Blog: November 2007

A Drive in the Netherlands and More Bruges

Posted on November 30, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Yesterday we took a drive north from Bruges into the Netherlands. It's not far away at all, and thanks to the European Union we hardly noticed when we crossed the border. There's just a small sign on the side of the road to mark the spot. We were in the region of Zeeland, which is the westernmost part of the country and runs along the coast north of Belgium...

Day Trip to Ghent from Bruges

Posted on November 30, 2007 by Holly Hayes
View over Ghent I'm very sorry for the delay between posts. I've been a slacker, but it sure has been nice to spend the evenings relaxing in front of the TV and then going straight to bed! We realized today that this is the longest we've ever been on the road, and we are so ready to be settled in our new home in Germany. Sightseeing is wonderful and we're very thankful to be able to do so much of it, but it will be nice to keep it to a few days a week once we live here! We still can't believe we'll be living on the Continent soon...

Bruges Day 1

Posted on November 26, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Today was mostly cold and rainy and we were really tired, but we still had a nice time exploring Bruges. The architecture is very Dutch-looking and much of it is made of brick, which makes an interesting change from the stone buildings of southern England. There are little alleyways and many canals running through the city, both of which are lined with chocolate shops and lace shops...

From Oxford to Belgium in a Stuffed Car

Posted on November 25, 2007 by Holly Hayes
*Goede avond* from Brugge (aka Bruges)! We are absolutely thrilled to be on the Continent and beginning the next phase of our adventures. This morning in Oxford, we attempted for the first time to put all the stuff we'd accumulated over two years into our little car. It was no mean feat and was accomplished almost entirely by the physical and mental dexterity of David...

Inside an Oxford Graduation

Posted on November 25, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Yesterday was almost entirely occupied by my graduation ceremony, which was complicated and rather exhausting but also fun and memorable. I was proud to be a part of it and now I really *feel* like an Oxford graduate. That's the nice thing about ceremonies. The day started at 11:45 with the "signing of the graces" at my college. This mainly consisted of signing a list to show that I was present...

Last Days in Oxford

Posted on November 24, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Yesterday morning in London we did no more sightseeing, but instead sat around and enjoyed our beautiful hotel room until we were required to leave at 12:00. Then David retrieved the car from the nearby parking lot while I checked out, and we were on our way. The drive went very well, thanks to another lovely sunny day, the guidance of our sat nav, and being on the west side of London...

London Day 2

Posted on November 24, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Thursday we took another marathon walk through a remarkably sunny London. This time we started with Kings Road in Chelsea, which is one of my favorite areas of London (despite a general lack of historic buildings). We did some good window shopping at wonderful stores like Muji and Molton Brown. Muji store window Then we looked for a place to have a late breakfast since it wasn't included at our posh hotel...

London Day 1

Posted on November 23, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Happy Black Friday to those in America! I hope no one hurt themselves out shopping today! So, to begin the promised details of London. On our first full day in the city (Wednesday), it was cloudy starting out but beautifully blue the rest of the day. We followed a walking route we've taken before and like very much, and we had such a great time looking around and taking pictures...

Greenwich and Kensington, London

Posted on November 20, 2007 by Holly Hayes
I'm happy to report we made it successfully across London without any damage to the car or the nerves of the occupants. It took us about an hour to drive nine miles from the east side to the west side, but it was never gridlocked and just a lot of traffic lights. We are now comfortably settled in the Parkcity Hotel in Kensington, which we've stayed in before and really, really like...

Canterbury

Posted on November 19, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Canterbury is a smallish town but it is the spiritual capital of England, for two reasons. First, it was the headquarters and burial place of St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He was sent from Rome by Pope Gregory to convert the English from paganism in 597. A monastery and cathedral were established there, and many important archbishops and abbots were buried there...

Battle and Hastings with Bodiam Castle

Posted on November 18, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Friday we toured Battle Abbey, which was built on the site of the Battle of Hastings in October 1066 to atone for all the bloodshed. It was a Benedictine monastery, as most Norman abbeys were, and was expanded over the years until it was destroyed by King Henry VIII in the 1500s. The tour included the remaining monastic buildings (sadly not including the abbey church, which was razed to the ground) and also the battlefield itself...

Brighton to Battle

Posted on November 17, 2007 by Holly Hayes
The last couple days have been busy and without a very good internet connection, but now I have some time and good wireless internet, so I'll try to get us up to date! This comes to you from Canterbury, but we've only just arrived this evening instead of two nights ago as planned. We made a spontaneous stop along the way. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Brighton Day 2

Posted on November 14, 2007 by Holly Hayes
We decided not to do our day trip today since it would make more sense to see the sights on the way to Canterbury tomorrow. So we had another nice day of exploring Brighton, and as a bonus it was beautifully sunny. We visited some of the same places again (including Subway for lunch!) and also discovered some new areas of the city. One of the new highlights was the 11th-century Church of St Nicholas, perched high on a hill that gave us good exercise to reach...

Oxford to Brighton

Posted on November 13, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Greetings from Brighton! It is our second day here and we are really enjoying it. Yesterday morning was rather hectic - we just barely finished packing and cleaning the apartment as the check-out man arrived at 10AM, then we dropped off several boxes at DHL in Oxford to send home, then met a guy outside London to give him a monitor he bought from David on eBay...

The Plans

Posted on November 11, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Tomorrow morning we move out of our beloved Great Milton farmhouse and will be on the road for the next two weeks. We are sad to leave our English village lifestyle but also very excited for our next adventures. After we leave here, we will do some final touring of England before returning to Oxford for graduation on Saturday November 24. Thankfully our landlords are letting us store some stuff in their guest room in the meantime, so we don't have to take all our worldly belongings all over England...

Besselsleigh, Bath and Lots of Packing

Posted on November 10, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Oy vey, have we ever been busy this week. I have so much to write about and so little time to do it! But here's a quick post to try to catch up. Monday: Besselsleigh The week started out with a brief Flickrmeet (at which members of the Oxfordshire Churches Group meet up to photograph churches) at Besselsleigh Church. We only stayed about 45 minutes, but was a good chance to meet a couple more people I "know" from Flickr...

A Day Out in Oxfordshire

Posted on November 7, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Sunday was another nice day of some local sightseeing. Dorchester We started out at Dorchester Abbey, which is quite close by and which we first tried out our tripod last March. This time we had little need of the tripod, being armed with our super-duper-image-stablized-zoomy lens instead. We got some great new pictures of the church, both of the outside (the sun was out this time) and the wonderful inside details...

Bonfire Night in an English Village

Posted on November 5, 2007 by Holly Hayes
It's that time of the year in Britain again - Guy Fawkes Day, aka Bonfire Night. Mainly it's a good excuse for fireworks! Poor things don't have Independence Day, after all. If you'd like to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and don't have any fireworks handy, rent V for Vendetta. It has Natalie Portman in it and is quite good. Last year we stood around a large bonfire by the Wolfson Pond on the River Cherwell...

Worcestershire and Herefordshire Churches

Posted on November 5, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Last Thursday we took a day trip up north to Worcestershire and Herefordshire, English counties not too far from the Welsh border. Pershore Abbey Our first stop was Pershore Abbey, because it was on the way and I had an article on it that needed pictures. We didn't stay long, but it was pretty cool on the outside and had some interesting features on the inside...