On the sixth day in London we packed everything up and hauled it off to Paddington Station in a single file line of wheely suitcases. Yes, the very same station that the story of Paddington Bear takes place. We were pretty excited to go visit the famous bear statue and rub a few thousand germs off his nose.
I was there too!
The girls were super excited to ride a train. It was a first for both of them. What’s funny is that we bought books from the bookstore by our apartment in London in anticipation of being bored on the long train ride from London to Wales. We didn’t get bored! I don’t think any of us cracked a book once. The same thing happened on our long flights. Between playing with phones and all the media they pack into the back of your seat, you really don’t need those journals, colored pencils, books, kindles or iPad that you packed in case of boredom. So we schlepped that stuff around for nothing.
The train ride was really nice. We had some sandwiches from the diner car and watched the pretty countryside go by. The further and further we got away the city of London the happier I felt. I love big cities but I think six days straight in one is enough.
When we got to our station in Cardiff, Wales we were immediately greeted by strange signs that we couldn’t understand. We had no idea that Welsh was it’s own language! I thought everyone was making fun of their thick accents when they told us about the funny letters in their words but no, it’s a language! It’s like bbbibty-bobbibty-ghnoklrbbest! As Bug says, they speak in cat-on-keyboard and there are consonants where consonants should not be. It was a hoot.
You know what was not a hoot? Driving on the wrong side of the road. Seriously. I cried real tears I was so terrified as Payam veered into oncoming traffic. My passenger seat in the front where the driver would usually sit was like a front row view of my own death. It took Payam a long time to figure out where the lines were on the road and not skim off a few layers of paint from the other cars. But I cannot fault him because he is an excellent driver and I probably would have just sat on the side of the road crying. I was way too afraid to even attempt it.
So yeah, we rented a car from the train station and drove it out of the city and onto the country roads towards our hotel in Raglan. Obviously, the city streets were very scary but the country roads were too because they are so narrow! Sometimes it felt like we were bumping along a six foot wide road with no room for oncoming traffic, not to mention the odd jogger or bicyclist along the side of the road! And there were plenty of them. Every time we saw someone along the side of the road I closed my eyes, held my breath and prayed that no one would die. It was terrifying.
But we made it!! You know what they say about loving what you suffer for. We were so happy to be done driving for the day I think we all felt like kissing the ground. We instantly fell in love with our little town and quaint little hotel. If it wasn’t so much trouble to get there I would put it top of my list of places I want to visit again. It was that cute and charming.
There was some mix-up with our rooms and we were worried they wouldn’t have room for us in the inn but they found us the cutest little two bedroom apartment upstairs. It was soooo cute! Look at those tea cups? That’s not your standard issue hotel ware.
After a quick cup of tea we headed downstairs to the restaurant inside the hotel and had the best dinner ever. It was so good! I could feel all the stress of London traffic, disappointment over not seeing everything I wanted to see and the new added stress of driving on the wrong side of the road just seep out of me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more relaxing, delicious dinner. The glass of wine and sunset view of a church that looked like a castle didn’t hurt. I could have stayed there all night except we were all incredibly tired and ready to get some sleep so we could be refreshed and ready for a wedding the next day!