BC: We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. ANAIS NIN | No matter what pops up along the way!
FC: England & The Baltic? August 19-31, 2013
1: The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine | Roger & Sandy Cusack Terry & Kelly Shriner Bob & Karen Carnahan Alan & Carolyn Harms | Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas August 19 to 31, 2013
2: London............................................................4 Cotswolds..........................................................10 Cruise begins......................................................26 Ports of Call Copenhagen, Denmark........................................28 Stockholm, Sweden...........................................38 Helsinki, Finland............................................48 St. Petersburg, Russia.................................... ..56 Tallinn, Estonia..............................................86 Gothenburg, Sweden..........................................98 Life on board............................................. ......100
3: Back in England Blenheim Palace.............................................110 Bath........................................................122 Avebury.....................................................132 Highclere Castle.............................................134 Salisbury....................................................142 Newbury....................................................144
4: We gathered in London, staying at The Grange Strathmore Hotel. This building had once been the home of the father of the Queen Mother. The room on the right was not our hotel room, but the place where we gathered before venturing out. Our rooms were very nicely appointed, but very small. We loved the quaint view out the window of our room. | London | Queen's Gate into Hyde Park | Royal Albert Hall
5: The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861 at the age of 42. The memorial consists of an ornate canopy or pavilion, in the style of a Gothic ciborium over the high altar of a church, containing a statue of the prince facing south. The memorial is 176 feet tall, took over ten years to complete, and cost 120,000 British Pounds (the equivalent of about 10,000,000 in 2010).
6: Kensington Palace | There we were , right at Kensington Palace. Wouldn't you think that William and Kate would want to bring out little George to show him off to us?
7: Prince Bob does not quite have the ring of "Prince Albert.," but he will always be my prince.
8: On Saturday night our English Pub experience was complete with energetic Football (soccer) fans! | After our day in The Cotswolds, we walked to Piccadilly Circus. It was Sunday night, very little was open, but it was packed with people...just like us!
9: Statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus | In any country, Italian food should always be followed by................... gelato! | Don't know if this is creative insulation or just bringing the forest into the city, but it is amazing.
10: Minster Lovell is a village of two halves on either side of the River Windrush. New Minster is mainly a residential area on the south side, whereas on the north in Old Minster, little cottages with thatched or Cotswold stone roofs line the road. At the east end of Old Minster is St. Kenelm's Church. The present building was constructed in 1450 on the site of an earlier 12th century church. Saint Kenelm was a Saxon prince, The name "Minster" in the name of the village suggests that the village may have been a Saxon "parish". The suffix "Lovell" was added to the name from the 13th century when a William Lovell held land here. | The Cotswolds Tour
11: The Cotswolds are a range of hills in southwestern and west-central England, an area 25 miles across and 90 miles long. The area has been designated as the "Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty." The area is famous for hundreds of honey-color limestone villages in a beautiful rural setting. The name means “sheep pens on hillsides. "
12: Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. MIRIAM BEARD
13: The Cotswolds
14: Roger demonstrating a stile.
15: Kissing Gate demonstrations. | The Cotswolds
16: Burford dates back to the Saxon period of English history; there has always been some sort of settlement along the River Windrush in Burford. The town is populated by buildings built in rich yellow Cotswold stone. We ate at Huffkins Tea House & Restaurant. | Burford
17: The Corswolds
18: Burford Church was founded in 1175 and was funded by rich wool merchants made wealthy by Cotswold Wool. The Church has a bloody notoriety as it was used in 1649 as a temporary prison for 340 rebel soldiers by Oliver Cromwell after the English Civil War. He personally executed several rebel soldiers in the Churchyard for their refusal to follow orders. | Burford Church
19: Scratchings on the baptismal font are from prisoners held here by Cromwell. | The rebel Cromwellian soldiers were known as Levellers. | The Cotswolds
20: The famous Turret Clock, one of the oldest mechanical clocks in Britain that has been ticking away since 1685.
21: Burford Churh in The Cotswolds
22: Bibury is situated on the River Coln. It is one of the most popular of the Cotswold towns. The river flows gently alongside the main street. | Bibury
23: The Cotswolds
24: The most popular tourist spot in Bibury is Arlington Row, a group of ancient cottages with steeply pitched roofs (due to the weight of the slate). These 17th century cottages were converted from an original hall (used to store wool) into weavers' homes. Just opposite is a water meadow called Rack Isle, a protected wildfowl breeding ground.
25: The Cotswolds
26: Bon Voyage
28: Copenhagen, Denmark | We walked to The Little Mermaid Statue, past the bear statue, and the sitting figure.
29: We walked past St. Albans' Church and past the 1908 Gefion Fountain which illustrates the myth of the goddess who was given one night to carve out a hunk of Sweden to make into Denmark's main island Sjaelland (or "Zealand" in English). | Gefion transformed her four sons into oxen to do the job and the chunk she removed from Sweden is supposedly Vanern, Sweden's largest lake. (The island and lake are roughly the same shape...so, who knows?)
30: Amalienborg Palace and Square Queen Margrethe II and her husband live in the mansion on the facing page. The flag shows that she is home. Her son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Austrian business-woman Mary Donaldson and their four children live across the street. | The "square" is actually a huge circle! | We walked to the Palace Square.
31: According to Rick Steves..."Though the guards change with royal fanfare at noon only when the queen is in residence, they shower every morning. The royal guard often has a police escort when it marches through town on special occasions--leading locals to joke that theirs is 'the only army in the world that needs police protection.'" | Copenhagen | We walked out through the Palace gardens.
32: We walked to, down, and past Nyhaven Street. | Established in 1670 , Nyhaven ("New Harbor") is a recently gentrified sailor's quarter. Only one nasty bar is left from the rough old days. How did we miss that? Now it is filled with trendy cafés, jazz clubs & tattoo shops. Hans Christian Andersen lived and wrote his first stories here. | The canal is filled with glamorous old sailboats of all sizes. And tourists of all sizes also! | We walked past the Royal Theater and a huge department store.
33: We walked on broad avenues and narrow streets. | The Golden Weather Girls They indicate the weather: on a bike (fair weather) or with an umbrella. These two have been called "the only women in Copenhagen you can trust," but for years they've been stuck in almost-sunny mode...with the bike just peeking out. | We walked past The Weather Girls twice. Tivoli Gardens was not yet open, so we had to kill some time and come back. | Copenhagen
34: We arrived hungry. Atmosphere was lovely and food was good...but $44 for fish and chips was too expensive! I should know better than to order the "special" without seeing the pricing!
36: We walked through the parks that inspired Walt Disney before he created Disneyland. We walked back to the shuttle bus. We walked 11 miles this day!!! The others skipped the shuttle and walked 13 miles!
38: Stockholm, Sweden | The city of Stockholm is one-third water, one-third parks, and one-third city. It is built on an archipelago of 14 islands connected by bridges. The harbor opens up to 24,000 islands providing a scenic arrival.
39: In the 1500’s Stockholm became a political center when Gustav Vasa established the monarchy in 1523. A century later the expansionist King Gustavus Adolphus made it an influential European capital. Today, with more than 2 million people, Stockholm is committed to limiting its environmental footprint. Development is strictly monitored and pollution belching cars must pay a toll to enter the city.
40: Stockholm City Hall, site of the annual Nobel Prize Banquet | The Blue Room | The Blue Hall is in fact without blue decorations, but it has kept its name after the original design. It is known as the dining hall used for the banquet held after the annual Nobel Prize award ceremony. | The construction of City Hall was completed in 1923. Nearly eight million red bricks were used. The dark red bricks, called "munktegel" (monks's brick) because of their traditional use in the construction of monasteries and churches. Rick Steves says, "While churches dominate the cities in southern Europe, in Scandanavian capitals, city halls seem to be the most impressive buildings, celebrating humanism and the ideal of people working together in community."
41: The Gold Room | The walls of the Golden Hall are covered with more than 18 million glass and gold mosaic pieces, the work of artist Einar Forseth. Using a Byzantine inspired style, the mosaics depict portraits of historical figures and events in Swedish history. The hall is dominated by the ”Queen of Lake Mlaren” on the northern wall that represents Stockholm being honored by the East and the West. While they were designed in Sweden, the mosaics were made (in Germany) too high for the actual wall; and so some characters' heads are cut off at the top | Stockholm
42: During the 17th century, Sweden went from being a small, poor, and peripheral northern European kingdom of little influence to one of the major powers in continental politics. Between 1611 and 1718 it was the most dominant power in the Baltic. The small northern kingdom transformed itself into a fiscal-military state and one of the most militarized states in history. Gustavus Adolphus (1594–1632) has been considered one of the most successful Swedish kings in terms of success in warfare. The Swedish navy was composed primarily of smaller single-decker ships with relatively light guns. However, a fleet of large ships was considered an effective way to impose respect on enemies and allies alike, possibly even beyond the Baltic. Vasa was the first in a series of five ships intended to be among the heaviest and most splendid of their time. Vasa was one of the earliest examples of a warship with two full gun decks, and 17th century warships were already built with intentionally high superstructures (to be used as firing platforms). The king had ordered 72 24-pound cannons for the ship and this was too many to fit on a single gun deck. In the summer of 1628, the captain responsible for supervising construction of the ship, arranged for the ship's stability to be demonstrated for the Vice Admiral. Thirty men ran back and forth across the upper deck to start the ship rolling, but the admiral stopped the test after they had made only three trips, as he feared the ship would capsize. Gustavus Adolphus had been sending a steady stream of letters insisting that the ship put to sea as soon as possible. | Vasa Museum
43: On 10 August 1628, Vasa set sail on her maiden voyage. The day was calm, and the only wind was a light breeze from the southwest. The gun ports were open, and the guns were out to fire a salute as the ship left Stockholm. After Vasa emerged from the lee of the city, a gust of wind filled her sails, and she heeled suddenly to port. The sheets were cast off, and the ship slowly righted herself as the gust passed. Soon another gust came, which again forced the ship onto its port side, this time pushing the open lower gun ports under water, causing water to rush in on the lower gun deck. The inflow of water heeled Vasa over further, and she quickly sank to a depth of 105 feet only 390 feet from shore. 30 to 50 people perished with the ship, according to reports. The flags and the tops of the main and fore masts, still visible above the surface, leaned heavily to port because of ballast that had shifted during the sinking. Vasa sank in full view of a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly ordinary Stockholmers who had come to see the great ship set sail. It was raised in 1961. | Stockholm
44: Sankt Nikolai kyrka (Church of St. Nicholas), most commonly known as Storkyrkan (The Great Church) and Stockholms domkyrka (Stockholm Cathedral), is the oldest church in Gamla Stan, the old town in central Stockholm, Sweden. Storkyrkan was first mentioned in a written source dated 1279 and according to tradition was originally built by Birger Jarl, the founder of the city itself. For nearly four hundred years it was the only parish church in the city. It became a Lutheran Protestant church in 1527. | The main altar--"The Silver Altar"—is a wooden triptych with an ebony veneer with sculptured reliefs in silver.
45: The most famous of its treasures is the dramatic wooden statue of Saint George and the Dragon (1489). It was commissioned by Sten the Elder, who had beaten back King Christian of Denmark, thereby rescuing Stockholm from the Danish invaders. The legend of St. George and the Dragon tells of a terrible dragon that demanded human offerings from the town of Selene as its price for not destroying the town. The day the King’s daughter was to be sacrificed, St. George came riding by. On condition that the town’s heathen inhabitants converted to Christianity, he killed the dragon. In St. George, Sten Sture probably wanted to see himself as the knight who conquered the Danish “dragon”, thereby saving the princess (Stockholm) from ruin. For people today, this monument provides inspiration to take up the struggle against evil—wherever it might appear. | Stockholm
46: Eating and shopping in Gamla Stan (old town Stockholm). | Royal Palace | Stockholm
47: Bob's balcony fun!
48: Savijarvi Gard Horse Farm Sibbo, Finland | Stinging Nettle Soup? | Finland
50: Porvoo | Second oldest city in Finland. Great shopping and people watching.
52: Lutheran Cathedral, overlooking Senate Square and the statue of Czar Alexander II. | We are seated in front of the fountain, Havis Amanda, 1908. The fountain has become the symbol of Helsinki, the city known as the "Daughter of the Baltic". The voluptuous figure was a bit too racy for the conservative town and the artist had trouble getting paid. He had the last laugh, however. For more than a hundred years, the city budget office has seen only her backside! | Helsinki
54: Temppeliaukio Church This "Church in the Rock" was blasted out of solid granite. It was designed by architect brothers and built within a year's time. Barren of decor except for a couple of simple crosses, the church is capped with a copper-and-skylight dome.
55: Rick Steves suggests that you "grab a pew. Gawk upward at a 13 mile long coil of copper ribbon. Look at the bulls-eye and ponder God....Just sit in the middle, ignore the crowds, and be thankful for peace...under your feet is an air-raid-shelter that can accommodate 6,000 people." | Helsinki
56: St. Petersburg, Russia | The first buildings we saw were what we have come to expect of stark, severe, unadorned communist construction.
57: Suburbia, on the way to Peterhof | modern St. Petersburg
58: Peterhof | Peterhof, known as "the world's capital of fountains", was a grand suburban summer residence, created in the early 1700's by Peter the Great. The entrance was to be from the sea, via the lower gardens. The canal to the lower right of the picture goes to the Gulf of Finland. Peterhof means Peter's Court in German.
59: Peterhof, St. Petersburg | Peterhof was occupied by the Germans from 1941 until 1944. The museum exhibit had been evacuated before the Nazis took over. On September 23, 1941 the day the town fell, a shell that hit the church pavilion set the great palace on fire. According to eye witness accounts, the Nazis forbade anyone to fight the blaze on threat of being shot. As a result, Peterhof was reduced to ruins. It was rebuilt, with the first restored halls being reopened in 1964.
60: No photography was allowed inside Peterhof. These pictures are from a book from the gift shop. | The Main Staircase | The Ballroom | The Chesme Hall. A memorial to Russia's naval triumphs in the second half of the 18th century, has 12 large paintings of triumphs at sea.
61: The Throne Room | The Picture Hall Roccoco style paintings displayed "tapestry-fashion" (with no gaps in between). | Peterhof, St. Petersburg
62: Peter | Peterhof | The Lower Gardens Here we are beside the Great Cascade, the link between the Great Palace and the Lower Park. | Our only view of the Upper Gardens.
63: Peterhof, St. Petersburg
64: Hermitage (Winter Palace) & Palace Square, General Staff Building, | It is really hard to get the size and grandeur of theThe Hermitage (green), Palace Square and the General Staff Building (yellow) without this bird's eye view taken from a book. Today the Winter Palace is one of five buildings that make up the architectural ensemble of the State Hermitage Museum. Catherine the Great ordered the construction of a new building to house her rapidly expanding collection of artworks.
65: St. Petersburg
67: Palace Square (outside The Hermitage) | St. Petersburg
68: Hermitage | From the 1760s onwards this Winter Palace was the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Located on the bank of the Neva River, the green-and-white three-story Baroque palace has 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms and 117 staircases.
69: The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
70: Davinci, The Madonna with a Flower | Davinci,Madonna Litta | Rembrandt, Portrait of an Old Jew | The Raphael Loggias | The Peacock Clock
71: The Hermitage, St. Petersburg | Rembrandt,Sacrifice of Isaac | Renoir, Roses and Jasmine in a Delft Vase | Monet, Garden in Bordighera, Impression of Morning | Raphael, Mondonna and Child | Today, the Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artifacts from all over the world and from throughout history. The experts say that if you were to spend a minute looking at each exhibit on display in the Hermitage, you would need 11 years before you’d seen them all.
72: Tsarskoye Selo (Tzar's Village)
73: The development of this site was begun under Catherine I, but it was during the reign of her daughter Elizabeth that this could rightfully be called Tsarskoye Selo--the Tsar's Village. Catherine II (the Great) devoted much time and care to the development of the estate. It was her favorite of all the country residences. It is also known as St. Catherine's Palace. | St. Petersburg
74: The two angels on the left show what the gold looked like before it was recently re-gilded.
75: Tsarskoye Selo (Tzar's Village), St. Petersburg | Tzar Nicholas II and Alexandra
76: The Amber Room | In 1717 people were enchanted by amber panels sent as a gift to Peter the First by the Prussian King Frederick the First. One wrote "The eye, unused to seeing amber in such quantities, is captivated & blinded by the wealth and warmth in the tones, which encompass every shade of yellow, from dusky topaz to bright lemon...” In 2003, the jubilee of St. Petersburg, the Amber Room was inaugurated. “The unique interior with its fine décor celebrating the beauty of the “sunny stone”, has become the culminating accomplishment of the stonecutter’s art of the past & present."
77: Tsarskoye Selo Gardens, St. Petersburg
78: St. Peter & Paul Cathedral and Fortress | Rostral Column, decorated with ship's prows.
79: From all over the city we kept seeing a tall gold spire. The St. Peter and Paul Cathedral was actually the tallest building in Russia when it was built. The fortress was erected here as the nucleus of the future city. Although the bastions were first made of earth, building the city out of stone was one of Peter's greatest concerns. A special decree was issued prohibiting the construction of stone edifices elsewhere in Russia and all master stonemasons were ordered to here. Peter even introduced a "stone toll": every boat and every string of carts to enter the city had to bring a certain number of stones with it. The fortress never served a direct military purpose, since no enemy ever made it as far as its walls. Very soon after it had been built, however,it began to be used as a political prison and torture chamber. Over the course of 200 years, it held countless enemies of the state including Peter the Great's own son. | St. Petersburg
81: St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg | The cathedral is the imperial burial vault.
82: The Church on the Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection) | The Church on the Spilled Blood is a historic monument and a work of art. It is built on the site of the murder of Emperor Alexander II. "Although the love of the faithful did not save the church from being closed in 1930, the will of God saved it from destruction during the Blockade when a shell fell on a cupola but did not explode. The building was further preserved by the bravery of the sappers who risked their lives in 1961 to defuse the missile." It is a museum today.
83: St. Isaac's Cathedral | St. Petersburg | The Bronze Horseman The monument was built by order of the Empress Catherine the Great as a tribute to her famous predecessor on the Russian throne, Peter the Great. Being a German princess by birth, she was eager to establish a line of continuity with the earlier Russian monarchs. For that reason an inscription on the monument reads in Latin and Russian: Petro Primo Catharina Secunda - To Peter the First from Catherine the Second. This equestrian statue of Peter the Great, created by the famous French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet, depicts the most prominent reformer of the Russian state as a Roman hero. The pedestal is made of a single piece of red granite molded into the shape of a cliff. From the top of this "cliff" Peter gallantly leads Russia forward, while his horse steps on a snake, which represents the enemies of Peter and his reforms.
85: St. Petersburg | Both our Russian lunches included caviar, wine and vodka!
86: Tallinn, Estonia The city once consisted of two feuding medieval towns separated by a wall. The upper town--on the hill called Toompea--was the seat of government ruling Estonia. The lower town was an autonomous Hanseatic trading center filled with German, Danish & Swedish merchants who hired Estonians to do their manual labor. Many of the Old Town's buildings date back to the 15th & 16th centuries. Decrepit before the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, the Old Town has been slowly revitalized. | Just outside the tower on a bluff overlooking the harbor is a broken black arch, a memorial to 852 people who perished in 1994 when a passenger & car ferry sank in stormy conditions during its Tallinn-Stockholm run. The ship's bow visor came off, and water flooded into the car deck, throwing the boat off balance. Only 137 people survived. | Our walking tour began at Fat Margaret Tower,(so called for its thick walls) that guarded the entry gate to the town in medieval times when the sea came much closer than it does now. The KGB used the tower at St. Olav's Church to block Finnish TV signals.
87: The once handsome building nearby at Pikk 59 was, before 1991, the sinister local headquarters of the KGB. "Creative interrogation methods were used here. Locals well knew that the road of suffering started here, as Tallinn's troublemakers were sent to Siberian gulags. The ministry building was called the "tallest" building in town (because "when you're in the basement, you can already see Siberia"). Shriners demonstrating torture! | Notice the bricked up basement windows. | Until the 19th century German noblemen dominated the economy. German big shots were part of the Great Guild, while German little shots had to make due with the Brotherhood of the Black Heads (a business fraternity limited to single German men). | Door knocker (1430) from The Great Guild Hall, left of which is the text "God bless everyone who is in this house and who come here."
88: Church of the Holy Ghost, and its outdoor clock from 1633. | The pharmacy (Raeapteek) dates from 1422 & claims to be Europe's oldest. Still functioning, it has painted ceiling beams, English descriptions and long-expired aspirin. | Bored husbands?
89: The 15th century Town Hall (Raikoda) dominates the square. | Wheel Well: The well is named for the "high-tech" wheel, a marvel that made fetching water easier! | Tallinn
90: We climbed uphill along the steep, cobbled, "Short Leg Lane". We went past an oak door that is still the ritual meeting place of the mayor and prime minister whenever there is an important agreement between town and country.
91: At the top of the hill is The Danish King's Garden. The imposing city wall once had 46 towers. Tallinn is famous among Danes as the birthplace of the Danish flag. According to legend, the Danes were losing a battle here. Suddenly, a white cross fell from heaven and landed in a pool of blood. The Danes were inspired and went on to win. Today the Danish flag is a white cross on a red background. | Tallinn
92: Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral This cathedral was built here in 1900 in Tallinn's political power center and over the grave of a legendary Estonian hero. While it is a beautiful building, its placement was a crass attempt to flex Russian cultural muscle during a period of Estonian national revival.
93: Tall Herman Tower This tallest tower of the castle wall is a powerful symbol here. For 50 years, while Estonian flags were hidden in cellars, the Soviet flag flew from Tall Hermann. As the USSR was unraveling, Estonians proudly and defiantly replaced the red Soviet flag here with their own black, white, and blue flag. | Dome Church Officially St. Mary's Church, it is a perfect example of simple Northern European Gothic, built in the 13th century. Once the church of the German speaking aristocracy, the interior is littered with coats of arms carved by local masters as memorials to the deceased. | Tallinn
94: Views from the Patkuli and Kohtuotsa Viewpoints. | Roger remembered that Rick Steves recommended this place. Translates as Grandma's Place. Food was excellent.
95: Old Dominican Monastery | Tallinn
96: Katariina Kaik, a lane of glass blowing shops
97: The Sweater Wall | Tallinn
98: Gothenburg, Sweden | We had to duck down under low bridges, "The Cheese Slicer" | The fish market looks like a church. | The fisherman's wife got tired of looking to sea and has turned around and is looking for a new man on land!
99: The Masthugg Church
100: Life on board Brilliance of the Seas
102: Centrum WOW Performances
103: Life on board ship
104: Minstrel Dining Room, main seating | Leo and Louis
105: Barry and Linda | Room service is free! Love breakfast on the balcony. | Chops Grille "The Best Steak on the High Seas." | Life on board ship
106: Finish That Lyric Game Show | Battle of | Carolyn resisted this $4,000 jacket; other on board shopping was more reasonable.
107: the sexes | Life on board ship
109: At The Captain's Party for the 1,000 returning guests. | Life on board ship
110: Blenheim Palace | John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough won a decisive victory at Blenheim on the River Danube in 1704. The victory was a turning point in history, crushing Louis XIV's ambition to rule Europe, "changing the political axis of the world" according to Sir Winston Churchill. As a reward Queen Anne granted Marlborough this land and a house to be built as a monument to his victory. But later the Marlborough fell from royal favor and payments for construction dwindled. The treasury contributed 240,000 pounds to the initial cost; the Marlboroughs spent a further 60,000 pounds. "In his design for Blenheim Palace Sir John Vanburg's aim was to house a national hero and to celebrate England's newly won supremacy over the French in a blaze of architectural glory to rival Versailles."
111: The clock tower arch with the lions of England & the cockerels of France. | Trophies of war | The Great Court
112: The Great Hall What an entry! It is 67 feet high.
113: Sir Winston Churchill's birth room | Blenheim Palace | Churchill's paintings used as his Christmas cards.
114: The Green Writing Room | The Red Drawing Room Pictured is the 9th Duke, his wife Consuelo, and his children. Consuelo wrote an autobiography, The Glitter and The Gold. | The Green Drawing Room Pictured is the 4th Duke.
115: The Saloon was originally the grand reception room of the Palace, but is now the State Dining Room, used by the present Duke and his family only once a year, on Christmas Day. The dining table (c 1850) can seat approximately 40 people when fully extended. | This silver centerpiece was made in 1845. Next to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, who is on horseback, is Colonel Parker, who rode back to England with the news of victory (it took him 8 days). | The ceiling is painted on a dome about 5 or 6 inches deep. It is an allegorical picture showing the 1st Duke (in the red cloak) on a chariot, holding aloft the sword of victory. He is being restrained by the hand of Peace. | The Saloon | Blenheim Palace
116: The ornate cradle in which Duchess Consuelo rocked her two sons.
117: Blenheim Palace | The dog in the tapestry above is the only non-horse animal in any of the tapestries. For unknown reasons, he has the hooves of a horse.
118: The Long Library Completed in 1725, its 180 feet has had various uses. It was initially a picture gallery. It has been used as a hospital ward during the First World War, a dormitory for a boys school in the Second World War It is a library and has been used for concerts. The Long Library organ was built in 1891. | The statue of Queen Anne was commissioned by Sarah, 1st Duchess in 1738, as a memorial to the Queen.
119: The Chapel The monument in the center of the Chapel is dedicated to the 1st Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and their two sons, both of whom died young, one at 17 of smallpox and the other in infancy. The large statues flanking the sarcophagus are of History with her quill and Fame with her trumpet and the sarcophagus itself crushes the last enemy of all, Envy. | Blenheim Palace
120: Multi-media history presentation | Blenheim Gardens
121: Blenheim Palace
122: Bath | The Pultney Bridge across the River Avon was designed by Robert Adam in 1770. Like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence which inspired it, the bridge is an enclosed structure with three arches supporting a broad street lined with a variety of small shops.
124: Bath Abbey Bath Abbey was originally founded in 676 and was the place where (300 years later) Edgar was crowned the first king of all England. The present building dates from the late 15th century, built by the Bishop of Bath & Wells. | Architecture is the reaching out for the truth. LOUIS KAHN
125: The west front of the Abby is decorated with intricate carvings representing Bishop's King's dream in which he saw angels ascending and descending ladders which stretched between earth and heaven. The churchyard immediately in front of the Abbey is a favorite spot for entertainers of all kinds.
126: The Abbey is sometimes known as "The Lantern of the West", a name first given by Queen Elizabeth I because of the huge clear windows which fill the choir and the nave with light. It is especially known for its fan-vaulting. | Either the window or the picture will be crooked. I chose the picture (on purpose!).
127: Quire Angels | Bath Abbey
129: Bath | The town of Bath had dwindled to just a huddle of huts around the abbey with hot smelly mud, oblivious to the Roman ruins 18 feet below their dirt floors. Then in 1687 Queen Mary, fighting infertility, bathed here. Within 10 months she gave birth to a son...and a new age of popularity for Bath. The revitalized town boomed as a spa resort.
130: Begun in 1767 by the younger John Wood, the Royal Crescent was the first terrace of its kind to be built in the world. The semi-circle of houses is faced with 114 Ionic columns, supporting a Palladian cornice. The first house in the crescent has been restored and furnished in its original style and is now a museum. The rest have been broken up into apartments. | Old Roman street level
131: Much of the beauty of Bath is due to its consistent use of Bath stone which is much the same color as the stone used in Jerusalem. The Circus (left & above) was inspired by Rome's Colosseum. A frieze above the ground floor windows is filled with motifs of serpents, nautical symbols & emblems of the arts & sciences. Many of Bath's terraces and crescents are embellished with columns representing the three main classical styles, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. | Modernizing an 18th century building is not easy. The gray shingled addition on the building above shows an early attempt at adding "indoor plumbing". | Bath
132: Avebury | Prehistoric open-air museum, dates to 2800 B.C., six centuries older (and 16 times bigger) than Stonehenge, the "St. Peter's Basilica" of Neolithic civilization. | The earthwork henge--a 30 foot high outer bank surrounding a 30 foot deep ditch, making a 60 foot rampart.
133: The Red Lion put a clear Plexiglas top on the 83 foot deep lighted well and uses it as a table! No bodies (or ghosts) were visible.
134: Highclere Castle
136: In 1838 the 3rd Earl of Carnavon began the transformation of his Georgian house into a grand mansion; now it is known as Highclere Castle. Interior work was not completed until 1878. In WWI (under the direction of The 5th Countess of Carnavon) it was a hospital for wounded officers. In WWII it was a home for evacuee children. | Downton Abbey often shows the saloon, but never reveals how high and grand the whole room is. The gallery & bedrooms were once shown as part of a different house.
137: Almina Wombell, 5th Countess of Carnavon, and (illegitimate but well funded) daughter of Alfred de Rothchild (pictured). The 5th Earl of Carnavon (not pictured) financed the expedition that discovered King Tut's tomb in Egypt in 1922. | The (current) 8th Earl and Countess of Carnavon | Part of the fun of the tour was learning about the castle both as a historical place and as the current home of The Crawleys in Downton Abbey. | Highclere Castle
138: Lunch at Highclere was not quite as elegant as one might have expected.
139: Highclere Gardens
141: Highclere Gardens
142: Salisbury Cathedral
144: Newbury, England | The Hilton Newbury Center was lovely and food at The Diamond Tap and The Strada was delicious.
146: Newbury Market included fresh meat! Carolyn discussed farming issues with a local.
147: Van transportation was a great investment. Roger did a great job of driving. But, British parking stalls were not large enough for vans! | Newbury, England, a perfect place to end a lovely vacation.