Tommy had school work to sort out today, but I was pretty eager to get out of the house. The day started off sunny, which of course meant it turned to crap as soon as we were ready to leave. But if there's one thing you learn in England is that you can't let rain dictate your day. Pack a brolly, wear a hooded jacket, and get on with it!
We left Aldeburgh with every intention of heading home. I was armed with Google maps with directions home from there. But as we began to head home, I saw signs for Orford. Orford Castle was on my short list of local castles to visit. As it was only about 2:30, I made a quick decision that we might as well head over to see it while we were in the area.Where as Framlingham is primarily a curtain wall, all that remains of Orford is the keep. And it's a pretty impressive keep! Orford was built by Henry II to help manage the Suffolk area and to kind of serve as a reminder to the Bigods (who built Framilingham) that he (Henry) was king and had the power in the country. It was kind of cool to hear how the two castles histories were intertwined.
This, however, seriously cracked me up. In all the castles we've seen over here, I've never seen this before. And the audio tour indicated that it's pretty rare. It's a urinal. A small, triangular cut out in the wall allowing for easy relief for the resident of that room (presumable the castle's constable.) The pee goes straight outside down the wall of the castle. Hilarious! Pardon the poor picture. I actually took it about six times, and this was the best I could get in that small hallway.
After we finished touring Orford Castle, we were ready to go home. But I got a bit turned around in town and ended up at Orford Quay (the town wharf.)
Since the sun was out again, we parked the car and wandered around for a bit.
We wandered out onto a peir. I dunno. Would you call this a pier? Or a dock? Or a jetty? Or a berth? I really don't know. The town of Orford called this one a pontoon on the sign. But I'm used to thinking of swamp boats as pontoons. So I'll say it's a pier.
The end of day sun made for some great pictures, but it was definitely getting cold and time to head home.
The ride home was a bit of an adventure, as well. Since our newly ordered GPS isn't in yet, I was utilizing some printed directions and a map of Southern England my brother gave me as a Christmas gift the year before we moved here. But every time I thought I had found my bearings, I would end up in a town I was not prepared to see. So I'd consult my maps, readjust my route, and press forward...just to find a sign indicating I was not heading the right way. So I'd recalculate and readjust and press forward.
For about a half hour I kept finding myself in strange towns. I'd review my route and have no idea how I ended up there. I'm telling you, man, English roads and English maps do NOT correlate. The first few times, I didn't mind too much. I had no deadline to get home, and it was kind of a challenge for my map skills. But after about the eight reevaluation of the map, I was going NUTS! When I finally saw a sign that indicated that I was actually on the road I meant to be on and heading in the direction I wanted to be going, I was literally proclaiming my own awesomeness as loudly as possible.
Just goes to show you, sometimes the adventures you set out to have may not be the most adventurous part of your day! In spite of our overly scenic route home, we had a great time. Glad to be checking a few more castles off of our list!