Sunday, October 2, 2016

Calne, AirBnB and Ghosts

We stayed in Calne, a bustling market town not far from Bristol, for our second night and our first AirBnB experience.

I selected this b&b mainly for its proximity to Avebury and for being on the route we planned to take north to visit family. It was a perfect choice for us. Susan, our host, has a beautiful home right on the main route. It was noisier than we're used to but so convenient. And just down the street was the White Hart pub, perfect for one of our goals, meeting and talking to locals along our way.

We had a great time at the pub. We got into conversation with a younger local couple, and by odd coincidence discovered that the man's father was actually from West Virginia. This small world. It was such fun, and I am sorry that I did not get their contact information as I would like to have stayed in touch. They told us about a ghost in this 16th century inn, a young girl in Victorian dress who shows up unexpectedly in photos. I am sorry to say I took no photos inside the inn as by then my phone battery was dead and I did not have my camera with me. There have been a lot of strange happenings in this inn, and its long history includes suicides, murders, and possibly exorcisms. Part of the inn is built on a foundation of stones from Avebury.

There have been several ghost-hunting/paranormal investigators who have visited here and written accounts of their experiences. Another local tale involves a young boy,  nine-year-old William Granville Petty who was reportedly seen by Dr Alsop of Calne in January 1778. Before his death, the boy foresaw his funeral in a dream. He described the dream to Joseph Priestley, who was the Bowood librarian at the time (and later discovered oxygen--librarians do rock!).

Our host's home was well-decorated and so comfortable. We enjoyed breakfast with Susan, talking about her interesting life and travels and American politics, a topic that followed us everywhere in England. They're paying attention over there! Susan's garden was like a little jewel.

This little fireplace stove was in our room. How cute is that? We saw these all over England, inserted into fireplaces that probably once burned coal.

This first excellent AirBnB experience was a relief. We wondered how it would be. Hosts for AirBnB are usually just people with extra space to rent out for a little income. For Susan, it's a way to meet interesting people. At $55 for the night (which included a fairly large continental breakfast), it was a real bargain. It's becoming extremely popular and bringing some economic impact to communities that might otherwise never have tourists visiting. We loved this first night and looked forward to the rest of our stays during our travels.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

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