Between assignments: Stonehenge and Winchester

Yesterday we left Stratford and sweet Enzo.enzo face 5x7 netWe were happy that Anne and Steve (Enzo’s parents) had a great time on their trip.  We had a great time taking care of their lovely home and their special dog.

We have four days until our next engagement, so we drove down to see Stonehenge.   The drive was drizzly and full of slow-moving trucks. The weather at Stonehenge was windy, as it often is, but it was exciting to see this prehistoric monument “up close and personal.”  David had been here in 1981, when access was a lot less controlled, and visitors a lot fewer.  Now there is a fee (£16.50!), a parking lot for 400 cars and dozens of coaches, a shuttle bus fleet, and cords holding you quite a ways back from the stones themselves.stonehenge linda net

stonehenge visitor center net

Visitor center

stonehenge stones 5x7 net

We drove to Winchester to stay in a hotel.  Today we went into town to see the Winchester Cathedral.  It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe.  It was finished in 1093.  It is so humbling to be in a building where that many people have worshiped within over the centuries.  We did not get to see the entire church because there was a music festival going on.  We will try to get back there sometime in the next couple of weeks.Winchester cathedral front 5x7 netWinchester cathedral cloister 5x7 net

Winchester cathedral ceiling 5x7 netJane Austen is buried in this church.  She died 200 years (and two days) ago and the city of Winchester is celebrating her life.  These photographs are from her monuments inside the cathedral.

Jane Austen gravestone 5x7 net

Grave stone in the floor of the cathedral

Jane Austin statue 5x7 net

Small statue of Jane writing

It was a fun and interesting day in Winchester. Parking was difficult and expensive, as it is in every city that was laid out 1000 years ago. On our way back to the hotel, we spied a KFC store and bought some — there are never any good specials on “American” fast food, but sometimes you just gotta have it. We had actually had an early lunch at McDonalds, which are really a big presence in Europe. Most of them have ordering kiosks that permit you to order in different languages and pay by card. In this particular restaurant, it also dispensed an identity “puck” that permitted the staff to find you and bring your order to your table. Still no free refills, though.

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