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Back in Blighty November 7, 2006

Posted by Amanda in Travel Diary.
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We left the Netherlands on Friday morning and flew to Bournemouth. After three months in continental Europe it took a while for our brains to register that people understood us without us having to check if they spoke English. 

It was amazing to notice the differences between the Netherlands and the UK. Whereas everything in Holland was newish and quite contemporary in design, England seems so quaint. Most buildings are old and those that are new are often made to look old.

Unfortunately we also noticed in Bournemouth how much poorer the people seemed to be than any we saw in the Netherlands. It soon struck home that we couldn’t remember seeing any homeless people in Holland at all.

From Bournemouth, we made our way to the Isle of Wight where we met up with some cousins of my Mum on her father’s side. Clive and Pauline made us feel incredibly welcome and took us on tour of the entire island.

The Isle of Wight is extremely picturesque with chalk cliffs, rolling hills and some lovely beaches. Chris was wishing he could have ridden his bike around some of the hills. The villages were full of old pubs and thatched houses and the countryside had some huge estates with the requisite grand house. There is even at least one castle. It was really like a tour of the best parts of England all on one island.

On Saturday night, we went to the Royal Hotel for dinner which was very special.

The only regret I had was that there were so many charity stores to explore but neither the time, the money or the bag space to even look.

On Sunday afternoon we caught the train to Oxford where we were stuck opposite the worst examples of spoiled British young ‘posh gels’ on their way home from a weekend of visiting Mummy and Daddy where they clomped around in their wellies and rode their ponies. We know this for sure because this and every aspect of their lives was discussed at full volume in their plummy accents as they tossed their blonde locks around.

While we were on the train, we also saw the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen. The clouds were deep red, orange, purple and pink at different times and the colours took over the whole sky. Unfortunately my camera was inacessible which was torture! I so wanted to capture it and was hoping there might be another one tonight but the weather today is completely foggy and it was dark by 4.30.

We were met at the station by Fil and El and after dinner, we celebrated bonfire night with some rockets by the Isis. It was smashing!

Today we wandered around Oxford and on Wednesday we head to Cambridge for the day and then to London.

Thanks Clive, Pauline and Claire! We had a great time.

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