Originally intended as a small book, “Glimpses: In which a Casual Traveler Ruminates on Passing Scenes—1989-2011″, I should like to share it with my readers in a more informal manner as a series of Blogs.
England: Hinton-St. George: Visited with the Cannings (Jo and Rick), a hardy couple that seemed to love taking us to “sights” — Winchester, Bath, Avebury (a miniature Stonehenge, which we visited at a later time when we were off on our own), etc. They had their hiking shoes stashed permanently in the “boot” of their car, ready at a moment’s notice to hop out to show us something (most often something up some hill, until I blurted out — when I caught my breath — “Don’t you have any downhill sites?”). Spent an afternoon with Jo Canning’s parents who lived nearby; they took us to lunch where we had the most delicious bread-pudding we’d ever tasted. Later, they took us to a small church to show us its stain-glass windows and told us one of the most charming “WWII” stories about them. Seems a German pilot had been shot down and held prisoner on a local farm. Pleased with how good the townspeople had treated him, he promised that if he ever got back home, he’d have his father — an accomplished worker in stained-glass — send them a window for their church after the war. More than good to his word, the townsfolk were delighted when, not one, but six beautiful windows arrived some time after the war ended — all of which still grace their charming little church.
USA: Ellis Island: It was the wicker traveling “trunks” that got to me. Imagine placing your valuables in such a fragile container and striking out on a voyage to a new country! What faith our forebears must have had in the promise of America!
Europe: I’m referring to the whole European scene here: In pretty nearly every country in Europe we were constantly coming across remains and footsteps of the Roman Empire — walls, roads, buildings, artifacts, ruins, traces, sites, amphitheaters, etc.,, etc., etc.
Amazing to see and learn of just how far the Empire extended its footprint (and left it!) almost all over the continent. Better than in any book or classroom, a vast sense of history is there for the curious onlooker! Wow!