Dove-tailing on a work trip to visit my friends at Manchester University, Elizabeth joined me for a week of Summer holidays in England. We started out in Cheshire, about an hour east of Manchester, before heading south to London and Brighton, where a distant cousin of hers lives.
Here we are enjoying a traditional English tea with Mashhuda & Nick at Tatton Garden
Like many old homesteads, Tatton Manor was turned over to the British government for safe-keeping in the public trust. Here is a photo of the baking cellar taken by Mashhuda.
This is the first in my "Mocking of the Saints" series.
At one time, pineapples were considered "exotic" and having them in your garden was a sign of great status.
Enjoying the view (Eliz took the photo).
Elizabeth & Mashhuda
There was some sort of incorporated art exhibit going on during our visit to Tatton Garden.
The Curry Mile in Manchester (Rusholme).
The following day, Nick drove us all up to Beeston Castle, about an hour west of Manchester.
Eliz was smitten by one of the guides at the castle museum. (Lucky for me, the relationship was shallow and didn't survive the afternoon.)
The actual castle itself was in ruins, of course. This part of the ramparts looks like it got rammed.
The moat was dry, but green.
Another HDR photo of the castle remains.
Me & Eliz exploring.
The view of the surrounding countryside was lovely as well.
Nick (taken by Mashhuda).
Mashhuda was also taking photos of us unawares.
Eliz posing as an archer.
Posing as...? (Shiva?)
A Prius with the driver on the right.
Fish & Chips
We sat down to a traditional English lunch in Chester, where we subsequently explored the old city wall.
Elizabeth took this arty shot of the grocery carts before being told by two flirty security guys that photography was not permitted on store premises.
Mashhuda & Nick on the main walk in downtown Chester. The clock in the background is a major landmark mounted atop one of the old city gates.
Me in front of said gate.
Mash & Eliz before the main cathedral.
These are the windows to the cathedral courtyard.
A view from the high-rent pews.
Mashhuda took this nice photo of Elizabeth in front of some of the older stained glasswork.
Mash also shot this of a bishop's tomb back of the pipe organ.
The front of the pipe organ, complete with practicing organist.
This was a coal-fired heater, several of which were scattered about the main pews.
Some of the sculptures were quite nice.
I liked the way the light from the courtyard played on the hallway, and asked Eliz to pose for me.
These guys volunteered their own pose, celebrating the end of the races that were going on that day.
Eliz was very fond of the traditional English phone booths, which are getting harder to find in spots, though there seemed to be plenty around Chester.
The city streets were an interesting mix of many different periods.
I have a whole series of facade photos. This is one of the nicer ones.
A lamp post adorning and alighting the northern wall of the city.
This is where King Charles was purported to have his last stand in 1645.
I guess this could have been my last stand (but it wasn't).
The lucky people living in this housing row had their yards backing up onto a canal.
Enjoying tea and saying "good-bye" to our friends for a bit, as they had work the next day.
We spent all of Monday in Chester, wandering the city on foot and taking in the sights. This is a view of the River Dee south of the city.
Another nice on in the facade series.
A somewhat eerie antique doll shop.
Another tourist shot this for us.
Queen Victoria Park (I think) under the northern wall.
Another part of the park.
A view of some (evidently disused) boats along the canal.
A "boat lift," a.k.a. a lock to move boats to different levels in the canal.
One of the nicer canal boats. People commonly use these as an alternative to outrageous apartment prices in the U.K.
Chester street life.
People enjoying their midday meal.
Where will the youth of the country congregate to use their mobiles, once all the phone booths are gone?
Eliz took many of these photos -- the statue featured in the middle is either a knight or a king, in full armor.
Elizabeth loved this hat shop, and wished she could have visited it with her daughters.
Our view out the sub-street window of a lovely little "tea house" Eliz spotted.
Enjoying an English lunch together. Note the various wall constructions.
I liked this scene of young people out of school, relaxing in the cathedral gardens.
A close-up of the town clock.
St. John's Church
This is an old church south of the city wall, near the River Dee and adjacent an old Roman ampitheater that's been recently excavated.
There were a few old frescos on the columns, all but disappeared now.
Effigy of a Lady
At a nearby park, children played on the pieces of the old Roman ampitheater that had apparently been left out for that purpose.
Eliz & I crossed the Queens Park Bridge to the park continued on the opposite bank of the River Dee.
Buoys & Gulls
Exploring a little side-street west of the main Cathedral.
This area was called "The Rows," where the main walks and shops were raised a floor above the street by housing on the lower level.
Yet another photo in the facade series. (I'm not showing you 1/10th of them!)
Deterioration in portions of the old Roman structures has forced the city to some extreme measures.
Don't lean on it too hard!
Some tweeners enjoying a semi-sunny afternoon in Grosvenor Park.
A (hopefully) drinking-age fellow insisting on having his photo taken with a brew in each hand.
In the evening, we enjoyed a lovely meal at a local pub (The Cross Keys) recommended by our B&B hostess.
On the walk home, we happened upon the Cheshire Cat.
He was most insistent on some attention...
So, naturally, we obliged.
The following morning, we took a cab to the rail station, where we boarded a train to London. Here we are in the afternoon in front of a quintessential row of houses.
Here is the view out our hotel window. Someone had a garden party that evening, which made sleeping quite a challenge.
Smart cars were taking up half-spots everywhere!
This is the main gate to the palace where the reigning Queen Elizabeth grew up, which was rebuilt for Diana & Charles.
This is the walkway to The Orangery, a grand tea house in Kensington Garden, where we had some grand tea (with cakes).
Relaxing after our tea.
We then took the London Underground (or "Tube") to visit the Tate Modern, which was fab.
I wasn't permitted to take photos in any of the exhibits, but was allowed to use my camera in the other areas.
Here is a photo I took in one of the exhibits.
We just barely made it to the museum shop, which closed the same time as the exhibits (6pm).
Afterward, we walked to Covent Gardens, crossing the Millenium Bridge, shown here.
These are the Halls of Justice, which were some of the most amazing buildings I've seen, anywhere.
Quite a sculpture, eh? eh?
The front entrance, I think. Justice through intimidation.
A slightly wider view.
Not really a garden so much as a set of restaurants and shops. I'm sure there's a logic to British naming conventions, but they don't seem to use it.
One of the many street performers who frequents the area.
This is the pub where we had dinner.
No shortage of beer, or beer drinkers in England.
The food at this place was amazing.
Afterwards, we visited this very unusual clothing store nearby. Yes, the mannequins are hanged.
The following morning, we took the train down to the coastal city of Brighton to meet one of Elizabeth's distant cousins.
That's Suzie Gimpleson (a.k.a. Gilson) on the right.
Suzie is a semi-retired actress and drama teacher.
She is also a ventriloquist, and has an act we wished we had time to see that day.
That afternoon, we met up with my friend John, who happened to be in London entertaining some relatives earlier the same week. We had lunch on the sidewalk of a popular Chinese restaurant (not bad), then headed back for the train station. The flowers were a gift from Suzie, which we left to Mashhuda & Nick as they weren't going to make it back home intact.
Our original train was supposed to leave from Euston Station, but a switching problem in Rugby had disrupted all departures, so the three of us ended up taking a different train out of St. Pancras, instead.
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