Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Great Britain - Final Thoughts

The thirty-nine travelers had a wonderful experience in Great Britain!  Everyone enjoyed the fellowship, fun, and food while visiting England, Scotland, and Wales. We learned about cultures unlike our own and garnered an appreciation for traditions of old. Many traditions we found intriguing and others we wished were our own. Landscapes and architectures and historical tales created impressions/images of long ago and created a thirst for more.  This trip just covered the surface of what we can learn from our new friends. Our journey has just begun.

Until we meet again....

Day Nine - Heading Home

Travelers sit at the Heathrow Airport in London waiting to depart for Raleigh/Durham.




Day Eight

The group traveled to the university city of Cambridge.
Several of us had lunch at The Eagle, one of the oldest inns in the city.
The pub has been in existence since the 15th century.
The Royal Air Force Bar, within The Eagle, had signatures
and squadron numbers of men and women from all over the world
who visited the pub during World War II.
Shown in the photo are Carole Mehle and Dawn Wilson.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day Eight - Stamford, England

The tour included a stop in the market town of Stamford on Day 8.
Several of us dropped in at the Golden Fleece for mid-morning break.

Carnell Lamm, June Cherry, and Lance Cherry pose in a pub in Stamford.

The market town of Stamford, England.

Day Seven


The Floors Castle was the main attraction on the seventh day. The castle was built for the first Duke of Roxburghe in 1721. The 10th Duke of Roxburghe now devotes himself to running the Roxburghe Estates; he opens his home to visitors and the proceeds go to maintaining the house and its contents.  The photo shows the Edgecombe travelers walking up to the door of the Castle; after the tour, everyone enjoyed a cup of tea and shortbread.

Later that evening, everyone enjoyed a nice dinner at the hotel in York, England.


Smiling travelers enjoying soup at the hotel dinner.

Fellowship at dinner was a great way to end the day.

Day Six - Edinburgh

The travelers visited 2 memorable sites in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 6th day of the trip: Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.  Edinburgh Castle has several important structures from its medieval past: St. Margaret's Chapel, dating from the 12th century; David's Tower, built in 14th century as the royal residence of David II; and the Royal Palace and Great Hall, built in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Honours of Scotland--the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State--are on display in the Castle. The Honours are the oldest Crown Jewels in the British Isles and were first used together in the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland. It has been the royal residence for over 500 years. The Queen is in residence every summer. At other times the State Apartments are often used by members of the Royal family for special events.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday Recap

The following is a guest post from Carole Mehle.  Ms. Mehle is an English and Humanities instructor at ECC and chairs the Diversity and Global Connections Committee at the college.

As I write this, it is Friday night. We have returned to England after a brief stop in Wales and a whirlwind tour of Scotland. We have seen castles, palaces, many sheep, and miles of the breathtaking rolling hills of England.

Many of our group toured the Royal Brittania, the ship that served as Queen Elizabeth II's family home for many years. We got an inside glimpse into the personality of the Queen since she designed the spaces in the ship.

Our first stop today was Floors Castle in Kelso, Scotland. The Duke of Roxburgh opens his home for visitors, and the family pictures are prominently displayed alongside Matisse paintings, priceless tapestries, and Rococo furnishings.

From there, we headed back into England and stopped in York. Many of us chose to attend an Evensong service at the gorgeous York Minster. We were touched immensely when the vicar asked for prayers for the people of Boston and West, Texas. The church was incredibly beautiful and we wished we had more time to spend there.

We have seen so many breathtaking sights on this trip It has been an unforgettable experience, but it will be good to be home!

~ Carole Mehle

Friday, April 19, 2013

Guest Post from Carole Mehle

The following is a guest post from Carole Mehle.  Ms. Mehle is an English and Humanities instructor at ECC and chairs the Diversity and Global Connections Committee at the college.

We are having a great time here in England! For me, today was special. We started our day simply riding through the Cotswolds and stopping at the quaint town of Stow. We left and our next stop proved awe-inspiring.

We visited the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford-On-Avon.  We walked on the same floors where a genius grew up, were surrounded by the same walls that sheltered him, and stood in the room where he was born, where his mother shared stories with him. As we left the house, actresses outside were sharing sonnets. We listened to three sonnets, all like old friends to me.

I knew my experience of communing with the amazing Shakespeare would be hard to top. Then we left England for the afternoon and headed to Wales. We visited the town of Llangollen and took a ride down the canal in a very narrow boat. What a fun time!

We truly have been sampling Britain, with our third country in two days coming up tomorrow. Next stop: Scotland!

~Carole Mehle

A Scottish Evening

While in Edinburgh on Wednesday evening, the group had dinner at The Thistle where all enjoyed a traditional dinner of roast beef and fish with pudding for dessert. Entertainment was provided by Scottish bagpipers and dancers.  Dinner concluded with the Ceremony of the Haggis. Haggis is a special dish of lamb's heart, liver, and stomach, cooked with spices. Often haggis is served over potatoes. Most all sampled the dish; some liked it, others did not.

Regardless of their fondness for haggis, the 38 members of the ECC travel group had a delightful evening filled with wonderful food and fellowship and with lots of fun.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Carnell Lamm, Caroline Thutt, Lance and June Cherry, Debbie Lamm,
and Laura Ashley Lamm have lunch at a pub at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Travelers listen to an actress reciting an excerpt from one of Shakespeare's plays.

The photo shows William Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon. William,
at 18 years of age, married Anne Hathaway, 27 years old.

Roman Baths

Roman baths in Bath, England.

Laura Ashley Lamm standing by the Roman baths.

Day Four - Ann Hathaway's Home and a Welcome Dinner in Bristol

On day four the travelers left Bristol and headed to the medieval market town of Stow-on-the-Wold (Sheep on the Hill) and then to Stratford-upon-Avon (Stratford upon the River).  The photo is of Ann Hathaway's home. The cottage has a thatched roof made out of wheat straw; generally these roofs lasted about 25 years. Chicken wire covered the top of the roof to keep the birds out. Four poster beds, in this type of cottage, had canopies because birds/rodents often fell through the thatched roof and landed on the canopy.

Ann Hathaway's home

The Rook family at the welcome dinner in Bristol.

Travelers enjoying good food and fellowship.

A buffet at the hotel was a time for fellowship at the welcome dinner.

All are enjoying themselves at the welcome dinner.

The travelers enjoyed a welcome dinner at the Mercure Holland House in Bristol.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in the British Isles.  It is the centre of one of the world's earliest cultures. The larger stones in the circle are Sarsen stones, brought from Marlborough Downs, 19 miles away. The smaller stones, known as Bluestones, are from the Preseli Mountains in Wales, 240 miles away.



The prehistoric monument was constructed in 3 main phases. 

  • 3050 BC (5050 years ago): circular ditch and bank (a henge)
  • Circa 2600 BC (4,600 years ago): wooden structure constructed at centre
  • 2500-1500 BC (4,500-3,500 years ago ): stone monument constructed, arranged and re-arranged over  about 1000 years
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day Three - More Images from Hampton Court Palace


The Caisons, leaving Hampton Court.

Another view of the gardens.

More beautiful gardens.

The Ornamental Gardens at the palace.

The Great Vine.


Day Three - Hampton Court Palace


Day 3 began with a visit to Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace.

Another view of the beautiful palace of 900 rooms.
Henry VIII had 1200 in his entourage, those traveling with him.

Ornamental Gardens of Henry VIII's Hampton Court.



The Great Vine, a grape vine, was planted in 1768 for King George III
by the head Gardner at Hampton Palace.

Symmetrical design is typical of an English Garden.

Travelers boarding the bus at Bath. Look carefully to see June Cherry, Nancy Hooks,
Sylvia Nash, Retha Deaton, Buddy Hooks, and Anne Mayo.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day Two - Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace

The second day in London was filled with a sightseeing tour of some of the famous landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. The travelers also visited St. Paul's Cathedral and watched the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard. The photo shows the beauty of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It's history spans more than 900 years.


The castle covers an area of about 13 acres and contains a church, homes and workplaces for many people, as well as the royal palace. The State apartments are used regularly by the Queen and the Royal Family for ceremonial and State occasions. The rooms are furnished with valuables from the Royal Collection, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Holbein, Canaletto, and Van Dyck.


Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and the London residence of the Queen. The Palace also serves as the administrative headquarters of the Royal household; it is one of the few working royal palaces in the world today.


The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place daily from April through July, and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

We Made It!!

Our ECC Abroad group of merry travelers made it safely "across the pond" from RDU Airport to London Heathrow.  We left the Tarboro campus in high spirits and were taken by motorcoach to RDU.  Our nonstop flight from RDU took a little over seven hours, but we had fun sharing stories and the group was given a warm welcome and acknowledgment over the PA system from the flight crew.  After being greeted by our Globus tour representatives and checking into our hotel, we have had a full day of free time to fan across the city.  After being given suggestions and maps of the city from the helpful Globus assistants and hotel concierge staff, we toured independently today.  Some of us opted to tour a few of the London museums, others chose to explore the nearby shops and restaurants, while a few of us took a London "double decker" tour bus to explore famous sites, such as the London Eye and Big Ben (see picture).  We are all excited for the busy days ahead of sightseeing.

Cheerio!


First Day in London

We have safely arrived and have been enjoying our first day in the beautiful city of London! The city is bustling with locals and travelers alike with the chill of the air increasing your steps down the cobblestone streets. A trip to this great place wouldn't be complete without visiting the former home of one its most iconic residents -- the late Princess Diana. Kensington Palace served as Diana's home from the mid 80s until her death in 1997. Before Diana, Kensington was home to Princess Margaret for 40 years and the great Queen Victoria -- Britain's longest reigning monarch. The Golden Gates pictured below are symbolic of Diana's death as upon news of her passing, visitors covered the gates with flowers in tribute.


Inside you'll find a corridor covered in wallpaper depicting scenes of Diana's life. How colorful and unique! Many of the scenes you are sure to recognize if you are a royal follower!


Of course, we can't mention the palace without mentioning her iconic dresses! For charity, a young Prince William convinced his mother to auction off 80 of her dresses. Kensington Palace purchased 18 to house in an exhibition while the others were purchased and auctioned throughout the years by wealthy collectors and fans. Remember her "John Travolta dress?" It recently sold for $250,000 to a wealthy businessman who wanted to cheer up his sad wife.  Americans just buy chocolate when sad. Her Elvis inspired beaded gown? Sold for $150,000. Unfortunately, her dresses weren't on exhibit! They will reopen in July! But we did get to enjoy touring the King and Queen's State Rooms with their grand ceilings of gold and walls of tapestry. Not to mention the 18 highchairs commemorating the births of Queen Anne's children. Quite fascinating!


It's dinner and drinks this evening and maybe a little dancing. After all, we've already danced down the aisles of the plane on the way over. Cheers!

~Laura Ashley Lamm

Off to Great Britain

The ECC Travelers left the college campus Friday at 1:45 PM. Shown below are Mary Alice Fountain and Ann Mayo, part of the "senior transport", complements of Sally Carlyle.


Hi ho hi ho it's off to Scotland we go!

Visiting the Carolina Ale House at the RDU Airport prior to boarding our flight. The group has already started having a good time which will continue across the Atlantic. We look forward to having you follow us along our journey!