LOCATION: Ibis Hotel, Southampton, England
WEATHER: Overcast with light rain. Sun peaked out a bit. High 63
We had non-refundable tickets from Telsford (place where we got Covid test) and Southampton (where we were supposed to pick up our cruise ship). Since we couldn’t get our money back, we decided to make the trip. We had to get up pretty early and it took about 6 hours. We will spend 2 nights here in Southampton getting ourselves sorted out.
Our train took us south from Shrewsbury into Wales. Everything is in Welsh and English. Peckish, George ordered a Welsh cake from the porter selling coffee and snacks on the train. They were quite dry, somewhat like a scone with raisins in them.
Not satisfied with the Welsh cakes, George bought a prawn and mayo sandwich at a coffee shop on a train platform where we transferred. We had watched a documentary about the evolution of sandwiches in England, and it had featured prawn and mayo sandwiches. George was curious. (just so-so).
We found our hotel, dropped off our luggage, and went in search of lunch and a place to hang out until we could check in. We found a nice pub and shared some chicken wings. The only hot sauce available (other than sweet ones) was a Carolina reaper pepper sauce. The English tastes are strange- generally they eat quite bland food, and then go all the way with one of the hottest peppers on earth. We killed some time there and returned to the hotel.
I spent several hours trying to figure out where to spend next week. We want to be: 1) somewhat near Southampton, the cruise ship port, 2) centrally located to make day trips, 3) be somewhere we haven’t been before, and 4) in a small-ish city. We finally landed on Bath. Then, I looked for an AirB&B. There weren’t many available but got one that we hope works well.
With the time zone differences, I called the VacationsToGo rep in the evening to provide our credit card for the next cruise.
It was a pretty fruitful day – getting next week’s accomodation arranged and the cruise booked. So with that, we were off for a celebratory dinner!
DINNER: George found an excellent Italian place. It was quite fancy with some people dressed to go to the theatre after or before their meal. It was a small place, very cozy, and packed. The chef came out and talked with guests, ensuring that everything was satisfactory – nice touch.
They kindly squeezed (literally) us in. We shared a small plate of mixed sausages and breads – a mixed grill….
and a plate of delicious papperdelle pasta in a creamy sauce with capers and smoked salmon. We had some tasty wines and enjoyed a very nice evening.
We continue to not have any Covid symptoms.
BOOK: “Evan’s Gate” by Rhys Bowen. Another very light series about a Northern Wales policeman. I like it because of the references to Wales. Interesting, in the section I read today, the policeman enjoyed Welsh cakes, describing them much differently from the ones George ate earlier today. 3 stars out of 5