Uk and Italy 2012 travel blog

Had a great time at Salisbury. Competed with several large bus loads to see Stonehenge at 9.30 in the morning (opening time). Was a lovely sunny morning so despite the hordes, was tremendous to see the stones. Incredible how much they know (when it was built, where the stones came from), but not exactly why it was built. Just fascinating to imagine what must have happened over all those years in its history. On the way back to Salisbury we stopped at Old Sarum; which is truly old. More than 5000 years of settlement. It is actually a hill which was transformed into a Hill Fort in the Iron Age then Saxons and Romans resided there. William the Conqueror had a Cathedral built there in 1092 but it's use was replaced when the 'new' nearby town of Salisbury had a cathedral built (1220 to 1258). Still the base of the cathedral to be seen and some walls of the castle. Views all around and a very peaceful place.

Back to Salisbury, and for me, a wander around Salisbury. Enjoyed it a lot actually; lots of evidence of Jubilee fever following the Queen's visit last Tuesday. A real mix of Medieval buildings and every other century since. The cathedral is of course incredible, but it was the buildings surrounding the close which I was enjoying.

Caught up with Mum and we headed back to the Cathedral to attend Evensong. Very beautiful singing and a nice message in the Intercession. Of course in a stunning setting! After that Mum had a relaxed evening at the B&B while I met up with Hannah for a lovely evening out.

This morning left nice and early for St Ives and made the most annoying mistake of going in the wrong direction! Error corrected, we made it to Sidmouth, a small seaside town, for a coffee break. Unfortunately a bit wet and windy, but good to experience (and Mum had a very good coffee). Then through the Dartmoor National Park. A great contrast in landscape; quite bleak on the moor with some wild (and very small) horses, black faced and horned sheep and really interesting rock formations on the hill tops. Stopped at the north entrance to the moors, Mortonhampstead, for lunch. A Devonshire Pasty for Mum (same as a Cornish Pasty, just made in Devonshire). Left the moors at Tavistock, which was a real delight (because it was unexpected probably). Mum managed to find another very good coffee and we had a quick walk around the town centre. Many of the lovely buildings were the work of the Duke of Bedford; based around an old Abbey. After this it was foot down to get to St Ives. Now safely arrived, a nice dinner had along with a walk around the harbour, it is time for some sleep. Very much looking forward to perusing galleries and shops in St Ives over the next few dys; oh, and going to a laundromat!


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