Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wales in a Weekend - a slight detour on the way home, the Cotswolds!

Ice cream at Bourton-on-the-Water
For some reason, I thought it would make sense to go to the Cotswolds on the way back to Scotland!  This was quite a journey for us, but Alan never corrected me since we have not been to the Cotswolds for almost 27 years.  We think the last time we came through this beautiful part of the UK was when my Dad and stepmother were over when our daughter was 3 months old......!


And the old adage you can never go back also rang true.  Yes, this area is gorgeous and well worth a visit, but it certainly was not as nice as when we were last here.  Not only have the trees grown and spoiled some views, but there were also a massive amount of more tourists now.  Since we are all struggling financially and having austerity politics and all that, where do all these folks get the time and money to travel?  (oh, that includes me!)

moral of the story of this journey:
Never say no to ice cream again!


Lower Slaughter
Following decades old footsteps, our next stop was Upper and Lower Slaughter.   I did wonder why they were called Slaughter when they are associated with mills.  In the attached article it explains that in old English, a word similar to slaughter meant muddy place. And these two villages are mentioned in the Domesday Book!

We could only remember visiting Lower Slaughter clearly although I believe we probably did visit both.  Unfortunately we did not have real memories of these villages and really enjoyed visiting Lower Slaughter. But we seemed to have missed the main part of Upper Slaughter this time, which is claimed to be the more picturesque of the two villages.

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter, cottage with lavender on its porch
between mill and larger cottage!

We had a lovely walk along the stream that flows through Lower Slaughter and I purchased a little handmade bag of lavender that was in a basket at the cottage just across from the mill.  Who could resist that?

One of our last stops was supposed to be Broadway, but we were feeling the push of time so we more or less drove through.  But right before we arrived we past the cutest little gate house and across the street was a darling church.  So it wasn't a wasted journey!

Anyway we have always wanted to return to the Cotswolds and now we have. So we can take that off the bucket list and head off to places like
Cambridge or Kent next!

Alan made the fantastic decision to get past Birmingham so that we did not have to deal with that ridiculous amount of traffic on the way home. Wonderful idea, terrible hotel though. We booked the Ramada Inn in Cannock. Well, the hotel was fine but the food was the absolute worst meal either of us have ever experienced!  Alan even had to get ketchup to mask the taste of his charcoal flavoured rump steak.  Both of ours were supposed to be medium, but they were charcoal on the outside and raw on the inside.  Yes, we should have sent them back, but there was no way to salvage this meal and the waitress never returned to our table after we had already told her the potato wedges were not cooked completely.  (The frozen fries they replaced them with were not as good as the uncooked wedges!)  So we struggled through, taking off the layers of charcoal and eating what we could.  Readers should be familiar with the fact we travel fast and don't eat much, so this was a huge set back for us!  Eventually, the waitress became aware of our dilemma and did not charge us for the meal, but it was quite a traumatic experience!   When my nice, quiet, British husband wants to pursue and have a conversation with the manager about his disappointment in the meal, you know that it is a very valid complaint!

I like food. I like eating. And I don't want to deprive myself of good food.

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