Friday, June 3, 2011


Of the three countries, we found England to be our favorite. It wasn't just the shared language, although that did give it an edge over Germany. And I suppose we should call it a very close tie with Austria. But England was...

The people are friendly. Italians, with isolated exceptions, didn't seem to have the time. Germans are perhaps a bit more courteous, and don't "butt in," or maybe it's their famous efficiency that keeps things a bit "stand-offish." That's what I liked about the Austrians; a little friendlier than the Germans. But the English will laugh with you, and, when they sense you can handle it, at you. We were almost instant friends.

The English are courteous. As I was told on an earlier trip, "No, chivalry hasn't died here. We've made a history of it." From the youngest pup to the most elderly geezer, with one exception, the men are gentlemen and the women are ladies. Dress is mostly appropriate, unlike the Italians, who have a penchant for see-through couture and neon underthings. Really. You have no needs in England; they are met the instant you realize them. Try staying in a British hotel/B&B for a few nights, and them in one that is foreign-owned/run, like we did. You see the difference immediately.

England is homely. I don't mean that in the American sense. The Brits, when they say that, mean "down-home, comfy, su casa es mi casa." The pubs, the streets, the service personnel, all helped us to feel right at home and comfortable. I felt like I could whip out my mucky boots, walk into any barn, and find the tools I needed to help out. Except that their courtesy wouldn't let me.

When, not if, I go back, I plan to spend a week just soaking up London. Not that that was my favorite place, but I missed so much there that I wanted to see. We actually planned a quick in-and-out of London, knowing that it would take more time than we had to really "see" the city.

I've told John for years that I'd like to live in England for a year when we retire. This trip just confirmed that. If health or circumstance don't allow that, I'd like to plan future trips to be such that we park ourselves in a corner of Britain and wander around there for three weeks or so.

You know, just being homely.


  1. Melody,

    You need to read A Thousand Days in Vienna by Marlena di Blasi. She was a food writer who parked herself in Italy and met an Italian and ended up living in Italy. BUT, they traveled and visited placed by living in them and getting to know the local people. Delightful books! And because she was also a food critic and writer, her descriptions of food are, well, um, luscious, iykwim. :-)

    Maybe you, John, Steve, and I can go together. I think that would be a perfectly wonderful year!

    I'm glad you had fun. I can't wait to hear all of the details!


  2. You've made me want to visit England even more than I already did!