Friday, October 17, 2014

A short trip to Dorset to connect with family and friends

We were back in the air after having had time to do the laundry and a bit of shopping. This time we were headed to Bournemouth to meet up with Seamus' dad and his wife Patricia, who were visiting friends. I had visions of visiting Bournemouth landmarks, for instance the site of a knocked down hotel that I knew about from a previous life. What we didn't know was that we weren't really headed for Bournemouth but Gussage St. Michael, which is well out in the country.

Of course our Ryanair flight arrived early. We were picked up by Martin and John and whisked away to our accommodations for the night, Thatched Cottage Hotel in Three Legged Cross. After our reunion with Patricia and meeting Jacqui we sat outside in the sun for a short while before lunch. There was so much to eat, lovely salad, ham, Melton Mowbray pie and beautiful boiled fingerling potatoes.

Since six of us weren't going to fit in the car we all jumped in the camper van with two neighbourhood labradors that were visiting for the afternoon. We arrived at the ruins of Knowlton Abbey, which sits inside a henge, now a huge circle of grass. In other words the abbey was built in a pre-Christian place.  Our friends' village of Gussage St. Michael is dedicated to the Archangel who will balance the souls in the scales of justice on the Day of Judgement or so the story is told. None of this bothered any of us, especially the dogs, who had a lovely romp. Gussage St. Michael is a lovely sprawling little village with much ancient history. Driving in the area we spotted a Neolithic settlement and an old Roman road.

We stopped at the dogs' home, where we were in for a lovely treat. The backyard was huge with a large grassy area bordered by huge dahlias of every colour. What lucky dogs to live there.

It was time for us to settle into our accommodation. The thatched cottage was set in a huge park-like garden complete with a pond. When I asked the owner if the heron ever ate the fish, she told us the fish were too big. She was right, they were huge carp-type fish. In fact one raised its head out of the water and had a good look at us like a whale spy hopping. It was a little disconcerting. Later in the evening we had dinner at a quaint nearby pub. I was still full from lunch and only managed a bowl of soup.

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