I am sure we are the only Americans who ever keep coming back to Tonbridge. We met some locals in NZ last March, and they couldn't believe there were any Americans who even knew that the town exists. But, it is familiar and on a straight train line to London.
We left Bern and the Hirnis at 7:00 a.m. this morning, changed trains in Bern with Baenz's help, and arrived at Geneva airport at 9:30. Our flight left just a little late, but we got into Gatwick at 12:00 UK time, an hour earlier than Switzerland. It took a long time to walk to the terminal, clear customs, walk and walk to baggage claim, change money, and we finally decided to eat lunch in a new place upstairs in the south terminal that claims to be a Caribbean restaurant. It really was very good! It was a good decision - a little food and a little wine go a long way to restoring one's faith in humanity and the ability to carry on. Gatwick is being renovated, and it needs it. It is very crowded and looks a bit down at the heels. I am sure they are thinking about the Olympics in 2012.
The train trip to Tonbridge was remarkably easy, with "lifts" at each station, and we were in Tonbridge by 3:00 p.m. (English time). Now, we are settled into our "cottage," and ready to walk up the High Street to Waitrose to find supplies for dinner. Bill, of course, wants a "pie." Probably, a chicken/mushroom one.
We have negotiated another day of connections and long-distance travel. It is a bit physical and a little stressful, but we can still do it! We now have a week of England before leaving for Dublin next Monday. The saga continues.