Monday, April 28, 2014

Wandering Through My Past

Now doesn't that title make me sound ancient?   Depending on your age, you may think that I am old or young.  I consider myself to be, in the words of Goldilocks, "Just right!"

My first trip out of the USA was in 1979.  I went with a college group on a mission trip to Mexico. Sadly I don't have pictures.  I didn't expect to enjoy the trip, but I did.

Many years later, I took a pleasure trip to England. I had read lots of English writers as a child and had always wanted to go there.  In fact the influence of those English written books show up sometimes when I write.  Color becomes colour; favorite -favourite -etc.  The British spellings and some "odd by American standards" words seem normal to me.

So about the trip. I travelled alone, flying from Atlanta, Georgia to London's Heathrow airport.  I had instructions to buy a ticket and take the subway to the Lancaster Gate tube stop. From there I went to my hotel.   No problem at all. I loved riding the tube (subway.) Here is a Tube map.  I carried one of these in my pocket at all times to navigate London.
I did a lot of sightseeing while I was there.  I asked many "strangers" to take pictures of me. All of them obliged willingly and very politely.
Here are some of those photos.

Here I am in front of a church ????  Sadly I am not sure which one, perhaps St. Paul's Cathedral. (it is actually St. Margaret's - thanks to my readers for correcting me.)   But I do know that the tower in the background is an iconic London sight- Big Ben.
I am a voracious reader and have been since childhood.  This picture is at 84 Charing Cross Road. I loved the book that was named for the address - 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff.  So of course I had to get a picture.  The truth is that I was "lost" that day.  I stumbled upon the address quite by accident.  This picture was taken by another tourist. She took my picture and I took one of her with her travelling companion.
Another joy on this trip was seeing a live musical.  There were several that interested me, but I only attended two of them.   The best was Les Miserables.
I fell in love with the music of this and bought a wonderful cast recording when I got home. I know most of the words and almost always sing along.

One other amazing place I visited was the British museum.  I was amazed that everything wasn't encased in glass or roped off.  This next picture shows the Rosetta Stone.
I also took a boat ride down the Thames and went to Greenwich.
Yes I am standing with my feet across the Prime Meridian of the world.

A friend at work has a brother who lived in England.  I left London and went into the countryside with him.  One glorious place we stopped was Corfe Castle. It is a ruined castle and is a property of the British National Trust in Dorset.

You may notice that my hair has changed in these last two pictures.   When I left the British museum that day in London.  I stopped in a little barber shop and got a haircut. A nice Cockney lady barber cut my hair.   I didn't understand half of what she said, but we had a great time listening to each others accents.

Now, if you are a British reader and I have messed up any of the "facts" in this post, feel free to let me know in the comments.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

11 comments:

Marie said...

I can see you enjoyed your trip to England as much as we did. It was a great highlight in my life. Hugs, Marie

suemac said...

I am dying to go to London. I can't wait to go to Liberty of London and fondle all of the lovely fabric.

Edgar said...

Loved the snaps of London and countryside - the UK is one of my favorite places to visit... did you get to Salisbury Cathedral?? Trying to work it out to get back this fall... fingers crossed! Near Westminster Abby you are standing in front of St Margaret's church.

Linda J said...

What an amazing trip and what memories you must have made in going. Do you plan on more traveling when you retire? I bet that there is a lot to do right here in Alabama.

Barbara said...

So neat to re-live good memories! I kinda liked your hair before the haircut, reminded me a little of Art Garfunkel with glasses. Lol. I know you sing though, and that penny whistle shows musical talent. However, with the haircut you look more like the mature Gene we all know. Here I am talking about a haircut and there is much more to this post. I'll leave all that to the others. ;)

kathyinozarks said...

sounds like a good trip-thanks for sharing with us-I have never been to Europe and probably will not have the opportunity to go but I love reading about others visits.

Elaine said...

I have been fortunate enough to have gone to England 2x. The first with my BFF and the second with 3 Bff's to celebrate turning 60. I told my husband that he needs to go with me on the next trip. 2 highlights for me were Westminster Abby with all the poets buried there, and Oxford with the trip to CS Lewis' home "The Kilns". I got to sit at the desk on which he wrote The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe-and to top it off we went to the pub, The Eagle and Child where The Inklings gathered. LOVE England!

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and stories. I've always wanted to go to England and hope to someday...

Barb said...

Wonderful pictures but I can't see myself going without someone to go with me....

Jacque said...

Especially love the castle ruins...would love to go there someday. Thanks for sharing this fun post! :)

Corrie said...

What a great trip. Looks wonderful. And a great haircut. It's fun to see you; I've had an old avatar picture image in my head of you.