As I was not sure how long the queues for tickets would be, I wanted an early start this morning. In the event, by the time we had bought the tickets, it was only 8:08. We therefore went to Ponti’s and had a breakfast of omelette and toast. I rather like the Ponti’s cafe at Liverpool Street though I am not sure what its attraction is.
Ploughing through the crowds of commuters, we boarded our train which left promptly at 9:30.
The day had started with rain but by the time we reached Colchester at about 10:15, the sun was shining though the wind was cold.
We decided that as we had explored Colchester recently, we would go to Harwich instead. First, though, we had to deliver the package. The address was fairly near the station, so we went on foot and concluded the day’s business.
To get a bus for Harwich, we thought it best to walk into town to the bus station. By now it was pleasantly bright day but cold, especially in the wind.
The bus took about an hour to reach Harwich, diverting from the main road to visit the villages. We sat on the back seat and the bus bounced merrily along, reminding us of some our “white-knuckle” bus rides in Cornwall.
Harwich was cold, with a wicked icy wind blowing off the sea. Handling the camera made my hands so cold that I think I will buy some mittens.
Salvation was at hand in the form of The Ship, possibly once a pub, but now a nice little restaurant with vegetarian soup and penne pasta on the menu. I felt myself gradually thawing out…
Treadwheel Crane (1667)
After lunch we explored Harwich. It was by now very cold. We alternated between taking photographs and going into shops to warm up again. Winter seems to have arrived at last.
Harwich is quite a pleasant little town and I would like to see it in different weather conditions – warm conditions! – where you can concentrate on exploring and taking photographs rather than on how cold your hands are!
We took the Colchester bus. On the way out, we had passed through Manningtree and thought we would like to take a look at it. Accordingly, we got off the bus there and once more braved the biting cold.
We here saw the biggest flock of swans that I have seen anywhere, including Littlehampton. There were also geese mixed in with them and a few black swans, altogether a striking sight.
As I needed the loo, we entered the first pub we found, which happened to be The Crown. It’s a very nice pub and we had hot chocolate there.
After this, we continued walking and looking and taking the odd photo but by now it was getting dark so it seemed best to take a bus back to Colchester and then the train home.
We didn’t see much of Colchester this time around, preferring to venture further afield but we shall certainly return here another day.
Our brief tour of Harwich and Manningtree was enjoyable despite the cold and I would like to see them again in warmer weather.
When we boarded the 18:15 (4 minutes late), it was already dark. Exploring is finished for today and we are looking forward to getting home and enjoying the supper that the slow cooker has been preparing while we have been out.