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!