Friday, October 28, 2016

End of the Journey: Back to Bristol, and Home

And so our adventure in England and Wales came to an end. Somehow arriving at our last bnb seemed anticlimactic, like a recording spinning on the turntable after all of the songs were played. But like many recordings, there was a hidden song here.

Because this bnb in Long Ashton, was a complete surprise and total pleasure. After our early adventures in Bristol I was afraid of where this place might be. Would we be in the hubbub and nightmarish traffic of the city? Would it be so noisy we would not be able to sleep? How difficult was it going to be to get to the airport?

 Once again the SatNav took us unerringly straight to the address, and I could not believe my eyes. This last stop was at the end of a dead-end lane, directly across from a beautiful old church named, of all things, All Saints--the same name as the church I'd grown up in. And the house! It was half of a duplex, old stone with flowers in front. A perfect, perfect place to end our travels.

Our hostess greeted us at the door. As we went to our room she told us that the pub at the corner did not serve dinners on Sunday. Uh-oh. We were counting on that, and we were hungry after a full day of travel. We decided that we'd go on up anyway to have a drink, and then see if we needed food.

To get to the pub, we had to pass the farm. Yes, right in the middle of this suburban village was the farm, which I think may once have belonged to the church? Not sure about that.

This inn was aptly named: The Angel Inn.

It was a lovely place to stop, comfortable and friendly like all the locals we'd been in.

On the wall was a photo of the Beatles--yes, they'd visited the Angel Inn too!

They did not offer Larry's favorite (Guinness) but the beer was welcome to him after driving all day.

After I finished my wine I decided to walk back down the lane to look around the old church. It was a beautiful place, as so many churches in England are. I savored the quiet in this tucked-away corner, just minutes from downtown Bristol.

As I wandered the graveyard, piano music drifted from the church, I went quietly inside and saw a young black man at the piano, playing intently and unaware of my presence. So lovely.

When I came back outside I met up with my hubby, who said he was going to walk down to a local convenience store for some food. He'd been told it wasn't far. I went back to the house and told our hostess where he was going and she said, "Oh no. I will go get him and take him to the store!" And off she went. They were soon back, Larry bearing wine and bread and cheese and fruit. We sat in the kitchen and talked and laughed for a good while with our hostess before turning in for the night.

Traffic going into  Bristol, and we squeezed past them on the left!
In the morning we were off after a sound night's sleep and an early breakfast. The amazing SatNav once again saved the day, taking us down narrow, twisting lanes away from Bristol and its traffic and in about 15 minutes we were at the airport and turning in our little car.

I was so sad to leave England. It was a memorable trip, my mind filled with images and faces and voices. For weeks after we came home, I dreamed I was still there, and sometimes when I woke at night, I would think I was still there, sleeping in some small stone house somewhere on Bodmin Moor. Even now I have moments that I feel the place all around me.

One day I will go back. One day I will stay longer, go out to the cliffs at night to listen to the pounding sea, wander the moors at dawn to watch the fog rise from the valleys, and listen to the wind whistle around the ancient stones. One day. It is a promise I am making to myself.

So it's only goodbye for now, sweet England.

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

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