Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
For one of our 'rambling days' at our Cotswold cottage, we ventured in the direction of Burton-on-the-Water, a very popular village on the tourist itinerary. Apparently, they refer to it as the 'Venice of the Cotswold's, thanks to the river which runs parallel to the high street. There are several pedestrian bridges, a riverside walk, ducks, etc.
It was in Burton-on-the-Water that Rebecca bought her adorable 'English hat'. Doesn't she look cute? She called it her 'Adventure hat' and put it on every morning before we hit the sights. Sadly, we lost it somewhere in England or France.
We had a fun time exploring this darling model village at the Old New Inn. This is an accurate (supposedly) scale model. There is even a model of the model. We were a bit disappointed that there wasn't a model of the model of the model. But, you can't have everything.
Here is Rebecca stomping down the street as she and her brother were pretending to be giants. Of course!
And here I am. I'm stunned at the poor picture quality of all of these pictures. This was AFTER I dropped my camera, you see. . .
Friday, March 30, 2012
|downstairs in the kitchens|
One thing I learned about myself is that I am a chateau junkie. I'm sure my kids tired of one gorgeous castle after another, but not me. I could spend all my days wandering through such opulence.
One of the most famous of the Loire Valley Chateaux is Chenonceau. It was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, and successively embellished by Diane de Poitiers then Catherine de Medici.
At first, as we wandered through, I thought the flower arrangements were actually fake. But, no, just so gorgeous that they didn't possibly seem real. I wondered how many gardeners they have on staff to create these amazing creations each day.
. . . and does the fact that I notice such things make me like my mother?
|approaching the front door|
|words cannot describe!|
|a view of the castle and it's 'above the river' location|
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
After we spent some time in fast-paced London, we slowed down a bit in a rental cottage in the Cotswolds. The kids loved to pretend the cottage was haunted and enjoyed the quiet country daily life. I enjoyed driving around the area in search of surprising Cotswolds towns.
We stumbled upon one of my favorites one last day there: Painswick.
In the past Painswick was a major player in the wool trade of the Cotswold area. Today it is famous for it’s parish church, the yew trees in the churchyard, and winding steep and narrow streets.
Here are some memories from our day:
|This artwork in the church sure demonstrates how important the wool trade was during the time.|
|The yew trees are so mature they have 'grown together' to create many tunnels, nooks, and crannies.|
|Rebecca in front of the delightful shop we found. If you stood in the middle of the store and put both arms outstretched your arms would span the room.|
|Most of the buildings were made of this Cotswold stone.|
|Olivas, where we stopped for coffee and dessert.|
|A view of the town|
Monday, March 26, 2012
Bayeaux is an historic town, and our stop between the D-day beaches and Mont St. Michel. After a visit to the world famous Bayeaux tapestry, we dragged the children down the street to visit the original home of the tapestry, the town’s cathedral.
The town of Bayeaux is not large. But, as you find in many parts of Europe, the scale and importance of many towns today does not accurately reflect the wealth and importance they had in yesteryear.
The Norman cathedral was dedicated in 1077 in the presence of William the Conqueror. During medieval times, the tapestry had been hung every year in the nave to commemorate the Norman invasion of England.
The cathedral itself was a visual delight. Since my regular camera lens was dropped and sub-par, I tried out my new telephoto to take some pictures of details in the stone work. It’s often the detailed carvings that I ignore in these grand churches, mainly because I can’t see them! But with a telephoto . . .