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Showing posts from 2006

Quantock Hills and Exmoor

Vicki and I spent the weekend of Nov 4th and 5th hiking in the Quantock Hills and Exmoor. This is in Somerset and Devon. Exmoor is famous for its native ponies. The area has some outstanding beauty and is only an hour and a half from Bath.

Click on the photo below to see more.

Exmoor 2006

Remembrance Day 2006

As a fitting bookend to our visit to the battlefields of the Great War, Redington invited me up to Bedford to see him march with the Air Cadets in the Remembrance Day parade. Remembrance Day celebrates the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that ended WWI (the Great War). In the US we celebrate Veterans day. It used to be known as Armistice day but in 1953 Congress passed a law calling it Veterans day to give it more relevence to WWII veterans.

In this small way we became part of the history we traveled to learn about.

Click on the photo below to see more...

Remembrance Day 2006

World War I (The Great War) Visit to France

Redington and I visited France again this Fall Half-Term break. This time we visited WWI battlefields in the Somme and near Ypres. In addition to the battlefields we got to practice our French and managed a few tasty meals.

I have deviated from my past blog style and and used Google photo albums as a new format. My blog is very photo (as opposed to text) oriented and as such Blogger is very slow when dealing with photos. The photo album format is much easier to build and edit and can be linked to the same old blog site.

I have used the captions in the photos to hold rather extensive text and so they work best when you click on a photo and then advance one photo at a time using the arrow buttons.

Click on the photo below to start this section.

France 2006 WWI Visit: Orientation Theis next section is about the memorials we visited. This was the most moving and sad part of the visit.

France 2006 WWI Visit: The memorials

This is a short section of photos on the battlefields or what is left of th…

Greece Holiday 2006-Athens

For summer holiday Redington, Vicki, and I went to Greece. Redington and I had a great interest in visiting because of our interest in Ancient Greece. Having read about the 300 Spartans, the Persian war, and the Peloponnesian war we wanted to visit Thermopolyae, Athens, Pireas, Salamis, and Delphi. We also managed to get a mix of beach time in for Vicki.

We flew to Athens where we rented a car. Arriving late at night with a Hotel booked in central Athens looked like little trouble especially with Vicki along, the intrepid international traveler. Alas we learned the trouble with Greece is their alphabet is so different that every street name looks like some calculus or physics formula. Navigation was impossible especially on poorly lit streets and after a couple of hours of driving and asking questions we finally paid a taxi driver to follow him to our hotel.

We arrived exhausted and hungry at about 1:00AM. Fortunately they were still serving food on the roof-top restaurant. There we ate…

Greece 2006: Delphi and Thermopylae

This is a continuation of the trip Redington, Vicki, and I took to Greece this last summer. This series starts here.
In our next section of the trip we travel through the mainland. We are heading toward Delphi the famous temple complex where the Oracle of Delphi resided.

Travel on the mainland

Mt Paranassus

The valley below Delphi
When we got to Delphi The sun was setting and we found a hotel and a place to eat. We walked down the road and could look up the valley as the sun set.

A Shrine
These shrines were everywhere. This one had some Metaxa as an offering.

One of the preserved floors
At Delphi you could see some of the well preserved floors.

The Athenian Treasury
This is the Athenian Treasury which was dedicated after the victory over Xerxes. It was filled with treasure as offerings.

These carefully fitted stones are covered in Greek inscriptions

Here is the Greek writing that covers the stone wall

Vicki and I at the Temple of Apollo

This is a theatre in good condition.

This is a race track with s…

Greece 2006: Nafplia and Mycenae

This is our visit to Nafplia after Thermopylae. Click the picture below to see more.


While we stayed in Nafplia we visited Mycenae. Click the picture below to see more.


Greece 2006: Island of Naxos

This is a continuation of the trip Redington, Vicki, and I took to Greece this last summer. This series starts here.

After Napflia we took a ferry to where we spent the last half of the vacation the island of Naxos. The ferry was very slow and took about 6 hours. We named the ship HMS Plonky which is a British derogatory term for someone who is slow moving.
Naxos was a colony of Venice and later the Ottoman Empire. It was at one time considered a valuable Duchy. The architecture is a mix of Greek and Venetian.

Click on the photo below to see more.


Greece 2006: Delos and Mykonos

While on Naxos we took a day ferry trip to the islands of Delos and Mykonos. Delos was a sacred island in Ancient Greece as well as the center of the Athenian sponsored free trade Delian League. It operated in ancient Greece and into Roman times as a free trade port. Being the birthplace of Diana and Apollo nobody was allowed to be born or die there; with extra efforts taken to remove sick people or pregnant women fromthe island. Today it is an archaelogical park on which nobody is allowed to spend the night.

After Delos we then spent the afternoon on the touristy Mykonos island.

Delos and Mykonos

Click on the photo below to see more photos from Delos and Mykonos.


Move to Britain

After a hassled week of packing and moving I found myself at Portland Airport ready to depart to my new home in the UK. Here is my plane on the morning of Feb 17th. I felt surprising calm and not a little bit of excitement. When I started on my moving plans the excitement was mixed with good doses of fear as I began to cut my ties with home. Eventually though the excitement of being with Vicki and near Redington outweighed the uncertainty of a new job and home in a different part of the world. But it was still with great sadness as I leave my dad behind along with my old life.

The plans leading up to the move were complex as I had 5 weeks to prepare an international move, secure a work permit from the British government, get a work visa from the British consulate, and finish up my responsibilities at work. In the end everything happened exactly to schedule.

Bath is about 2 hours west of London along the M4. It is about 16 miles east of Bristol. Vicki and I live in her house on the west …

Snowshoeing on Mt Hood

This past week Vicki came out for a week long visit. This would no doubt be her last visit to Oregon for some time. We visited with some friends from Lattice the Kendricks and our previous boss Clement Lee and his wife Mary. Both evenings were really nice. They are all such great people.

This past sunday Vicki and I were invited by Keith Westrum, a friend at work who had arranged the Mt Adams climb last summer, to go snowshoeing on Mt Hood. We have had a lot of snow in the Cascades this year and it had been some time since I had been snowshoeing. Vicki had barely heard of snowshoeing.

So we drive out with some friends of Keith's (Glen and Christi and Brian). Hire some snowshoes and drive up to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood. The parking lot is at 6000ft. It was 25 degrees F and there was a 20 mph wind blowing. Fortunately Vicki and I brought warm enough clothes. In the parking lot the snow depth was apparent as seen below.

The snow was really deep!

We then strapped on the snowshoes and h…