Monday, October 15, 2018

A Demon on the Way to Starbucks

We made it to Salisbury, where fall seems more advanced than in London, and temperatures seem considerably cooler. I didn't bring my jacket, which I may regret, but at least I have a good sweater.

We got here early yesterday afternoon after a smooth train ride and checked into our hotel, on the banks of the River Avon and a stone's throw from the famous Salisbury cathedral. We can see the cathedral's steeple towering above the trees, tall enough to require a red aircraft beacon on the top. We set out for a walk to find lunch.

We crossed the river and passed the cathedral, which we'll see in more detail today. I was amused by this gargoyle, with a lizard or demon or something chewing on his neck. He's saying, "Here's what happens when you don't go to church!"

We had lunch in this pub, ironically named considering it bills itself as a "charming 15th Century quality catering inn, beautifully restored." The comfy interior was full of dark beams and low ceilings, the perfect atmosphere for a chilly, damp afternoon. Olga lounged under our table and had a sausage of her own, which seemed to make her happy.

Afterwards we took a brief walk through the town and went to Starbucks, where there was a randomly capitalized sign on the counter: "We Have run out of Change. Card or Exact Cash Payments only. Sorry for the Inconvenience." The words were followed by a frowny face emoji. One would think if they made only a few cash transactions they would then have change, but maybe everyone pays by card these days. (I had a free drink through my health insurance, so I didn't pay anything at all!)

Walking back across the river, we admired the lush gardens on both banks. The river isn't a single stream here, but multiple smaller streams swirling around islands and through marshes.

Here we are back at our hotel, where we remained for the rest of the evening. We have a ground-floor room on a wide lawn where the dog can run. Dinner in the restaurant was a bit overpriced, and when I ordered a martini the waiter seemed skeptical. He rustled one up but it had lemon rinds and a black olive in it -- not garnishes I would have chosen, but maybe that's how they do things in Salisbury?

The hotel has carpeting that would make Jefferson Airplane proud. Here's the junction of two hallways and our bedroom. Psychedelic!


  1. Re the temperature seeming cooler than was quite warm here yesterday ( Harpenden) in the morning rain, but when I went out in the afternoon it was considerably chillier, so I think the whole country had a change of temperature. I have never been to Salisbury. Why did you choose it? Hope you enjoy your break. x

  2. I wonder why the hotel is named after a faraway lake in Cumbria? Grasmere was of course very familiar to Wiliam Wordsworth. It was there that Wordsworth wrote ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’, the 1805 Prelude, most of Poems in Two Volumes (1807) and the ‘Preface’ to the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads. The following lines are from "The Solitary Reaper":-
    I listened, motionless and still;
    And, as I mounted up the hill,
    The music in my heart I bore,
    Long after it was heard no more.

  3. What a beautiful and charming place to visit! And great to see some pictures of Dave (I presume) for a change!

  4. I also enjoyed seeing pictures of Dave! At first I thought, somebody has a dog that looks just like Olga! And then I thought..."well, duh...!" Haha.

  5. I'm glad Lady Olga remembered to bring her fur...
    What a picturesque place!
    Any shots of the New Inn's interior?
    And those carpets! I sort of love them.

  6. love the shot of the river meander and the hotel. so lush and bloomy. and maybe they didn't know how to make a martini.

  7. It's always good to get away for a few days and see something interesting. Yes, I read Rutherfurd's story of the tower. It was a great story

  8. That hotel is beautiful from the outside but that carpet is a bit scary. Sounds like you had a good day. Can't wait to see photos from the cathedral. I thought it was beautiful when I was there and I enjoyed seeing the Magna Carta.

  9. I, too, was pleased to see some views of Dave. That New Inn looks marvelously English, at least from the outside. And that carpeting! They must have gone to an odds and ends sale for those.

  10. Talk about a catchy title today! And that gargoyle needs a new dentist, I think :) What a cool carving, though.

    Thanks for showing us some of the sights there, and enjoy the rest of your visit.

  11. The French also seem flummoxed by the making of martinis. They simply do not know how to do it. The one served to you, however? UNACCEPTABLE. I like my martini, please don't mess with it.

    So, Salisbury...isn't that where those two Russian TOURISTS did their chemical attack? They were there for the cathedral, so they say....

    Love the overgrown gardens and the front of the hotel. Lush! I'll not speak of the flooring....

  12. I do not doubt Olga seemed to enjoy her sausage!