July 1, 2007

This morning we had breakfast at about 8 am. We had cereal and tea, which was a change from the large breakfasts we had had at the youth hostels. Chris and Ruth were going to church this morning, so Chris drove us down into Exeter and dropped us off at the quay on the Exe River. From there we walked down to the end of the quay, where there were some antique shops. Two of them had gurgling fish jugs, but they were smaller than the one we have at home. Their prices ranged from ₤9 to ₤16.50.

After leaving the quay we walked up into the city. We followed a walking route that took us along the old city walls to various places of interest, including an old Roman bridge and the Exeter Cathedral, not to mention the new shops in High Street. After noon we went over to the bus station to wait for Matthew, who was coming in from a conference in China. His bus was early, so he was already there waiting for us. Chris picked us all up and we went back to his house for lunch.

In the afternoon we decided to visit the National Trust site of Castle Drogo, in the north of Dartmoor. Unlike the military castles we had visited so far, this one had been built in the 20th century for a grocery entrepreneur. So, no defensive fortifications. But it did contain the usual collection of paintings and opulent personal effects. Parts of the building were covered up because of the massive and expensive efforts (we heard the sum of ₤6 million pounds mentioned) being made by the National Trust to fix the leaking roof.

We left the castle and went on a walk to the Dingle Bridge. The path went down to the Teign River, whose valley the castle overlooked. At the bridge was the Fisherman’s Rest pub, where we had tea and scones with Devon cream and jam. By now the rain had started again, so it was lucky we were inside. And by the time we had finished tea, luckily the rain had stopped again. We returned by following the path along the river and then climbing back up to the castle where we had parked. This took just over an hour.

We returned to Exeter and Ruth cooked a very good dinner: chicken in mustard and honey sauce with potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Dessert was strudel. After dinner we sat around and chatted. We watched the news on television and found out that car bombs had been set off at Glasgow airport and in London. It will be interesting to see what airport security is like when we leave next week. Tomorrow we are planning a walk in Dartmoor, so we are hoping for a good day, weather-wise.

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