[ENGLAND – PORTUGAL EXCHANGE 2012 — DAY 3]
Introduction: My parents had some stuff they wanted to get done in Bedford. As Mum was planning to stay overnight until Monday; so this was the perfect opportunity to show Laura another part of the country. We traveled up to Bedford with my Mum and went around Bedford, spending time at the Embankment both with ice-creams and being attacked by geese, as well as walking up to Uni and showing Laura my University. It was a tad eventful, especially when we found we were locked out of the car park and had to some how get home… Laura can’t say it wasn’t an adventure, lol.
Drive to Bedford
We left the house about 9:30am and drove to Bedford. We took the normal route via the M3, M25 and M1. Laura fell asleep through most of it and got a tad annoyed with me when I started tweeting photos of her asleep. After a tour of this house, we had a cup of coffee and discussed with my Mum the arrangements of the day.
Laura on her phone in the car heading to Bedford
Laura asleep in the car (Laura unsurprisingly was annoyed I took this photo)
In Bedford Town centre
We got dropped off in the High Street where the taxis usually stopped. First stop was to get Laura’s phone unlocked and an O2 International SIM card as her phone was costing her a fortune. We also stopped by Don Miller’s for pizza, just as a simple lunch. There wasn’t much to see in such a small town like Bedford, however we did go to ‘the castle’, which is basically just a mound but where the castle use to be in Medieval times.
Me in the ‘Arcade’ with the very expensive shops
Tourist Information…although it was closed
The Market Square
Laura took this because she liked how helpful they were to her
The Castle Mound
We then headed down the embankment, got ice-creams and ate them on the other side of the river in the little park. We just had to get 99s, as Laura hadn’t heard of them before and being me we just had to get double cones too. We walked back towards the bridge on that side and through the park.
Me and Laura just outside the castle still on the Embankment
Us with our ice-creams just over the river
The view from where we sat
Traditional view back towards the town centre from across the river
The ‘castle’ from over the river
Laura joked this was an imagination exercise as they were watching an empty bandstand
The disgusting thick green algae which ducks could hardly swim through
We needed drinks but the closest shops were quite a distance away. The closest to my knowledge was the M&S at the petrol station down the road from my University. From there and with water and Ribena (I don’t like water, but love squash) we walked up the road and went to my Uni and gave Laura a tour of the place. It is such a small campus. Also went into the campus centre and to the main auditorium/ lecture hall which is also a stage we use for Performing Arts degrees, I got the impression that Laura felt quite at home there.
Ducks and Geese
On the way back towards town again we called by a shop for a loaf of bread as we wanted to feed the ducks by the river. The plan did kind of work. We did quickly realise after seeing a group of geese that our timing would be important, especially in regards the Canada geese. We kept walking until we only saw one lonely duck with no geese in sight… or at least it was like that at the time. Although it was swimming on the other side of the river we easily attracted it with some bread. It was fine feeding this one duck, and we were seeing how close we could get the bread to it without hitting it. Although I did hit on the back at least once… whoops. Then suddenly a few geese were approaching us and the numbers grew and grew until we looked around and in both directions it seemed that we had attracted every duck and goose around! The Canada geese were scary! We thought they would attack us, we slowly backed away before legging it. Also hoping they wouldn’t attack the children next to us either.
When we saw practically every duck and goose coming towards us
As we were walking back I got a call from my Mum to say they were on their way and we were planning to go to Nandos for dinner. We walked towards the town and sat by the castle mound. Most of the time we were sorting out SIM cards as we had a few difficulties with Laura’s new O2 SIM Card. From here we went to Nandos. As this was suppose to Portuguese we wanted to see Laura’s opinion. We did learn a few things like they have changed the name of the sauce. In Nandos they call it ‘Peri Peri’ rather than ‘Piri Piri’, and I must admit I see Laura’s point about it is almost weird that there are no Portuguese or even Portuguese speaking people who work there at all!
A photo I took while lying on the grass next to the castle
Issues with car parking
We headed back to the car to find a problem. The car park said it finished at 6:30. We arrived at about 6:35. First of all we realised the staircase up to the cars was closed. So we assumed that the car parking had finished so they would only keep the front entrance would be open. We were shocked to find that the whole car park was shut! Even the shutters were down. Usually when the time runs out it just means it is free from here and doesn’t close completely unless it has a clear sign. We looked to see if there was one of these signs which we may have missed and there wasn’t We also looked for a sign with the emergency phone number with it on. The issue was that we had both cars in there! And not only that but all our bags and bedding were in the cars. My Dad was more worried as it was Sunday evening and he had to be at work in Southampton at 8pm the following day. We found a number but it was just the council’s number and was out-of-hours. Dad tried going to the police station, who first gave him the same number. The second time they called another number but they refused to come out. We spent ages here, and for a while we even thought someone was inside. Mum and Dad didn’t like the idea but I wanted to climb over the barrier. In the end I did and walked up several stories. It was then apparent what we heard was just the traffic on the other side of the building. It did help though, as I took the car keys and took out all the things we needed. After several ideas including Dad getting a train, Dad called his boss who gave him the following morning off and we just got a taxi home instead.
The sign at the car park, just to prove there is no mention of the closing times on it!
A photo I took from inside the car park (Laura and Mum outside)
Inside the taxi with all the stuff on the way home
Recovering with Cider:
After our ordeal with the carp park we were all a tad tired and stressed. Dad came up with the best solution…. Offy! We went to the off-licence for some cider and spent the rest of the evening watch TV at home with cider. I think we deserved it.