Thurs 26th May – Fri 27th May:
We had a sunny day for the drive up to Eton but we took one last walk through Brighton and a few more shots of the Royal Pavilion and beach before packing up. We finished breakfast and farewelled our hosts, Matt and Andy, before heading off to Eton via Birling Gap and Lewes.
Birling Gap offers spectacular scenery with high cliffs with sheer vertical face dropping down to a pebble beach and it brought back memories of the BBC series Broadchurch which I understand was filmed not too far from here. The chalk cliffs are spectacular with their white facing and horizontal strata lines. It would have been nice to take the walk up to the cliff top but time only allowed for a stumble along the pebble beach. Our stop at the Old Town area of Lewes was brief too as we were keen to get to Eton.
Our lodging for the one night in Eton was a quintessentially English Pub called the Crown and Cushion. The room was large and comfortable for us and our stupid number of bags. We checked in just before 4pm but headed straight back out to have a walk along the Royal Mile and a stroll through the shops. No stop in Windsor/Eton is complete for us though without a visit to the Christopher Wren as this is where Mark, and sometimes myself, would stay when he was working in the UK. The sun was out and so we had a drink in the garden overlooking the Thames with swans and Eton schoolboys at rowing practice completing a perfectly peaceful picture.
Mark was catching up with two old workmates, Terry and Kristin, later for dinner but he accompanied me whilst I took an early meal and he even helped to eat some chicken thereby avoiding any waste. I managed to grab an early night but think it will be some days before the fatigue subsides.
Friday 27th May:
We start to make our way home today with a flight from Heathrow to Tokyo. We have a long layover though so we’re hoping to get into Tokyo for the day. Time will tell how that plan evolves.