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A Blog From a Mad Max Tours Guest

There'll always be an England, while there's a country lane. Wherever there's a cottage small, beside a field of grain... There'll always be an England... and England shall be free, if England means as much to you as England means to me." Vera Lynn

This is the England I experienced today. I took a bus tour through the Cotswolds, an area of rolling hills in south western England where fortunes in the Middle Ages were tied to the wool industry and where the term "new" implies something dating from the 1700s.

This is the England of fairy tales and flower-filled gardens. This is the England that lives in fantasies. Even the names of the towns are poetic. Today I visited Castle Combe (where the original Dr. Doolittle and Warhorse were filmed), Bibury, Malmesbury (burial place of Athelstan, the first King of England), Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower Slaughter and Tetbury (home of the Alice who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland and location of Prince Charles' Highgrove House).

n short, I spent the entire day in a garden. Our tour guide, Kevin, drove us for miles and miles, but we never left the garden. Everything is so impeccably manicured, yet so natural, that it hardly seems real.

There were four people on the bus from Australia, two from California and one from Texas whom I befriended, and Kevin was the best guide and became a friend who joined me for lunch and continued with me the conversation I began with the Vicar yesterday. I am meeting the best people on this trip.

It was another memorable day.

We returned to Bath about 5:30, and I took a farewell walk through town. I'm absolutely spent. I grabbed a few sandwiches at Pret a Manger, came back to the hotel, showered and hopped in bed.

I leave for York in the morning. Bath has been wonderful. I had no idea I'd like it so much. The architecture is enough to win my heart, but Bath is so much more. It's a hospitable place. People are warm and kind. I would venture to say this is the friendliest place I've ever vacationed.

It's a fragrant place ... In the city center, the aroma of food tempts you at every turn. And at the Circus, the Crescent and Victoria Park, the sweet perfume of roses hypnotizes you. I walked where my nose led me.