I spent most of the past week in England and Wales, seeing the sights with a friend. I had a marvelous time. I carried my knitting around with me everywhere, but I didn't knit much.
Winchester Cathedral, where Jane Austen is interred. It's a beautiful cathedral, and worth the price of the tour.
The next day we went to Stratford-on-Avon, where we walked through Anne Hathaway's gardens. I thought this little straw man looked cold, so I stepped in amongst the cabbages to give him a hand.
An improbably large leaf in the garden ... no idea what plant this is! To give you a sense of scale, that shoe is about a size 10.
The walk behind a tea house across from Anne Hathaway's cottage.
This is Stratford-upon-Avon. We rode around on a big red tour bus.
There is an enormous statue of The Bard in the Shakespeare museum we went to, but there was also a docent there, and she probably wouldn't have let me climb up on the pedestal and hang the shawl over the quill in his hand. So I settled for Lady MacBeth in the park by the river.
This is Bath ... the Jane Austen Centre, which is two doors down from one of the houses she lived in. This was the poorest time of Jane's life, and she was very unhappy in Bath.
Below is the Roman Baths, in Bath. This is the Central Pool, I think.My traveling companion told me a couple of guys were so distracted by watching me arrange my shawl that they nearly ran into things. That made me happy.
A succulent lion.
And on to Wales! This is Castell Dinefwr. The view was splendid.
Me, trying to display my shawl at the top of Castell Raghlan. It was a little windy ...
Monmouth Castle ... this is a Russian cannon that was captured during the Crimean War. It fired a cannonball a whole 2500 yards! Or feet. I forget which.
This is Tintern Abbey, the last place we visited during our trip. It was enormous!
I had a fabulous time. I am a Jane Austen fan, and it was wonderful to see two of the places she lived. I learned that she actually did accept a marriage proposal once ... but rescinded her acceptance the next morning.
Britain was interesting. Here are some things I learned:
- My name (Beth) in Welsh means "what."
- England loves roundabouts. Driving on the left in a roundabout is scary.
- A cup of decent, filter-brewed coffee is impossible to find.
- A sign reading "End of Diversion" doesn't mean there will be no more fun. It means the detour is over.
- "Avon" is the Celtic word for river. When the Romans asked the natives what the rivers were called, the mischievous Celts said "avon." So there are eight rivers named Avon.
- The Welsh word for river is aber.
- The Welsh language is seriously in need of vowels.
- When the Brits say "Please mind your children" they mean it.
- Clotted cream is such a heavenly substance, I wish I could fill a tub with it.