England and Wales

England is, without a doubt, one of our favorite places on Earth.  It is a wonderful country. 

Outside of London is Hampton Court Palace, acquired by Henry VIII, expanded by William and Mary.  Hampton Court is home to a famous maze and the annual Hampton Court Flower Show.

Gargoyles are popular at Hampton Court.

Swans stand guard at the pond.

The view behind the swans.

The gardens at Hampton Court are exquisite.  This is the path to the bathroom.

This is the graveyard at Bladon Parish Church.  It has the distinction of holding the body of one of England's greatest heroes.

This is the Churchill Family Plot, where Winston Churchill is buried among his relatives.

Coventry Cathedral was destroyed during a bombing raid in World War II.  The people left it as it was, as a memorial to all who had died, and the hope of future peace.

All that is left are the walls.

Some of the first people into the wreckage of the cathedral fashioned this cross from burned ceiling timbers.  The altar is made from fallen stones.

Fragments of stained glass still cling to their settings, sixty years after the destruction.

The city walls of York still surround the original medieval city.  You can walk completely around its perimeter.

Yorkminster is a typical cathedral.  Big and Impressive.

It does have a very impressive clock.  It was made in 1750, but
the two men-at-arms who strike the time were made in 1528.

There was a recital scheduled for later in the evening.  Here the performers practice.

Sheila stands on one of the York bridges leading to the city wall.

Grasmere is amazing.  Located in the Lakes District of Cumbria, this picturesque town was near the home of Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggywinkle, Squirrel Nutkin, and many other stories.

The graveyard at Grasmere Parish Church is where William Wordsworth is buried.

Sheila admires the dry rock wall and Happy Sheep.

Happy Sheep wander in a field in Grasmere, a far cry from the less-than-humane feedlots we see in Southern California.

The city of Chester is another medieval walled city.  Here you can see a shopping street lined
with the pseudo-Tudor style popular in the late 1800's

Near Chester is the city of Liverpool.  It was from here that most of the great oceanliners
left England on their way to other countries.  Most service shifted to Southampton just before World War I.  Walt stands on the pier where the ships berthed.

The view from the pier, back toward the city of Liverpool.

Walt made it to the Maritime Museum!  Unfortunately, he arrived there at 4:57,
and it closed at 5:00.  So, instead of touring one of the greatest maritime museums
in the world, he got to stand beside a big anchor.

The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool is where many people who were travelling on the great liners
would stay prior to embarking.  It was designed by the same team who designed RMS Mauritania,
and is still decorated in that style.  It is a beautiful hotel, and entering it is like stepping back 90 years.

A view from the 6th floor, looking down the stairwell to the ground floor.

The main sitting room at the Adelphi looks like it should be on the first class section of an oceanliner.

A reverse-angle view of the sitting room.

Even the lobby is a sumptuous space.

We pause in front of Sally Lunn's, a wonderful restaurant in Bath,
England.  They serve a wonderful bun here, the recipe created by Sally Lunn
herself, way back in the 17th century.

Here Sheila enjoys tea and a Sally Lunn bun with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Janelle had one, too!

Here is a genuine Sally Lunn Bun, finest in the world!

The standing stones at Salisbury, better known as Stonehenge.  It is believed that
religious rituals were performed here in prehistoric times.

Another view of the henge.

Salisbury Cathedral, where religious rituals of a different sort are performed.

Again, like other cathedrals, a beautiful interior.

Regimental flags from long ago adorn the wall near a war memorial.

The central courtyard is a beautiful, peaceful place.  Nearby is the Chapterhouse, which keeps an original copy of the Magna Carta.

One of the coolest things about Salisbury Cathedral is the clock. 
It was built in or before 1386, which makes it
the oldest operational
clock  in Europe. 

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