Tag Archives: England

Circuitous Travel~Part 10

29 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

This day’s trip into London was a bit of a busy one. According to my notes, we made our way to a Christian bookstore to purchase a copy of the book The Flying Scotsman, the story of Eric Liddell. If you remember, and according to Wikipedia:

  “Eric Liddell was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary, who chose his religious beliefs over competing in an Olympic race held on a Sunday.

 At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Liddell refused to run in the heats for his favoured 100 metres because they were held on a Sunday. Instead he competed in the 400 metres held on a weekday, a race that he won [in record time. His record held for 20 years]. He returned to China in 1925 to serve as a missionary teacher. Aside from two furloughs in Scotland, he remained in China until his death in a Japanese civilian internment camp in 1945 [of an inoperable brain tumor].

 Liddell’s Olympic training and racing, and the religious convictions that influenced him, are depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire…”

We had been most impressed with the movie about Eric Liddell, and wanted the full story about him, hence the purchase of the book. This is a picture from Google and Park Baptist Church that tells of his running philosophy. Amazing.

 

 

After that stop, we went to a china rejects shop to look for some replacement china pieces we had broken. Really exciting, huh?

After that, we found a Scottish House that sold Scotland garments, cloth (tartans) and other items from Scotland. We were looking specifically for Fred’s clan’s tartan (Gunn Clan),

 

The Gunn Tartan

 

and a Gunn pin.

 

The Gunn Crest. Credit Google search

 

 

I had intended to make some kind of tartan garments for our daughters. I’ve since made a shawl for each of them. The pin has been lost, unfortunately.

Our next stop took a bit of time, and we thoroughly enjoyed it all. We went to Madame Tussauds wax museum, and the Planetarium . That was such fun to wander through and see all the wax figures there. We were most impressed with the figures of the Royal Family. Here are some pictures we took.

 

 

Our final stop of the day was to head out to Wimbledon to see a Wimbledon tennis match, if possible. At first, we were only allowed admittance to the “nose-bleed” section, which is also the “standing-room-only” section. Later, as the day wore on, and people began to leave, we were permitted to go down to some of the seats and finish out the match. Much better!! What we saw that day, was a doubles match, between John Newcombe and Tony Roche vs. Casal and Hocevar (sorry, I can’t seem to find the first names of Casal or Hocevar).

 

 

It was such fun to be able to see it in person! Much as we enjoy watching tennis on TV, there’s just something about being “in the stands” to see it live that makes it more enjoyable.

It was a good day, but we were eager to get back to the B&B and rest.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 6

1 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

The following day was a busy one for us, as we made our way to London and the B&B where we were scheduled to stay for a week.

We left Llangollen and drove to Bath.

 

Credit Google Search and All That Is Interesting

 

We were fascinated by the Roman ruins of Bath. We didn’t know a lot about Bath – except for the fact that the Romans built public baths – but from Google search, I found:

Bath is a town set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture. Honey-coloured Bath stone has been used extensively in the town’s architecture, including at Bath Abbey, noted for its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows. The museum at the site of the original Roman-era Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple.

 

Credit Google Search and Everything Everywhere Travel Blog

 

 

I’m not sure we even knew there was Bath Abbey, universities, and other sites to visit. If we were to visit there now, we would take more time to see everything we could.

 

Credit Google Search and Pinterest

 

Being a great King Arthur fan, I was interested to learn, again from Google search, that

Bath may have been the site of the Battle of Badon ©. AD 500), in which King Arthur is said to have defeated the Anglo-Saxons. Hmmm.   I also found: Edgar of England was crowned king of England in Bath Abbey in 973, in a ceremony that formed the basis of all future English coronations.

I also found that Jane Austen lived in Bath with her father, mother, and sister Cassandra for five years – 1801-1806, and several of her books take place in Bath.

I really love this history stuff!!

Moving on…we had heard of/read about Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain for many years, so that was a “must see” on our list of things to do while in England.

 

Credit Google Search and EnglishHeritage.org

 

And so that was our next stop – Amesbury and Stonehenge. After having the stones described as “monoliths,” we were a bit disappointed to find that they weren’t as enormous as we thought they might be. Yes, they are huge, but not the towering stones we thought they would be. However, they were still quite impressive to us.

 

 

 

According to Englishheritage.org, Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.

 

Again, being a King Arthur fan, I was amused to see that many say the magician Merlin built Stonehenge. However, other sources say that he just added the headstone, and honored Ambrosius with it. So many speculations.

They also mentioned that Stonehenge has been the site of burials from its earliest time. It was also mentioned that the Salisbury Plain has been a sacred site in England for centuries.

While we weren’t able to walk around and through the standing stones, we were able to get more up close and personal that if we visited today. We’ve seen pictures of the area with a fence around it, to protect it from vandals. Pity.

Following our time at Stonehenge, we headed on to London. We dropped off our luggage at the Allen’s house, then drove to Heathrow to turn in our rental car. We then had supper at Heathrow and took the Tube to Kew Gardens, where the Allen’s house is located.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

Our Trip to UK~Part 2

11 Dec

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites

Bill

Now we headed west thru Portsmouth and Southampton toward Salisbury, with no Garmin, GPS tracker or cell phone to aid us.   I don’t know how we ever found our way the rest of that almost 85 miles to South Newton, Salisbury and to our first B & B, but 1we finally got there just before dusk.  Newton Cottage B & B was an “Olde Worlde” (circ.1670) thatched roof house, that we learned was listed as a building of historic and architectural interest.  It was typical of a lot of the homes in this area, many of which had been converted into B & Bs.  This was the only B & B reservation we had made from the U.S. and we were thrilled with the accommodations.  Of course, the doorways and ceilings were very low, the stairs and floors squeaked, and when the ad said “Central Heat” that meant warm enough for the English, not for someone use to Florida weather.

There was another couple staying at Newton Cottage with us and we all had a 2wonderful time comparing travel notes.  The local Pub, where we took our evening meals, was just across the street from our B & B, and down a small tree covered lane.  What a picture that made!  As it turned out, the Pub owner collected matchbook covers, as I did, and he gave me some of his duplicates.  I made arrangements to send him some of my duplicates as soon as we got home.  (Another fun hobby lost to the demands of the environmentalists).

 DiVoran remembers sitting in the kitchen one morning with Mrs. Clark, looking at a field across the road, full of gamboling lambs, and saying how sweet they were.  The mistress said, “Indeed they are adorable.  But, every spring when I see them, I must school myself not to think of roasted lamb.“

We stayed at Newton Cottage two nights while we spent the days visiting the sites in and around Salisbury.  Salisbury has a beautiful Cathedral which was finished around 31260 AD, after the city was first established in approximately 1220 AD.  We visited a unique War Memorial and cemetery for the men from this southern Wilshire area who fought and died in what was then called “The Great War” (1914-1917).

And, of course, we visited prehistoric Stonehenge, which is located only 8 miles north of Salisbury.  Archeologists now believed construction of the stone structure, as we know it, could have begun as early as 2500-3000 BC.  There are no written records of who built the monument or why, but the most popular theories are that over the years it was most probably used as an ancestral worship center and burial ground for 4many different cultures.  Whatever religious, mystical or spiritual elements were central to the construction of Stonehenge over the centuries, its design includes a celestial observatory function, which might have allowed for the prediction of eclipse, solstice, equinox and other celestial events important to contemporary religions of those different times.                                                                             

We asked our hosts at the Newton Cottage B & B to look over our guidebook, for the town of our next  planned night’s stop, and give us their recommendations for accommodations.  This turned out to be a wonderful way to set up our lodgings for the whole trip, as most of the time the B & B owners knew each other, or they knew of other respectable B & Bs which would best suit our needs.  This took a lot of pressure off us and made our trip much more enjoyable.

 

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

Our Trip to UK~Part 1

4 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill

Our Trip To The UK Part 1

By Bill Lites

 

In the first week in October 1991, DiVoran and I boarded a Delta Airlines L-1011 airplane in Orlando, Florida to begin a three week trip-of-a-lifetime to England, Scotland and Wales.  The occasion of this special trip was to continue our 34th wedding anniversary celebration, which we had started the month before.  We flew from Orlando to Atlanta, and connected with another Delta flight across the “Pond” (Atlantic Ocean) to the London Gatwick airport, just south of London.  What a delightful trip that was.  We were served a magnificent 3-course Filet Mignon dinner, with our choice of wine, and dessert.  After several sleepless hours, we were given hot towels to freshen up with, and then later we were served a wonderful full-course breakfast (Oh, for the good old days).  We landed in a typical English fog and mist, which gave us a taste of what we could look forward to in the way of weather, during our upcoming UK travels.

1

The first big surprise was at the rental car office, where I discovered the car we had rented was “stick shift.”  Now, I can handle a normal stick shift transmission here in the U.S. where you drive on the right side of the road, steering with my left hand and shifting with my right hand.  But, since we were now in the UK, where they drive on the left side 2of the road, and steer from the right side of the car; that meant I was going to have to drive with my right hand and shift with my left hand, while trying to keep from hitting a pedestrian or running off the road into a ditch.  Are you beginning to get the picture?  All this, while trying to read the road signs and dealing with the “Round-A-Bout” intersections, that were new to both DiVoran and me.  I was going to have to retrain my brain if we were going to live to see the rest of the UK we had come to visit.  DiVoran and I agreed that she would remind me to stay on the left side of the road every time I started to stray to the right.  Leaving the rental car  agency parking area dumped us right into Charlwood city traffic, so it was white knuckle driving from the “get-go” with DiVoran yelling, “KEEP LEFT” – “KEEP LEFT” at every cross-street and round-a-bout.

By some miracle, we made it out of the Charlwood city area.  Then as we were heading south toward Brighton Beach, the windshield wipers stopped working.  We used one of 3those cool looking red telephone booths to call the rental car agency, who told us we would have to take the car to a Vauxhall dealer in the area to get them fixed.  Great!  Now we had to locate a Vauxhall dealership in a town we knew nothing about, and pray they wouldn’t give us a hassle reserved for “American Tourists.”  As it turned out, we were able to find the Vauxhall dealership without too much trouble, and they fixed the wiper motor, without as much as a, “And where are you from, Yank?”

Since we had arrive at around 8:00 am, and the repairs hadn’t take long, we decided to go ahead and make the short trip to Brighton Beach to check out the Brighton Pavilion & 4Museum there.  The Royal Pavilion was built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, and was not finished until 1822, where it was used as a remote location for the discreet liaisons of the then King George IV.  The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery contains beautiful displays of Art Nouveau, Art Deco furniture and other decorative art.  There are also Sussex area archaeology relics and the history of Brighton.   The Booth Museum of Natural History, the Preston Manor and the Grange Rottingdean are short distances away, but we were getting tired and saved them for another day.

                                   

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

 

 

 

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