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Browse any bookstore and you’ll see many books about English gardens and countrysides. I’m here to tell you that the photographs in those books are very real and not staged or photoshopped. Although the timing of our trip wasn’t the best for seeing the gardens at their finest, we were still able to see a glimpse of what was yet to come……..





For some reason, I’m having issues with WordPress tonight and getting captions to post under the pictures. Since it is now after midnight and this is the third time I’ve tried to caption the pictures, I’m just going to summarize them here: The first picture is a vine of some sort growing on the side of a building in Oxford (wish we could see this once it “greened” up). The second picture is a red bud type tree; the third picture is a window box in front of a dorm room window at Oxford (many of these around the university). The fourth photo is a flower from a garden at Shakespeare’s birthplace, and the fifth picture was taken in Bath, England, of a street vendor’s booth. You could smell the fragrance from these flowers from a block away – unbelievable!

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It seemed like every town we went through during our travels in England, there were street performers. Folk singers, guitar players, unicycle riders, opera singers, you name it. Foot traffic moved rather quickly so there wasn’t much time to just sit and listen, but there were really some talented people. One guy even had a sign that said something along the lines of “I don’t need money but if you like my music, feel free to donate.”

An opera singer at the Roman Baths


Juggling flamethrower unicyclist


A guitar player


Band of boys in the gazebo


Another guitar player



(I’m thinking I mighta had a new friend in this guy – I’m in the red coat ;-)

We left early Saturday (3/19) morning to make our way to Stonehenge which was about an hour and half west of London. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by sheep pastures. Here is a cut-n-paste excerpt from another website about Stonehenge:

Stonehenge is a prehistoric, mysterious circle of upright stones in southern England. Construction on the great monument began 5,000 years ago; the famous stones that still stand today were put in place about 4,000 years ago.

The great age, massive scale and mysterious purpose of Stonehenge draw over 800,000 visitors per year, and several thousand gather on the summer solstice to watch the sunrise at this ancient and mystical site.

The stones are aligned almost perfectly with the sunrise on the summer solstice, and it is almost unquestioned that Stonehenge was built as a spectacular place of worship.

Although the faith of the Stonehenge builders predates any known religion, the site has become a place of pilgrimage and worship for Neopagans who identify themselves with the Druids or other forms of Celtic paganism. It is also popular with New Age devotees, who report powerful energies at the site.

It was truly a spectacular view…..

And the stones weren’t the only thing we saw from another era……

We made a stop in Oxford Thursday afternoon and toured the area. Unbelievable buildings and history in this area.

And, of course, a picture of Cait with one of the locals…….

Apparently you have to be super smart to attend any of the colleges at Oxford so we had to show them the ole “Boomer Sooner”!

I hope when I get home and have more time to review my notes on the buildings and areas, I can post more pictures with descriptions – truly have seen some awesome towns!

After the hike to Hadrian’s Wall, the next stop was the awesome town of York. Home of Yorkshire Pudding and Yorkshire Terriers ;-) We got there in time to hear the boys choir at York Minster and it was quite moving as you walked around the church and took in the sights. The church has beginnings back to 600AD and it was considered completed in 1472.

(Sorry….had to get one of our “OU” pictures in ;-)
The cathedral was a gothic lover’s dream……

And finally as we left York, this picture just spoke “England” to me……

Left Edinburgh bright and early Tuesday morning to start heading south to London. Stopped in at Hadrian’s Wall on the way and visited the fort at Housestead. Thank God it was misty because if I had been able to see the walk we needed to take to the fort (half a mile, both directions uphill), I probably would have waited in the bus – seriously, it was awesome.

Apparently the Roman’s started building this wall in AD 122 (it stretches east to west from coast to coast) to protect themselves from their northern enemies. Pretty impressive, but if a 17 year old could scale it…….

Oh, did I mention that there are a lot of sheep farms in the English countryside?

Would love to come back some day and see this without the mist…….

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