Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Invading UK 5: Bedford

For some reason whenever i came to think about Bedford, just like Detroit the first thing that comes into mind is cars, especially heavy ones, and going to Bedford i expected an industrial town, with smoky grey skies, dull buildings and boredom...

The reason i went to Bedford in the first place was having a free Sunday with nothing to do, so the choice was sudden without reading about where is a good place to go, the choice also had to be cheap so i don't regret spending the money on a place that turns out to be crap, and had to be close so i don't spend more time on the train than in the place itself, wise thinking, so Bedford came as a natural choice, close, cheap to go there and frequent trains are available to it.
Bedford is situated to the north of London, and the road between London and Bedford is truely beautiful and relaxing, the overlap of green and yellow filled fields is more than gorgeous.
As i got close to Bedford i almost got disappointed, suddenly the simptoms of the industrial city i expected came into sight, chimneys, smoke, steel parts all around...i started regretting going there, getting to the station it started looking better, nice houses, blooming trees all around, and i started walking, for the first 30-40 minutes it seemed like a little empty city with no signs of life (and by life here i mean people enjoying their weekend, shops, pubs, places to go...), then i came to a sign that said "town centre" and i followed that.
The more i walked the more people i started to see, shops, pubs, and so on started to appear, and i found signs of life after all.
The town centre of Bedford is just the same as in any other english town as far as i know, a place with lots of shops, shopping malls and arcades, restaurants, a church and loads of people on weekends. As i didn't expect much more, i tried to do some shopping, the weather is just perfect at this time of year in the southern parts of England, warm, sunny with a cool breeze and all clothes i have with me, are relatively thick winter sweaters from last time i was here, so i really needed a lighter blouse or two to manage my time here, went around, tried some stuff on but didn't like any and continued walking.
That's when i came to the river, River Great Ouse, and that's where my idea about this town started to change...dramatically!
The banks of the river are really nice, with nice houses around, people walking or cycling or just sunbathing there on the grass, rowing is a big thing there too, and i mean BIG thing, competitions are regularly held, a lot of rowers down in the water, people on bicycles encouraging their trainees or sons/daughters, people all around on the banks and numerous pedestrian bridges just enjoying the event, loads of rowing clubs on both banks, open air restaurants and a really happy atmosphere in general, my day became as bright and warm as the sun above me, and i felt really good.
Another amazing thing about that town is the huge amount of tulips of all colours. Awesome!
I spent my day walking till my legs started to ache, so i stopped for a nice pizza with a chocolate cake afterwards, then started heading back to the station, but just as i was supposed to turn left, i looked ahead and decided to see what's there, across the bridge that goes over the railway starts a quiet beautiful residential area and by walking more i found out that it's actually the outskirts of Bedford, because i reached to a point where houses became less and less, and then only green fields in sight, all the greenness is one of the few things i love about England. Reaching that point i decided that i've really overwalked Bedford and it was time to go back to Gatwick and get a nice rest, the way back was just as nice with the sun setting down and i felt even greater when i finally reached my room, changed, made myself a cup of tea and had a perfect night sleep.

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