The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 3, Southampton to Hadrian’s Wall

Sunday, May 3 - Day 89 - Southampton to Hadrian’s Wall

Neither of us slept well. The night before a travel day always effects us this way as we are way too much into figuring the logistics of what is to come on the morrow and some of us worry about the what ifs! Also, Carolyn’s feet and knees are really bothering her.

Dick wakes a little after 5:00AM and there is some light showing around the curtains. Outside it is very foggy and still raining but the Queen Mary is past the Solent and heading up toward our berth. We are due to dock by 6:30. In addition to Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will be docking in Southampton today also. Dick dresses and goes up to the observation deck on 11 forward. There are already some people here and it is raining. Behind the Queen Mary he can see the Queen Elizabeth but Queen Victoria is ahead and almost lost in the fog and rain

Carolyn was up off and on during the night and sometimes the fog had lifted enough she could see the Queen Victoria sailing beside us and later she was pulling ahead of us.

We dock and are tied up on time and we go to breakfast a little after 7AM. We have to be out of our room by 8:30. Dick is not feeling well in the digestive department so all he has is some oatmeal and a fruit smoothie. Carolyn has her standard two eggs, etc.

The ship does "silent disembarkation" which means you can only hear your number called if you are in your disembarkation station. We are not going there it is at the other end of the ship from our room and the gangway! By 8:30 we should have been called so we load up and head for the gangway. Indeed, we have been called so off we go. We pick up our blue duffel bag and kiss our two hard-sided bags goodbye. They are all by themselves in the blue tag area, we hope to see them on the ship on the 27th. We have paid $65 each to store them for us while we are in the UK.

We have been concerned about getting a taxi due to there being five ships in port today one of which is a huge Royal Caribbean ship and with the three Queens that is roughly 10,000 passengers and seeking transportation of some sort! Amazingly, there is no line and we have no trouble and are soon loaded up. We are also concerned since the car rental place does not open until 10AM on Sundays and it has been raining all morning. We take a chance and tell the taxi driver to go there first and see what the situation is. Sure enough they are up and running at shortly after 9AM. Yea!!! We get our car, a Volvo, load up and are on the road by 9:40 heading to the Scottish border 350 miles away. This might be a rough drive during the week but today it is easy and we cruise along various M and A highways as directed by the GPS though the springtime English country side. The maximum speed limit is 70mph but to run with the big dogs in the fast lane you have to drive 80 plus. We do!

About 11:30 we pull into a service bay and get a Subway sandwich which goes down quite well after our light breakfasts. The car is getting 56mpg so we are good all the way to our destination. Why can’t American cars to that. This one is a diesel.

As we approach the Scottish border we get into some light rain. The Southampton rain left us soon after we left there but the pavement has been wet most of the way; just nothing falling. The Dales, as this area is known, are very pretty, even in the light rain and the rain stops as we drop to a lower altitude.

We arrive at Bush Nook B&B about 4:30PM and are met by Malcolm, the owner, who shows us to our small but adequate room with a view out over the countryside and gives us some directions to the nearest section of Hadrian’s Wall and suggestions on places to eat.
We head back out and go to Birdsowald Roman Fort to look at the longest continuous stretch of the wall and look at the layout of this 3rd Century AD fort. It is quite interesting and the weather cooperates so we get some good pictures.

Our host recommended a local hotel and spa that does a nice carvery and we head there. It does not start serving until 6PM but we are only a few minutes early and we sit down in the bar with a glass of refreshment to wait in front of the fire which the bar tender stokes up for us. The food is set and we are first through the line about 6:10PM. The meats are beef, lamb and pork and they are all very well prepared. There are various sides and the whole meal is quite good. We could go back for seconds if we want to but it would be too much and we are both very tired.

Back at Bush Nook, we get comfortable and work on this blog and read until it is a little more toward sunset. But, by 9PM, even though it is still light out, we are both settled in for a good night’s sleep. The last thing we see is a full moon rising through a broken cloud cover.

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