SLWS Special Edition – UK Final and The End of Our Adventure

I ended up with a handful of photos that didn’t quite fit in any particular post but were still worthwhile. I hope you enjoy them.

The lion and unicorn at the Main Gate of Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace  Hampton Court Palace

A London Police Box (I was hearing the Doctor Who theme song in my head.)

London Police Box

We spotted some lovely wisteria in the Cotswolds. I like the pull chain for the door bell on the right.

Arched Door And WisteriaThis art nouveau door knocker added polish to this green door.Art Nouveau Door Knocker Green DoorI believe these purple flowers we found in Broadway are aubrieta.

Tiny Purple Flowers BroadwayThese corbels were carved with great dragons.

Corbel Cotswolds

I’d really like to figure out what these flowers are. They looked so vivid in their stone planter.

Broadway Flowers

Growing up, I had a neighbor who forged ironwork like this for his doors.  Iron and Wood Door BurfordThis roadside garden bed in Burford was packed full with tulips and other flowers.

Streetside Flowers Burford

I’m not sure this lion door knocker in Chipping Campden is the most welcoming I’ve ever seen.Lion Door Knocker Chipping CampdenAnother, slightly less aggressive lion was in Burford.

Lion Doorknocker BurfordBut maybe if you wanted people to stay away and the scowling lion wasn’t enough, you could install this imposing horned creature we found in York.

York Jester DoorknockerI like the stone planter with the crimson tulips at Plum Tree Cottage in Burford.

Plum Tree Cottage BurfordWe found a similar fox door knocker on a different door in Burford. Fox Doorknocker Burford

We saw sailing ships on a number of doors. Now I’m wondering if, historically, there was a correlation between the profession of the resident and the design of the door knocker.

Sailing Ship Door Knocker CotswoldsAlthough a pharaoh probably never lived in Chipping Campden.

Pharoh Door Knocker Chipping CampdenThese vivid pansies outside the Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden would make a nice addition to my garden.

Container Pansies DetailThe Great House in Burford had a handsome front entrance.

The Great House Burford I can’t decide if this is supposed a jester of some sort or maybe a soldier. The handle appears to read “reeping Tom”. Google doesn’t turn up any reliable reference and asks if I meant “peeping Tom”. (I suppose it could be a cultural difference but I don’t think even that would explain why someone would want a peeping Tom door knocker.) Tom Door KnockerThis was a pretty front garden in Chipping Campden.

Flowers Chipping Campden   I liked this clever woodpecker knocker. Woodpecker Doorknocker

Tiny flowers like these found a footing wherever a bit of soil had collected on the stone walls.

Pink Flower Stone Wall Burford     Forget Me Nots Burford

Hertford Bridge at Oxford University, also know as the Bridge of Sighs.

Bridge of SighsAnd finally, my stalwart traveling companion and me on our anniversary at the Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire, England.

Uffington White Horse

So that about wraps it up. We are heading out again in a few weeks – this time to Amsterdam, France and Italy. I’ll be back in school when we return home but I will write up our travels as I am able. Thanks for traveling along with us and thanks for reading.

 

Scotland, Day Seven – Edinburgh, Day Three

Friday, May 31

I woke up even earlier than the day before, shortly after 3 AM, and again the sky was already lightening.

Early Morning Edinburgh

At a more reasonable hour, we had a little breakfast at Black Medicine Coffee – excellent fruit scones and espresso and, interestingly, a Native American motif. We then tooled around town for a bit. Along the Royal Mile, we found barricades and police patrolling. We posted up in front of the City Chambers,

Edinburgh City Chambers

To watch the homecoming parade of the Scots Guard. These colorful gentleman led the parade,

Homecoming Parade

Followed by these squared away soldiers.

Scots Guard

They were shouted to a halt by a couple of fearsome sergeant-majors. Then shouted into alignment and parade rest for the speeches. Then shouted back into marching formation. And then shouted off down the cobblestoned road (where hopefully they would get the opportunity to rest their feet).

You can watch a short video here. It’s all very solemn and formal but I laugh a little every time I watch the part where they have to dress themselves into straight lines. The little scuttling movements are especially comical with their big stompy boots. It’s interesting to note that this technique seems to be used the world over. It looks kind of silly but it appears to be the best method that anyone anywhere can devise. I also felt a little déjà vu. At OCS, I remember being in formation for quarters, three squads facing inwards, and doing everything we could not to make eye contact. We were all wound pretty tight and if we met each other’s eyes, we’d then be having to stifle nervous laughter.

After the parade, we walked to Waverley Bridge to take a hop-on-hop-off Majestic bus tour to Leith, the port of Edinburgh. This area had turned rough after World War II but has been the focus of urban renewal efforts in recent years. Cruise ships now dock here and the former pleasure craft of the Royal Family, the Royal Yacht Britannia (nearly as large as a cruise ship) is permanently moored here.

Royal Yacht Britannia

We also saw the Royal Botanic Garden, home to 70% of all known species of plants.

Royal Botanic Garden

We ate lunch and wandered around town a bit more and decided to take another tour on board one of Mac Tours great old open top buses.

Mac Tour Bus

We got a glimpse of the Scottish Parliament building.

Scottish Parliament

These structures on the side of the building are window seats like this.

Parliament

From an elevated vantage point, such as the nearby (dormant) volcano called Arthur’s Seat, the buildings are supposed to look like the branch of a tree.

Mac Bus Tour

I guess I can see the suggestion of a leaf motif here. There’s an interesting article detailing the contentious process of designing and constructing the buildings here. Hopefully after the referendum in September, the focus will be on the future of an independent Scotland.

We had an early supper at Pancho Villas, which offered decent Mexican food with good vegetarian options. The owner was born in Mexico and it would have been interesting to hear how she ended up in Scotland.

On the way back to the hotel, we happened to pass Armstrong’s Vintage which I’d forgotten was on my list. It’s probably for the best since, if I’d had more time and energy, I’d have had to buy another suitcase. I settled for a nice blue plaid (of course) scarf of, I think, gabardine wool. We hit a couple other stores and bought a few souvenirs and last minute purchases – another Proclaimers CD for me and a lambswool scarf for each of us and then headed back to the hotel to pack.