The University of Gloucester is here in Cheltenham. I cannot picture a more idyllic place to study. The land here is relatively flat so biking is a simple and quite an expedient affair. There is a paved walk/bike-way that runs about 2K from just north of the University to the rail station in the south where everything, trains and some buses come together. The path is like a walk in the woods, except it is paved. Students and locals alike use this path to reach the school and to reach Cheltenham town center, and it just happens to be steps from our apartment door. Along the way, the path goes under a wide bridge. Underneath is an exhibit of perhaps some of the best graffiti art I have ever seen.
If it's a workout you are seeking, you can stop along the path to use the outdoor physical fitness apparatus installed along the way to work out your core, do some push-ups or exercise the triceps. And it's free!
Besides being a college town, Cheltenham is very pretty. It is the entry-way to the Cotswold's with its many winding stone-walled roads and picturesque houses. The town's style is English Country. The town center is loaded with chic shops and cafes. When we arrived on Sunday afternoon, its town folk were out, lounging on the park greens, relaxing in the sunny outdoor cafes or shopping in the cute boutiques.
As we walked, Stan saw a poster for a performance of The Pirates of the Pinzance at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. We have tickets!! We are going on Tuesday evening!!! I am tickled!!
On Monday morning, the sun we saw on Sunday had disappeared and gray skies and mist filled the skies. We ARE in England. Still, we dressed for the weather and went into town center. We walked the path we just learned about yesterday. First we visited and socialized with the young man at the Information Center. Thankfully, he was not busy, so he took his time in getting to know us and helping us plan our next full day here. We got wonderful advice. We got the lowdown on local and regional bus service and began to plan our stay here. Tomorrow, we are going to board a bus, drive to Stow-on-the-Wold for a visit then take the bus again to Burton-on-the-Water (don't these names knock you out??? They are so richly English; so quaint and just a bit snobbish!!).
That's for tomorrow. Today we shopped a little. Literally, I have worn a hole in the only shoes I have that are not boots and not sandals. When I walk in the rain, my sock gets wet and my shoe makes a squishing sound. I found no replacement shoes yet. Pray for dry, sunny weather.
We had a late, late brunch at Boston Tea Party. We had strange dishes with avocado and poached eggs on top. They tasted good. The highlight of our meal was the bottled Sparkling Elderberry Flower drink. No wine. We love the Elderberry Flower sodas. I hope we have them back in the USA. Whole Foods perhaps???
We have now been away from home since March 21. I think that's about 8 weeks. That's a long time. I have been craving a manicure for weeks now, many weeks! The mist in the air was heavy today. As the day was closing, we grew tired of walking in the mist. Then, there it was - a nail salon. Stan treated me. He dozed while I enjoyed the sweet bliss of a manicure!!! I now have clean cuticles and bright, shiny red nails just like I like them.
I feel like myself again.
I cannot close without mentioning the tragic, heart-breaking news we received this morning. It's been on our minds all day. We lost our 19-year-old grand-nephew this weekend. We pray for our niece and her husband and their family.