Page 2 of buddymedbery Travel Blog Posts

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
Prummern 004 061116

North America » United States » South Carolina » Charleston November 26th 2020

Happy Thanksgiving to all!! This is a story I wrote about 5-6 years ago. The pecan Santa hangs in a place of honor on my tree. The Back-of-the-Tree Ornament The old man sat in the old overstuffed chair, sipping his apple cider with brandy, and listening to Jingle Bell Rock playing softly in the background. As he had always done, he had put up his Christmas tree, set out a few of the Dickens village buildings and figurines, and set up the crockpot with apple cider and mulling spices. It was harder now. Since his wife had died, it had taken more energy every year to put up the display she had so loved. But still he set the little skaters on the mirror with the magnets so they appeared to skate over a frozen pond. ... read more

North America » United States » Tennessee » Cumberland Gap October 25th 2020

In the posthumous Thomas Wolfe novel You Can't Go Home Again the protagonist is George Webber, a writer ostracized by his home community because of his unflattering portraits of the people of the town. The real-life background was more complicated. Wolfe's first novel Look Homeward Angel was one of the most thinly veiled autobiographies masquerading as fiction. The fictional town was Altamont, but the real-life hometown of Wolfe was Asheville. In his second novel, Of Time and the River, the people of Asheville were not included, and they were even more miffed at their exclusion. Wolfe did not go back to Asheville to visit family for 8 years after the publication of Look Homeward Angel, and barely reconciled with the town before his premature death from neurotuberculosis at age 38. Toward the end of You Can't ... read more
LMU sign on hillside 1954
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate TN 102520
Mother with wild watercress 1954

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » CBD March 4th 2020

We left this day for our return home. Last night we availed ourselves of a last opportunity to go to the Sydney Opera House and see La Bohème. Never a bad way to end a visit. We spent that day are-visiting Doyle's on the Beach for a last lunch of wonderful Australia and New Zealand seafood. WE embarked on our return with some trepidation. By that time the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was getting into pretty serious action. The day after we left NZ they shut down incoming and outgoing flights. Australia was getting more serious than they already had been. There were beginning to be the first reports of cases of people who flew through LAX. Nonetheless, our options were limited, fo fly out we did for the somewhat shorter trip back than the outgoing trip (tailwinds ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Matamata March 1st 2020

Leaving Auckland, we headed a couple of hours south to Matamata. Nearby, on what used to be a 506 hectare (1250 acre) sheep farm, Sir Peter Jackson found what he felt was the perfect site to locate his set for The Shire. In particular, a large tree matched a tree described in Tolkien's works. He built the set using temporary materials for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. By agreement with the landowners, it was all torn down after filming was completed. When he decided to film the Hobbit trilogy, he approached the family that owned the land and they all agreed to build a permanent set, and use it as a tourist attraction after filming wrapped up. I believe the second set was identical to the first with the exception of the more durable materials ... read more
Hobbitton Movie Set
Hobbitton Movie Set
Hobbitton Movie Set

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central February 29th 2020

Leaving Paihia, we dawdled down the beautiful coast back to Auckland. All along the coast are wonderful vistas either at. sea level or from the heights above, and the coast is replete with wide sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. As in all places in New Zealand, tramping trails abound. We took some time working our way back to Auckland, since we had little desire to do anything there other than see the wonderful museum with its Maori treasures. The Auckland Museum surmounts a hill in the large park called the Auckland Domain, occupying an old volcanic crater. The park includes tree-lined drives, walking trails, and a glass-enclosed botanical garden, and occupies 75 hectares (185 acres) just southeast of the main downtown area of Auckland. The park was established in 1843, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum ... read more
Coastland north of Auckland
Maori sailing vessel
Large Maori war canoe

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia February 28th 2020

The less I say about Auckland the better. People seem to be flocking there to live, but we failed to see the charm. Perhaps in the suburbs it is better, but downtown is crowded, noisy, congested, and lacking in charm, at least for us. The museum is magnificent - more about that later. After a night in Auckland, we headed back out on the road, this time going up the west coast of the North Island and then crossing over to the east side and the Bay of Islands area. In particular, in addition to just seeing more of the North island, we had our sights set on the kauri trees. Among the largest trees on earth, these also represent one of the oldest tree groups on earth, with representative species extending back to the Jurassic ... read more
Kauri slab
Kauri gum
Swamp kauri slab - 7600 years old

Crusin' and playing the radio With no particular place to go Chuck Berry After leaving Doubtful Sound, we had to make a long drive to the Fox Glacier area. We planned to see the glacier while we were there, but also had hoped to have great views of the Southern Alps from the western side along the way. We were frustrated in both aspirations. In the more southern part of the trip, we saw some beautiful lakes, such as Lake Wakatipu at Queenstown and the side-by-side lakes Wanaka and Hawea. But as you drive along the western coast of the South Island, you are largely in vegetation-covered foothills, and only rarely catch glimpses of the mountains themselves. We frequently crossed wide snow-fed alluvial streams, with the typical shoals of gravel, now barely flowing at the end ... read more
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wanaka
Snow-fed alluvial river

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