Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dartmouth, England

On the cruise-ship Ocean Princess we traveled through the night, sailing 129 miles from St. Peter's Port, Guernsey to arrive in Dartmouth, England in the early morning hours.  We begin our third day looking forward to seeing more of charming, beautiful England.

The ship anchored out a good distance from shore while "tenders" were again used to very efficiently transport passengers into the beautiful town of Dartmouth.

Dartmouth is a town in the English county of Devon and sits on England's southwest coast.  They enjoy moderate weather conditions with an average of 66 degrees in the Summer and an average of 48 degrees in the Winter.

The port of Dartmuth was used as the sailing point for the Crusades from 1147 until 1190.  The city was officially incorporated in the year 1342.

Dartmouth's frequent rains and fertile soils have created a lush, 
green picture-book countryside with rolling hills,  as seen in the below photo.

Dartmouth, England

The Pilgrims put in at Dartmouth's port, in route from Southampton, England  to America.  They rested here and waited for ship repairs before setting off again on their journey in the Mayflower and the Speedwell on August 20 1620.  The Speedwell was forced to turn back because of severe leaks.  The Mayflower continued on crossing to Cape Cod, USA. 

Some of the locals giving arriving guests a warm welcome.

An amazing amount of sailboats in port.

We were scheduled to ride the local Steam Train along the scenic Devon coast on our way to Paignton which is the home of Buckfast Abbey which is an active Roman Catholic community of Benedictine Monks.

Our Steam Train with vintage old seats took off and we enjoyed the interesting countryside as we traveled along.

As our train left the station our guide told us to look up on the hill to see a huge building which was the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.  She continued with the story that when Queen Elizabeth was 13 years old in 1939, she and her sister and parents visited the College for a tour.  Someone by the name of Philip was chosen to escort them around.  The story continues that Elizabeth fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters.  In 1946 Philip asked the King for  his daughter's hand in marriage.   And, we all know the rest of the story.   How very sweet!

Passing an English neighborhood.

Passing by lots of folks out on a beach.

Passing by a pretty English home.  Love all those windows.

Passing by what looks like apartments.  This building reminds me of the movie "Mary Poppins" with all those chimneys.

Passing by beautiful, rolling countryside.

Someone told us the lighter colored sections of farmland is barley growing in the fields.

I love this pretty little Methodist Church with the beautiful hydrangeas growing out front.

Arriving at Buckfast Abby which was founded nearly a thousand years ago and stood for five hundred years before it was closed by King Henry VIII.  Monks returned in 1882 and rebuilt Buckfast Abby finishing the church in 1938.

Today Buckfast Abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks who lead a life dedicated to prayer, worship, work and hospitality and they attract and welcome thousands of visitors from around the world.

Such beautiful wordworking.

Even this beautiful cross was carved from wood.

The Abby is self-supporting with a farm where vegetables are grown and bees, pigs and cattle are kept.  Their Monastic Produce Shop has one of the most extraordinary collections of gifts made by nuns and monks from across Europe.  Select books, soaps, honey, fudge, cosmetics, jams, biscuits, wines, candles, linens and devotional goods are available in their shop.

The monks themselves created this beautiful stained glass window in a side chapel of the church.  For
over 50 years the monks have designed and produced stained glass windows for over 150 different churches.

Pretty flowers outside in the Sensory Garden.

A lovely statue in the garden.

More flowers out in the side gardens.

This time we are traveling on a tour bus back to Dartmouth.  Again I snapped photos along the way while traveling on a bumpy vehicle.  I love this beautiful green lush countryside of England.  It is as I always pictured it to be.

I love the simplicity of design of many of the buildings in England.

I imagine these are old country farm-houses have been here for many years.

 I loved the beautiful, colorful flowers we saw just about everywhere.

 Arriving back in Dartmouth.

My husband and I found a wonderful old English Sandwich Shop as we walked along the streets of Dartmouth. While enjoying our delicious sandwiches the folks sitting next to us in the restaurant were very friendly.   They were locals and had lived here all their lives.  It was a pleasure to talk to real Englishmen.  I could listen to them talk all day with that beautiful English accent .... So completely charming!

How could I have forgotten to take a picture of that restaurant!  Too hungry to think about it I guess.

 More beautiful English buildings with the interesting fireplace chimneys.  Also, we saw a lot of very small cars on the road similar to that little red car in the below photo.

 This was a nice little museum with a collection of costumes, 
swords, ships-in-bottles and vintage toys.

 Again, the below building is so "English" looking with all those beautiful flowers.

 One of the most famous residents in Dartmouth was Agatha Christie.  She lived at Greenway which is a 34-acre estate down the Darth River in Dartmouth.  Our day did not allow any more time for sight-seeing and we were unable to visit what surely must be a beautiful estate.

The last "tender" was scheduled to leave at 4:00 PM and the ship was due to sail shortly after.

There we go pulling away from the Dartmouth Port, the same port the Mayflower visited so many years ago.   It was so peaceful to move along heading back out into the English Channel saying good-by to Dartmouth, England.

From the balcony of the ship we move along through the peaceful waters traveling this time on toward our next adventure and the town of Waterford, Ireland

Thanks for coming along with us to the charming English town of Dartmouth.  Hope you will join us next time as we begin our next adventure.

Wishing you a very special end of your week and a very nice Labor Day Weekend wherever you may be.

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