Monday, October 15, 2007

A Visit Down South of Titanic Proportions

Sarah and I ventured south to the English coastal region of Hampshire last weekend. This is the land of thatched roof cottages, the breed of hog that bears the area's name, and that mythical kingdom known as Camelot. We had gone there to meet up with some friends from Los Angeles who were spending a couple of days in London, before boarding a Eurostar train destined for Brussels.

We had the pleasure of playing tour guide to Maria and Chris as we drove them around the Salisbury Plain, showing them sites both picturesque and historic in nature. The ancient Druid rock formations of Stonehenge, the grand cathedral in the market town of Winchester, plus King Arthur's alleged roundtable (which is on permanent display in Winchester's Guild Hall), were but a few of the stops on our weekend itinerary that were dutifully captured with my camera.

My better-half and I also made a special journey of our own; one that I have been wanting to do for many years. After registerring into our B&B, the two of us drove to the bustling seaport town of Southampton, with our final destination being the Gate 4 entrance to Ocean Dock. On the tenth day of April, in the year of 1912, a very grand ship bearing the name of Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage from this very dock. A small monument has been erected here in memory of the officers, crew, and passengers who lost their lives five days later. South Western House, the hotel where many of the ship's First Class passengers spent the night prior to the following day's voyage, still stands proudly across the street from the pier; its many windows gazing out across the River Test toward the English Channel and the sea.

Chaucer wrote of pilgrims from this very land, journeying to the cathedral town of Canterbury. A pilgrimage of an entirely different sort was successfully accomplished by this photographer, and it was definitely worth the wait.

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