Adventures come in many different forms, to many different places.
This week I’ve been lucky enough to travel to England. Though it’s for work, already there have been many enjoyable moments. After a hectic Monday morning rushing to get everything I’d need for my trip, I couldn’t help but to forget quite a few things. Business attire? Left at home. Warmer clothes and a jacket? Hanging up in my closet. I swear, sometimes I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached to me!
But even after realizing all this, I made it to London Heathrow Airport without any issues and started my trip. Since my flight landed so early on Tuesday, I was able to actually take a leisurely stroll through the little town we’re staying in. Henley-on-Thames sits just on the Thames river as expected from the name. It’s a great town, full of what I’d imagined England to be like outside of the big cities.
Taking a walk down to one of the local stores to buy an adapter (forgot that, too), I was able to get a good feel for the area. Everyone I passes was so friendly and full of smiles, making me feel welcome. I don’t know if I stand out as a foreigner or if I blended in, but the pleasantries are always much appreciated.
After my little expedition, I decided to take a walk along the riverbed for about a mile, and the view was incredible. I could get used to this! The only thing that had me turning around for the hotel was the chilly evening air that started to roll in. But I knew the next day was going to offer an even better adventure.
On Wednesday morning, we were off to the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood.
Talk about a way to start the day! As soon as we arrived, there was a line of about twelve different vehicles for us to choose from, including the Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith. I ended up going with a silver Ghost, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, the roads took a bit to get used to. Those ;of us from the U.S. drive on the right side of the road from the left front of the car, which is the exact opposite in the UK.
After about ten minutes, I finally got my bearings and felt more comfortable in the $300,000+ beast. This car felt huge on the narrow back roads, and made me very nervous when passing other cars so close to the divider. About halfway through the route, I switched with my driving companion and was able to experience what this car was made for–chauffeuring.
But the day wasn’t just spent behind the wheel. We also had a chance to tour the factory and saw how each part of these opulent vehicles was created. If you think machines put these cars together, you’re sorely mistaken. Everything aside from the paint is done by hand, and I mean everything. Such craftsmanship is hard to come by and makes these cars unique. However, there are other high-end luxury automakers that also make their cars by hand, but I haven’t been to those factories (yet).
We called it a day shortly after a presentation by the CEO of the company and headed back to the hotel for dinner. We were going to Fawley Court, a large estate along the river. Going by boat up to a swanky party should be on anyone’s bucket list. It was truly a unique experience. We were introduced to the new Mini Cooper four-door, the first Mini ever built with four doors, and tomorrow, we get to take it out for a spin!