Monday, November 18, 2013

Beaulieu Abbey and National Motor Museum

I have decided to continue writing my travel experience on a different blog called Just Jackie's Journey .  I want to keep this blog open for family stories.  So this will be the last travel post on this blog page.

Panorama of Beaulieu Abbey
After our day exploring Hever Castle and Chartwell we had a welcome reception at our hotel, Botley Park Hotel Southampton.  They called this a country style hotel which is a type of resort.  Our room looked out at the many golf carts lined up ready for a round of golf.

Outside our carts and parking lot.
 Our dinner was light, but ample and we finally had time to meet others on our tour.  We found out that there were a total of ten people from Ohio!  Others were from as far away as Thailand, Australia and Canada...and then various parts of the USA from Maine to Oklahoma, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania.  It was a fine evening but we all finally went to our rooms for some sleep.

The next morning we were greeted with another buffet...smaller than the one at Thistle Marble Arch...but plenty for a good breakfast.  I saw no eggs, so got cold cereal.  After we began eating we were served the traditional English breakfast.  It was way too much food, but I was able to find people at my table to eat the mushroom, sausage, bacon and tomato.

Then...we boarded the coach and had a beautiful drive through the woods and glades of the New Forest (which is really quite old).  It was established in 1079 by William the Conqueror as an area set aside for his hunting.  The area has such wildlife as deer, badger and foxes.  There are also ponies and cattle that have what is called a common right to graze on the pastures.  It reminded me of open range in western USA where there are no fences to keep cattle off the road. 

Ponies grazing by common right.

Soon we arrived at Beaulieu Abbey.  This was founded by the Cistercian Monks in 1204, but a lot of was destroyed during the reign of Henry the VIII.  There were three places to see here...The Abbey, the Palace House (home of Lord Montagu), and the National Motor Museum (Lord Montagu's collection of cars.)  We decided to check out the car museum first (me thinking that it would not take that long...I mean how long can you look at a bunch of cars?).  
Ah...but look what we saw...a Willy's Jeep from Toledo, OH!!!
Once in the museum I lost Ray...he happened to see that vehicles from James Bond movies were on display and headed there.  I spent time checking out the older cars, but decided to find Ray.  He was still in the Bond Display...eyes excited and snapping pictures from all angles.  He saw me and began telling me about how such and such a car was in such and such a movie....I did my best to dig up some excitement  to join his enthusiasm...but had to be satisfied with appreciating his.  I think I have seen one Bond movie...and not sure which one. (He just informed me that "Goldeneye" was the movie I saw.)  I surprised myself in that I became intrigued with all of these cars and we both lost track of time.  We would only have enough time to see The Abbey and not get to visit the Palace House. Here are just a few of his Bond pictures.
Aston Martin DBS from "Casino Royal"
Mustang Mach One from "Diamonds Are Forever"

Mercury Cougar from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
Parahawk from "The World Is Not Enough"

Crocodile Submarine from "Octopussy"  This one was interesting...but no way would I get inside.

Burial at Sea Bed from "You Only Live Twice"

Ray standing next to Rolls Royce from "Goldfinger

There are so many more car pictures...but I know I have probably posted too many...and there is still the Abbey to visit!  Beaulieu Abbey began in the 1200 as a gift from King John, and three hundred years later destroyed by King Henry the VIII. 

Beaulieu Abbey


Abbey church that had once been the Monk's refectory...the church was destroyed in the 16th century.

We knew we had not time to see the Palace House of Lord Montagu so we spent the rest of the time wandering the grounds.  We found a chestnut tree that had dropped hundreds of chestnuts...very much like our Ohio we collected a few to give to all of our fellow Buckeye travelers.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate to be late...and Ray is the we headed back to the coach, happy to find that there were only a few others there.  It was at this time that Ray and Bruce realized they needed some water and the supply on the bus was John (our tour director) and Ray went back to the café to get some.  There was still plenty of time.  John went to make sure that Ray would not have to pay to get past the gate.  Ray returned within minutes and soon after everyone had arrived except for John.  After quite a long time...he came running back concerned that he had lost Ray...then saw Ray and realized that Ray had gone out a different door at the café.  So John had been waiting the whole time.  Of course, Ray felt terrible and blamed himself for everyone having to wait for him.  The last thing we wanted was to be known as "that couple that is always late."
We boarded the bus and headed to our next destination: Salisbury.

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