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
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