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2009 TRIP TO ENGLAND, by Colin L. Miller

Intro May 28 May 29 May 30 May 31 June 01 June 02 June 03 June 04 June 05 June 06 June 07 June 08 June 09 June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 Expense Report

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I got up at 7:00. At 8:00 AM, I went downstairs to the restaurant with my netbook. I did a buffet breakfast, with cereal, fruit, juice, toast, and coffee. While there, I checked email. Then I returned to my room to prep for departure, including recharging the netbook. I would later recharge the street navigator GPS with the car cigarette lighter power connection. Since it was drizzling, I return my stuff to the car in stages: first the large carry-on, and then the rest.

At 10:20 AM, I departed the long-term car park with a few hours left on the permit. It was very crowded due to the nearby street market, but I eventually got out of the parking space and onto the road. The GPS guided me all the way to Swindon, to the east and north of Bath. Two and a half hours later I arrived at the De Vere Venues Shaw Ridge hotel in Swindon, 83.6 miles from Dorchester, according to the trip mileage counter. Along the way I lost count of how many traffic circles I had to steer through. The GPS kept guiding me, for example, .7 miles to traffic circle, 2nd exit, then .4 miles to traffic circle, 2nd exit, then 2 miles to traffic circle, first exit, etc. Fortunately, there were nice stretches of highway where I could go 20 miles before turning onto a different road.

Swindon was not a tourist destination. It was a modern city, and the hotel was equally modern, used primarily for conventions. I chose it mostly for its proximity to the Wiltshire Records Center in the nearby town of Chippenham, and Bath where I'd have to return the car by 10 AM on Friday. Swindon was also about 12 miles north of Avebury, the site of an ancient large circle of stones, much like Stonehenge.

After checking in and getting a keycard, I unloaded my baggage in the room, connected the netbook to their Internet interface device with a CAT-5 cable. Then, I set the GPS for Avebury and hit the road again. After a wrong turn or two, I arrived at the Avebury car park at 1:30 PM (21.7 miles including wrong turns and re-routing). At the parking permit machine, I put in £5 of coins for the rest of the day, then I got a guide book and I hit the walking trail. At the end of the trail I toured the Keilor museum which featured the archaeology of Avebury and its history. At the gift shop I got more postcards.

I arrived back at the hotel at 4:45 PM, this time only taking 12.4 miles and 27 minutes. At the room, I got on the Internet. Apparently the service routes through Germany as I kept getting automatically redirected to the German language version of websites, for example Google.de instead of Google.com. After a brief nap, I cleaned up and did a laundry in the bathtub. I dried the clothes on the bathroom's heated towel bar under the sink, and then I went outside for a walk around the business complex. Nearby was a theater showing the new "Terminator" movie, a Chinese buffet restaurant, and a Pizza Hut. Across the street was a large community activities center with library, tennis courts and bus station. I stopped at the Pizza Hut and got a personal pan pizza and a fruit juice-wine cooler drink. Then I went through the drizzle to the theater for "Terminator Salvation" (£7.40). The theater was nice and roomy, with wide spacing between rows of seats and a high ceiling. Nothing showed on screen during the wait, just the soundtrack to the current movie. Then the previews and ads started, about 20 minutes' worth. Iím sure the locals knew to arrive about 15 minutes after the posted show time to avoid this nuisance. I was then back in bed at 11:30 PM. Tomorrow I would drive to Chippenham to do more family history research.


Avebury Stone Circles and Museum


Intro May 28 May 29 May 30 May 31 June 01 June 02 June 03 June 04 June 05 June 06 June 07 June 08 June 09 June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13 Expense Report