LOCATION: Ramada Inn in Telford, England
WEATHER: Beautiful fall weather. Sunny. High 64
Our hotel last night in Shrewsbury included free breakfast. On George’s England “must-do” list is to eat a full, proper English breakfast. So, that is what he ordered…
In included: back bacon, sausages, black pudding, poached egg, herbed potatoes, homemade baked beans, toasted homemade focaccia, confit tomatoes, and mushrooms. A lot of food!
I ordered the ratatouille with a fried egg on top. I must say that I have never eaten ratatouille for breafast before, but it was good – lots of zucchini (corgette) and eggplant (aubergine) in a thick tomato sauce with homemade bread on the side.
While we were eating, we watched the delivery man bring 7 big beer kegs that he had to lug down to the basement. A lot of work for beer!
Once again, we are happy that we travel light. It was quite an ordeal climbing up and down these steps in our hotel.
We took the bus to Telford, about a 30-minute ride. The reason we went to Telford is to get our Covid test for our upcoming cruise. A pharmacy here was the only place where we could get an appointment today.
Telford is an unusual city, all new from the 1990s. Everything is well-planned to include wide roads, nice bikepaths and walkways, all new shopping centers, and all new houses/apartments.
Once we dropped off our luggage at the motel, we started the 3.5 mile walk to the suburb where the pharmacy is located. It was a perfect day for a walk, and we needed to walk off those big breafasts! Unlike the USA, there was a nice paved sidewalk all the way, including a long pedestrian walking path over a 6-lane highway.
Part of the walk was through a city park, and then through lots of suburbs, including this one that George liked…
We got our tests and were expecting the magic piece of paper saying that we tested negative. To our complete surprise, we tested positive for Covid! We have no symptoms, so it was a real shock! So, no cruise for us tomorrow!!!
We went back to the hotel, somewhat in a daze. I spent about 2 hours searching for flights back – with all kinds of possibilities – flying out of Birmingham, Manchester, or London, and arriving in McAllen or even Austin, Texas (to include a 5-hour drive). Everything was very expensive with horrible layovers through JFK. What to do?
Meanwhile, I contacted VacationsToGo (the discount website we use for cruises) to notify them. Much to my surprise, the agent said we would get a full refund!
While I was on that site, I happened to look to see if there are any other upcoming Transatlantic cruises coming up. We found another one in about a week that we will take. About half of what the airfare would have been. By then, we should be testing negative. In the meanwhile, we will find somewhere to hunker down and take it easy.
DINNER: Not too hungry, we just ate at the Ramada bar. George had a slice of liver pate’ and I had a salad. Not too exciting.