Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hampton Court

We finally made it to Hampton Court, the palace up the river from London that was a major residence for Henry VIII, the Oranges, and the Georges. We spent the entire day there, opening to closing, and felt like we still missed a great deal. Hampton Court is vast, three or more palaces in one, you might say, and the gardens are equally vast and interesting. There is much history within the walls, great architecture and landscaping, and art that some of the greatest museums would envy. I took some 400 pix the day we visited, and would have to do ten posts to do it all justice.
At the current main entrance; in olden days, the entrance
would have been on the river 

Entrance sculpture of note

In one of the Tudor halls, H/A, Henry and Anne (Boleyn)

Vaulting in the hall

Royal tapestries everywhere

QE1's porter, said to have been 7 feet tall

Big guy in his Holbein pose

Site of one of his weddings; so if you're head of state and head
of the church, who officiates?

Family portrait...a snapshot, sort of

Not pictured, but not to be missed...
Caravaggio, Caracci, Claude, Duccio, four
Rembrandts, elder Breughel; elsewhere,
the Mantagnas, many Knellers, Reubens/

Alley way in the Tudor kitchens area

Giant spits for roasting real beef

Largest Grade 1 Listed Rotisserie in the Nation

Among the incredible art, Mantegna's Triumphs of Caesar

Ceiling over staircase to the William and Mary apartments


Among the throne rooms


Among the royal bed chambers...

Get a picture of the chimneys, Vicki said

In the Georgian areas

One of the Georges

A giant Snyders boar hunt

And a Rubens/Snyders Satyr and Sleeping Nymphs

Walton On Thames

As noted in a previous post, we joined the Camping and Caravanning Club ("The Friendly Club") for our UK visit in 2016, and enjoyed staying in several of its sites. Most convenient for us was the Club's Walton On Thames campground, west of London, but with relatively straightforward bus and/or train access to the great city. We stayed there the better part of a week. The campground is a bit minimalist, but then it is the Club's original motor-camping campground, possibly the oldest in the UK, and perhaps in the world.

Our site; the place was full on the weekend, not so full on week days

The community/information/picnic area; note the centennial of the campground,


Historical marker

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Real Time Update And Preview

As August ends, we are back in the States, in Ft. Lauderdale presently, staying with sister Carole and her family, preparing for Vicki's 50th high school reunion, then heading back to Middle California and further adventures. Yes, I am seriously behind on the blog. But I am determined to catch up, especially when things settle down. Travel is sometimes a serious impediment to doing a travel blog. Anyhow, the list of posts yet to do now includes Hampton Court and Gardens, London with Penelope, Tate Britain, Kew Gardens, the British Library, V&A, Walton-on-Thames, Hever Castle, Bodiam Castle, More British Out-Takes, Dover/Calais, Le Touquet/Paris Plage, Trouville, Villediu des Poeles, Guern and Les Vert Paturages, the St. Nicodemus chapel, Vannes, Quimper, Josselin Chateau, Dinan, Domaine des Ormes, Combourg, the Menhir du Champ Dolent, Paris Scenes, Tour Eiffel, Bois du Bulogne, the Picasso Museum, Saint Chapelle, More Paris Scenes, Yevre le Chatel, Sully sur Loire, Bourges, Bourges St. Etienne Cathedral, Le Puy de Dome, the Temple of Mercury on Le Puy de Dome, Montpeyroux, Brioude, Brioude Church, Lavadieu, Le Puy en Velay, Theuyts, the Caverne Chauvet/Pont D'Arc, Ardeche Gorge, Bagnols sur Ceze, Figueres, Camping Laguna, and the Costa Brava, and finally, Barcelona sights and scenes. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Highclere, 2016

We visited Highclere in 2013 with Rebecca and Penelope (, but Vicki wanted to see it again, without distractions (me). She even prepared by watching the first four seasons of Downton Abbey. (Photography and relevant captions below by Vicki).
We arrived early and got a good parking spot

Highclere, 2016

Pictures are not allowed in the house, but since our last visit
three years ago, pictures of the actors being filmed have been
added to the relevant rooms; these pictures were in the gift

It was fun to see how much of the furniture was actually used

One of two interior pictures I was able to take

I imagine that the filming of Downton moved it up several
spots; one of the room attendants said the first season paid
for a much needed roof replacement.

In the garden now

A white room

It seemed to us that much work has been done in the gardens

From the meadow below

Penelope's Wood


Many mature specimen trees

Culpability Brown designed much of Highclere's grounds, well before the 
current House was built

His view needs a little trimming

Waddesdon House: Gardens

Intermittent rain curtailed our garden tour, but we did see most of Waddesdon's extensive gardens and landscape. Alas, the big flowers and the roses all were beyond their prime.
Outdoor sculpture, made of magnum-size
bottles, one of two at the entrance to the house

Lots of impressive topiary and bedding designs


Specimen spcimen trees

Backyard pond, fountain, parterres, bedding...


More contemporary outdoor sculpture...something about
escaping the Revolution

In the aviary, a Waddesdon mynah

Still enough roses to be impressive