Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

... I went to England. I traveled around the West Country and beyond, seeing lots of Devon and Cornwall. I stayed there for two months and, when it came time to go home, I didn't want to leave. (It's a good thing I did, though; otherwise I would not have met Richard. Things have a way of working out.)

I spent most of my time in Plymouth, working in a marine science library. The librarian made sure I got to see a lot of the sights. I want to share some of my pictures with you. Let me apologize up front for the smallness of the pictures. These were all taken with film cameras (I had two of them) and the photos have been scanned. Click on the photos to see them bigger.

This is the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth. The Pilgrims stopped in Plymouth on their way to America (they originally departed from Southampton) and this is where they got off and back on the ship. You can see the River Plym (which rises on Dartmoor) and parts of the city. That little structure in the middle of the picture houses a representation of Plymouth Rock and a placque commemorating the voyage. On either side of the structure is a flagpole, one flying the British flag and the other flying the American flag. The citizens of Plymouth celebrate Fourth of July, with American flags flying on the fishing boats and such. It's a very friendly city.

I've entitled this photo "Hottie on Dartmoor." I have no idea who this young man is, but he looked so appealing in his black clothes, with his blond hair, riding on his white horse, so I took a picture of him. I was standing on that rock outcropping in the foreground (called a tor) when he came riding by. Dartmoor (the setting for Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles) is a spectacular place. You can see for miles across the countryside. When I was in England, the weather was almost always beautiful, with lots of sunshine and blue skies. I nearly wore out my camera.

Well, everybody knows what this is. It was another lovely day and I took a dozen pictures of Stonehenge from all angles. One of the interesting things about Stonehenge is that it seems more compact in real life than it does in pictures. That does not, however, make it any less impressive. The day we visited Stonehenge, we left just as a busload of Spanish teenagers arrived, otherwise there would have been a lot more people in my pictures.

Wells Cathedral is in the small city of Wells, in Somerset. Building was begun in 1180 AD. When I was there, they were in the process of restoring the cathedral, employing craftsmen skilled in the techniques used when the building was first being built. All the associated buildings are still intact. If I remember correctly, the Bishop's Palace is also still standing on the grounds. It has a moat.

Glastonbury Abbey was one of the great abbeys seized by Henry VIII after he parted ways with the Church in Rome. Locals used the property as a quarry for building materials and it fell into ruins. What's left is being preserved beautifully. It's the place where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are thought to be buried.

Buckingham Palace as seen from St. James Park. It was a little misty. The Queen was not in residence that day, not that I would have gotten to see her if she was. I didn't get to see the actual Changing of the Guard, but I saw the Guard riding off down the street afterwards. It was just a matter of timing.

This is fuschia, something you see all over the place in the summer. Did you know that fuschia comes in many colors besides fuschia? I took this picture out in front of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Here's another recognizable structure. I believe I took this on the same misty day that I took the picture of Buckingham Palace. The Houses of Parliament sit right on the Thames, and on the other side of it is Westminster Abbey.

This is a statue of Boadicea (sometimes spelled Boudicca or Boudica), one of the greatest heroines of British history. This statue stands across from the Parliament buildings near Westminster Bridge.

The Tower of London. I took this picture from the grounds of the Tower. The most common picture is taken from the Tower Bridge (I have one of those as well), but I like this one better. I didn't tour the inside of the Tower. I may have been freaked out by the tales of ghosts.


dominic said...

Wells Cathedral is a fabulous building, with its "wishbone" that looks like it supports the bulk of the central tower (but sadly now proven not to) or it 64 georgous mid 14th century misericords. It is really a place that demands a return visit!

Theresa said...

Thanks for making me wish I was anywhere but here. And thanks for the spelling help. I need all I can get. Of everything:)

Genie said...

Wonderful pictures! I have always wanted to roam around England.


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