Sunday, September 9, 2012
Summer 2011 trip to Europe
Leaving London we had a stop in Chawten, to visit Jane Austen's home. I sat in our rental car while Brenda and Abby had tea to a local restaurant. The weather was spitting a slight amount of rain this day, just enough to send me into cover while sketching.
Before heading for the Cotswolds for the week, we stopped in Bath for a night and the next morning I headed to the Royal Crescent. This is an amazing group of town homes all pushed together on an arcing roadway. In the time of it's construction, the upper crust of society rented places here for the entire social season and to take advantage of the health benefits of the baths.
Staying in the Cotswolds, Chipping Campden was the closest large village to our rental home.
A side trip to Oxford was on our list to visit the haunts of all those great English academics. I realized that on occasions during this trip that I wouldn't have much time for a long detailed sketch. This day I attempted to capture the view in about twenty minutes. I actually liked the results because it made me just draw what was important and not get hung up on the details.
Back at our cottage one evening, I sat in the back garden to capture the back of the cottage. The kitchen and dining area were on the lower level and Abby's bedroom was above. This was all the width of the cottage with our neighbors directly on each side.
Shakespeare's town of Stratford-upon-Avon was our next side trip from Ebrington. The Nash House (right side of sketch) was the final home of Shakespeare's before he died in 1616.
Back in Ebrington, the local pub was the location of our anniversary dinner. The pub was known in the local area as having a really great menu. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and evening before walking back to our cottage.
Our next destination was the Yorkshire Dales and a stay in a farmhouse. Our week there we took side trips and one was to the Lakes District. Miss Beatrix Potter's house was on this trip and an afternoon beside the lake near Hawkshead was my next sketch. The sun was quite warm this day sitting on the hillside painting.
The first evening at our farmhouse, we climbed to the top of this hill to view the sun setting and look back at the Ladthwaite Farm. There were sheep all over the hill sides of this area and we enjoyed watching them run away as we approached either on foot or by car (the driveway to the farm was a couple of miles through the hills).
Finally we were nearing the end of our vacation time and we travelled into Scotland to drop Abby off in Banchory for her time with her church youth group. One of the stops that Abby requested was a night in St. Andrews. She was interested in seeing the university (her dream would be to study there for a term) and I wanted to see the ruins of the magnificent cathedral that once graced this town. I sat down on a stone base to one of the huge columns that supported the main nave of the church to sketch this view. There are only a few walls left and the remains of this partial tower, but you could see that it once was a grand structure built to glorify God.
Arriving in Banchory, we dropped Abby off at her friends Helena's home for the beginning of her stay. Brenda and I staid in a small hotel on the High Street and the view across from our window was these shops. I particularly liked the roof tops and chimney pots.
We had a wonderful trip and I so enjoyed having time to sketch along the way. I thank my wife for giving me the time to stop and slow down; looking more carefully at the scenery and buildings along our way.