Thursday, February 10, 2011

England Trip 2004

This was an adventure with my daughter Diadem, one and only time I have been abroad. I sent this to the Machias Observer in Machias and they printing it.

Adventures of Ronie in England 2004 (My one and only trip)
by Ronie L. Strout on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 2:23pm
Adventures of Ronie Strout in England 2004
December 13th – December 27th, 2004

Hello All. This is the first couple days of the Adventures of Ronie Strout.

I arrived at Heathrow airport at 6:30 AM on December 14,2004 England time and after finding my bags I found Diadem, my daughter, holding a cardboard sign that hadRONIE on one side and MOM on the other. Diadem had brought me a sandwich to eat so we sat down with them and figured out how we were to get to the hotel. We took the underground trains to a station near our hotel the Kensington Close and dropped off our luggage, and started our wanderings of London.

We walked to Kensington Palace, which is where Princess Diana used to live. From there we walked around the Kensington Gardens where we saw swans and other birds; we walkeddown the Princess Diane Memorial Walk,andat the end saw the Albert Memorial.After all the walking it was time to go back to the hotel for a nap.Around 4 pm we went to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum,and the Baden Powell House, that has items on display from the first Boy Scout. We called it a day and walkedback to the Kensington Cross Hotel. Already our feet were hurting.

Wednesday wegot up early and started off for the Towerof London, took the tour and then saw all the other nooks that we were allowed to explore.There are two outer walls with towers, which we had to go up and check out.The royal jewels were on display along with a lot of armory, and also asection on torturing.After lunch and some chocolate to get the legs moving again we went up311 stairs to the top of The Monument, which is to commemorate the great fire of London, where the view was spectacular. We could see the lay out of London, the Tower Bridge, and the London Eye. Upon coming down from the Monument we received a certificate showing that we had completed the feat. From there wewent to the Southwark Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, andTate Modern. Tate Modern is an abstract and alternative museum, which featured works by Salvador Dali and Picasso. We walked across theMillennium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral and then decided to call it a day since the sun was setting.

Thursday we started at Trafalgar Square and walked under Admiralty Arch, took pictures of the statue of Captain James Cook, and walked down St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. In front of the Palace is a very large and impressive Queen Victoria Memorial. We decided not to see the art exhibit inside the Palace but did go into the gift shop where I got a tin plate made by Worcester, and a postcard showing a Diamond Diadem. On our way to Westminster Abbey, which is a grand church with lots of famous people buried within, we stopped into the gift shop of the Guard’s Museum. It had been raining all day since we started at the Arch but upon coming out of Westminster Abbey it was bright and sunny. So from there it was only a street crossing away from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben is a very impressive clock and tower and the parliament houses looked undoubtedly majestic. After all the days excitement it was time to check onto our bus and get home to University of East Anglia in Norwich where a hopefully soft bed was waiting.

Adventures of Ronie Strout Part 2:

The weekend of December 18 while Didi was working, I walked around and explored the Castle Mall and market. On Saturday evening we attended a movie called the Polar Express a Christmas movie. Sunday, we went to the Forum and Market and then to a church service at St. Peter Mancroft Cathedral. During the day there were Ice Queens, Angels, and Golden Statues holding on a gold ball going around in the market area; all to do with the Christmas Spirit in Norwich. In the evening we saw the Landscape of the Heart-Scarabveus Theatre aerial performance at the City Hall.

On Monday we traveled by train to Cambridge where we visited the Sedgwick Museum that had one of the world’s major collections of Fossils. In the museum we saw the largest deer an Irish Deer that was as big as a moose and had very large horns. We saw the Darwin’s Collections of fossils that some were as old as 3500 million years. We saw a replica of a very large spider, many different kinds of rocks, and a very interesting museum to go to. We also saw the University of Cambridge, St. Mary’s Church, King’s College, and visited the Whipple History and Science Museum and also saw a collection of scientific instruments.

We ate our lunch at the Eagle a 16th Century Pub that was popular with American Airmen in WWII. We enjoyed our menu of Bangers and Mash, and Steak & Ale Pie. We then continued to walk around the area and looked at more churches. While enjoying the area we saw a place that actually made fudge on the premise and enjoyed sampling some.

Tuesday we again went into Norwich and visited the Castle, saw the Castle Keep, where they had a very large doll house of the Castle, saw Egyptian mummies, we were able to build a arch in the children’s area, saw lots of fascinating Art, one of which had flatten silver that was arranged in circles and suspended from the ceiling. In this exhibit they used silverware, plates, cups pots and pans all in silver. We then saw a special exhibit of Teapots from all the different time lines. Then proceeded to the Natural History Galleries, which included the Mammal Gallery. There they had lions, tigers, bears and a baby elephant on display, a display of birds of the world on one wall, a giant anteater, and several types of deer and rodents and other animals. In the Bird Gallery, they had several species of eagles, owls, butterflies, bats, waterfowl birds, and scenes depicting birds in their natural habitat. We then went onto the Regimental Museum that had a lot of uniforms, medal badges and information of the different wars that have taken place in the past.

From the Castle we walked to the Norwich Cathedral and were impressed with the anti rooms with separate prayer rooms that were dedicated to certain people –i.e. Jesus. In one room we saw the silverware of the era that was quite notable. In the courtyard there was a labyrinth representing a spiritual journeys or life journeys. We ended the Cathedral tour with the Theological Library. From the Cathedral we walked around the area and saw many shops. I pointed out to Didi an older blue Mercedes Benz Station wagon that I saw.

We walked to the Forum and Library, had a pot of tea and then went to the Theatre Royal to see the pantomime of Sleeping Beauty, an awesome play. Some of the special features of this play, were some quotes, “That’s not my mom that’s a welsh bloke in a dress,” “I haven’t got a watch cause it hasn’t been invented yet,” “always be prepared,” “Ipswich football club has a trophy case but that doesn’t mean they are going to use it.” A lot of the quotes had to do with local British events like the football club; this created an interesting side to the play.

Other features included, spider man, batman, wonder woman, comic books, the space ship, unplugging the thorn bush, Dr. Who and his scarf and phone booth, tap dancing skeletons, Osborn’s jewelry, and the beautiful garments and costumes that they wore.

On Wednesday the 22nd we went into the city and walked to the Carrow House, a Costume and Textile Study Center, which is a specialist, study center for anyone interested in costumes and textiles. After this we visited some shops, the marketplace which is the largest in the country, the Forum and Library and then returned to the University and spent the evening knitting and watching the telly.

Thursday the 23rd we traveled to Ely via train, first we walked in the park and saw a rock that is like what the Ely Cathedral was made with and that was made into a fountain. We then strolled along the river with Didi trying to catch a duck. We enjoyed going through the antique shop on our way to the Cathedral. We toured the Cathedral and visited the Stained Glass Museum there. We walked to the Oliver Cromwell’s House and browsed awhile. On our way back to the train we walked behind the Cathedral and saw the horses and sheep in the pasture. After leaving Ely we traveled back to Norwich and went to the Library at the Forum, had a pot of tea before going to a movie at the theatre, called Lemony Snickers: A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Friday, December 24, we went into the city to buy groceries for our Christmas Dinner and spent the day doing chores, knitting and watching the midnight mass on television till after midnight.

Christmas Day, we went for a walk around the University grounds. We played with the ponies that are kept there and walked around the broad. We found a tree that people have put their fruit stickers on; it seems many students go out there for lunch. Now it is time for Christmas Dinner. Bon Appetite. I hope all of our readers have had a very Merry Christmas!

The Adventures of Ronie Strout Part 3:

December 25, 2004, Diadem and I enjoyed our home cooked Christmas dinner at her dormitory that we both cooked together. We made a call home in the afternoon and spoke with everyone at our household in Addison, Maine.

December 26, we went for a walk around the University after I did some packing. We had found out that the busses were not running on the 25 & 26 of December so we could not get into town to window shop at the Mall.

At 2 AM December 27th, England time I was waiting for the bus that would take me to Heathrow Airport in London. The walkway to the bus stop was very slippery, as the temperature had dropped.

Didi stayed till the bus showed up and then she returned to her room to sleep till 5 PM. It had been a very long day for her as well as for me.
I arrived at the Airport at 5:30 AM a half hour early. It was close to 8 AM before I was checked in and waiting for my plane to board.

After boarding at 11 AM I took off for Boston. I then set my watch to USA time, which would be 6 AM. The plane ride went smoothly, with some bumps due to the winds, but the pilot said he was taking a more southern route to Boston.

I arrived in Boston at 1:45PM our time. From there I waited for the bus to Bangor at 5:30 PM and arrived in Bangor at 10:30PM. My husband was waiting for me and we arrived home at 12:30AM on December 28th, 2004. All in all I had traveled 15 and half hours to get back to Addison, Maine with cold, winter weather and snow on the ground awaiting me.

My journey had ended.

A note from the travelers: Didi and I took sandwiches, a bottle of water and a snack everyday with us so that we would not have to eat in a restaurant and to save on money. We walked everywhere but we did get a day pass for the underground tube in London and then back in Norwich I bought a week pass for the bus that we took every day to go places, and Didi already had her pass for the school year.

There were not many escalators or elevators, just a lot of steps to go up and down.

What was the most interesting thing I saw? Everything, just seeing the history of the Cathedrals, The Tower of London Castle, the museums, the view from the Monument of London (more steps 311 of them), riding on the left side of road, the double Decker buses, the underground tube, and of the people. Plus of me going on this trip was most amazing of all and we did so much on so little money in so little time. Happy New Year.

In the Science Museum the gallery highlights were Energy-fueling the future, Welcome Wing-digital technology in Digitopolis, Making the Modern World, See iconic historical objects and inventions that have changed our world. From Stephenson’s Rocket to the Apollo 10 command module.
In the Natural History Museum the all-time favorites were Dinosaurs, Creepy Crawlies, the earthquake experience in The Power Within, Earth’s Treasury and the blue whale in Mammals. The all-time favorites were Dinosaurs

You can also discover more about the work of 300 scientists by visiting the Darwin Centre. There they have over 70 million specimens of zoology collections. You can investigate the meteorites to a giant tortoise skeleton in the Basement Gallery Q.
The Life Galleries offer Wonders of the Natural History Museum, Fishes, Amphibians and Reptiles, Marine Invertebrates, Dinosaurs, Human Biology, Mammals, Mammals and Blue Whale, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Fossil Marine reptiles, Fossils from Britain, Ecology, Creepy Crawlies, Birds, Our Place in Evolution, Minerals, Meteorites, Primates, Plant Power and a Giant Sequoia.
The Earth Galleries offered Visions of Earth, Earth Today and Tomorrow, From the Beginning, Earth’s Treasury, The Power Within, Restless Surface and the largest escalator in the world.
The escalator went up three floors and through the earth’s globe a very unique experience.

The Baden-Powell House has accommodations and the rates are reasonable. It also has a small Boy Scout Museum with items on display.

A painting of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell by David Jagger 1929 is displayed along with his Boy Scout uniform and other memorabilia.
Right across the street from the Natural History Museum is this spacious concrete building, erected in 1961 in memory of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement. Throughout the year, thousands of scouts and guides visit the house when in London, and the hostel - with 180 beds (all en suite) and conference facilities - plays host to around 300,000 people a year, from more than thirty different countries. Room charges are reduced for scouts and guides, but rates for the general public are still competitive.

The Tower of London

has 21 Towers, and we were allowed in only 14 of them. The Tower of London was a residence for the kings and queens of England as well as being a fortress. The rooms are shown as they may have appeared in the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). The Martin Tower houses the exhibition, ‘Crowns and Diamonds: the making of the Crown Jewels’. The Tower of London has been home to the world famous British Crown Jewels since the beginning of the 14th century.

In the guidebook as stated it says: Kings and queens of England have stored crowns, robes and other items of their ceremonial regalia at the Tower of London for over 600 years and since the 17th century, at least, this collection has been commonly known as the ‘Crown Jewels”. At the heart of the collection is the coronation regalia itself, a group of precious and highly symbolic objects used since 1661 to crown sovereigns of England. It is also home to a dazzling assortment of magnificent pieces of royal church and banqueting plate, some of which pre-date the great destruction of the English regalia in the mid-17th century. Among the jewels adorning objects in the collection are to be found some of the worlds most exceptional and historic precious stones-including Cullinan I and Cullinan II, the largest top-quality cut diamonds in the world, and the extraordinary Koh-I-Noor diamond.
However, perhaps the most remarkable and unusual thing about this collection is that it is not a museum display. Unlike most of its European counterparts, the regalia of England is not a beautiful but long defunct assortment of objects, instead it is a working collection that remains in active use today, 1,200 years after the coronation of the first English kings.
We were impressed with everything from this collection as well as the
The Diamond Diadem,

Part of The Crown Jewels

The Monument that we climbed was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City. This colossal Doric column contained cantilevered stone staircase of 311 steps leading to a viewing platform. We could see a spectacular view of London, The Tower Bridge, and the London Eye.

The Southwark Cathedrale

. The Southwark Cathedral dates from the 13th Century when it was a priory church following the rule of life of St. Augustine of Hippo. It has only been a cathedral since 1905, when the Anglican Diocese of Southwark was formed.

We viewed the inside of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre a reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599.
The fascinating story of the re-creation of Shakespeare's Globe, the most important public theatre ever built. Unique opportunity of seeing an Elizabethan theatre building reconstructed using material, techniques and craftsmanship of 400 years ago

The Tate Modern is an abstract and alternative museum; the collection displays look at the art of the last one hundred years through he interpretation of four classic themes, the nude, landscape, still life and history painting.
Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, Tate Modern
displays the Tate collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by DalĂ­, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol as well as contemporary work by artists such as Dorothy Cross, Gilbert & George and Susan Hiller.
The Unilever Series: is a series of contemporary displays, presenting recent or new work by international artists not widely exhibited in the UK. The third display in the series presents the work of Mohamed Camara, and the fourth presents the work of the artist collaborative group Simparch. In the fifth, Bruce Nauman has created a sound work that engages visitors as they progress through the space for the Turbine Hall. In the collection of 2004, Still Life/Object/Real Life we saw one exhibit of a scrapheap. Everything you throw out hung from the ceiling in any which way you look.

We walked across the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral where we entered and decided not to pay to see the rest of the Cathedral.
London's Millennium Bridge is the first pedestrian river crossing over the Thames in central London for more than a century.

It is a 325m steel bridge linking the City of London at St. Paul's Cathedral with the Tate Modern Gallery at Bankside.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, London's most famous, was laid out in 1829 to 1841 to commemorate Nelson's victory at the Battle of the same name in 1805. Dominating the square, on a column that is 185 feet high, is the 17 foot high statue of Nelson himself

Around the base of the column are the four giant bronze lions by Landseer

Admiralty Arch

Leading from the southwest corner of Trafalgar Square into The Mall, this quintuple arched ceremonial gateway is one of London's most famous landmarks. The Admiralty Arch takes its name from the nearby Royal Navy headquarters, though the Arch itself has no naval association.
Admiralty Arch was designed in 1910 by Sir Aston Webb (who also worked on Buckingham Palace and the Victoria and Albert Museum) to provide an elegant ceremonial passage from the hectic Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace. Note that traffic does not pass through the massive central arch - that is only opened for state occasions. The small outer arches are for pedestrian traffic, and the remaining central arches for vehicles.
The Arch was originally commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria, though Edward did not live to see the work completed. A Latin inscription on the underside of the Arch denotes this memorial connection.

As part of the same development scheme that saw the Admiralty Arch built, Sir Aston Webb also widened The Mall (the old Mall, which dates from the time of Charles II, still exists beside the current thoroughfare), and provided the gilt statue of Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace, that provides such a striking counterpoint to the Admiralty Arch at the other end of The Mall.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a living church as well as an architectural masterpiece of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Founded as a Benedictine monastery over a thousand years ago, Edward the Confessor rebuilt the Church in 1065 and again by Henry III in the thirteenth century in the Gothic style we see today.
Known as the House of kings, the Abbey is the final resting place for monarchs including Edward I (called ‘Longshanks”), Henry III, Henry V and Henry VII who built a magnificent Lady Chapel here.
The abbey has been the setting for Coronations since that of William the conqueror in 1066 and is home to the Coronation Chair.
In Poets’ Corner memorials to Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and many others, will surround you. Great scientists and musicians are also remembered in the Abbey, from Newton and Darwin to Purcell and Handel. The grave of the Unknown Warrior is to be found in the Nave.

Norwich is known to have more medieval churches than any other city north of the Alps, and of these St. Peter Mancroft Cathedral is the finest. Like the castle and the market place, it was a Norman foundation the first church

being built here by Ralph de Guader, Earl of Norfolk, in 1075, and dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. The Church and market place have stood together for over 900 years.
On entering the church the whole interior can be taken in at one glance: its loftiness and openness are breathtaking. The tall arches of the nave arcade, eight on each side, rest on slender clustered piers, while above two continuous rows of seventeen clerestory windows, two to each bay of the nave, give a marvelous light to the roof. This magnificent wooden roof is one of the chief glories of the church. There is no structural division, no arch, between nave and chancel in either the main or aisle roofs. Only the gilded ridge ornaments, the suns-in-splendor, mark the importance of the chancel. It is a hammer-beam and arch-braced roof but the hammer-beams are concealed under the beautiful fan-like groining; this in turn rests on long wall-post supported by carved heads below, which are canopied niches.
The pulpit and lectern date from 1852.

The Norwich Cathedral

The Norman work of this cathedral, and the magnificent series of lierne vaults above its nave, choir, and transepts, are its most important features. The Norwich Cathedral Roof Bosses are a wonderful example of fine medieval sculpture. Set within vaulting, these beautifully carved keystones are unique. There are over 1000 of them, showing a huge variety of subjects and forms including scenes from the Bible, incidents from the lives of sints and images of green men. You can find grotesques-hybrid figures, part human and part animal-lurking among green foliage and lots of beasts and birds as well. The Roof bosses are great story telling cycles and educate the viewer in the biblical, historical and sociological beliefs of the medieval Church.

Norwich Castle is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Norwich Castle was built by the Normans as a Royal Palace 900 years ago. Now a museum and art gallery, it is home to some of the most outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history.
Norwich Castle is an impressive stone motte and bailey fortress, with a hugh ornate Norman keep.

Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge
World-class collections
Discover fossils, rocks and minerals from around the world and explore more than 550 million years of Earth's history.
Learn about the earth and its history –
Take a walk through time, from the very earliest fossils to the age of the dinosaurs

Explore the marine world of 200 million years ago ...
After the dinosaurs, how has life developed into what we see today?

Discover what the Earth is made of and how it works, and find out about other planets in the Solar System ...

Explore the colourful diversity of the Mineral Kingdom ...

Local Geology

The rocks and fossils, and the story behind the scenery of Cambridgeshire and the Fens.

Dinosaurs at the Sedgwick Museum
The Burgess Shale
Strange creatures from the Cambrian tell us remarkable things about how life evolved ...

Prehistoric wildlife in East Anglia
Mammoths, hippos, wolves and bears - the wildlife in East Anglia during and between the last ice ages (120,000 years ago) was very different to that of today ...

The Darwin Collection
Specimens collected by Darwin on his 1831

Woodward's Legacy
A unique, intact collection from the 17th century.

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