Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mickelton, England - Day 2

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Although my flight arrived at 8:30, it took over an hour to get through customs and to connect with Road Scholar. At first I was worried because I didn't see any other people with the requisite name tag or someone with a sign looking for me. Finally, I connected with an East Indian man in a suit who identified himself as my "driver." He chauffeured me by myself in a luxury sedan the 90 miles from Heathrow to Mickelton. Pretty classy for RS.
I arrived around noon at Three Ways House Hotel
and Sydney was outside to greet me - what a treat. We set up our room -- cozy and adequate for 2 -- and headed to the hotel bar for lunch. 
Afterwards we decided to go for a walk to Hidcote Gardens.  We got a map and instructions from the front desk, but they seemed a little vague. We headed out and quickly came upon a "footpath" which led across a field of sheep.
We thought "this can't be right" so we backtracked to the village for more info. A local shopkeeper assured us we were on the right path and the sheep meant us no harm, so we ventured out again.  This time another RS participant joined us and we crossed the field and continued walking on a narrow country road. Then we came upon Kiftsgate Court, another old manor home and garden that was closed today. But we could see the lovely exterior of the house and late blooming flowers. 

Down another road we finally came to Hidcote, a much larger manor estate. By now we didn't have time to visit the gardens, but we did get to see the outside of the house.

We returned to the hotel the same way and was treated to this view of the village of Mickleton, with its population of 1676.
I think we will see a lot of these in the days to come.
At 5 we had our group meeting with 22 other intrepid travelers. One couple confessed to going on 51 Road Scholar trips -- 12 just in the last year (one a month). 
A 3-course dinner was served at the hotel and was surprisingly gourmet. Sydney and I said we can't eat like this every night but this was a good beginning to the trip.

1 comment:

  1. we had the same experience with a Road Scholar program last year -- we thought there would be a van or something to meet us at Heathrow but it was one guy in a nice car! I guess they have decided that it's worth it to treat participants like royalty.

    Compared to a Road Scholar I did in Japan: a dozen of us sat at Narita Airport in Tokyo for four hours -- after 14 hours in the air -- until the last person arrived from a delayed flight, too tired to even move (except when we started thinking about how hungry we were). I think this is definitely the way to go! Glad you got there in one piece!!