14.12.2009 - 14.12.2009 49 °F
approximate travle distance-round trip 240 miles
- *No pics this entry -- internet issues with uploading! Pics to come in a separate blog.
After our Paris we enjoyed a day of rest from adventure at the beautiful premier Inn. The next day, we tagged along with Neal to Salisbury where we saw a beautiful medieval town and cathedral, Stonehenge, and Old Sarum. Surprisingly our mascot decided to get back in the swing of things, I think Insecto is more comfortable in Europe. It was at old Sarum that William the Conqueror forced his subjects to swear the Oath of Salisbury following the Battle of Hastings. At Old Sarum, one of the sights we saw was the spot where kings did their royal business. It was also at Old Sarum that Eleanor of Aquitaine was imprisoned (several times…go figure).
In Salisbury, we enjoyed the tallest spire of the Medieval Ages. We also had a beautiful walk along the Avon river to reach the Cathedral and got some great pics of the spire rising out of the early morning mist. The weight of the stone making the steeple is so great that it actually bends the stones that form the base of the steeple. Also at the cathedral, we saw one of the original versions of the Magna Carta which is preserved in the chapter house there. We toured the old Cloister and the Cathedral close by which were a smaller, beautiful portion within the older section of Salisbury.
The mysteries of Stonehenge are captivating and scenic, but most noteworthy is that we still know hardly anything about it. Note to all…though it may have been used by Druids for a time, it was not contstructed by or originally used by Druids! It is the end of a nearly millennium long building project that was begun with a wooden henge in the same spot. There are also many burial mounds of various shapes concentrated around the Stonehenge site. We capped off the great morning with lunch at the Haunch of Venison. I dutifully devoured a haunch of venison before we headed back to High Wycomb.
After this we relocated to “Posh Pad London”, Rob Wyckes was kind enough to host us for a couple of days at his new place in London. His apartment is spacious and cute. He is in a nice residential area with several pubs (especially the Wheatsheaf) and shopping nearby as well as the Ealing Common Tube Station. This made for a great location for Sara and I.
Rob welcomed us with a glass of delightful wine. We drank in honor to Posh Pad Chicago (Cheers to Jeness and Tim), before catching up on Rob’s new work and telling him about our travels. Rob’s new rats hadn’t made it to town yet by our visit; other than that, it seems he enjoys his new academic-style gig. We hit a few pubs, and generally enjoyed ourselves. The next day, we saw a London snowfall, and we headed out to find Sara a coat to prepare for the frigid climate of continental Europe. Finally to the best part of our day, we met Rob down by his work for drinks and a tour of Covent Garden. We had a few drinks and ate some genuinely delicious pub food before heading home for some needed rest.
Early the next morning we hit the pavement via two trains, a bus, and finally caught our airplane from Stansted to reach the promised land of Italy where we would be spending Christmas.
The next chapter: Did you say “RIMINI” or were you trying to order a drink?