Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 06:54:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bethany
Subject: London part deux

hello again, everyone...

i'm amazed by my frequency of emailing from here, but internet access is actually really easy to find. they even have little booths in train stations where you can make phone calls and check your email from.

anyway. it's raining here and kind of windy. i'm freezing in this internet cafe (i think i'm right below an air conditioning vent). crossing the street to get here i almost got hit by a truck. i'm still not used to the whole opposite side of the street thing, fortunately there's directions printed on the pavement at the beginning of each crosswork - either "look left" or "look right". thank god for that, i otherwise i would've been a pancake by now.

yesterday was an insane day. we spent much of it on a bus, which was fine, because the bus was amazing. it was a charter just for us, and it had little tables with seats (like a dining car in a train), a little lamp at each, and (get this) a bar in the back of the bus, which we couldn't use, unfortunately.

the first stop was the town of Bath, which was small and beautiful. it's known for the hot spring baths that the ancient Romans built. We went on a tour there, which was kind of lame and touristy, but the baths were lovely, as well as the architecture of the nearby Bath Abbey. we only had two hours there, which was barely enough time to do anything except the tour and stopping at a supermarket to get some lunch.

next stop was Avebury, which is another (less well known) group of standing stones, about an hour away from Stonehenge. They are much more spread out than Stonehenge, and we walked all along these paths to see all of them. There were sheep and cows grazing all around the stones. the soil at Avebury is almost pure white, because there's so much chalk in it (i picked some up so i can do some drawings later on).

there's also a series of horses on various hillsides, supposedly drawn by ancient peoples. the grass was trimmed back to expose the white chalk ground. These drawings (there's about four or five of them in these area) are huge and you can see them for quite a distance. the locals have to maintain the trimming, otherwise the grass would just grow right over them.

the only disadvantage of Avebury was i ended up walking in a lot of sheep shit. it got all over my jeans.

next stop was Stonehenge. it actually closes at 7, but we were allowed after hours access because Nick had some sort of deal with them for the last 15 years or so. most people are only allowed to walk around it, but we were allowed past the ropes, allowed to touch them and photograph them and everything. it was amazing. the sun was setting , and it was beautiful.

i've been taking pictures like mad, using up about a disc a day (i just got a new digital camera that burns directly to cds). i think i'm going to run out, and i ducked into a store today and bought a couple more - for a pack of three CD-RWs it was 24.99 - ouch. this was insane considering i got a pack of 5 for $12.95. i knew i should've picked more up.

anyway, today was the British Museum. we got there around 10, and i left around 1:30. it just wasn't that interesting to me. i mean, the Rosetta Stone, la de da de da, but that wasn't that great. so i set off on my own (there were things I wanted to do that no one else wanted to, so i just decided to go by myself), rode the Tube for awhile, gave someone incorrect directions, and ended up here at the internet cafe near Victoria station, which is the closest train station to our hotel. I have a couple places i want to go yet today, but i think i am going to go back to the hotel to get my raincoat, and then attempt to find a bookbinding supply place Ann told me about.

tonight - not sure what i'm doing yet. maybe just a nice meal or something. Saturday's our free day, and it's going to be a shopping day, going to this big flea market called Portabello Market. Sunday we leave for Scotland.

i can't believe it's only Friday, it feels like I've been here forever.

i'll write soon. not sure about the internet access once i'm in Arbroath, but i'll try to send something as frequently as i can. and of course, postcards are coming.

love to all,

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