One of the defining features of my life in Europe has been being car-less most of the time. We have one vehicle, and my husband drives it to work every day. I walk Amelia to school and back, and walk into town to do my marketing and any other shopping. I like it. I am happy to walk for hours, and my life here is paced slowly enough that I don't usually have any good reason to need to get somewhere really fast-- I plan ahead and start walking in plenty of time. I am glad for the exercise, for the chance to see people face to face as I make my way through the streets. Do I get tired of lugging around bags and my dragging home an overflowing market trolley? Why, yes! But that's OK-- this is precisely the sort of thing my body was made to do, whether it is easier or not.
Anyway, despite all this, I often miss being able to get out of town. Bury St. Edmunds is very small. It's sweet, but limited. About once a month, Jeff arranges for someone to carpool to work and back, and I have the use of our car between 9:30 and 3:00. Not enough time to get TOO far away, but there are so many fascinating places nearby. I love driving on the little country roads all by myself, taking in all of the beautiful views. And what I really love is being able to walk around at my own pace with my camera-- with no one waiting for me to take my 10th (OK, 20th!) picture of the same building.
I am hoping to be able to share regularly from my quick solo road trips. (That means I have to take them!) This first one is from a medieval village town called Lavenham that is just about 20 minutes away from Bury. That is, unless they close all of the roads leading there for some sort of repairs all at the same time and you can't find a way home to save your life, and it actually takes you over two hours to get out of there. But you still get back home just in time to pick your kid up from school. Otherwise, it's just 15 miles away. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
And ornate wooden doors.