Monday, October 31, 2011

Back to England: WINCHESTER

Now that we're back from Atlanta, I want to finish the trip we made to England in early September. There were two more days when we were "short of eyes," in both Winchester and Bath.

First, Winchester, the former captital city of England, dating back to pre-Roman times.

Host Chris kept each day's whereabouts a total secret from us till we got there and needed to know. The "got there" part began at the Hospital of St. Cross where we drank tea until our two mystery guests arrived.

Ellie (bottom left with Chris) and Alan were our mystery guests, both from Shutterchance!
Ellie's real name is Joy but I didn't know that till last year. She was one of the very first persons who welcomed me to SC when I started there 5 years ago, so it's been a real treat to see her now 2 years in a row.
Chris must have known. And also that we'd want to meet Alan.

Of all the cities and places to visit, we couldn't have chosen better!
The Hospital of Saint Cross is "England's oldest and most perfect almshouse" of noble poverty.
It's not a hospital per se but a place of hospitality for providing food and shelter
to the Brethren of St. Cross for over 850 years.
If you know, you can ask for the Wayfarer's and a morsel of bread.
What a gorgeous day for visiting!

We made our way through the inner courtyard to the Norman Church from 1135.
(If you click to enlarge, you might see the graffiti in cement from 1770, bottom right above.)

Chris knew we'd be enthralled. And we were!
Ellie says the parrot lectern is the only one of its kind in the world.

Stained-glass windows were even in the nooks and crannies, everywhere.

Then we walked over to the Brethren's Hall where the Brothers gathered to eat for centuries.
The buckets are there for in case of a fire! Notice Chris guarding the brew in the cellar.

Following the Brethren's Hall, we strolled through the nearby gardens.
We could have spent the rest of the day there!

(Click here to see a YouTube of this magnificent place.)

While the above Hospital of St. Cross was our main attraction of the day, and since we were only a 20-minute walk away from Winchester's city center, we headed off to see as much of the city as possible.

You know me. I love these signs.... the varied architecture and trivia that makes England so English!
Novelist Jane Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817 and is buried in the cathedral below.

And as we headed to city center, there she stood.
Winchester Cathedral, one of England's largest,
with the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe, begun in 1079.
Alas, alack. It was not the day we would go inside. Another time, perhaps.

Lunch was fun, especially with Thatcher's Gold Somerset Cider.
Did I mention that Astrid and I are SOLD on hard ciders everywhere we go. :)
But notice how even in England, with 3 tap choices, Holland's Amstel was very THERE.
(click on all collages to enlarge)

Then it was the City Cross...or High Cross or Buttercross. Take your pick.
In the High Street, from the early 15th century...

...with King Alfred the Great keeping an eye out nearby!
Alfred was King of Wessex from 871 to 899 and is known as the king
who defended southern England against the Vikings...a long time ago!

By now it was late afternoon and we had one last see Wolvesey Castle. But along the way, we stopped and clicked our cameras at every little know me.

That's the Guildhall from 1791 in the top-right above.

A couple of you will notice the play on images in the collage above: Boots and me. :)
(For the uninformed, my family nickname has been Boots since my first month of birth in 1945.)

Last but not least, we stopped by Wolvesey Castle just before it closed.
The Old Bishop's Palace dates back to the 12th century.
"The last great occasion here was on 25 July 1554, when Queen Mary and Philip of Spain held their wedding breakfast in the East Hall."

And with that, we bid our adieus to Alan and Ellie and headed back with Chris in his delightful Fiat 500 to the farmhouse in Bath.

It was a fabulous day out on the town and doesn't get much better than that...until you see our next and last full day, in Bath itself.

See why we say it would be a sin for us not to go back to England every year!


  1. fabulous day it was, judging from all the details/sights you captured.

    short of eyes indeed.

  2. PC: Thanks, Maria. As you've guessed, this is but the tip of the iceberg!

  3. Ohh, don't you just love those stones. And the term "noble poverty"? (I am reading A Christmas Carol and how Scrooge loved those workhouses/poorhouses. :(

    What tremendous photos, and old beauties in the church and the Brethren's Hall.

    You know I love seeing the cathedral where JA is buried!

    And I just love the Boots stores from my times in Ireland and UK. I always think of you, of course. And whenever I'm there I pick up a few little face cloths. I like the square corners and the terry cloth is so nice. :-)

  4. Ruth: Oh yes, sister. The stone buildings of Europe have mesmerized me! So solid. I love the term "noble pverty." It sounds like something Jesus and Ghandi would say.

    I added Jane Austen to the collection just for you, of course. :)

    One day when I'm back to Boots, I'll check on those face cloths. Now you've got my curiosity. :)

    Thank you, as always, for your "care-ful" comment.

  5. What a lovely way to re-visit Winchester. I went to Winchester for the sole reason that Jane Austen died there and is buried in the cathedral - and I liked it a lot. Your photos are beautiful as always and bring over the beautiful spirit of old English towns.

  6. Carola: I love that you, too, have the connection to Jane Austen, as my sister did. It's what makes traveling so fun. Thank you for your comment here.

  7. Crikey, Ginnie; what a great set of images! . I knew you had been very busy taking images during the day but never realised just how many! They are a fine set of images and portray everything we saw. They bring back lovely memories of a very enjoyable time together with you and Astrid, and with Joy, too!

    Just one question: Why does my "high forehead" appear so prominently in one of the shots? ;-) ;-)

  8. Alan: What a sweetheart! Thank you for commenting here. We have such great memories from that day with you, Joy and Chris. That you took the time and effort to meet up with us means the world to us. Thank you.

  9. That looks like a great day out and can you believe that I haven't been to any of those places?

  10. CP: Thank you, Cherry. It was a GREAT day out and, NO, I can't believe you haven't been there...with all the visiting of places you do! Just do it. :)

  11. With all the places you are visiting, you must be becoming an European sightseer specialist. You could probably write a tourist guide book! :)

  12. Tim: It would be great to do something more with all my pictures but for now, this is enough and makes me happy...a place to keep a "record" of what we've seen. And still just the tip of the iceberg, I'm afraid! Thank you, Tim.

  13. Beautiful photos as always... Now I just wonder wherever you visit, would there ever be a place that just doesn't seem like you'd like to photograph?

    I mean as in an interesting sort of way... As I was viewing your photos I was thinking that.. Would there be somewhere that you just said hmmm... Not much here!


  14. I hope that people know what I mean by 'short of eyes'.
    That first day in England, I wished I had taken my 3 pair of spare eyes with me, what an amazing places did we visit.
    Meeting Alan and Joy was a delight.
    My dear brother Chris did a great job.... FABULOUS JOB.... being the perfect host.
    Too bad he could not take those two barrels of brew with him.
    After visiting those amazing places, it was a pure delight sitting next to him in that wonderful car of his.
    He is such a good driver.
    Because of my never ending talking, he slept better then in years.... I seem to be the cure of sleepless nights.
    Thank you again MLS, for this wonderful post of pure joy.
    England is the place to be for at least once a year....
    Thank you.

  15. ET: What a great question, Jen! My guess is the answer would be NO. No such place in the whole wide word. :) Thanks, as always.

    Astrid: I'm very sure everyone knows by now what you mean by "short of eyes!" I LOVE that expression. And I love how you share all these experiences with me. I can't think of anyone with whom I'd rather be with wherever we go. Thank you, MLMAMV.

  16. I think I'm getting jet lag from traveling across the seas with y'all.

    Another remarkable post. Did you really do all this in one day? Now my feet hurt too. My four eyes love the parrot lectern, all that intricate stained glass, the fire buckets, the boot shingle and the weather vane in the same collage.

    Did you know that Target is now carrying Boots products? Yes indeedy, so exciting.

  17. DB: HA! You crack me up, Diana! And now I have just corrected my spelling of lectern to not be the Australian version...thanks to you. And NO, I did NOT know Target is now carrying Boots products. What a hoot. I'll have to go check it out the next time we're back in the States. Thanks.

  18. I had no idea I was correcting your spelling.

  19. DB HAHAHA. And I had no idea I had misspelled it, so I checked and saw the error of my ways, so to speak. I pride myself on being a good speller but still mess up all the time. Like Winnie the Pooh says, I'm a GOOD speller but I sometimes get my letters in the wrong place. :)

  20. Now I can't get the song "Winchester Cathedral" out of my head. Great photos as always, Ginnie!

  21. Karen: HA! So I had to Google "Winchester Cathedral." I just got my education, thanks to you. :)

  22. As always, Ginnie, beautiful photos and montages. At last you are passing through territory we've visited. Thanks for the memories.

  23. Ted: Thanks for stopping by again. It's nice to see places we've now both visited, isn't it! :)

  24. Just here to say hello and thanks for all your support :-)

  25. It just amazes me that the buildings are SO old and still standing... As you know, here in American, we think a building is old if it is 100 years old and a house "old" if it is over 20! The last, of the castle ruins and the blue sky with wispy clouds... wow. I KNOW you had to take more than the few you showed! Can't wait to see Bath! And yes, it would be a sin not to go back ... so there are your marching orders :)

  26. Renny: Thank you! We're behind you all the way.

    Margaret: You and I are on the same page about what "old" means. We Americans have no clue! To walk where the ancient Romans walked, even here in our citadel city, still blows my mind. Thanks, as always, for your support here and on SC. It means the world to me.

  27. Wow, another stunning place. Or places rather. I really envy you on this one. *sigh*

  28. LCT: Thank you for stopping by again. We really are very lucky to have seen these places!

  29. Prachtige trips en prachtige foto's. Ik schrijf in Nederlands, veel et bang het fout te doen!
    Liefs van mij en Herman naar jullie!!

  30. Ank: Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting here. I love that you write in Dutch, because I can usually read all of it. I'm still not good in writing it but I know you understand English. Hartstikke bedankt. And greetings to you and Herman also.

  31. I just love the architecture! The image of the silhouetted cross under the interior arches is lovely. And again, the tilework must have thrilled Astrid. I wonder what the parrot "meant'... I know the pelican and certain other birds have meanings.

    The buckets!! I have a few shots I will be sharing of the Moravian village Tavern.. buckets in case of a fire!

    Just fabulous... makes NC seem a little dull.

  32. Margaret: The thing is, England has cities and churches like this all over the place. Can you imagine living there? I don't know what the parrot means. Good question. I'll ask my British friends to see if they know. In the meantime, I'm loving your own Moravian images. Such rich history...also in NC!