Monday, August 09, 2010

It's a long, long way to everywhere

Last weekend we went to the West Country for a family reunion. The West Country is an area in SW England, approx. 130 miles (209 kms) west of London. We drove out on Saturday and drove back on Sunday. It took us 5 hrs 30 mins on the way out, 4 hrs 20 mins on the way back. That's an average speed of 23.6 miles outbound, and not much more than that on the return. It took us 40 mins to cover the first 4.5 miles out of south London, compliments of roadworks every half a mile, broken down buses every mile and a couple of minor accidents to add to the bedlam.

We thought that it was a pitiful attempt at using a car to get from A to B until we learned that a friend had also tried to leave London on the Friday to visit his folks up north, only to give up and return home after taking 3 hours to cover a distance of 1 mile. In a car, not on all fours, I hasten to add. Thankfully, he had better luck on Saturday morning.

The only good thing that has come out of this driving ordeal is that, as the speeds we achieved were exceptionally slow, I was able to take plenty of photos en route. I now have an impressive selection of 391 photos of London neighbourhoods, streets, shops, junctions, buildings, parks, rivers, countryside, petrol stations, more pubs than you can shake a stick at, traffic jams, fields, sunsets, a pig farm and even Stonehenge, the famous prehistoric monument. If anyone is interested in (any of) them, let me know and I'll post some tomorrow.

15 comments:

Marg, the Sal. said...

I am certainly interested. I always regret for not properly visiting London, so I always like to see pictures thereof.

Can't say the same about traffic jams. ;)

Tinsie said...

Oh but our traffic jams are *really* impressive. Well worth admiring, although the best ones are on the M25 orbital motorway, also known as "the world's biggest car park", which we avoid like the plague. Still, the London traffic jamos were pretty impressive last weekend and you can see bits of London in the photos, and not the London the tourists see either. You have been warned ;-)

Jacob said...

Your trip is unimaginable. It usually takes us 4 1/2 hours to get to our daughter's home in south Florida which is 300 miles away. I think that's a terribly long drive!

Tinsie said...

Alas, I can imagine it all too well - and I have the photos to prove it!

Gattina said...

Take the train ! That's what I am doing this afternoon. I take the Eurostar to Ashford and from there to Eastbourne ! Traffic in London is terrible. My friend's daughter lives near Croydon but it's still London. There it's quiet easy to go by car. We never had a problem so far coming from the coast.

Tinsie said...

I would, normally, but it was too expensive for two of us, plus the train didn't go where we wanted to go, so we'd have to get a very expensive taxi or very slow bus or rent a car at the other end anyway.

Coming from the coast to Croydon is an easy drive, as you're just moving in a straight line and you don't have to cross London. You're simply going from the coast to the outer London suburbs. Try going to Croydon from the north, east or west, and then tell me how easy it is to get to ;-)

Karen said...

Good grief! You've just solidified my resolve not to drive into D.C. for an attempt at expanding the Monkey's mind. The traffic is horrible here, but hardly ever that bad.

How often do you try to talk your Hub into moving to Greece?

Karen said...

Oh, and photos! I would love to see the London tourists don't see, especially interesting buildings and people.

lemon said...

I am interested in the photos too!

In June, we went from London to York by train: I had booked a month before, for just 88 pounds/2 persons-isnt it a fair price?
I was very impressed by the train speed:210km per hour!

Anyway, you know best about London...
But do post a lot of photos, I like watching them.

Tinsie said...

@ Karen: I don't know how bad D.C. is but London is a pain to drive through, and roadworks at every corner certainly don't help.

I don't actually want to move to Greece, I quite like it here (apart from the traffic and the weather). It's the Hub who dreams of blue seas and blue skies ;-)

@ Lemon: Train fares in the UK do not depend (solely) on distance, and vary tremendously depending on how far in advance you buy, what time your train departs, how popular your destination is, what special offers there are, which train operator serves your route etc. If you're able to buy a month in advance on a not-so-popular route, you can get some really good deals, buying a week in advance on a popular route isn't as cost effective.

In any case, once you factor in the drive to and from the train station at the other end, it would have taken us almost as long to go by train as it took to go by car - and it would have cost more!

Puss-in-Boots said...

Are you in the UK or Australia? Sounds like our neck of the woods. Yes, I'd love to see some photos please.

Karen said...

Hey, it's tomorrow! Where are the photos?

Just kidding. :-)

I was reading this blog post and thought that maybe you could contribute to the author's research on Greece.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2010/08/its-greek-to-me/

Tinsie said...

@ Puss-in-Boots: I'm positive I'm in London, we're known for our crap roads!!

@ Karen: I know, I know, I'm working on them as we speak :-)

...but I'll have to take a break to go check out the website link. I'm intrigued!

Shionge said...

I was in transit in June after a trip to Toronto and was sorry I had to fly home straight instead of extending. My English friends were so disappointed and looks like I've missed London and more so ya....show me some pixs Tinsie :D

Tinsie said...

Uh oh. I hope my pictures don't put you off London! Put it this way, there are much nicer neighbourhoods than the ones I saw last weekend ;-)