Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hike to Cirencester - Day 5

Friday, September 16, 2016
It was pouring down rain when we left Mickelton this morning, so we all loaded up with rain gear. However, when we arrived an hour later in the Duntisbourne Valley, the sky had cleared and it was quite pleasant. 
This morning we did a 6-mile hike through this valley,
passing through gently rolling pastures interrupted by the occasional cottage or small village.
We passed through Winstone, Duntisbourne Abbots, Daglingworth and several others.
We stopped at two little churches- one in the Norman style and this one in the Saxon style, both over 1,000 years old.
Another beautiful country church was in Daglingham.
We had several places where we had to climb over fences, some more challenging than others.
Along the way we encountered a Cotswold sheep, with his curved horns.
Some parts of the trail reminded me of ones I did on the Camino - long farm roads that seem to disappear into the landscape.

About 1 pm we entered the former Bathurst Estate which is now a city park outside of Cirencester.
It makes an impressive way to enter the city with the church steeple in the background.
We stopped at St. John the Baptist Church, the second largest of the Cotswold "wool" churches.
We were free for lunch so 4 of us (including Sally and Dee) headed down the street to an adorable cafe "The Golden Cross."
We all got the day's special - roast beef and fries, but the real treat was a Pimm's Cup.
This is a traditional English drink from 1823 made of Pimm's liqueur (gin based) and lemon soda mixed with slices of lemon, lime, orange, apple, cucumber and strawberries and finished off with a sprig of mint.
It was very delicious and refreshing. We'll be having more of those.
We loved watching the young girl at the counter make them.
Afterwards we toured the Corinium Museum.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Cirencester was the ancient Roman city by this name and the second largest city in the British Isles. It is said if you scratch the ground here, you will find Rome. 
The museum had nice exhibits of Roman life, from intricate mosaic tiled floors to finely detailed jewelry and various tools.
It also included exhibits on the Anglo-Saxons and the Middle Ages.
Afterwards we boarded the bus for an hour plus bus ride back to the hotel. Dinner was another lovely 3 course meal and off to bed.

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