12-13 Aug-1985 Paris -> Salisbury
Parked and went to train station to lock bags & to find out that in order to make reservations for the ferry we had to find the channel ferry office. The T.S. gave us the wrong address which sent us somewhere else which sent us somewhere else. Meanwhile F gets sicker and the day gets older. Ate lunch at overpriced cafe/restaurant and resumed search. At 4:30 we were able to see Rodin Museum (something I wouldn’t miss). From there back to train station for 7:30 train to ferry port. Arrived at Le Harve at 9:45, met up with extremely stupid girl with whom we shared a taxi. Frank’s backpack made a scratch in the cab so the driver, being very P.O.-ed took us squeally around every corner to the ferry port. Upon boarding the boat we were ushered to the front section called the Panoramic lounge. It was cold outside already, but the air-conditioner was on which put the cabin in sub-zero. Because of this disgraceful condition F & I spent most of our time drinking tea & cocoa upstairs in the cafe, which was also cold. It was almost warmer out on deck. As we pulled out of port we could see the milky way very clearly, plus a shooting star (F’s first). We ate dinner & breakfast on board & arrived at Portsmouth at 7:30 or so. From there we tried to figure out which bus to take to the right train station (one that would validate our passes). Then finally took a cab (to the wrong station) and then another cab (to the right station). From there we found a train that went to Salisbury (had to wait about an hour). Arrived at Salisbury at about 9:45. I called ahead to the 2 places in Frommers and got cut off from the first, so I called the second with whom we stayed. Took a cab to Guesthouse. It was the nicest place yet. F slept while I looked for phone (to call 1st guesthouse back) and somewhere to exchange money. Found Post Office (the best I’ve ever seen). Looked up Devon Air’s # and Dave’s in Sidbury. Came back home & slept ’till 3:00. F & I walked around to find a restaurant. Ate at indian restaurant because it was the only place open for dinner before 7. Afterwards (about 7:00) F went home while I walked around. Made way to Salisbury cathedral which was still open. I enjoyed this church more than any other because I could read the information and graves. Contains the oldest working clock in Europe, and the oldest altogether in England. Build in 1203 – 38 it had tombs of crusaders & members of King Richard’s and John’s court. After that I walked around surrounding park and sat by stream. I then realized that F had the only key to the house including the front door so I figured I had to make it home before dark. Luckily, when I arrived some other people were going in so I didn’t have to knock or anything. Best bed I had slept on in the world.
I couldn’t contain the superlatives once in England — best bed in the world! best church! best post office! And just wait until I report on breakfast the next day…
Getting out of France was such an ordeal. That cab driver’s snarled, “merci beaucoup” after seeing the scratch on his trunk still haunts the memory of that dark cold night. And that ferry ride was so dismal and frigid. I remember being reprimanded by some oh so very important ferry officer for walking on the wrong side of the poop deck or gangplank or whatever. Geesh.
Once we were in England I feel I started actually earning my keep by handling some of the logistics for us. I enjoyed calling different places and making arrangements. Although it’s pretty funny that I was still afraid I’d have to knock on the door of our guesthouse to get in at night! The town of Salisbury was so cool and I can vividly remember that cathedral, and the clock, and the stream. Just having time to casually walk around and think was a relief, something I’d missed so much from the month in Salzburg. I’d never been to England before, but it felt like I was returning. And I think it was more than just the language. It felt like coming home.