Surrey, England: For today’s adventure, Shirley and Martin planned a day in Berkshire. We first visited Cliveden, a historical home in the National Trust, surrounded by acres of gardens.

Clivedon House

Martin, looking at the belltower at Clivedon

Clivedon House, from the back

Two views of the bell tower

Beautiful gardens between the house and the River Thames

Dave and I in front of a fountain on the estate

Park bench in the gardens

Shirley & Martin trying to get lost in the maze

Water lily in a pond at Clivedon

After touring around the estate and gardens, Martin drove us down to the river and we had sandwiches and a pint of Guinness at The Olde Bell Inn – a proper English Pub started in 1135 (not a typo!).

After lunch we had another long walk along The Thames at the Hurley Locks.

This evening Shirley had a party for us and invited her girls, her Mum and her dear friend, Lally. Shirley prepared several puff-pastry appetizers, a chilled curried chicken salad, pasta salad, roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes with pesto, a beet salad and several desserts.

We practically starved.

Roasted Tomatoes with pesto sauce

Shirley and Martin have two children. Emma (left) is Lisa’s age and they were playmates in Taipei. Emma is married and lives in London. Kate (barely visible due the fact I was busy snapping photos of her adorable cherub, Jessica) is two years younger and lives with her husband just a few minutes from her parents. Jessica, nearly 4 months, is their first child.

Dave and I slept fairly well last night and we both remained awake (and mostly coherent) all day, so our jetlag is not bothering us too much.

Another wonderful day in the English Countryside. Not sure what our hosts have planned for us in the morning, but I will be there with my camera.

Until my next update, I remain, your touring correspondent.

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