A Rainy (and a Sunny) Day in Rochester

When I was in England this past March I spent most of my time in Kent.  During the week I went to Rochester for a visit and it was a rainy day.  I enjoyed visiting the Guildhall and the Cathedral but it was difficult to take many photos because of the weather.  I had to find an entryway or another sheltered spot where I could put down my umbrella and take pictures.  I didn’t end up venturing too far from where there were buildings and sidewalks.  Still, I thought it would be nice to return on a sunny day because it was a charming place.

Later in the week I had that opportunity so I took a train back to Rochester to see it in the sunshine.  It was so different to see everything on a bright (and breezy) day!  I took pictures of some of the same places I had just been to show the contrast.  And even though it was March there were flowers so I’ve included a picture of them too.  It was really interesting to see what a difference sunshine and blue sky made!

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Welcome to Spring

 

It isn’t quite spring yet but it won’t be long now!  There have been some warm days recently and I’ve seen lots of cheery yellow daffodils in bloom, but because it is early March the days can be chilly.  Still, it’s only a few weeks until the beginning of spring and then we’ll be seeing this:

I’m going to England later this month and I’m looking forward to many new adventures.

At Home with Souvenirs

I have a drawer in my house where I keep travel souvenirs.  When I opened it to add my postcards, tickets and programs from the Chelsea Flower Show, I had trouble closing the drawer.  Could it be that all these wonderful souvenirs were turning into clutter?  I didn’t think so, and I recalled all the opportunities I had to find interesting things to bring home with me.

Still, when I saw how many things I’ve accumulated over my travels I decided that I could use some these souvenirs in a way that I could remember when and where I got them.  My first idea was to use a jewelry tree to hang some of my key chains to make something I’d enjoy:

Souvenir tree

I also have fridge magnets in this drawer that I can’t use because they don’t stick to the front of my refrigerator!  Then I remembered that I have a small message board that is magnetic.  It was fun arranging the magnets on it.

Magnetic souvenirs

Afterward there was a lot more room in my souvenir drawer and now I can look at these displays and remember all the fun experiences I had when I got them!  I should mention that I also consider scarves, jewelry and hand knit sweaters souvenirs and I wear them all the time.  But it was great to make a display of these souvenirs so they don’t simply become more clutter in the house.

A Garden Visitor

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May I’ve been inspired to work on my own garden.  After all, who wouldn’t want a garden that looks like this?

So I’ve been tending my garden and the lavender, purple coneflowers, daisies, lemon balm, thyme and other herbs and flowers have really grown since I planted them last year.  There have been lots of bumblebees this summer but no butterflies until yesterday, when I saw a visitor among the flowers.

 

The butterfly didn’t seem to mind that I was standing very close to get these pictures. Since I’d selected flowers for this garden that would attract bees, butterflies and songbirds, I was delighted to see such a colorful visitor.  Later I did some research and discovered that it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, and I hope it comes back many, many times!

First Impressions of the Chelsea Flower Show

When I got off the tube at Sloane Square to go to the flower show I heard someone say to follow the crowds.  However it was around 8:00 am and it looked like a lot of the crowd was going to work.  Finally I decided to follow a group of people wearing straw hats and sunglasses.  This was a good decision because after a few minutes I saw signs for the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could walk right up to the exhibit gardens without having to wait behind people to see anything.  These were the first flowers I saw.

Chelsea

Since lavender is a favorite of mine I enjoyed seeing this pretty arrangement.  These were some of the gardens around the corner:

I couldn’t believe that I’d seen all these exhibits within my first fifteen minutes of being there!  But what followed was both beautiful and solemn.  I had heard about the field of poppies, but seeing it was an unforgettable experience.  Here is an explanation as well as some pictures.

 

I lingered at this exhibit and after a while I could see all the individual flowers and think about the work that had gone into this display.  There were also people carrying examples of these handmade poppies to show us.  Each one was unique yet they blended together so well.  I returned to this exhibit several times during the day but I never got as good a view as I did early in the morning.

I wanted the time to go slowly while I was there – I didn’t want the day to end!  I have many more stories and pictures from that wonderful day.

Scenes from the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve just returned from a visit to England, where I spent last Thursday at the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could see the gardens and Pavilion displays before it became crowded.  It was an extraordinary experience for someone who loves flowers and gardens (that’s me).  The weather was perfect with sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Here are some views from the show – there will be many future posts because I took over 300 pictures!

Chelsea Flower Show

Some scenes from the show:

A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.

Chelsea Flower Show

 

 

Travel Time

After all the planning and daydreaming, it’s almost time for my trip to London.  Passport – check.  Train reservations to Bath – check.  Currency exchange – probably next week.  I just found out that I can use my phone there for a small daily fee and that’s good news.  I’m hoping that there aren’t too many movies I want to watch on the plane so I can attempt to sleep (or at least rest) on the overnight flight.  Sometimes when I get up to walk around on the plane during a transatlantic flight I feel like I’m the only one that is still awake.  Still, it doesn’t stop me from watching another movie.  Once I had the idea of listening to relaxing music to try to doze but that didn’t work either.  Not that it matters – I’m not going to attempt to sleep until it’s evening where I’m going.  I don’t want to miss anything!

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite places and looking for future favorites too.  It’s a short train ride to Bath from London and I plan to do a lot of walking.  I’m sure I’ll see lots of flowers and gardens (I’ll take pictures to share).  Planning and daydreaming are part of the preparation for travel, and they are just as exciting as the trip itself!

The Travel Years

I began Meg Travels in August and this month is my fourth anniversary!  It has been so much fun sharing travel adventures from near and far.  When I look for themes over the years I can see that flowers and gardens are some of my favorites, along with doors, sunsets and signs.  I tend to travel in the spring and that is an ideal time to see fresh and colorful flowers.  Autumn is another beautiful season for watching the leaves change color, and it is still warm and sunny.

I will continue to travel so there will be plenty more adventures (with pictures) to share over the next year.  Here are some of the flowers, doorways and other souvenir pictures that I’ve taken over the past four years.

 

Wall

I like to find unusual walls when I travel just as much as I enjoy looking for interesting doors.  I particularly liked this wall that was between a walking path and the water in St Ives.  It had been raining that afternoon and everything looked fresh and green.  I thought that the wildflowers and vines growing in and around the wall were charming.  Later on I realized that I’d taken as many pictures of the wall as I did of the beach.  This shows where it began.

St Ives

Here are some details of the wall.

More walls can be found here.