It’s taken me quite a bit of time, but after feeling settled back into my routine and stuff, I’m finally getting around to making a post for each of the places I traveled once the program with ASE finished.
My boyfriend, Henry, arrived on the day that we had to move out of our houses and we went to our airbnb in Bristol. I’ve been to Bristol a couple times, but never to the part we were staying in, which didn’t seem to be the best neighborhood. We also never actually met our airbnb hosts, which was a little odd, but our room worked out fine.
The next day, which was the last full day I had in England, we went back to Bath in the morning to go on a tour with an ASE staff member who also is one of the Mayor’s Tour Guides. I learned a lot about Bath that I didn’t already know, and went over a couple of things that I did, but overall, it was fun, and I was glad to get the opportunity to have one last little ASE connection before leaving. After lunch in Bath, we took a bus to Wells, called the smallest town in England. Henry wanted to go to Wells because it was used as the primary filming location for the movie Hot Fuzz. It did seem pretty small, but it was very cute, and we had started watching the movie the night before, and finished it that night, so it was cool to be able to recognize places and say we’d been there. The main attraction in Wells, similar to many English towns, is the cathedral (see photo below). What is currently standing was started around 1180, so it’s all very old, and you could kind of see the places where they haven’t been able to clean and such. They also had a map of when different part of the cathedral were built, which was cool.
We began our journey to the airport the next day, which turned out to be more difficult than initially thought. I had bought us both train tickets from the station in Bristol to Gatwick Airport, where we were flying out of, and there were a few connections along the way. When we got to the station in Bristol, the train we were supposed to take had been delayed, but there was another that went to the place we were going that left about 3 minutes later, so we got on that one. On that train, we stopped on the tracks and sat there for a good few minutes, all the while Henry and I were watching the time to make our connecting train tick down, and by the time we arrived at the station, we had the pleasure of watching the train we were supposed to take pull away from the station, with no evident trains going where we were going for the next few hours (we got on a train that left 4 hours before our flight, supposed to get to the airport 2 hours before our flight).
At this point, I started getting really stressed and anxious because I didn’t want to have wasted money on our flight and we had no where to stay and now no certain way to get to the airport. This started a frantic search of looking at various other options of trains, buses, and ubers to try and get us to the airport. About half an hour later, we were able to get on a train that stopped where we were supposed to have our next connection and while on that train, I was able to figure out a different series of connections that would get us to the airport before our flight. This was one of the multiple times that I was very thankful to have Henry with me because I have a bit of a tendency to get very stressed when things don’t go according to plan, but he is very present and brings things into perspective for me, which is incredibly helpful. After a series of trains, we finally made it to the airport, and because of how a lot of UK airports run, our gate wasn’t even up (they usually put it up when they want you to start boarding, so 20-40 minutes before the flight) and we were able to get dinner before our flight. This began a series of unlucky incidents when we were traveling, but regardless, we were on our way to Venice.