Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ancient History

Vancouver, Washington is old. Lewis & Clark came through on their Expedition in 1805 and Lewis wrote that the area was "the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains." About twenty years later, the Hudson's Bay Company established a post there and the City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1857. For the Pacific Northwest, this is about as old as it gets--at least in terms of European settlement.

On Tuesday I went to a cathedral that was dedicated in 1258. That's right--TWELVE fifty-eight. Six hundred years before Vancouver was incorporated as a town (which itself pre-dates Washington even being a state), Salisbury Cathedral pointed its spire 404 feet towards heaven. Now that's old!

We've loved all our Blue Badge Guides. 
This is Sean. Knowledgeable and freakin hilarious.

Salisbury Cathedral is also home to one of the four surviving copies of thel 1215 Magna Carta, which means that I've seen half of them this week!

We also broke for lunch and exploration in the quaint town of Salisbury.

This couple is contemplating knickers
in the outdoor underwear stall.

But before we ever got to Salisbury Cathedral and town, we parked our motor coach next to one billion other motor coaches at...Stonehenge.

Stonehenge looks a bit more weathered than it did when I let my children climb all over it a few years ago. They don't let you get right up to the stones, you say? True enough. My kids hung out at the Stonehenge in Washington state. Our Stonehenge was built in 1918 on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River. It is a memorial to the veterans of World War I.

The Stonehenge we saw on Tuesday:

Now that's REALLY old!!!

Monday we toured St. Paul's Cathedral. This is the fifth cathedral to be built on this site, the previous one was burned in the Great Fire of 1666. I'm not a big fan of churches, so...

Let's all go to the Museum of London! I do really like museums. Particularly free museums that are well done. And have historical clothing. The Museum of London is therefore a jackpot. I was so interested in the history of London--from the pre-Roman era all the way to "mods, rockers, hippies, and skin-heads"--to take very many photos, so check out the website.

I did get this, though:

Re-creation of my days as a medieval re-creationalist.

Which is an excellent segue to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, where last night we were treated to Anne Boleyn. I joked about not spoiling the end, but really, we all know Anne's fate. The play was a fascinating mix of social history, political intrigue, religious hereticalism, and lust.

The Globe is a replica of the open-air theater built in 1599 where William Shakespeare worked and wrote his plays. I've been to a similar theater in Washington, DC, the Folger. It's a fun way to see a show, with three tiered balconies and the actors addressing the crowd.


So, I think that brings me up to date! I'm leaving for Paris in the morning and will be off-line until sometime on Monday. Au revoir!

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