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long steep walk before reaching the village street, and about half way down on the hillside is a beautiful little reading room, or library, where people can rest. In going down, I was obliged to rest frequently, and on reaching the inn I was glad to stop. Gusty, however, thought she would like to see the end of the street and went on down. It was much longer than she anticipated and she did not go to its end. On our return climb, she was quite tired and I about exhausted, even though I rested every few steps all the way up. My heart was beating so that I was rather frightened for a while. We found chairs in a little waiting-room, and by the time our victoria was ready were rested.
We left the coast here, taking a victoria for a beautiful drive through a private park, called Hobby Drive, taking our coach again at the lodge gate. This drive wound through old moss and ivy-grown trees, over artistic stone bridges, winding in and out over streams, curving around hill-tops; where we caught glimpses of the sea and quiet little Cloveley, and finally coming out at the lodge. The lodge-keeper, a middle-aged woman, came to meet us and invited us to wait in the lodge until our coach arrived. She lives there, with her old mother, who is nearly blind. We were greatly entertained and amused by their quaint language and expressions. She served tea to Gusty while we were there and I bought postcards and played with the cat, of which they were quite proud. He was a fine animal, but the woman said he was a great rover. These women admired a water-proof motor veil that I wore, trying in many ways, but without the question direct, to find out where I had purchased it and what I gave for it. When told it came from Peter Robinson's, London, it was more than ever an object of beauty to them.
Our coach arriving, we mounted to our places and commenced our return drive to Bideford, which we reached in time to catch the evening train for Barnstable. We gave our coachman a good tip as we left him. He was most gorgeous in his red coat. At Barnstable we stopped at the Imperial Hotel. This is fine in every way.
BARNSTABLE AND BATH
Saturday, June 4. We took the train for Bath, called "Bäth" by our English cousins. We went to the Empire Hotel, which I thought was miles from the station, it took so long for our cab driver to reach there, but which is really only three or four squares. He was evidently working for an extra fare. After locating and lunch, we took a carriage to see the celebrated old Roman baths. These are in a fine state of preservation. New baths have been built in connection with these, but the same piping system is used that was built centuries ago by the Romans. In the time of the Romans and in the eighteenth century, Bath was a fashionable watering place, but now it is very quiet and aristocratic. From here we drove to Bath Abbey, called the Lantern of England on account of the size and number of its windows. Afterward we drove through the city and its suburbs, having lovely views everywhere, as it lies in the Avon valley. It is partially built on the hill-side and has numerous crescent streets peculiar to itself. Returning to the hotel, we had tea and some Bath buns, for which this place is noted. We went by train in the evening to Wells, changing cars at Bristol. We passed through Chedder, where the famous Chedder cheese is made. On arriving at Wells, we drove to the Swan Hotel. This is just opposite the cathedral, the grounds opening into each other.
The next morning, Sunday, June 5, we went to service in the cathedral. It was commencing to rain at the time. After service we went over the cathedral, chapter house and cloisters. The chief interest of Wells is the cathedral and its surrounding buildings which form one of the loveliest groups of ecclesiastical buildings in the world. It poured rain all afternoon and we wrote letters and rested. Leaving late Sunday evening for Bristol, where we stopped over night at Hotel Royal.
Monday, June 6. We left by train for Fishgard, changing cars at Cardiff, South Wales. We lunched in the dining-car, which was the last good meal we took till the following day. I never hear the name Fishgard without feeling very uneasy in my stomach. From here we took the steamer, Rosslare route, for Rosslare, Ireland. We had an extremely rough passage over, a great number of the passengers being very ill. Gusty and I took a stateroom, going direct to it and making ourselves as comfortable as possible. Gusty rarely escapes being ill on shipboard, and this trip was no exception, while I was very uncomfortable. This is the shortest route to Ireland, but it was too long for us and many others. One lady who was traveling with her daughter was so very ill she looked as though she would scarcely survive, but we learned afterward she recovered. We took the train from here direct to Cork (Shure). It being after night when we arrived, we went to the Imperial Hotel.
The next morning it was showery, and we had showery weather all through Ireland. After breakfast we took a closed carriage out to Blarney Castle. I wanted to take a jaunting car, but Gusty said as the weather was uncertain we would be more safe in a carriage. A party started about the same time we did in jaunting cars and open carriages. The drive is beautiful all the way. We could have gone by rail, as the cars go through the little village of Blarney. About half way out it commenced thundering and soon it commenced to pour rain. We were protected, but the party back of us in jaunting cars and open carriages must have been damp, to say the least. On reaching the village of Blarney, we waited in the little station until the heaviest of the shower had passed. Then securing our tickets, we started for the castle. The keeper, an Irish woman, met us and we went in. We were shown the lower rooms, which are absolutely bare of everything, the floors being of earth. She then took us to the stairs, which are circular, and are 148 steps in flight, with neither banisters or hand rail. All the party but myself went up. Views from the top of the tower are very fine. The Blarney stone is just below one of the battlements which support the tower and can be touched by the fingers in a kneeling position. I have heard it can be kissed if you were held by your heels. While the rest were up in the tower, I looked at and purchased post-cards. A hard thunder shower came up while the party were up there, and I was glad when they came below once more. The grounds are picturesque and beautiful. A brook winds in and out through the trees and along the