Thursday, August 9, 2007

England: Bournemouth to London

England was the final leg of a long travel summer (100 days!). I really like England. That is where the majority of my ancestors came from and it feels a little bit like home; just with a funny accent and older buildings. There were two major stops in England. The first was Bournemouth on the southern coast. It is a charming place. One of the reasons for going to Bournemouth was Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein. That was the first book I had to read and analyze as a masters student and the University of Utah. It is a great romantic novel and I truly enjoyed reading it. Mary Shelley’s grave is in the church in Bournemouth. Not only is she buried there, but also her father and mother, who were both authors in their own right (especially her mother). But even more interesting is that her husband’s (Percy Shelley) heart may well be there as well. He died in Italy and was cremated, but the poet’s heart wouldn’t burn and a friend (Edward Trelawny) took the heart and eventually gave it to Mary who in turn took it with her to her grave. Talk about stealing your lover’s heart!

One of my other favorite places in Bournemouth is the Russell-Cotes Museum. It was built as a home for the Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes. They traveled a lot and collected as the traveled. They gave their house and all the art and treasures to the city and it is now a museum. The house and collection fulfilled my wildest dreams of being a turn of the century gentleman with the means to travel and collect. The house was simply amazing with always something more to see and another room to explore. I highly recommend it if you are in or around Bournemouth.

As for London... all I can say is that it is wonderfuling expensive, but worth every penny and pound! In fact, I would love to live in London! Here are some pictures.

Victoria and Albert Museum - glass work by Dale Chihuly

Platform 9 3/4 King's Cross - for all you fellow Harry Potter fans.

Buckingham Palace

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