A three-month travel adventure that took me to 15 countries and nearly 30 cities ended safely Tuesday night at Spokane International Airport. I've had a wonderful summer, but I am delighted to be back home after traveling afar by trains, planes, buses and automobiles.
The summer adventure ended sweetly with a relaxing, long weekend with my nephew Shaun Graham and his family, who are living in Bradford-on-Avon, England, for the next two years.
I'll write a lengthier account about my travels for my blog after I've rested and settled into my daily routines. But for now I want to share my weekend experiences in England. On Saturday we visited legendary Stonehenge, surely one of the true wonders of any world. The prehistoric monument, built 5,000 years ago, is located in a remote area of Wiltshire, about 40 miles from Bath and eight miles north of Salisbury.
Stonehenge is a ring of standing stones, many weighing almost 25 tons. The site was built using simple tools and technologies. The massive weight of the project is mind boggling, especially when one considers how many humans must have been involved in the backbreaking work involved.
Later in the day, we visited the Salisbury Cathedral, a magnificent Anglican Church. The church construction began in 1215 and has endured the ravages of time quite well. The cathedral also hosts one of four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, which secured liberties of the elites but also protected due process and barred absolute monarchy in England. The document was written in Latin, so visitors like myself could only glance in awe at its historic nature.
For those interested in reading more about the Salisbury Cathedral, I heartily recommend Edward Rutherford's novel titled Sarum, his historical fiction published in 1987.
Sunday's highlight was all about soccer, known as football around most of the world. We had tickets to the Premier League match between West Brom and Stoke, the first exposure to world-class soccer for Shaun, his boys Landon and Nolan and myself. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but we had great fun. Meanwhile, Shaun's spouse, Jodi, took their daughter Hayden to see a performance of Annie in London. It was a win-win, by all accounts.
On Monday, we took a train from Bradford to Bath, home of the Roman baths, the Bath Abbey and the huge Royal Crescent, built in the 1760s as a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a crescent. The Anglican Abbey was founded in the seventh century, yet another reminder of how young the United States is in comparison.
Now that I'm home, I look forward to reviewing nearly 500 photos and a daily journal full of notes about my travels. As faithful readers of my blog may remember, l lost my cellphone eight weeks ago in Berlin. I had several hundred photos on that phone and it's painful to think of all the images that I lost. On the bright side, I learned to travel sans phone, truly a unique experience in today's high tech life.