Prowling my world, camera in hand

26 June 2008

Week 25: Alicante-Bath-Alicante

Filed under: — Administrator @ 22:53

Last week, I drove from Alicante to Bath on Saturday and Sunday to pick up my son from university and bring him back home for the summer vacation. We came back to Alicante Thursday evening. In-between, we spent a pleasant couple of days in Bath and driving around Wales. This sequence of pictures is the record of the trip, starting in Alicante Saturday, arriving in Bath Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday in Wales, and finally the drive back on Wednesday and Thursday.

Saturday, my first rest stop somewhere between Valencia and Zaragoza:

The alternates

Alternate 1
The next stop, somewhere in the Basque country:

Alternate 2
After driving about 1400 km on Saturday, I stopped for the night at a hotel in Rennes in northern France. The next day, Sunday, I drove the remaining 200 km to Cherbourg, from where I was going to take the ferry to England. On the way, I stopped in a small town for coffee. As always in France, there is a war memorial in front of the town hall:

Alternate 3
Finally, I am on the ferry, about to leave Cherbourg:

Alternate 4
There were some nice sights on the ferry:

Alternate 5
It was a fast ferry, with a strong wake:

Alternate 6
Approaching Poole on England’s south coast:

Alternate 7
A sailboat takes advantage of the ferry’s wake:

Alternate 8
Finally arrived in Bath, we went for a walk:

Alternate 9
Pigs are very popular in Bath right now:

Alternate 10
House rules of a bar with a Dutch name (although my son assures me that the bar has nothing to do with the Netherlands):

Alternate 11
The next day, we drove into Wales. I wanted to spend a couple of days there, my first visit to any part of the UK other than England. The first place where we stopped was Abergavenny. The shop windows looked very appetizing:

Alternate 12
A typical Welsh landscape:

Alternate 13
We then went on to Hay-on-Wye, a charming little town full of second-hand bookshops. A bit touristy perhaps, but very nice indeed. This man looks like he is waiting for his literary half to finish shopping:

Alternate 14
Most of the bookshops in Hay have this kind of old-fashioned look to them:

Alternate 15
However, modernity still intrudes:

Alternate 16
We drove through Brecon Beacons national park, a place where you have to share the road with the locals:

Alternate 17
We ended the day in Cardiff where we had booked a hotel for the night. We watched football in one bar and then moved on to another one for the news:

Alternate 18
The following day we walked around Cardiff, a surprisingly attractive city. As always when I am in the UK, bookshops were on the itinerary. I was surprised to see this particular section–surely the Welsh are not such gloomy people:

Alternate 19
The impact of the Polish immigration to the UK appears in unexpected places:

Alternate 20
We drove back to Bath, had dinner, and then I left my son to pack up his possessions so that we could start the drive to Alicante the next morning. We missed our ferry in Poole, so a quick drive to Portsmouth was on order to catch the ferry to Caen from there. In Portsmouth, we had time to do a bit of sightseeing as well:

Alternate 21
The wind was blowing hard, even the seagulls had trouble coping with it:

Alternate 22
Portsmouth is a major naval base:

Alternate 23
Finally on board the ferry and on the way back to the Continent:

Alternate 24
A mother takes her baby out to look at the sea and the setting sun:

Alternate 25
Sunset on the ferry:

Shortly after I took this picture, the Sweden-Russia game started, and the good people of the ferry company had set up a large screen in the bar. A few minutes after the game was over, the ferry landed in Caen, and during the rest of the trip I did not take a single picture–it was just about getting back to Alicante as quickly as possible so as to catch the football game in the evening of the following day (yes, we did stop for the night at an Etap hotel in Rennes).

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