Just a touch of the glums today, with nagging thoughts of this being our last full day in England. Time was taken up with organising some things like laundry, a final wash of the bikes and then padding them up and packing them into their boxes for their journey. We also did a trial run into the airport, to make sure the terminal could be found and to do some recognisance on the parking situation and how to find the hire car drop off. We put together a plan of action which requires dropping me at the airport with the bikes and all the bags and waiting while Steve drives a couple of miles up the road to return the van, then catching the bus back to the airport to meet me. We checked as much of the plan as we could and now it just has to be put into action tomorrow and hope for the best!
The day was not to be entirely spent on housekeeping and preparation though, we must drain every last drop from this trip, so off to a village we went. I had wanted to see Chalfont St. Giles on our previous visit and we didn’t get there, so we took a quick trip towards the Chilterns, to see this little village. It was a cute little place, no chain stores there, just rows of independent little shops, a butcher, green grocer, bakery and pub, set around the village green and along the High Street. It was a nice little place, not far from the bustle of London, but far enough to feel like a quiet little hamlet in the countryside. I also discovered that Chalfont St Giles was “Walmington-on-Sea” in the original 1971 film of Dad’s Army (a family favourite in our house in my childhood!)
We strolled along the street and past the green and I tried to just soak it up, feel the place, feel all that it represented that I’ve loved so much about our time here – the charm of a village, the sense of history and story in the buildings, the locals going about their business with a wave and cheerful remark.
It was hard at times to keep the glums at bay, with the thought that this was coming to an end. I banished those pesky glums as best I could and just enjoyed looking around another nice little village and then taking in the scenery as we motored back. We passed through Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross and then back to Hounslow to wash the bikes and pad them up.
That was it. The final full day of our European Grand Tour. The adventure is not over though! We have about a week before we arrive back on Aussie soil and in that time, apart from being in transit, I will be enjoying some much awaited time with a friend in Kuala Lumpur. I looked at the weather forecast and when Steve learned that our first trip to Malaysia would be done in 34C heat, you could probably guess the reaction. His face lit up, he beamed, his eyes sparkled, he threw his arms in the air in a victorious double fist pump a-la Rocky Balboa. “Yeeeaaaahhhh!!!!” he shouted! I think all of Big Steve’s dreams came true in that one moment…HEAT! SUN! A lot of heat! In fact, more than three times hotter than we’ve been used to these last few weeks, but Steve is celebrating already!
The blog continues, but there may be some delays with the posts in the next few days, as we enjoy visiting my friend Sweeny in Kuala Lumpur, a very special visit, and as we zoom through the sky between countries and continents. The adventure continues…watch this space!
Have a safe flight! How wonderful you are going to meet Sweeny! I wonder where she will take you to go for a run 🙂 I have to warn you: she runs really fast! And if you want a real run adventure: try a run in the city 🙂 how long will you be staying over there?
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Thanks Pat! I don’t think there will be time for a run, Sweeny has a full and fabulous schedule mapped out for us. We only have a couple of days in KL.
Travel safe and have a great time in Malaysia
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Thanks Al. I just want that plane to go up and down at all the right times and in all the right places, and not, at any time, down when it’s not supposed to!
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Travel safely. Enjoy the heat and keep on collecting those treasures! Isn’t it great that memories don’t take up any room in the case.
Thanks Gen. Yep, those memories can go with us anywhere, anytime, for free and with room to spare!
Hi Heidi and Steve
I feel glum too because I am going to miss sitting on the couch and being transported over to Europe while reading your blog! Travel safely and can’t wait to catch up with you when you get back. Thanks for taking me with you on your ‘European Grand Tour’!
Thank you for coming with us! Never fear, I can talk the hind leg off a donkey and return you to Europe with endless stories any time you like! A catch up cuppa awaits!
I too will miss reading your very informative narrative I think I have toured England again through your eyes. Thanks Heidi and Steve and safe trip home. Julie S
The thanks are ours Julie. Thank you for travelling with us and reading the blog, it was nice to now you were there!
Heide, I can’t begin to tell you how much I have looked forward each day to your blog. It was the perfect armchair excursion for a 78 yr old widow in Ontario Canada. I was with you both on your travels and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I hope at this particular time you are having a wonderful visit with your friend. I will most certainly await each and every blog that you post. Never having traveled to Tasmania, I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing what your home territory is like. Again, a fantastic travel odyssey and one I enjoyed as (or almost) as you. Best wishes for an easy transition to ‘normalcy’, if there is such a thing. Take care and rich Blessings to you both,
Hello Chris. Thank you so much for your comment, I am thrilled you have enjoyed reading the blog and have been part of the journey with us. It’s certainly been an adventure and it was made all the more special to know there were others, such as yourself, accompanying us in a virtual way, through the blog. I think you
are right, we will have a “transition” period as we take some time readjusting to “normal” life, but those amazing memories will always be there! Thank you so much again for your kind words and thank you for being part of the journey.