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UK & France 2011

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UK & France 2011 - Page Text Content

S: Volume 1 Mediterranean Cruise 2011 - UK & France

BC: Memories of the first stage of our 2011 Mediterranean Cruise - Time spent in the U.K and France

FC: Mediterranean Cruise 2011 Volume I - U.K. and France

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2: Our itinerary for our first week- We planned to fly to London, stay two nights, take the EuroStar train to Paris, stay there two nights, and then take an overnight train to Rome. | 2

3: We were so excited! This was a trip of a lifetime for us! | 3

4: We had planned our Mediterranean Cruise for two years, and invited anyone who could to join us. We were thrilled when Derek told us he was planning to come along. We planned to meet up with him in Minneapolis, and would fly together to London. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Victoria in London the first night. The next morning Dave and I went on a "Stonehenge Inner Circle Tour" and also visited the City of Bath and Lacock Village. Derek was on his own in London that day. Our second day in London we went on the "Royal London Morning Tour" and a Thames River Cruise, and then took the Eurostar Train to Paris, arriving there about 7:30 pm. | 4

5: Packing for 3 weeks was a challenge! | 5

6: Waiting at the Red Lion for the HUT shuttle to take us to the Portland Airport | 6

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9: We were on an 8-1/2 hour flight to London, scheduled to arrive at noon the next day | 9

10: London | 10

11: We took the train from Heathrow to Paddington Station | 11

12: Comfort Inn Victoria London | 12

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14: We had dinner here -- Dave wanted to try their fish 'n chips | 14

15: Sights in London by the hotel. We were close to Victoria Station. | "Smart dressing" is necessary, apparently | 15

16: Stonehenge is one of the most famous sites in the world. It is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England. Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Evidence indicates it could have been a burial ground, It is a place of religious significance and pilgrimage. Dave and I went on a tour before it opened to the public in the morning. We were allowed direct access to the stones, with a private viewing of the mysterious monoliths. | 16

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19: The mighty stones were awesome! We felt privileged to be there. We didn't know they would be full of graffiti -- It just shows that people are the same the world over and throughout the ages. | 19

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21: An artist's depiction of the way Stonehenge may have been ages ago. . . | 21

22: We visited Lacock Village on our way to Bath. the village dates from the 13th century and has many timewashed and half-timbered and stone houses. It has been used as a location in the TV and film productions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Moll Flanders, and has been featured in Harry Potter films. We had a wonderful time walking its picturesque streets looking at wonderful old buildings. | 22

23: St. Cyriack's Church | 23

24: Lacock Village | 24

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26: King John's Hunting Lodge is the oldest house in the district. | 26

27: It was interesting to me that there was a graveyard at the church's front door | 27

28: Dave browsed in the village bakery | 28

29: An example of a limewashed "half-timbered" stone house | Wiltshire crafts | 29

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31: The George Inn dates back to 1361 and features a grand open fireplace. | 31

32: Bath, founded upon natural hot springs about 70 AD. | Bath | 32

33: The Great Bath, epicenter to the complex | 33

34: "On a clear day you can see forever" . . . that's Wales to the left | 34

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36: In London . . . this colorful family caught my eye! | Well, the cell phone doesn't work . . . guess I'll try this! | 36

37: We had an opportunity for a quick drive around London. I wish we could have spent more time there. With nearly 2,000 years of recorded history, there was a lot to see! | "Weak Bridge" -- I love it! | Westminster Abbey | 37

38: Main entrance to the Tower of London | The Tower of London | It is not known when the ravens first came to the Tower of London, but their presence is protected by legend. The legend says if the ravens leave, the Tower would fall and the Kingdom would fall. | 38

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40: The "Beefeaters," or Yeoman Warders, have long been symbols of London and Britain. Their nickname derived from their position in the Royal Bodyguard, which permitted them to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king's table. They've formed the Royal Bodyguard since at least 1509. | 40

41: Yeoman Warders are required to have served in the armed forces with an honorable record for at least 22 years. | 41

42: Gate to Buckingham Palace | Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace | 42

43: The Imperial State Crown, Coronation bracelets, Queen's scepter, Royal scepter, and the sword of State | 43

44: Some of London's iconic sights -- The Millennium Bridge, The London Eye. and the Tower Bridge | 44

45: W | Westminster Abbey -- home of innumerable tombs and where all royal coronations have taken place. It also houses statues of 20th century martyrs, including one of Martin Luther King, Jr. | 45

46: Taking the Eurostar from London to Paris | 46

47: On our way to Paris! | 47

48: We stayed at the Hotel Derby Eiffel in Paris. We were in Paris for only two nights . . . we arrived there late one night, went to Normandy beach the following day, and then left the next afternoon on the train to Rome. We didn't have a lot of time for sightseeing but saw what we could of the beautiful city. | 48

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50: Normandy Beach | We went to Pointe du Hoc, which is a promontory with a 100 ft cliff overlooking the English Channel on the coast of Normandy in northern France. During World War II it was the highest point between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The German army fortified the area with concrete casements and gun pits. On D-Day (6 June 1944) 225 Rangers assaulted and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs. | 50

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52: Exploring the German Bunkers | 52

53: We spent a couple of hours at Pointe du Hoc. Dave observed that everything was still there showing the conflict of over 70 years before -- mortar holes and all! | 53

54: Pointe du Hoc Memorial | 54

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56: From Pointe du Hoc we went to Colleville sur Mer to visit the American Cemetery. | 56

57: Overlooking Omaha Beach, the cemetery contains over 9,000 white crosses perfectly aligned on 170 acres. | 57

58: Caen Memorial Normandy, France | 58

59: The museum is dedicated to the history of violence and intensive, outstanding conflict in the 20th Century and particularly World War II. | 59

60: Lunch stop in a small French village in northern France | 60

61: Northern France | 61

62: I loved the posters -- "Loverdose?!" | I took this so we'd know where we were . . . | 62

63: We were only able to spend a few hours on a Sunday touring Paris -- we were booked to take the Euro Railways overnight train to Rome early that evening . . . | Getting a bite to eat | Bicycles for rent! | 63

64: Touring Paris | 64

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67: We saw Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, as well as the Arc de Triomphe and a smaller-scale copy of the Statue of Liberty | 67

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69: Our overnight train to Rome was scheduled to leave at 6:54 pm. It was delayed a couple of hours, but we made sure we were at the train station on time. We successfully met at the hotel (Derek was sightseeing on his own) and then took a cab to the train station. Next destination: Rome! | 69

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71: Souvenirs | We wanted to bring back souvenirs of our time in the UK and Paris, but of course were limited by what we could carry in our luggage. We decided to buy postcards of water colors - artists' renderings of French scenes. We framed several of these when we returned from our trip. | 71

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  • By: Stephanie P.
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  • Title: UK & France 2011
  • Our trip to Europe in 2011 - First Leg was London, Stonehenge, Normandy, Paris
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: about 4 years ago