Monday, May 21, 2012

ENGLAND 2012: Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge

It's gonna take time to make it through all my England images, as you'd guess, but by hook or by crook, I plan to get them to you by way of the day trips we took while visiting Chris and Jackie on the farm in Bath (like last September!)

Because it's my turn at Vision and Verb today and my post there is a jump-off from something at Glastonbury, I'll start there.

Sex is dirty!
And if that gets your attention, check out my post here.

The closest similarity to Glastonbury I can think of is Sedona, Arizona.
If you've been there, you know it's a hefty mix of everything New Age and/or Ancient Art.

It's the people, the art, the way of life and thinking....

...the architecture, the nuance, the dichotomies...

...the fun, the window shopping...

...and the stuff considered "dirty" by so many of Western mind!

Chris knew exactly what we'd want to see and where, like this lovely Magdelene Chapel from 1444.

Located in England's southwest corner is the legendary village of Glastonbury. 
Rich in both myth and history, Glastonbury is one of the most spellbinding places in the world. Recognized as a spiritual center since the megalithic era, it is the site of the first Christian church in the British Isles and claimed to be the Avalon of King Arthur. 

You begin to understand why this city became a spiritual mecca
all the way back to the Druids from 2500 BC, and complete with it's vortex sites (like Sedona).
The ruins of the Glastonbury Abbey from the 7th century...

...and the dark water caverns of the goddess temple (where photos were not allowed).

All of this was on our walk from the city center to the Glastonbury Tor (hill), featuring St. Michael's Tower,
associated with Avalon and identified with King Arthur.

Can you imagine what it felt like to be around this kind of history!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Actually, Glastonbury was the second half of that day trip, after a couple hours in Cheddar Gorge where we stopped and took a walk into the little town of Cheddar.  And yes, THIS is where the REAL cheddar cheese originated.  Were we surprised or what!  A town named Cheddar for cheddar (England) and a city named Gouda for gouda (Holland)!

 All of a sudden, before you could say Jack Sprat, there we were.
After the rolling hills of Bath, we didn't expect this surprise from Chris, our host.
I didn't even know there was a place like this in England's terrain!

 After parking the car, we walked part of the gorge into town,
viewing the sights along the way.

Think of any town you know that caters to tourists and you'll have nailed this beauty.

In fact, we stopped at the first ice-cream shop and treated ourselves.
We were delighted to have Jackie join us this one day of our trip.

And then we continued our walk...

...ending up with all these teddy bears, before getting back in the car to Glastonbury.

One day in the life of our recent England trip.  In fact, now that I'm getting my bearings, it was our first full day there, a Sunday.  So, how's that for knowing exactly where to start!

To be continued....


  1. What a great overview of your trip! I can see that I would LOVE Glastonbury!!!

  2. Brilliant stuff Ginnie, it brings the day right back to me here & now. I just knew Astrid & you would love these places...

  3. Robin: Oh yes. Right up your alley! :D

  4. Chris: Every time we look back over pictures like this, we can remember it all as though we were reliving the experience. THANK YOU for your part in making this all happen!

  5. Hmmm... May have to get back to posting on Shutterchance so I can eventually join up with you all for one of these adventures! It does look like you all know how to have fun visit interesting places. I'd love to see both of the spots featured in this post and so enjoy seeing them through your eyes.

    Here lately, I've found myself thinking about retreading The Once and Future King so I enjoyed the Avalon/King Arthur references. Off now to V&V.

  6. Victoria: We'll see you one day even without you being in SC! Cherry has met up with us 2 years in a row now and she's not with SC. What a trooper. One day it'll be your turn....

    Just a couple days ago we watched the Clive Owen version of King Arthur, supposedly more politically accurate. I'm a glutton for these historical movies out of the UK!

  7. wow, i didn't realize that sedona has a counterpart across the pond. what a fun filled half a day this is. i cannot wait to hear all about your stop at cheddar. i somehow guessed that cheddar was a place, just wasn't keen on finding out. but now i don't have to, as you'll show us next time around.

  8. I have to admit to feeling a little ashamed. I have only ever driven through Glastonbury... Can you believe it?

    It looks like a fantastic place. I need to go back and explore ;-)

    As an aside I think you will like the photos I have posted today :-)

  9. Wow - and so much as always.. Very cool to learn about Cheddar! WOW oh wow.. what a beautiful area! And of course a fun meet up!

  10. PC: I had no clue either, Maria, about a counterpart for Sedona but it doesn't surprise me.

    Maybe you missed it but THIS was the post for Cheddar...that's all there'll be. It was the appetizer before Glastonbury. :)

    Cherry: If anything, climb the hill to the tower to get the view of the area from above! You'll not regret it.

    I will definitely check out your photos from today!

    ET: Somehow I still think Cheddar should have originated in Holland, but since we have the Gouda, I guess we can share the love. :) Thanks, Jen.

  11. I didn't know about Glastonbury either. I wonder if you can feel the spiritual vibes, now that it is such a tourist destination? I'm fascinated by these vortexes, as you can imagine. :-)

  12. Ruth: To tell you the truth, I didn't know about the vortexes until after we got back home. Chris loves surprises so we didn't have the chance to research anything before we went. I did take my pendulum and found a very strong energy field at the Magdalene one of the alms houses, actually. I thought of you, of course, when I found out what it was named!

  13. Chris knows what we like to see and it was great that we went with the 4 of us, including Jackie. It was a great day out and it did broaden my horizon quite a bit. I love these towns and new things to see.
    The collages are wonderful, they reflect that one day, perfectly.
    Another great memory, shared with friends.

  14. Astrid: What I have shared with you in 2+ years here is enough to fill a book! Amazing, when I think about it. I love that we're on this journey together. Thank you.

  15. Oh my god! It would have taken me a week or two to take photos of all this! Such a photo op treasure! I'm totally green of envy... as usual. Why is there that you seem to dig up ALL the most interesting things to show us?

    (My favorite is the sheep under the cottage/wagon though for some reasons. Maybe because it was so unexpected)

  16. LCT: You'd love it all, I know. And for some reason, that sheep under the covered wagon was one of my favorites, too. :)

  17. Some of the orange hats for Queens Day were quite lovely. I really like hats but there are few occasions now to wear one. I did today as we had to go to such an occasion – in church for a baptism – have not worn a proper hat in at least 4 years.
    Gorinchem is a dynamic city – so many happenings there. I would have liked to sample the fishermen’s fried fish and listened to the children playing – how much fun you have over there!
    I had not heard of Glastonbury – what a great town to visit – the right type of place for you to inspect and photograph. I think I would camp in Cheddar for a few days to eat myself silly – I love cheese and a good Cheddar with an apple is often my lunch. Do you know that in Normandie there is a town called Camembert? Of course we have a bunch of “Brie” towns such as where my cousins live – Brie Comte Robert. In less than the time I take to fly to New York you fly to another country – Oh la la – quelle joie!

  18. Vagabonde: A proper hat. I would love to see a picture of you in one. :) That's fun, though I'm not a hat wearer myself. If I had longer hair, yes, maybe.

    There really IS a lot to see here in our town and we are so lucky to live in the center of it all, within easy walking distance.

    And yes, I'd be able to live in any town known for its cheese!

  19. Was it windy on the Tor? I have fond memories of climbing it when I was younger. The wind felt like it would knock you right off the hill. But then, it was March, so that probably had something to do with it.

  20. Karen: Actually, based on what Chris said, it probably was not windy at all...but definitely breezy. It felt good after climbing all those steps to the top! I love knowing you were there yourself, even if years ago. It's a small world after all.

  21. the architecture, the nuance, the dichotomies...

    yes, just amazing. Love the sheep (ram?) under the red wagon/building. The clouds behind Magdelene Chapel are stunning (do I keep saying that word?) :)

    The Avalon of King Arthur - Oh, my son, William, would LOVE this place. I think he would start to almost belive in reincarnation!

    No photos of the goddess temple... OH, I would have been SO tempted...

    Good Grief. I'm on sensory overload and only half way through with your day!

  22. Margaret: You have amazed me by how much you have visited of my posts one right after the other! MAN. No wonder you are in overload!!! And yes, I'm quite sure your William would love this place! :)