Every Saturday morning Gonzo gets up super early and takes the train to Maidenhead, a little town about one hour outside London, where he teaches TV & Film at the local drama school.
He warned me that it’s a rather unspectacular place, but curious as I am, I insisted to accompany him, at least once. So today we got up together, had a breakfast on the go (consisting of flat whites and almond croissants) at Paddington Station and went to Maidenhead.
We arrived at about 9:30, when the shops weren’t even open yet and the whole town seemed still asleep – it was a Saturday after all. I guess the greyish weather didn’t help much either to wake up the town. And while Gonzo was working from 10 to 13, I had three hours to kill.
After having a walk in the high street, watching sleepy people emerge slowly and tasting some fresh British strawberries at the market, I decided to head out of town to visit Maidenheads only true attraction: the railway bridge “The Sounding Arch” – designed by the engineer and architect Brunel and made famous by J. M. W. Turner who featured it in his painting Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway.
I had a lovely walk through the outskirts of the little town, walking through a mesmerizing green park and along some very nice country houses (you know, the kind with wrought iron gates and bay windows) until i finally reached the bridge.
To be honest, it wasn’t quite as impressive as I imagined. The best thing was the echo right under it. 😉 I shouted my name a couple of times, took some pictures and waited until I saw a train passing. I guess the non-impressiveness is due to the perspective and if I was to see it from above (like Turner painted it) it would be much more spectacular!
When Gonzo finished working, I met him in the town centre and we had a pub lunch in The Maiden’s Head; a nice finish to a nice morning – and yes, I completely chose the pub based on it’s name! 🙂
Here’s the Wikipedia link, if you want to read more about the famous railway bridge.