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ReportsSunday, 29 July 2001
Snaith --> Nottingham (UK) From Snaith to Lincoln with myself as a my driver and Wackybrit.com as my driver from Lincoln to historical Nottingham. Amazing city, amazing people!
Today was the big day for Joziena. Her rucksack is packed and she is ready to go on her holiday trip through India.
Her boyfriend came over and joined for the English breakfast and picked her up to bring her to the airport.
In the hallway Joziena said goodbye to me and gave a big hug to her mother before she left.
And that became a good time for me to get on the road also. This time Bea wanted to bring me halfway my next destination in Nottingham. And halfway that distance, in Lincoln, I was already promised a lift through the internet!
After I uploaded my bags in to the trunk of Bea’s car, she asked if I wanted to drive again. I smiled, of course I like that!
So off we went, leaving little Snaith city on our way south. And it was fun and a nice experience. We had all windows opened and the wind blew in our hair as I drove along gold fields of grain, as far as my eyes could see.
When we were almost getting to Lincoln, the traffic on the road got more packed and in front of me I saw this line of cars going up and down hills.
The meeting with my internet-man was supposed to be in the centre of Lincoln, but try to find a centre of a completely unknown city. So Bea and I decided to go for the cathedral-like building on top of the hill.
When I parked the car temporary on a parking place for coaches, people immediately started to complain to me that this was a parking spot for coaches only.
In a gentle way I told them that I wasn’t really parking, but just waiting for somebody and of course – there was enough space for several busses to park here.
Bea told me that it is a fact that the British are very fond of living by the rules…
After exchanging a few phone calls I met Pete, aka Wackybrit.com (who has been following my tracking even before my departure in March).
He didn’t have enough space to help me out with some accommodation, but a long time ago he already promised me to give me a lift when I was in the region.
A few days we had contact by email and he offered to bring me from Lincoln to my next place in Nottingham.
I thanked Bea for letting me drive her car to Lincoln and for being that hospitable to me for almost 24 hours and loaded my rucksack into Pete’s car.
Because the weather made everybody sweat we first paid a visit to the lovely Lincoln centre where Pete treated me with a milk shake at this burger giant (wherever you are on this planet, you’ll see them around the corner of every street…).
The tour to Nottingham was very amusing. I noticed how strange it is to meet the person behind a website in real life. And I now understand how this must be for the people who meet me every day!
Pete’s cd-player played popular European dance music (I kind of missed that) and talked about… the Internet of course.
I asked him where the name Wackybrit.com existed from. He told me he once was a big time reader of an American weblog and he communicated a lot with the author. But the guy always forgot his name and called him that wacky Brit!
We arrived early in Nottingham and after doing some shopping for some more refreshing drinks (it was 36 degrees Celsius!) we sat in the car at a parking place, playing with a MiniDisc recorder Pete had taken with him (you will hear some audio pieces somewhere on this website soon).
And of course photographs had to be taken and I had to sign the Nottingham Evening Newspaper for Pete’s father! Soon after that we found the correct address of my Nottingham host and drove up again.
I met Ben outside of this high apartment complex as Pete and I were looking for the main entrance.
Ben Swain had invited me in the first weeks of May, as he read about Letmestayforaday in a national newspaper. Inviting me was not a problem, because this idea was so unique and he has enough space in the flat he shares with his girlfriend Catherina en his brother Thomas.
I thanked WackyPete for giving me a fun drive towards Nottingham and entered Ben’s apartment.
Ben lives on the top floor of a 7-floor building. On one side of the building I could almost look onto the green of the Nottingham Forest soccer stadium, while the other side I got this great view on the old centre of Nottingham.
Next to Ben, Catherine and Thomas, I also met their friend Daniel, who constructs cars from blue print designs.
All together they fired the twenty frequently asked questions by my hosts at me, leaving me singing for supper.
After a little nap, Catherine made me some salmon sandwiches as a dinner snack and Ben and Cath took me out to town, to show me some bits of the historical city of Nottingham.
Little facts about Nottingham:
- Nottingham itself was the birthplace of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army.
- In 1819 the first ever railway, using horses to pull the wagons, was opened between Pinxton Wharf and Mansfield.
- In May 1839 the Midland Counties Railway opened a steam railway line connecting Nottingham to Derby. This was the first steam rail in the world.
- Jesse Bootwho was a great benefactor to the city founded the Boots Company. He donated land for the new University at Highfields, opened in 1928.
- The nearby Sherwood Forest was the greenwood home of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood.
Robin would have been active in the late 1190's during Richard the Lionheart's reign. Evidence suggests that tales about him were popular by 1261. Early accounts of Robin's exploits appeared in print in ballads and poems, such as The Geste of Robyn Hood from the late 1400's, by then an established and popular part of English folklore.
Documentary evidence of Robin Hood, or variations on the name, have been found in early medieval court proceedings and Royal documents . The names Robert Hod and the surname Robinhood have both been found.
Ben and Catherine took me out to the Robin Hood statue at the Nottingham Castle and we drank a pint at the pub called [url=www.triptojerusalem.com]A Trip To Jerusalem, England oldest inn, partly built as a cave in a rock (where the temperature to brew beer were the best)! The interesting website of the pub also explains you the strange way how it obtained its name…
When we got back to the flat I met their mutual friends Neil and Janet. As they all were a bit hungry, Ben made a barbecue on the balcony. Strange enough I did not feel any hunger, probably because I was taking my last painkillers and I used antibiotix…
After some late night talking in their living room, while listening to that great album White Ladder by David Gray (everybody in the UK seems to have that album!), I got myself to the bed.
And today my hosts offered their own personal bed to me, as they themselves were going to sleep in the living. “You don’t deserve to sleep on our couch,” Ben said…
Good night Nottingham!
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