After 6 days of being pampered and spoiled we exited the QM2 with a touch of sadness. We had really gotten our days on board down to a science: breakfast in bed, DDay lectures by an onboard historian, lunch (in various locales), the amazing Planetarium shows, afternoon activities, then dressing up for another elegant meal. The last day Lisa entered the talent show and initiated the ship into the world of hula dancing. Irie made a last minute decision to do her dance as well, and they were both a big hit. Irie and an 11 year-old from South Africa became very close so Irie often wanted to go to Kid Zone which allowed Lisa and I to have some nice alone time in the afternoons or evenings. Dancing with my beautiful wife was a treat even if I am a lousy dancer. We made an impromptu commitment to take another voyage on the QM2 alone in about 10 years.
Getting processed and disembarking was smooth, and the next thing we knew we were at our hotel in Southampton, England. Moving about is a huge pain with our year’s worth of luggage, thus every hotel room, small to begin with, feels even smaller. We only had one day in England so we immediately set out on a tour. The first step was getting the rental car and overcoming my anxiousness of driving on the left. Lisa made some hilarious video of us as we headed out of town; not only making sure I stayed on the correct side of the road, but figuring out exactly where we were going. We made it to the medieval city of Salisbury safe and sound where we had a beer and a monster plate of fish and chips, then it was onward to our goal: Stonehenge.
Got a bit lost trying to get out of Salisbury, but eventually found our way. Out in the country, we turn a corner, and suddenly there it is. I’ve seen pictures of Stonehenge all my life, but there it is, for real, on a hill, surrounded by people. It cost about $33 admission for the three of us, which included a headset telling about it’s history, possible uses, and how it potentially got built. Lots of theories, but no one really knows for sure, and most people don’t realize that there are numerous “henges” around the Brittany region of France that for some reason haven’t become as famous. Still, despite the crowds and the fact that we couldn’t get up close, it was a very cool place that I enjoyed seeing in person.
We headed back into Salisbury and toured the 750 year old cathedral. This was Irie’s first experience in a typical huge old European church with towering painted ceilings, large detailed stained glass windows, burial crypts, and massive organ pipes. There was even a choir singing. Salisbury was a good introduction into the differences between the U.S and Europe with regard to size, architecture, and age.
Pictures from the day at: England pics