Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Today we began with another English Breakfast and headed for the town of Winchester, where a huge statute of King Alfred stands guard.  Not everyone chose to go into Winchester Cathedral, but Ray and I  knew we did not want to miss it. 
Alfred the Great: Successfully defended his kingdom against the Vikings
 and was the only English Monarch to be
called 'the Great'.
A street in Winchester (close to where Ray dropped his camera)
We were walking toward the cathedral, humming the New Vaudeville Band's song, when catastrophe happened!  The strap to Ray's camera came unhooked and the camera fell, lens first, to the concrete sidewalk...making that awful sound of broken glass.  My mind quickly fled through a series of solutions  for what I feared would be a broken camera...or maybe only a broken lens.  Removing the lens cap was difficult because the impact must have bent part of the lens.  Once Ray pulled it off, we saw with great dismay shattered glass.  He gently unscrewed the filter and brushed the glass into a trash can...blowing off the last few stubborn fragments.  A clean smooth lens face smiled up at us...and we returned that smile in great relief.

Here are some picture and videos of Winchester Cathedral.  It amazes me to see the workmanship and intricate details of these beautiful cathedrals.  The first is a video of inside the cathedral. 

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

I know the video of the inside of the cathedral was a bit shaky so here are some still pictures.  The cathedral has the longest nave and length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe and it is also where Jane Austen was buried. 

Jane Austen is interred here.

Burial urns
I am pleased to say that we were not late for the bus...and soon we were on our way to Avebury where we would have lunch and explore the prehistoric henge monument and stone circles.  It was constructed around 2600 BCE and is made up of this huge henge (a bank and ditch) with a large outer stone circle with two smaller ones inside it.  I was so excited to see this.  When visiting prehistoric sites (and historic ones too) I find myself standing still, quietly taking in the energy of the place and imagining or feeling the people who lived there and created these places...in wonder at how they lived and still constructed such places. 
On our way to Avebury. 

Just a few of the stones

The bank and more stones. 

Ray and I posing holding the
Columbus Dispatch's Travel Section

That white figure in the center is me waving to Ray.


Avebury did not disappoint me. Unlike Stonehenge, that now has a fence around it...we were able to walk inside the circles and up the huge banks to get a bigger view.  There were places where I had to dodge the sheep...and be watchful of anything they might have 'left' on the ground.  While at Avebury there was a group protesting Fracking.  John, our tour director, told us that this was a place that pagans would conduct ceremonies...and this looked like it might be such a ceremony.  Wow!  I had to check it out, and soon found myself joining their circle and honoring the four directions, and doing a chant of some sort.  The person who seemed to be the leader then started talking about the evils of fracking and then he took a bit out of an apple and instructed each of us to take a bite of it as he passed it from person to person.  That is when I beat a quick retreat to the Red Lion where Ray and I had a small lunch.
I decided to join the anti-fracking ceremony.

Anti-fracking group
Video of part of anti-fracking ceremony
I think this is when I decided to leave the group and join Ray for lunch.

Resting sheep at Avebury.

This guy is taking in the scenery at Avebury.

I am trying to not step in sheep doo doo.

After lunch at the Red Lion, we boarded the bus (we were not late) and headed for Sudeley Castle.  That will be my next post.
Stone Cart Wheel at Avebury

Church in Avebury

Red Lion Pub

Red Lion Pub