Thursday, November 08, 2007

Playing tourist in our homeland

In 2003 my husband and I went to the UK. We were both born in England and had emigrated to Canada in our twenties and had only flown back for quick family visits in the intervening years. Although this was a sad visit, in that I was returning to attend to my late father's affairs, we decided it probably would be the last time we would come to Britain so we would stay long enough to play tourist.

We rented a car and I was navigator and my husband had to reacquaint himself with driving on the opposite side of the road and tackling the roundabouts. The roads seems so narrow after forty years in Canada.

Since we were already in the south we decided our first stop should be London and of course we had to see the Tower of London. We visited Kew Gardens and the British Museum, as well as taking in some of the West End. London had changed a lot since I was a child but we enjoyed it although driving around was a challenge. Perhaps a tour would have been a better idea.

After a couple of days we drove on to Birmingham and found a nice restaurant at The Water's Edge at Brindleyplace. We lingered for an hour or two strolling along the waterfront.

We then drove on to Manchester to see some of my husband's relatives. I was surprised how much there was to do there. My husband was particularly interested in the Museum of Science and Industry and the Imperial War Museum North which he visited with his cousin, while his cousin's wife and I left them and went shopping. We were fortunate in that we had their home to stay in, as getting a hotel in UK in summer can be difficult if you don't have reservations.

After a couple of days we carried on to the Liverpool area which is my husband's old stomping ground, and he showed me around the places he remembered from forty years before.

Finally it was time to return home so we dropped of the car and took a train back to London's Heathrow airport and returned to Canada. We are glad we took time to play tourist in the country where we were born.


Alice - I Was Born2Cree8 said...

That sounds like a wonderful holiday, other than the sadness of looking after your late fathers affairs. I've always wanted to go see England and Wales as that is my heritage on Dad's side. I also would love to see Scotland.

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