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Janet’s Travel Diary

Monday, 16 Jul 2007

MapFirstly - happy birthday Honey! Hope you had a WONDERFUL party...wish I could have been there. But I thought of you and my pressie is in the mail (really!). I cant wait for you to join me in Mexico or Peru later this year, so I hope you were given lots of cash! Or Spanish lessons!

Em, happy birthday too - I hope you had a great day and that little Harriet was a good girl for you. Sent you a card from Turkey, hope its arrived.

On Saturday I went to Winchester, the ancient Saxon capital. It was stunningly beautiful, and literally awash with history. I downloaded the instructions for a 16km walk around the place from the internet (way-hey, super-geek tendencies have emerged!). It was actually excellent, because it listed all the things to see, whilst giving very clear directions (ie 'in 5 metres turn left at the decrepit iron bridge'). Despite this I still managed to make a few wrong turns...clearly, following instructions is not my strong point.

So, I visited the Great Hall (built in 1222-1235) and was thrilled to see King Arthur's Round Table. Hazy memories of 1st year uni literature came back when I saw the names of Sir Galahad & Lancelot, Gawain et al. Being a monumentally slack student back then (in fact I actually never went to class, preferring to watch Bold & the Beautiful), I had to be reminded of what these fellas did. Thank god for tourist brochures.

Visited the Cathedral, then set off on the walk outside of town. It seemed that every turn produced a verdant new vista - fields, cobbled lanes, the Plague Pit Valley, stiles, mills, the river, kissing gates etc. Just amazing. Although I could have thoroughly done without the introduction to stinging nettles at one point. Suppose it serves me right for trying to take a picture of someone's private house (a converted mill). I followed the river Itchen for quite some time, and I truly felt like I should have been looking out for Toad and Ratty from Wind in the Willows.

Also, I loved the conversations I had with random people. Here they seemed much more friendly (or perhaps just had more time to talk) than their London counterparts. Or was it me? Perhaps I am becoming more friendly? Spent about 20 minutes gabbing with a lady who had been to Barwon Heads (my home), which was great. It is true that travel connects people in so many ways...from actually doing it, to dreaming or reminiscing about it. I love it!

Anyway, finished off the walk by looking around Winchester College (very posh private school) followed by a productive visit to Montezumas Chocolate shop.

I saw this quote on a hoarding at Selfridges the other day, and I loved it, so will share it:

'Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. Its more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories' - Ray Bradbury