Monday, July 31, 2017

Bristol to Edinburgh by Train

We rented a Mercdes sTationwagon in London then in 2011 and then after we saw the sights there like the Tower of London and other places there we drove to Avebury England to walk among the Standing stones that you can still walk among there with the sheep. It is a British national treasure. Then we drove on to Glastonbury where King Arthur and Guinevere are buried in the Glastonbury Abbey which before King Henry VIII drew and quartered the Abbot there and stole all the money from the abbey it had been the richest Abbey in Catholic England up to that time. But, then again Henry VIII was the end of Catholicism in England but not in Scotland or Ireland.

Before we got on the train I dropped of my family (wife, two daughters and one of their boyfriends at the Bristol STation and then a cabby drove me to the station from the Bristol Car Rental yard.

If you rent a car in England or Scotland remember they drive on the opposite side of the road as us. As an American driving on the opposite side of the road I didn't find to be much of a problem. But, Driving on the right side of the car with my rearview mirror to the left and a gear shift to the left on the floor I found more difficult to get used to. Also, I found it hard to judge the distance from things to my left also because that is unusual too. But, the strangest thing is how your engine shuts off whenever you are at a traffic signal. Then when you put your foot on the throttle again it starts up. I suppose this is to save fuel but it is very odd until you get used to it.

But, another realy diffuclt thing to get used to is "Constant Roundabouts" so as you are driving you really need someone sitting next to you with a smartphone with their GPS turned on to tell you where you are going. Because often roundabouts (which are everywhere now) have up to six exits onto various roads. So, if you don't know exactly where to get off while dodging other cars going clockwise on a roundabout you are sort of screwed and will have to run around a lot to actually wind up where you want to be going. Because of driving on the right side of the road in America roundabouts in the U.S. (there are very few of them) go counterclockwise instead of Clockwise in Britain.

Driving on the left side of the road came from walking along with your sword at your side so you could see if another fellow drew his sword to cut you so you could draw too and defend yourself whereas roundabouts were about wars and cannons. It allowed a horse drawn cannon not to stop because it is very difficult to start up again after stopping when horses are pulling cannons. They have to rear up often and sometimes this is too stressful for horses and they pull a muscle or have to be put down doing this too much. So, roundabouts in England are all about warfare and cannons and horses pulling them if you were wondering why there are so many of them?

So, anyway we went to Edinburgh by Train from Bristol which isn't too far away from Avebury or Glastonbury by the way. When we arrived in Edinburgh our hotel was within walking distance which you could do too. After we had visited Edinburgh Castle (very historic and likely my favorite castle to visit over there by the way) we eventually rented another Mercedes and drove north past Pitlochry (a favorite little hamlet by the way of mine) and went shopping there for things you might not find anywhere else much. Then we traveled North to Inverness and Findhorn and stayed with a Doctor and his wife and kids in Aberdeen we knew from my wife's travels to Australia years ago for about a week.

So, all in all it was a great trip for us traveling all over. Eventually, we drove our rental car back to Edinburgh, caught a flight to London and then home to San Francisco. This was October 2011.

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