city was crowded, it obviously is a big tourist spot. From the Cathedral (outside only), I went to perhaps the biggest attraction of Bath - the Roman Baths.

It was very interesting seeing it. Truth be told, it didn't strike me as anything spectacular initially, but when you start attaching a datestamp to that, you realise how truly surprising the whole thing is. I took the audio tour of the place down to the basements where the actual Roman baths were. I got done with this by 6pm but the sun was still high in the sky, so I went for a walk alone, around the city.

Roman baths, Bath
Me and my good ol' iPod. Got back to the hostel and had fish'n'chips for dinner. Not too great, but just the atmo of Ashes and beer was enough to keep me going. Someone then suggested that we take the "Bizarre!" walking tour, and that it's really hilarious. So the entire group went, and it was FUN FUN FUN! The man who conducts it is a laugh riot. The tour lasted for about 90 minutes, it was a walking tour so we went across Bath.

After this, we all popped into a local pub for some drinks. We met this really crazy Aussie bird Sandra whom Russell was badly trying to date. Shame for him that she decided to hook up with someone else instead. Anyways got back to the hostel room with Anna and Darlene, 2 Canadians on the bus. The room was weird, it was an 12 bed dorm that fit in ... well all the guys in the group. Slept by 12 after checking email upstairs. My first day of backpacking.... I have to say, it's just oh-so-much different than I'd ever imagined!

HelenP says:
Well, you are braver than me.. I am a wimp without friends..
Posted on: Sep 28, 2012
Vikram says:
Very true. Although I've been to Bath on my own as well and enjoyed it equally.
Posted on: Sep 28, 2012
HelenP says:
You know what Vikram.. I think it was the great people that you were with that made this trip.. on your own going to these places would not have been so good. They sounded fun. You were lucky to get such a good bunch.
Helen P
Posted on: Sep 28, 2012
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Avebury
Avebury
Lacock where Pride and Prejudice…
Lacock where "Pride and Prejudice…
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Roman baths, Bath
Roman baths, Bath
Roman baths, Bath
Roman baths, Bath
Bath Cathedral
Bath Cathedral
Bath
Bath
Outside St.Christophers Inn in Ba…
Outside St.Christopher's Inn in B…
The Bizarre! tour
The "Bizarre!" tour
at a local pub afterwards. Chris, …
at a local pub afterwards. Chris,…
Heidi, Sandra and Russ
Heidi, Sandra and Russ
London
photo by: ulysses