Greetings! I have returned from holiday in UK. So, it was a working holiday in the context that it was a total Photo Expedition. I hope to create some lovely and salable art from my trip to add to my Fine Art Collections.
It will take me a while to sort all the images I captured, but you can all expect to see the following from my Itinerary: Leeds Castle, Dover Castle, White Cliffs of Dover, Battle of Britain Memorial, London’s Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Buckingham Palace (only a cab pass-by haha), Stonehenge, Roman Baths, Bath Abbey Square, Pulteney Bridge, Sally Lunn’s, Chillenden Windmill, plus various English Culture Imagery and Pubs.
Below is a synopsis, each with 1 of my pix. Collections will take longer to sort! LOL…
1st Expedition Day: Leeds Castle
This was a beautifully picturesque and artistic castle with an incredibly rich heritage from 1600’s and tied to many Virginia USA towns (Culpeper, Fairfax to name two). A wedding was beginning as I was leaving the castle grounds. Enjoyed a bit of a Falconry Show, a very unique garden, gorgeous fowl (ducks, swans, and more), an exhibit purported as the world’s largest collection of historical dog collars. I even gave it a go in one of those Hedge Mazes! Got an unexpected and gorgeous surprise at the end of it: a beautiful Grotto. What is a Grotto? Defined: a small picturesque cave, especially an artificial one in a park or garden. After a full day, on the walk back, captured some images of a White Peacock! Note: one immediately thinks ‘albino’ is appropriate, but according to sources; no — it is a “white peacock”. See this amazing YouTube Video of a White Peacock Dance by @bellamoonnature. Since it was afar off, and with my mobility issues I had to settle for using my 300mm and hoping I could enhance well-enough in post production. Funny thing is if I managed the tram on the way back, (which was the intention mobility wise), I would have missed this stunning sight. I of course give that glory to God directing my path, as He always does. There were also very interesting trees, plants, other assorted foliage and vegetation there. A very unique experience of beauty, culture and stunning uniqueness.
2nd Expedition Day: Dover Castle, White Cliffs, Battle of Britain Memorial
A) Dover Castle, in contrast to Leed’s Castle, was very battle oriented. Sitting atop the White Cliffs (high ground, right) and on the Channel across from France.
“Unlike any other castle in England, Dover has played an important role in British history for more than 950 years. It was one of the first Norman castles in England, established in 1066. Later, in 1216, it resisted French siege; and held strong against the Napoleonic wars of the 1800s.” Source: Edd Morris (Click for source material)
I toured the underground tunnels. The site, managed by English Heritage, offered a mobility scooter, which enabled me to enjoy my entire visit.
B) White Cliffs, made of chalk – beautiful against that Royal Blue Sky! Really wanted to fly here (drone) but waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too windy OMGness. I didn’t even recon the location due to the wind.
FROM WIKIPEDIA (click for source): “The White Cliffs of Dover, part of the North Downs formation, is the name given to the region of English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliff face, which reaches a height of 350 feet (110 m), owes its striking appearance to its composition of chalk accented by streaks of black flint. The cliffs, on both sides of the town of Dover in Kent, stretch for eight miles (13 km). A section of coastline encompassing the cliffs was purchased by the National Trust in 2016.”
C) Battle of Britain Memorial – a real short stop-off as the memorial was closing for the day. Only managed a few images here.
FROM WIKIPEDIA (click for source): “The Battle of Britain Memorial is a monument to aircrew who flew in the Battle of Britain. It is sited on the White Cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, on the coast of Kent.
It was initiated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, and opened by the Queen Mother on 9 July 1993. It is formed of a large propeller-shaped base, with the figure of a seated pilot carved by Harry Gray sitting at the centre. The propeller shape has led the monument to be considered a hill figure.
Also on the site are replicas of a Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire and the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, on which appears the names of the almost 3,000 fighter aircrew who flew in the Battle.”
3rd Expedition Day: London River Cruise, Trafalgar Square.
I gifted my Host & Hostess to a luncheon aboard the Bateaux London which sailed the Thames River through London, while we dined. Exquisite food, the views were awesome, so I was able to snap up some of the iconic skyline from the river. Then a walk to Trafalgar Square, Cab ride back to rail station went past Buckingham Palace, but I did not get out to photograph it, did snap a few shutter clicks as we whizzed by… LOL…
4th Expedition Day: Chillenden Windmill, Karma Maiden Flight
Part of my visit was to bring my friend a Karma Drone with GoPro Hero6 Black, as it was more reasonably priced in the states, I suppose? Don’t ask me about exchange rates or strong dollars – I stink at it, and never know what’s up. So hopefully it was beneficial to both of us when all was said and done! HAHA. So along with standing by his side for his first ever drone flight, one of my ‘wants’ was to photograph a Windmill. so I ended up with Chillenden’s Windmill, and then we had a break in wind and sun, so went to get Al in the air for his Maiden Flight at a huge football field near his home along the coast. We did two flights. I am going to make an edit of the flight and will post sometime in the next couple weeks.
5th Expedition Day: Stonehenge!
Not enough can be said about this part of my working holiday. I will actually be making a separate blog post for it. I will insert the link when I finish. (EDIT: Click Here for that blog post now completed). This is the photo I uploaded to my FB personal page the day of — I had an inner circle pass, which allowed me the honour of a 1-hour experience with a small group, walking among the stones, prior to the site being opened for their ‘regular hours’. I applied in advance for the pass, for approval by the English Heritage Foundation. I had hands filled with GoPro Grip, Smart Phone, selfie stick, and DSLR x 2 lenses. I’m sure quite the Silly Tourist sight to be-hold. LOL! Hey – If I want to be outstanding, I need to be prepared to stand-out! haha. So… there is more to come on this!
6th and Final Expedition Day: Bath, UK. The Roman Bath, Bath Abbey Square, Pulteney Bridge, Sally Lunn’s
So another God-lead blessing and turn of events! What an extraordinary gift this was for the end of my holiday. One gift after another, all day long. I live quite an abundant life that I never could ever imagine in my tiny little carnal mind, all because of my blind faith in God.
Here is the back story to this piece of my holiday. My last two days were originally booked to stay in London (Waterloo) and visit The London Eye and The Shard. then rail to Gatwick for my return flight. So, I was confirming up details, and a few things started making me less comfortable with the reliability of those accommodations. In my gut I was being signaled to change those plans at the last minute while I was still connected to Wi-Fi. So since my friends were dropping me in Reading Train Station after Stonehenge, (originally intending to rail to my London accommodations), I searched Reading instead for new accommodations near that train, so I could just settle, take a breath, and regroup as to how to spend my last two days in England, knowing it would all work out 🙂 fine. Well, ‘fine’ could not ever describe how it all ended up, because God’s gifts are way past things I can think up under my own notions. So as it turns out, it was a simple rail ride to get to Bath (pronounced Baaahhth, as my one friend corrected me.. lol) Turns out The Roman Bath, Bath Abbey Square, and so much more were right there about a stone’s throw from the Bath Spa Station Call. Live music in the squares, performance artists, and my friend suggested an iconic bakery called Sally Lunn’s. I found all those things, and the beautiful Pulteney Bridge overlooking the River Avon. I sat on a bench that had a “wet paint” sign and was scolded by a random 60-something male passer-by who told me passionately “You’re Daft! (pronounced daaahhft)… Sign says wet paint!… You’ll have stripes! You’ll Learn!” I politely thanked him, and let him scurry off! HAHAHA! I met and sat a short time with a man and his two dogs, and was lavished with Bullie-Kisses from his gorgeous Pit bull…And piece-de-resistance: The Chocolate-Orange Birthday cake dream of mine came true! I had even spoken with an artist friend of mine in The States that does extraordinary cake art about creating one for my birthday this year, but I postponed it just prior to my holiday. When I mentioned to my UK friends that I was thinking of going to Bath, I was told to look for Sally Lunn’s Shoppe, and wouldn’t ya know, this shoppe had a Bunn with Chocolate Butter icing, and also an Orange Liqueur infused Hot Chocolate drink on the menu! I get awestruck sometimes at these gifts. The weather was once again Blue Skies, Sunny, and plus that day was warmer than the rest. Strolling very slowly through the town just delighted me so much.
The hotel I stayed at in Reading was sooo moderne & kewl. Penta Hotel. The staff are above and beyond friendly.
I flew home through a layover in Iceland, got some awesome pix over Greenland and Canada. There were a handful of delays on the flight home, but all was ok. As you can see I know that it’s God’s hand intervening for His glory in some kind of way, so that kind of thing doesn’t stress me out.
Question to the masses: Am I imagining things or is there a little Aurora Borealis action occurring over Greenland (first pic) I’ve unsuccessfully been googling to try to see if anyone has even seen the Aurora during daylight…. (?) weird ya?
Well, that’s the “highlights” reel… hahaha! I’ve got a lot of work ahead with all the photo review, editing, and what have you. Thanks for joining me here on this summary of my adventure. Come back and visit as I add my collections over the next several weeks.
Love and Clix from me to you..