We’d booked a hire car for the day, with a view to driving out to Windsor (to check out the Castle), then on to Bath, then down to Salisbury, and then back to Heathrow.
We were on the road a little later than we’d planned (about 10:00), and by the time we got out to Windsor Castle, the queue was way too long, given what we were planning for the rest of the day. So, we grabbed a few shots of the Castle from the outside, then took a quick wander through the shopping area, as I was looking for a store which might sell Compact Flash memory cards (given that I was now shooting with just one 8GB card!). One store I visited told me that they had another store in the next town (Slough) and that THAT store had CF cards in stock. So, we made a quick stop at Slough, picked up an extra 32GB card and headed for Bath.
The Roman baths at Bath are absolutely worth a visit. Lots of history, a beautifully laid-out museum (of sorts), and lots of great photo opportunities. And as a photographer, I am convinced that whoever designed the historical exhibits was either a photographer themselves, or was a professional lighting designer (probably the latter). Although subdued in some areas, the lighting was always really tasteful, and angled to give nice contrasts and contours.
Then, it was on to Salisbury, where we wanted to check out Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Stonehenge was going to cost us £50 (about A$120) which we felt was a bit steep just to look at some rocks, so we gave it a miss. We headed into Salisbury, parked the car, and wandered over to the cathedral. Yep, another bloody church! But one definitely worth checking out! The spire reaches to something like 124 meters above the ground (pretty impressive considering construction began in 1220!), and the inside is quite impressive as well.
We headed into town to find some dinner in another typical English pub. We got out of there around 19:30 and headed back to Heathrow, not arriving there until 21:00. We dropped the rental car off, and Cath and Max headed back to the hotel, while I headed into town to retrieve the backpack. On the tube by 21:P30, I didn’t get out at St Paul’s Cathedral until 23:00, much later than I’d planned, but still earlier than the promised closing time of 23:30.
But when I got to the pub, it was shut. Doors locked. Lights off. Nobody here but us chickens. I was ready to cry at this point. Low on sleep, I’ve just wasted on hour and a half coming in to town, I can’t get my gear, and now I’ve got to waste ANOTHER hour and a half to get back to Heathrow. It’ll be at least a quarter to one before I’m back there, and we’ve all got to be up at 05:00 because we’ve got an 08:00 flight out.
Long story short… I managed to get another photographer friend (who also happens to live on the NSW central coast; a stone’s throw from me) to pick up the backpack on my behalf, and she brought it home to Australia for me. Sure, it was another 3-4 weeks, and it meant I was now travelling with only one lens, but at least I got it back eventually!
On the upside, now I don’t need to clean my sensor every night for the remainder of the trip!
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