Monday, December 7, 2009

Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK

Here we are in Stevenage, UK! So far we’ve only walked around Stevenage—and there isn’t a whole lot to see here. (In fact, when we went to the Stevenage Museum and asked what else we should see, the two ladies looked at each other and said “This is about it!”) We did see “Six Hills,” which is quite literally six mounds where ancient Romans and Britons are buried. It was rather strange to see them and think 1) there are people buried there and 2) they have been buried there for over a thousand years!

However, we are still having a great time, especially noting several (rather random)things that are just a little bit different than they are in the United States. Here are a few…

1. Moss grows everywhere! The roofs are covered with it.

2. Lights switches must be flipped the other way to turn on!

3. Of course, cars drive on the wrong side of the road. Which isn’t as odd as I thought it would be—unless you’re crossing a street! Then you have to make sure you’re looking for traffic coming from the right direction.

4. Matthew thinks it’s hilarious that you have to ask for the “toilets” instead of the restroom/bathroom. On that note… the bathrooms are horribly small here.

5. There are no traffic lights! Only very confusing round-a-bouts. That’s another thing to look out for when you cross the street. Instead of looking ‘both ways,’ you almost end up turning in a circle to check all the directions traffic is coming from!

6. Matthew also points out that they “talk weird” here. Which was to be expected. ;)

7. The electric outlets are different. I have to use my dad’s adaptor to charge all my electronics.

8. I saw sheep! In a field that is. Do you know, I realized upon seeing those sheep that I’ve never seen sheep outside of a zoo. Rather sad…

9. We passed a sign on the road that read “Motor Regulations End Here.” Which is rather scary to think about… there are also places with no speed limits.

10. Stevenage is a “new town,” meaning it was built after WWII. It also means that roads were designed with no traffic lights and cars, bicyclists and pedestrians all have their own road/path. And they are designed to never (or seldom) intersect. All the walking paths go under the road instead of crossing it.

11. Just about everyone looks SO proper here—even the little kids are dressed very nicely. I can’t imagine Tiffany (who is 10) ever dressing as nice as the little kids I saw at McDonalds! Of course, that might be more indicative of a laid back Midwestern life rather than an American trait… but still, it was interesting to see. :)

12. Apparently they don’t believe in ice here. At least, I have yet to get any in any of my drinks.

It’s funny… I remember thinking everything was a little different when we first got here, but they are all such small things that I can’t remember what they all are! I’m sure I will think of more eventually and when I do, I’ll be sure to make note of them!

Tomorrow we head to Cambridge for the day! We plan to follow a walking tour route we found online and see the sights listed on it. It also came with 18 pages of historical information, so we’ll learn as we go. (Just don’t tell Matthew!)


  1. Sounds like you are having a grand time! I can't wait to see pictures! Do have some fish and chips - and whatever you do, don't mention "fanny packs"

  2. When you say people are so proper, does that mean no one wears shorts? Is Matthew having to wear pants then?