Wednesday, June 17, 2015

England, Day One







This is the day that I had been waiting for!  I could hardly sleep the night before we got to Southampton.  We had our suitcases all packed the night before.  As soon as Customs gave the go ahead we could leave the ship.  On the Queen Mary 2 they had a customs officer check every one's passport prior to the end of the crossing so we were ready to leave as soon as we ate breakfast and picked up our bags.  You can walk off the ship early if you can manage your own bags.  We wanted to get an early start so that's what we did.  We are in ENGLAND!!!

The beautiful Calshot Lightship greeted us as we walked off.  What a wonderful way to be welcomed to England.  I love lighthouses and maritime history and this beauty has both.




After leaving the ship we hailed a taxi that took us to the Southampton Airport to pick up our rental car.  Of course we had arranged all of our trip before leaving home.  We joined the Royal Oak Society (an arm of the National Trust) and had our membership cards and parking permit.  We were all set for our journey.

We own timeshare and were able to book a studio apartment near the Lake District for a week.  We then wanted to visit parts of the south so we booked three days in Brighton.  All of our accommodations were all set for us to take day trips from our apartments.

I must thank Grayden for the hours and hours he spent getting all the logistics planned for our trip.  We bought a new Garmin GPS and Grayden downloaded European maps into it.  He put all the places we (I) wanted to visit before we left home.  I can't begin to tell you how helpful this was to us!  He also downloaded google maps to all the places and estimated our time of travel and time to spend at each site.  When we were ready to go all I had to do was go to saved places on the Garmin and choose where we were headed.  This was a lifesaver!  When we had the car and were all ready to drive (YIKES) it took one less worry off of us.  Remember, one of you is driving on the WRONG side of the road and the other is on the left up against a stone wall or hedgerow!  

Grayden was the driver and I was the encourager--hopefully.  I must say, the first day was scary for me.  I tried to be helpful, but it was hard for me to keep quiet.  Soon it became a little more comfortable and I was able to relax.  KINDA!  As I became a little more at ease I took this photo out the window of our car.





We wanted to visit Bath even though it was out of the way for us. Remember we needed to travel to the north quite a ways.  I'm so happy we did go to Bath as it is beautiful!  It is an ancient Roman town that reminds me of places in Italy--so lovely!





Strolling along the streets of Bath on a Sunday we found it to be popular with tourists.  The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon was charming.  This bridge was completed in 1774 and was designed by Robert Adam in the Palladian style.  He envisioned it to be lined with shops like the Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto in Florence and Venice. 





To the right of the Pulteney Bridge there is a lovely sunken garden.




After strolling around the garden and the Pulteney Bridge, we wondered up Lilliput Court.  It was getting time for lunch so we went into Sally Lunn's located in one of the oldest buildings in Bath.  I am familiar with Sally Lunn bread as they sell it in Colonial Williamsburg.  It is a wonderful style brioche bread.  We enjoyed a wonderful lunch and afterwards toured their small museum.




Solange Luyon came to Bath in 1680.  She was a young Huguenot refugee girl from France.  She found work with a baker who had a shop on Lilliput Alley.  She introduced the baker to the French brioche type bread that later became famous.  In Bath she was known as Sally Lunn.

The breads she made were light and delicious and were served at Public Breakfasts and Afternoon Teas that were part of the tradition in Bath.  This prosperity allowed the baker to change the wood burning faggot oven to a coal side burning oven.  An archaeological dig showed the different floor levels of the building's historic past--Roman, Medieval, Saxon and Tudor.

Her bread was so good we decided to take some along with us to our apartment.




For me, one of the main reasons for coming to Bath was to see the Abbey!  We walked through the square on our way to visit and found a musician playing--"What a Wonderful World"--well that was enough to bring tears!




Just around the corner is the Abbey.  What is the difference between a cathedral and an abbey?  Bath Abbey was once the great church of a monastery.  A cathedral is the principal church of a diocese, the area of a bishop's authority.





Let's go inside---Look up!


Famous Fan Ceiling


US Flag given to Bath after WWII-Note the number of stars




East Window


The stained glass window above has an unbelievable story.  It is quite stunning, but it was bombed out during the Blitz of WWII!  Every glass maker in England felt this window could never be restored.  The members of the Abbey and the community of Bath collected all the shards of glass and saved them until after the war. The collected shards were put back together!  I think this is a wonderful testimony of the faith these people had.  The beautiful East Window depicts the story of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt when King Herod ordered the baby Jesus to be killed.

The Bath Abbey has been a place of worship for over a thousand years.  We enjoyed experiencing some of that rich history.




As much as we would like to linger, we wanted to see the Royal Crescent.  We returned to the car park and retrieved the vehicle and proceeded to see the Royal Crescent.




The Royal Crescent is a sweeping building of 30 homes.  It was designed by John Wood the Younger and finished in 1774.  It is a great example of Georgian architecture.


It was now time for us to continue our journey for the rest of the day.  We had 229 miles to go to reach our destination near the Lake District.  We knew it would be a long day but we were excited to continue our adventure.  We arrived to our studio apartment around 8:00pm, tired but happy with our day and what was to come.


Our view from our studio apartment





31 comments:

  1. Martha Ellen, you are a wonderful tour guide! I kept getting goose flesh as I read your descriptions Your enthusiasm certainly shows through. I love that you are using a large photo format for these photos! And the background music was perfect--especially when you heard it playing there. That Abbey is something else. I can why you wanted to see it. And the history about Sally Lunn bread (I, too, have had it in Williamsburg) was most interesting. I descend from French Huguenots on my father's side. They came to America in the 1600's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathy. Bath Abbey was just magnificent! I've enjoyed sharing it you. How interesting that your ancestors come from the same area of France that Sally Lunn did! Many had to flee because of religious persecution.
      I'm glad you could feel my enthusiasum --It was a very exciting trip for us. I'll have to say I lost my first draft of this post and had to rewrite it--I was afraid my displeasure would show in my post! ♥

      Delete
  2. I am loving this!!! I love Bath Abbey and its amazing fan vaulted ceiling. Now I'm so curious to find out where you stayed near the lake district. So North Yorkshire? I'll wait. We found that renting holiday cottages by the week was the cheapest way to go, and used it as a hub. Can't wait for you to see the sheep... and travel the B roads. You make me want to go back... now. Lol. This is so exciting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, we just got home and I want to go again! I think England has my heart for sure. We stayed in North Lancashire in Carnforth. It was very convenient to the Lake District. Oh the B roads!! How about the roads with no letters? Thanks for sharing my excitement with me. ♥

      Delete
  3. So just a little screaming then? =D

    Those abbeys and cathedrals...quite something. I want a tour of one of the homes in the Royal Crescent! Your husband sounds very organized. You could write your own travel book.

    Can't wait to see what comes next! Beautiful photos, Martha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vee, I understand there is a hotel in the Royal Crescent. Looks pretty swanky! I'm sure the townhomes are for the very wealthy.
      Grayden is very organized and did a wonderful job of planning our adventure. ♥

      Delete
  4. Martha, this is a wonderful way to start your adventure, I am simply excited to tag along. You are so wise to rent the apartment, that is the way I would do it. You husband was very wise to buy the new GPS and load the maps. I've not been to England,YET! It seems the most intimidating thing is driving on the wrong side of the road. The ABBY! oh to visit an ABBY, it is breathtaking, even in the photos. I am a serious history buff and descended from some pretty famous and infamous Brits, so my list is very long on places I must see. BUT NOW you are in the Lake District, a visit to Hilltop must be high on the list to visit the dear home of Beatrix P. Am I right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeri, I'm so glad you are following along. Yes, I think driving was the most challenging part of our trip--but we (Grayden) got used to it rather quickly.
      You must plan a trip there. It would be right up your alley! There is so much to see! We have already said we need to go back to see more!
      Oh YES, you know we went to Hilltop!!! ♥

      Delete
  5. Oh, how well you and your husband planned out your trip, and I am sure that it made a big impact on the enjoyment of your vacation. Eek...you had me on the edge of my seat as I vicariously rode along in your opposite-side-of-the-road automobile! But it was all good when "we" saw the Pulteney Bridge and the sunken garden and took refreshment at Sally Lunn's and on we went. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, I'm so glad you are here with me to share my excitement. Yes, we must drive on the left, but we are in good hands. ♥

      Delete
  6. We had tea in the first window on the left on the Pulteney bridge. It was such a small room they had to move furniture to get us seated and then put it back in. Because we wanted a window seat. Fun memory!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dotsie, that's a wonderful memory of Bath! The tearooms in England are so quaint! ♥

      Delete
  7. I don't even know where to begin commenting, everything is absolutely amazing. What a wonderful trip!
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was wonderful, Amalia. Thanks for coming along. ♥

      Delete
  8. What a fabulous view from your studio!!! My sister told me two weeks ago, that she finally made it to the Lake District. Her husband is from Wales and every few years they go over to England from MN to teach up in NorthUmberland(sp?). I am so excited to see your pictures from the Lake District!
    Nice pictures of the Abby. I am always amazed that the builders could do so much when those "churches" were built. ie. the fan ceiling. WOW!
    Where did you find the Sally Lunn buns in Colonial Williamsburg? I am heading up there soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, we really did stay in a pretty area. You must go with your sister when they visit England.
      The Sally Lunn bread is sold on the Duke of Gloucester street in the Raleigh Tavern Bakery. It's across from the King's Arm. Have fun in Williamsburg--we love it there. ♥

      Delete
  9. Oh, Martha Ellen! You are the best tour guide ever! (I'm taking notes!) It was so wonderful to see Bath today and to learn the history of Sally Lunn. All of the pre-trip planning and dreaming is part of the fun for us, too. My husband is also great at studying the maps and details for each travel destination. It saves so much precious time during our adventures. Your gorgeous photos bring tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing everything with us! ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dawn, you are so right about the planning. If we had to look in maps and decide where we were going while there, it would have been a nightmare. Thank you for joining me as I relive our adventure. It's such a joy to bring you along! ♥

      Delete
  10. Thank you Martha Ellen! I try to go to Williamsburg once a month when the weather is good.

    PS I see I spelled Abbey wrong. duh!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am so pleased you went to Bath, there is so much to see there.
    I can't wait to see your photo's & hear all about The Lakes, it is my most favouite place.
    Fondly Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle. I'm so glad we were able to visit your lovely country! The Lake District was my favorite! I hope to do it justice! ♥

      Delete
  12. Lovely photo tour. My husband and I visited Bath years ago and enjoyed it. Actually we enjoyed every part of England we visited. I came over from Cranberry Morning to say hi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Terra, thank you for coming by. We just couldn't go to England without visiting Bath--And yes, every part of England we visited also is just beautiful. I hope to get to know you better. ♥

      Delete
  13. Visiting from Cranberry Morning...love your descriptions of your trip. I too am a fan of Susan Branch's A Fine Romance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arlene, thank you for coming over. We seem to be kindred spirits. Susan Branch was the inspiration for our wonderful adventure. I'll be stopping by to see you soon. ♥

      Delete
  14. Hello, I am visiting from Judy's blog. What a wonderful and exciting trip. I enjoyed following your tour of Bath and seeing all the lovely sights. Beautiful photos and post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eileen, I'm happy to "meet" you. Bath is just an amazing place to visit and explore. We wished we had more time there.
      Thank you for stopping by--I'll be over to "see" you soon. ♥

      Delete
  15. OOOOOOOH Martha Ellen!!! I agree with Cathy!! You are a wonderful tour guide!! And Grayden is a wonderful organizer !!
    I am learning so much too!! Absolutely a DELIGHT!!! I have enjoyed each and every image and story that you have shared!!!
    Blessings love and warmth xx oo, Linnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Linnie, you are so kind. We are still enjoying our trip as we share it with friends like you! Love to you, sweetie. xoxo ♥

      Delete
  16. What a fabulous journey; so glad I skipped here from Susan Branch's blog. As it happens, I know other folks on that same ship; when they landed in Southampton, they motored to Scotland where they're staying. I wish Linda Sue would blog about her journey. Bath is on my visit list when I next go to UK, planning for next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you came over to visit. I've met so many wonderful friends through her. Don't you just love her? I'm so glad you are going to UK next year--even though we just got back, I want to go again--so much to see and do. Thanks for stopping by. ♥

      Delete

Your comments will show after moderation. Thank you. ♥