We descended through thick clouds to find ourselves flying above an emerald patchwork tablecloth of Fields sprinkled with sheep. Welcome to England and typical England weather. We are definitely not in Morocco anymore.
I don't know if it is just because I understand what everyone is saying, but it seems English people talk a lot. In lines, instead of a quick transaction, interactions seem to draw themselves out into a chatty conversation or a legal argument like example of persuasive speech. So far, no kids have asked for money but several tried to mess up a photo we were taking, eventually evoking a tirade from Rowshan about spoiled brats.
We ended up going to a lot of shopping places looking for a computer for Mehran, Rowshan's friend and neighbor whom he hadn't seen in 10 years. The stores were gleaming, sleek environments with displays of all the latest technological toys. I couldn't help but think how it was completely different, the complete opposite of the beautiful empty Sahara we'd been in only a few days before.
Carol and Mehran were both very kind. Carol was very busy but was smiling and cheerful. They both cooked huge delicious meals.
One day we took a quick visit to Winchester, a quaint English town full of tame orderly buildings. Nothing threatening, nothing out of place, everything clean and cute. There was a cathedral and other historic buildings but we didn't spend too much time wandering.
Southampton turned out to have a few sites: the Bargate: an old gate that once was part of the walls of which some remain around the town but the ones by the gate itself had been destroyed.
Southampton's main claim to historical fame is that it was where the Titanic was launched from. Therefor, many of the the crew were Southampton residents, a fact commemorated on a monument in the central green.
There is a pretty beach which we took a walk on.
There are also the ruins of the Netley Abbey, an 800 year old Cistercian monastery. This was the prettiest site in Southampton: crumbling stone walls looking mysterious and ancient against the emerald of the trees and grass surrounding it. I thought it interesting that the cathedral now was open to the sky and blended with nature making it seem more like a place for druids than monks.