Wednesday, June 24, 2015

England 2015: Day 1--Batheaston to Bathampton Walk

Did I mention that one of my gifts to myself for my BIG 7-0 is flying grandson Nicholas over for the last 2 weeks of July?  He turns 15 on July 12th and will arrive on the 17th, just 5 days later.

So, having just returned from our week in England, I'm on a hot trot to get as many posts done before the Big Boy arrives.

As they say, let's start at the very beginning, Monday, 15 June, when hosts Lisl and Michael picked me up from the airport in Bristol (Astrid arrived 2 days later).

  First of all, this was my Facebook overview of Day 1.

On the ca. 25-mile drive from the Bristol Airport to Batheaston, where they live,
Lisl and Michael stopped at the reservoir along the way for a nice treat.
A 99 Flake is an ice cream cone with a Cadbury flake inserted in it.
Now you know.

Of course, the reservoir, or bird sanctuary as I call it, was very nice, too.
I remembered it from a year ago when we stopped there with Chris.

Once I got settled at the house, Lisl and I started out on a walk,
from Batheaston to Bathampton (where Chris lives).  I call them suburbs of Bath.

You know me.  I want to see every little thing, which Lisl totally understands.
I don't remember the name of this little park but it was worth seeing.
[Addendum:   Lisl says it's Batheaston Garden.]

Near the park was a new bridge we didn't cross, except to the center, to get a view.
Looking back on it as we walked along the River Avon was lovely (good English word).

When we got to the toll bridge, we knew we were passing from Batheaston into Bathampton.
It's a privately-owned bridge, btw, with all the tolls going to the family that owns and maintains it.
It's the Bathampton Toll Bridge, from 1872, with 9 pointed arches.
Can you imagine that as your family business?

 Lisl's goal for our walk was to see the narrowboats on the Bathampton side of the River Avon.
We had already seen them last year on the Batheaston side.
You know that we have scads of canals all over Dutchland, of course,
but the Dutch do not have narrowboats.  They intrigue me to no end,
especially by all the stuff they put on top.  
These are their homes, you know.

Both going to and coming back from the narrowboats,
we walked through the cemetery of Bathampton's Church of St. Nicholas from the 13th century.
Besides Arthur Phillip's grave inside the church (Founder of Australia
and first Governor of New South Wales)....

...the grave of Walter Sickert (1860-1942), a painter and printmaker, is outside (middle left).
Three books in modern times maintain he was Jack the Ripper from the late 1880s.
Lisl believes the theory is very convincing from what she has read.  WOW.

We didn't spend much time inside at all, only for these few images.
But you know me and church cushions!
Lucky for me to find one of St. Nicholas, just days before he comes to visit!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Day 1 down, now, and 6 to go.....(all longer than this one, I might add)....


  1. I've never been to England..but ever since I met you two it's grown higher on the list...especially when you tease us with all these beautiful images!

    1. England has increasingly become a country I'd love to spend one of my lifetimes in, Robin. HA! It would actually take several to see everything. And it's not like any other country I've seen. It's jam-packed with heritage/historical sites as well as rolling hills, narrow lanes with hedges, sheep, cattle, magnificent cathedrals and small parish churches. It would be a sin for us NOT to visit every year because of the hour's flight and cheap fares. I hope you can make it there more than once in your last years!

  2. It sounds and looks like you had a fabulous time in England. All the time you were here i was nearer to your home, I was on my hols in Leuven ;-)

    1. Oh, my, Cherry. Passing ships in the night. Astrid just told me that Leuven is a beautiful city, so maybe we'll visit it one day ourselves. Thank you.

    2. If you hadn't been in England we would have suggested that we meet up somewhere :-) It is funny how these things fall...

    3. Astrid immediately said, YES, we would have met up with Belgium!!!

  3. What a nice birthday treat. I really want to see England too and Cornwall. Idk what's my fascination but I think it is from reading all those romance novels when I was younger and the man always has a house in Cornwall.

    1. Oh, yes, Maria. Definitely worth all those romance novels. One day you'll have to see it for yourself!!! :)

  4. I go to my literary connections too, and would love to galavant around the countryside of England. Maybe one of these days. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy it through your posts. Perfect.

    1. I know what you mean, Ruth. So many things have become alive and real to me for the first time in my life. Thank you for following the ride.

  5. I would love to take one trip with you...I don't think I could do more than one trip....and my hubby's birthday is the 11th....Cancers are very family oriented and tender hearted.

    1. I would love for you to join a trip with me/us, Donna, even if only one. And yes, I know all about Cancers. My mom was one, as was my last partner. Nicholas is also very much a mama's boy in the best sense of the word. :)

  6. What a way to start you vacation. I know you like everything that you saw that day. To top it off with an ice-cream... This is what vacation is all about.

    1. Too bad you weren't with us yet. You would have loved all of it!!!

  7. Following your encounter (so to speak) with Jack the Ripper, I recommend you watch the movie “Time After Time,” by a friend and grade school classmate, Nicholas Mayer. It is an imagined chase movie where HG Well tries to save the twentieth century from the immigration by time machine of Jack the Ripper. It has a wonderful, droll humor and a bit of excitement. It’s great, literate fun.

    Not a word on that beautiful water wheel?

    1. I'll keep my eyes open for that movie, Ted. I love good recommendations, so thanks. It all makes me want to read up more on Jack the Ripper. HA!

      Re that water wheel: I see so many things that catch my eye but leave me with unanswered questions that would take too long to pursue. Actually, that's why I include some images in my collages, for any future date/reason when I want to do more research. :)