The trip to Snorbens went like clockwork. We took the Bedford train at 9 am, the first for which our tickets were valid. The first stop was St Albans where we took a cab to the client’s office. We were standing on the pavement in front of the office by 9:31. Not bad going, eh?
I say “standing on the pavement” because that was what we had to do: the office was still closed! That’s the first time this has happened to us. Tigger phoned head office and the responsible executive said he would phone the client, as he had her mobile number, and let us know the state of play. Just then, we spied a woman walking up the road talking on her mobile. Yes, it was the client. So we handed over the package and that was that. Job done!
We had coffee and had a quick wander around town:
We went along to the Museum of St Albans. It is a nice little museum and we have been there several times. It sets out the history of St Albans and also has a very well stocked section on tools, ancient and modern.
Currently, there is a temporary exhibition entitled “The Home Front”, about life in Britain during WWII. It’s a small exhibition but there are a few items of interest.
<pThe museum has a wildlife garden carefully cultivated to provide a number of habitats, despite its relatively small size. On a sunny day, the garden is a very pleasant place to take a stroll, look at the plants and read the notices explaining the different habitats.
According to museum staff, the little pond is sometimes visited by a pair of ducks but they were not present today.
For lunch, we repaired to the Cock Inn, which offers a two-course lunch for £7.95. And very tasty it was, too.
The next question was “What shall we do now?” There was plenty of choice. We knew we wanted to go back to the Verulamium Park but there was still plenty of day to fill in.
One good standby is to take a bus ride. This is a pleasure that car drivers never experience. The advantage, of course, is that you don’t have to know where you are going or how to get there. You just sit on the bus, relax, and see what turns up.
You poor car drivers really ought to get your bums out of the car and onto the bus. You might be pleasantly surprised.
So we took a bus to Markyate. We had never been there but that, after all, is as good a reason as any for going.
There has been a lot of development in Markyate, with some attempt to make new buildings blend in with the old.
Quite a few vestiges of the past remain, such as this Wheelwright’s Shop, now a house. To judge from the elegance of some of the old houses, Markyate must once have been quite an affluent little town.
Returning again to St Albans, we visited Verulamium Park as we had intended and shared out our remaining bird food (not bread!) with the waterfowl. There were many birds of all kinds to see and I can only show a selection here of what we saw.
This brought our day out to a pleasant close. We caught the bus to the station and were lucky enough to catch a train direct to St Pancras.
You might think that after two visits to St Albans (not counting previous trips) we had exhausted all it has to offer. I think not. In St Albans itself and in the surrounding area, there remains plenty to see. We’ll be back!
Note: In my post last Saturday, I referred to St Albans twice as “Camulodunum”, including in the title. No one seems to have picked up on this or at least mentioned it. This was obviously a mistake, a slipped cog in the brain. The Roman name for St Albans was of course Verulamium. I have corrected the previous post but a tinge of embarrassment remains.