Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 3 continued - Windsor Stonehenge Bath Randomness

May 2010 - England

We were picked up at our hotel to be taken to Victoria Station to join our tour bus. Traffic was horrendous as they were having a rehearsal for the Opening of Parliament the next day.

Once aboard our bus for Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath we met our guide, Steve.He was the most interesting, entertaining guide I have ever met. Here is a link to his website.
He kept up the pace from 9 am until 7 pm when we were dropped off. Never stopped!!

I am going to break this post down into the individual places we visited on this day.

Click the links below for the rest of our day 3 tours.



Some randomness we learned today.

White Horses - I had seen the movie Robin Hood just before our trip. In there someone says to Robin "meet you at the White Horse", and to me that meant a pub. No, not so, it was a hill figure.
The Westbury or Bratton White Horse is a hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain, approximately 2.5 km (1.6 mi) east of Westbury in England. Located on the edge of Bratton Downs and lying just below an Iron Age hill fort, it is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated a previous horse which had occupied the same slope.

A new word for the day -Leucippotomy is the art of carving white horses in chalk upland areas, particularly as practiced in southern England. The practice is apparently of prehistoric origin; the Uffington White Horse has been dated to between 1400 and 600 BC.

This picture is courtesy of our guide Steve who has kindly allowed us to download any photos we'd like.
We saw the horse from the bus but the pictures we took didn't do it justice.

Steve told us about a town called Imber that is unoccupied but is used for military practice. In 1943 the village of Imber was evacuated to allow training for Operation Overlord to be conducted. The village has remained closed ever since.

 The area around Salisbury has several military bases. The army first conducted exercises on the plain in 1898. From that time, the Ministry of Defence bought up large areas of land until World War II. The MoD now own 150 square miles (390 km2) of land, making it the largest military training area in the United Kingdom. Of this, around 39 square miles (100 km2) are permanently closed to the public, and access is greatly restricted in other areas. As military use of the plain increased, new camps and barracks were constructed, including those at Larkhill, Bulford, Tidworth and Warminster. Several installations have been built and since removed, including a railway line and aerodrome that were constructed next to Stonehenge.

More trivial information gleaned from Steve.
Sainsbury has a Singles night where you could meet your future partner near the canned beans.

Pocahontas is buried at Gravesend outside London.

Back to London and time for dinner.

Happened upon The Green Door at 33 Cornhill and decided it matched everyone's tastes. It is quite upscale but casual. We were in this area as Steve decided it was the best place for us to grab the subway back to our hotel, little did we know actually how far we were from the hotel.

John started with the brie which we all shared along with some pate.

Then a steak for John.

I had to have the pork belly when I saw it on the menu. The waiter went to great lengths to explain it to me what it was and I explained that I ate pigs feet so I knew what I would be getting.

Karen and Blair opted for the steak and ale pie which had this crowning glory.

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