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There Are Sheep At Avebury
They graze among the standing stones.

Stonehenge is known for its amazingly huge standing stones that were brought, so say the archaeologists, all the way from the coast, or even from Wales. The site must've been magnificent to behold in ancient times, but if all you've ever seen is photos, it can be slightly underwhelming to visit. It's not that big in the grand scheme of things.

Avebury, on the other hand, is a whole village that sits near the center of a very large stone circle- a couple of concentric circles, in fact. The stones are not as geometrically worked as at Stonehenge, but the deal is, you can actually walk up and touch them! Plus, it's fun to play with the supposed magnetic anomalies that exist around/among the stones.

The field that tourists get to enter is also occupied by sheep. so, just in case you were wondering, the stones are to the left or the right of the objects in the photo. What you see here are sheep. Not ancient stones.

The village is rather small. There is a pub. There is a church (open to visit). I don't remember much else. It would, were it not for the tourist industry, be what might be called a "sleepy little village."

This photo was a JPEG from a crummy little camera. Lots of flaws, a lack of real detail, etc. But here are some of the sheep of Avebury.

#Travel #England #Avebury #Sheep
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County Hall & London Eye
I kind of wish one of those flags had been a Union Jack

Nostalgia can be either sentimentally pleasant or the source of a kind of pain. I don't mean the pain bad memories, but a longing that cannot be fulfilled. It's been almost ten years since I took this picture during my last visit to London. And it kind of hurts when I think about that. I really love London.

This week's events brought home a lot of feelings as images flooded the internet and streamed across my computer screen as I watched +BBC News live coverage in the aftermath of a senseless attack on innocent people. I have walked there. Right. There. I long to walk there again, and if I have that opportunity, I will stop for a moment to remember those whose lives were cut short by a madman.

These three frames were all taken around the same time on 5 May 2007. One is already in my Trips To England 2004-2007 collection. https://goo.gl/JDKrW7 but anything worth posting is worth posting twice, no?

#Travel #England #London #LondonEye #CountyHall
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3/25/17
3 Photos - View album

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🎵 Country Roads, Take Me Home . . . 🎵
Or to Wadhurst.

From the bus window as we waited to leave the Wadhurst rail station, the greens and whites and browns across the road called to me and said, "Take our picture!" So I did.

We were on a bus because there were weekend rail works happening on the way to Battle, the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It turned out to be an interesting ride-- about 50 miles an hour on a narrow road, on the "wrong" side of the road (I'm American, you see). And of course we had opted to sit on the upper level of a double-decker, branches sweeping the windows as we raced by.

We did get views of some of the towns along the way that we might have missed on the train. For example, we crossed an intersection in Robertsbridge with the naughty sounding name of Poppinghole Lane. Later, I discovered that Paul McCartney actually wrote a ditty about that street.

Anyway, this is for the #joinindaily theme, which today is "The Beautiful Countryside." +Johnny Wills is the theme curator.

#Travel #England #BattleUK #BattleOfHastings #Wadhurst #Countryside
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Just Down The Street
And around the corner.

On a one day visit to Windsor Castle in April 2006, we wandered around town a bit. Windsor, being an old town, has an abundance of stone and brick structures that can give the feel of a quaint village next door to where the queen lives. Although, just behind me and to the right is a very busy tourist business district.

This photo is a good example of telephoto compression. I was actually back at the intersection of Castle Hill and St. Alban's Street and zoomed in on the scene. St. Alban's is relatively straight with only a slight curve, but the telephoto effect magnified the curve and compressed the distance of objects in view. The brick building is about a block distant, the church another half block, and the stone towers behind are another half block beyond the church.

I vaguely remember taking the picture, but I discovered the compression effects when I tried to approximate the scene in Google street view. It took me a while to figure out where I must have been standing!

#Travel #England #Windsor #WindsorCastle #village
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The Path To Happiness
Or to the other side of the village.

May 2007 - After having spent the afternoon touring the Battle Abbey ruins and fields, we headed back to the train station. There wouldn't be any trains because of weekend rail works, but there was a bus to take us back up to Wadhurst where we would get on a train back to London.

Across and a few yards down the road there was a gate that we stopped at for a few minutes. It was the kind of view that you could stand and gaze at for a long time. So many shades of green! And that path! It wold be tempting, and apparently allowable, to stride down the trail to see what's at the other end. But we had to get back to the station.

#Travel   #England   #BattleAbbey   #Battle   #Landscape  
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Mercury
It was a dark and stormy . . . day.

April 2006, Oxford University. We experienced everything from sunny spring weather to rain, hail and snow as our tour bus made its way from stop to stop. It was cold and damp at Oxford. We got led around from room to room, space to space.

I was not in much of a photographic mood, but I did manage a handful shots that weren't terrible. A few were terrible and won't likely be seen in public. This one is on the edge. The pedestal is cut off at the bottom, and there isn't enough head room. And the original was dark and noisy. If anything, it proves how good I've gotten at Photoshop rescues.

#Travel   #England   #Oxford   #Mercury   #Fountain
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Warwick Castle
April 2006

Of the stops on our day-long bus tour, this was the longest and, possibly, most interesting. The castle has an interesting history all around, but its recent history is almost as fascinating as the ancient bit.

It seems that the owner got into some difficulty over gambling debts and had to sell. The castle is now owned by Madame Tussaud's, of wax figure fame, which itself is owned by an entertainment conglomerate. In all fairness, there are only a handful of wax figures placed in suitably educational spots.

It is well worth the afternoon, or perhaps a full day visit. Even though it was April, it was also a school holiday week and the place was teeming with families and kids. The abundant educational exhibits and live demonstrations provided plenty of things to see and do. I highly recommend a visit.

#Travel   #England   #Warwick   #Castle  
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Pretty Little Flowers
Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens

April 2006, the weather on this day was mostly sunny, if cool. We toured Kensington Palace, then headed on foot toward the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall. Even though it was still barely spring, there were flowers and blooms everywhere. I bent over and took this close-up shot of some pretty little blue flowers that seemed to be enjoying the sun.

#Travel   #England   #London   #HydePark   #KensingtonGardens   #Flowers  
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Looking Up
Beneath the abbey.

I love old stuff. Castles, cathedrals, historical sites of every kind. Sometimes, though, it is easy to miss a feature because we naturally look around. We may even obey the photographer's rule of looking behind us when facing some outstanding feature. But it is easy to forget to look up.

In the Battle Abbey ruins there are places that once served as storage, or as dormitory, or . . . I read all of the plaques and markers, but I didn't take notes. In this case, the vaulted ceiling of a basement or cellar area revealed some interesting designs.

I don't often attempt this kind of shot since, as a tourist, I don't work on a tripod for stability. This time, however, it was dark and it seemed like I might get a decently stable shot by using the on-camera flash. And it worked! Because I got my positioning right, the shadowing from the flash was also minimized. I do get lucky sometimes.

Photo taken 6 May 2007

#Travel   #England   #Battle   #BattleAbbey   #Ruins   #Abbey  
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A Country Cottage
Or else Windsor Castle.

April 2006. After a couple of trips to London under our belts, we got adventurous and just took the train to Windsor without pre-booking something. It turned out to be a very nice full-day visit, before returning late-afternoon to London.

In spite of being a beautiful historical site, it can be hard to get a decent shot without tourists elbowing one another everywhere. That's the problem with it being a popular royal residence. As it turned out, the Queen was in residence at the time, but of course, we didn't see her.

#Travel #England   #WindsorCastle  
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