Buddy Medbery


Buddy Medbery

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cornwall » Tintagel May 12th 2022

After breakfast and the usual meandering in an attempt to get out of a town with no exits, we headed north across the Cornwall peninsula to Tintagel Castle. Growing up, I was very aware of two myth/legend traditions from England - King Arthur and Robin Hood. I won't cover much on Robin Hood here, since his stomping grounds were far to the northeast of Cornwall. There is little evidence of an historic Robin Hood, although he has been a stock character in English literature and other arts since the Piers Plowman poem written in the 1370's. The well-known attribute of stealing from the rich to give to the poor appears to be a later concept. Perhaps we shall get back to him later. For now, we shall focus on King Arthur. Things are somewhat different for ... read more
Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
Jennie with wildflowers, Tintagel Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Wiltshire » Salisbury May 11th 2022

Upon arising and looking outside it became apparent that today was likely to be somewhat different from a weather standpoint. Our fears were well founded. By the time we got to the parking lot for the visitor center and to catch the shuttle bus to Stonehenge it was spitting rain. The air was noticeably cooler, and with the blowing wind and rain it had become the sort of raw day that you want to avoid as much as possible. Having previously had an extensive visit to Stonehenge, I would have skipped it entirely on a day like this. But Jm had never seen it, and since it is one of the iconic travelers' destinations in the world, we all felt we should go. By the time we stepped off the 5 minute shuttle ride, the wind ... read more
Stonehenge 003 Salisbury UK 051122
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Monmouth Beach 001 Lyme Regis UK 051122

Europe » United Kingdom » England » East Sussex » Hastings May 10th 2022

Departing Canterbury, we headed directly to Hastings, or more accurately Battle, the site of the actual battle of Hastings in 1066. The Roman rule in Britain lasted roughly from the founding of Londinium in 43 CE until about 500 CE.. Caesar had invaded twice about 100 years earlier, but then left locals in charge and departed. By 84 CE the Romans had conquered all of the island with the exception of the Caledonian holdouts in the Scottish highlands. At the end of the 3rd century CE, barbarian invasions became more common, and the Romans finally quit Britain in 410 CE. Invaders from the continent, known as Anglo-Saxons, rose to power by the beginning of the 6th century CE. King Arthur (of whom we shall hear more later) is the reputed Briton king who tried in vain ... read more
Gills Lap and 100 Aker Wood 015 Gills Lap UK 051022
Gills Lap and 100 Aker Wood 017 Gills Lap UK 051022
Gills Lap and 100 Aker Wood 021 Gills Lap UK 051022

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Canterbury May 9th 2022

I am not sure it is possible to see everything of interest in London. We skipped the art museums, the Shakespeare and Dickens and Sherlock Holmes sites, and many other worthwhile attractions. But we did feel we had at least picked the low-hanging fruit, and so on Monday morning we went out to Heathrow, rented our car, and drove off to tour southern England. Our first stop was to be Chartwell, Winston Churchill's home for over 40 years, from his purchase of the estate in 1922 until just shortly before his death in 1965. Churchill is a personal favorite. His History of the English-Speaking Peoples is masterful. He covers the American Civil War in a single chapter, and it is the best description of the conflict I have ever read. His prose is luminous, and in ... read more
Chartwell 007 Westerham UK 050922
Chartwell 010 Westerham UK 050922
Chartwell 011 Westerham UK 050922

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Greenwich May 8th 2022

We started our day with an early hotel departure in order to get front row places to see what we could of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. While I am sure the guard is actually changed regularly, the ceremony with accompanying band and horse troops is only done about 4 times per week, weather and covid allowing. It is actually a complicated procedure, involving horse troops, marching troops, a military band, and three venues (St. James Palace, Buckingham Palace, and Wellington Barracks). It includes troops marching, riding, and performing up and down the broad avenue that leads to Buckingham Palace. known as The Mall. That was our chose vantage point. You don't see the actual ceremony from there, but the area in front of Buckingham Palace is currently very disrupted due to preparations ... read more
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace 011 London UK 050822
Clipper ship Cutty Sark 002 London UK 050822
Clipper ship Cutty Sark 010 London UK 050822

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 6th 2022

After leaving the London Eye we hiked to Trafalgar Square to view the large column topped with a statue of Lord Nelson, then went by St. Martin-in-the-Fields, home of the eponymous Academy that produces so many recordings of classical music for smaller ensembles. That evening we attended the 28, 653rd performance of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. And I won't tell you the surprise ending.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 6th 2022

Our primary targets for today's assault on London were Westminster Abbey, the Churchill War Rooms, and the London Eye. Westminster Abbey is a huge edifice nearby Parliament and Big Ben. The church is officially the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster. Its founding at that site is said to have originated when a fisherman boy saw a vision of St. Peter at the site. Thus began a tradition of the Fishmongers Company presenting the church a salmon every year, a practice that extends back for centuries.In 1080 Sulcard reported that a church had been built on the site in the 7th century CE, but there is little evidence to positively support that. What is known from recorded history is that an order of Benedictine monks was established there by St. Dunstan and King Edgar in ... read more
Westminster Abbey 035 London UK 050622
Westminster Abbey 041 London UK 050622
Westminster Abbey 047 London UK 050622

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 5th 2022

On our second day in London our main target was The British Museum. This fabled collection has long haunted my imagination. From my two visits to the Parthenon, I well understood that I could not really envision the reality of the original Parthenon without seeing the marbles that formed the friezes and under the gables and pediments of that ancient shrine. The collection in London also includes one of the caryatids from the Erechtheum as well as pieces from the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike. Better known, perhaps, is the Rosetta Stone that allowed translation of hieroglyphics. The museum collection is more comprehensive than comprehensible. It seems to be arranged more by date than by geography, which to me seemed somewhat startling. There is a large room filled with Egyptian sculpture near the bespoke ... read more
British Museum 006 London UK 050522
British Museum 017 London UK 050522
British Museum 020 Statue of Ramses that inspired poem "Ozymandias" London UK 050522

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 4th 2022

For many years I have avoided visiting London. It was not because I did not want to see London, but rather the inertia from not knowing where to start. There are so many literary, historical and cultural threads that connect Americans to England that it is difficult to pick and choose what to see. I have a 300 page book that is just one the literary connections in London. As time passed, I finally realized that I had to just go, and if I missed things, I might just have to return. We are accustomed to flying to Europe from Atlanta, and the two hours difference in flying from JFK rather than ATL was a relief, although on most days I would still rather get a root canal without anesthesia than fly through JFK. (Hey, JFK, ... read more
Tower of London London UK
Tower Bridge London UK
The Eye London UK

In the fall of 1944 the Allied military command decided they need to take Aachen, the westernmost city in Germany, prior to an advance into the industrial Ruhr Basin. Aachen was an ancient city, heart of Charlemagne's empire, and for 6 centuries the place of coronation of the kings of the Holy Roman Empire. A young lieutenant from Orangeburg SC was a member of an American division attached to the British Second Army, and his battalion had been ordered to take Prummern, a small village with a strategic hilltop location. Like many young men with some ROTC training, he had been pulled out of college early and hastily trained for war. The night they arrived in Prummern, he was hiding in a cellar and thought he was going to be discovered by a German officer, and ... read more
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