I’m all alone. My mates and I have parted ways over a pint, but it’s only temporary. I am on my own and excited about the prospect. And a little scared too, but for no reason. They’ve dropped me off in Derby, UK (pronouced Darh-by) and it’s the most charming little village. I’m embarrassed to compare it to one of the fairy book lands at Disneyland, but it’s true. Right out of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. A real English village and it’s beautiful here. My hotel is a huge step above where we’ve been staying (which haven’t been bad by any means, but this is a real hotel with an actual lift and shampoo in the showers.)
We had another late morning start after another great night in another Liverpool pub far off the beaten path. Our cab driver dropped us at Hertz this morning where we took our first foray into driving in the UK. Todd has done this before, however, it’s been 20 years. We have all decided it’s not too prudent to continue to remind him to “keep left, keep left”.
Fortunately, we have a GPS unit which guided us quite easily to Old Trafford, home of the world famous Manchester United football club. While I have no love for Man U, I can certainly respect the history and legacy of one of Britain’s top-flight clubs. If not the very top! Their success is legendary.
The tour was fantastic, and Old Trafford is a beauty to behold. However, I was much more impressed with the historical factors of Anfield as it still, to this day, is very much the stadium it was of ages past. That can’t be said of Old Trafford. 99% of it has been completely replaced over time. Being a big Wayne Rooney and Alex Ferguson fan, it was an enjoyable tour and the museum was first rate. I enjoyed myself very much and appreciated learning some of the illustrious history. I just wasn’t enamored with it like I was at Anfield.
We then pressed on to Derby and the traffic is every bit as maddening as it is at home, but when you’re on vacation, you don’t seem to mind. We had a great drive and Todd was gaining confidence with every right-hand turn. Until we got off the motorway in Derby and forget to remind him to “get left”. Quick thinking and a dive for the hazard lights, he steered us clear of the situation and we made it safe and sound then had a good laugh. 🙂 I don’t believe it will happen again.
After my mates left, I strolled down into the village of Derby and “village” is the way to describe it. It honestly looks like it is out of some fairy tale here on Irongate street. I’ll snap a photo tomorrow. You’ll swear I’m at Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. Found a nice little bar to drink, eat, and pen this blog at called The Slug and Lettuce. The name just appealed to me. And the food was great, just as it’s been the whole trip. English chips are the best!
A good night’s rest awaits me and I’m hoping a call home as I’ve been unable to get the time’s right so far. I sure miss my wife and kids, but I’ll be home soon enough and they’re plenty busy without me. It’s off to the Download Festival tomorrow. The entire original reason for making this trip. Part of me wants to be back on the road with Mich and Todd as they are literally making it up as they go for the next four days. That sounds very appealing to me. I know they have intended stops in Oban, Hadrian’s Wall, and Iona to name just a few. I’ll meet back up with them on Monday afternoon and am already looking forward to it. I’ll be sure to get their stories and post them here!
I don’t know what the next 3 days will hold, but I’m sure it will involve plentiful beers, intense head-banging, and hopefully a few new friends.
Wish me luck!