Saturday, December 09, 2006

Here Comes The Rain Again

So our trip to the UK is about complete. After having spent the first three days in London, the rest of our time was spent in Wales. Each day was action packed with trips to the capital of Cardiff (the capital of Wales), a train up to Bath, England and much time spent in Caerphilly, Wales where J-Mac's cousin lives.

Each day was filled with a lot of culture shock, so much so, it reminded me of that Jerry Seinfeld American Express commercial about his time in England. It is not on youtube, however, go to this link and you can watch the full length version.

Aside from the fascinating castles we visited, my favourite part of the trip was filled with visits to pubs. As a north american, if you have never been to a pub in the UK, you really haven't been to a pub. The difference is so pronounced that I will never refer to these places in North America as pubs. I will either refer to them as ''pubs'' (complete with the little rabbit gestures with my hands) or simply Disneyland.

It's not just that the quality of beer is is better here but I can get over that. It is just the whole process of eating and drinking in a pub that is so different. Assuming that the pub actually serves food, there are no waiters there. You simply note your table number and order food from the bartender. There is no need to tip as you do not tip bartenders when ordering food or drinks. You simply pay the amount, grab your drinks and a table runner will bring your food.

My favourite pub was in Cardiff called The Old Arcade. No joke, it was the best hamburger I have ever eaten. It wasn't even close!!! I don't know what the second best burger I have ever had was but this was certainly #1.

Another pub I enjoyed was The Globe in London. This place was nothing special but the atmosphere was just perfect. People simply grabbing a pint at their local establishment. And that is the other part that kills me, there are pubs everywhere. Walking distance no matter where you live. Just this very second, I walked out of the house, took two steps out the front door and took a picture of the pub near by. In Toronto, an excursion to the pub means grabbing your friends, figuring out what pub to go to, which one has good food, making either driving or TTC plans to get becomes a whole procedure. Unless you are really lucky you don't have a local ''pub''. I have to admit, I am quite sad to be leaving the pub lifestyle here.

Thursday night was the last time we were in Cardiff...I took a quick trek to Virgin Records as I wanted to buy some sort of CD here. Live At Leeds by the Who would have been good as Leeds is in Wales, however, I picked up Quodrophenia instead.

Top 5 Who albums
1. Who's Next
2. Tommy
3. My Generation
4. Quodrophenia
5. Who Are You

Of course, the title of this blog refers to the ever present rain here. Not that it is constant...but no matter can rain at any time. Literally, every day we have been has rained for at least parts of it. The only true sunny days were yesterday and today (so far).

I hope to post some pictures once we get home late tonight.



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