We booked a last-minute getaway to The Cotswolds this past weekend. And oh.my.goodness. It is certainly a showpiece of England. I cannot believe the area is only two hours from London by car. Sometimes when you see the most magnificent things, don’t you feel like it should have been harder work to get there? Like the time Bryan lost oxygen, vomited and got food poisoning from his Peruvian sherpas on a hike to Machu Picchu. That’s what I’m talking about.
The Cotswolds is a region in southwest England, due west from London. Rolling limestone hills (‘wolds’ I think), pastoral countryside, 15th, 16th… every-century villages with houses all made from honey-colored stone- moneyed from the wool trade in medieval times, along winding roads, thatched roofs, windy rivers and streams, sheep, pubs, tea houses, horses, valleys, churches, castles and some euphoria thrown in for good measure since a million houses and buildings are covered with green and red-hued ivy and the sheer beauty of that makes me die a little from asphyxiation-by-joy.
The area is obviously famous for being so picturesque, and also outsiders see the villages and small cities as quintessentially English. It was ambitious for us to tour the region in two days, but someone’s gotta do it. Every time we took a turn into a new village, it was more breathtaking than the last. The awe I feel every time I see something new on this earth is my drug. Bryan is agreeing to fund my habit, god bless him.
I can’t name all the towns we drove and walked through but be assured they had names like Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, Bishop’s Cleave and were surrounded by many places like Gloucestershirechippinghamshirenottingshirehamshireham. And some of the roads are so out of the way, they don’t have names. So the guidebook will actually print things like, “turn left at the Daneway Pub, then right at the old electrical plant” or my favorite “turn left at the post office” which should have read “turn left at the post office that actually doesn’t look like a post office but rather a small store with a red post box that you will see after you have driven past and then reversed several times and the American driving left-handed stick shift will be frustrated.”
Oh and I almost forgot- Bryan finally drove on the left side of the road! He did great. He only clipped one person’s sideview mirror.