Monday, 26 October 2009

The scenic route home

A random reflection on the beautiful county Wiltshire
Today I did something I used to fantasise about when working full time; I went down to the bus station to see which buses were in and just picked one at random … the one I chose was the 70 going to Marlborough. I hadn’t been to Marlborough for a while; I think it is true to say that although geographically quite close, there couldn't be two towns more different - although Swindon was once a small Wiltshire market town. (To illustrate the vast difference of today's Swindon I would need do an analysis of its economic history for the previous 170 years.)

An enjoyable couple of hours in Marlborough was spent ...
When I went to catch the bus home, a bus with 48a and Swindon on the front was waiting to leave. The driver looked very relaxed when he told me ‘this one goes by the scenic route’ so I jumped aboard.
What a lovely journey, the afternoon was still golden as we left Marlborough; the winding road seemed to follow the river Kennet for a while as we headed for the villages of Axford and Ramsbury. This is a part of Wiltshire I don’t get to see often as am usually heading in the Avebury/Devizes direction. The landscape was one of gentle undulation, grazing sheep, meandering river and the rosy pink of a late afternoon sky. We went through copper beech woods and ‘tunnels’ of autumn trees. By the time the bus reached Aldbourne, the silver-grey light of dusk was starting to settle over the timeless pastures. The country road ran parallel with the M4 for a few minutes and the views from either side of the bus were something of a sharp contrast. Baydon and Wanborough, the final two peaceful Wiltshire villages on our route before the bus sped down towards the bus station. Swindon seemed very busy and cosmopolitan after such peaceful, rural journey - the light was fading fast, it was good to be almost home.