Ira's Visit to the UK and France

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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:06 AM
  #1
ira
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Ira's Visit to the UK and France

Hi all,

We have just returned from 3 wks in Scotland, Wales and England and a week in France.

Except for an upper respiratory infection that pursued us almost the whole trip, it was great.

Lowlight of the trip: Opel Corsa from Europcar; noisy, bumpy, gas guzzler.

Highlight of the trip:

Visit to Highgrove, the home of The POW and the Duchess of Cornwall. (http://www.highgrovegardens.com/)

We found this to be a charming, quiet, well-guided, informative visit to a well-planned, very nicely landscaped home. It is the sort of place that one would be happy to have for oneself - if one really liked gardening.

However, what really made this visit the highpoint of our month abroad was our interaction with the Staff.

My Lady Wife, always certain that I will drive the car into a ditch, or that the GPS will lead us far astray, insisted that we must leave 1 hr ahead for a 30 min drive.

Despite my best efforts to delay, and some strange driving about in circles by the TomTom, we arrived 15 min early.

Highgrove isn't very large, so that tours must be carefully timed.

After he had checked our tickets and ID, a very nice police officer asked us to wait for a while. During the next 15 min, we engaged in desultory conversation regarding various this's and thats's, including how the GPS had managed to make a straightforward drive somewhat erratic.

We where invited to proceed to the parking lot.

As you approach the lot, a large arrow points to the parking area, and various people help direct you to your exact spot.

All very good.

We toured the gardens (Well worth the price of admission), had lunch at the tea shop (not bad), purchased several souveniers, loaded the car and headed back to Bibury.

I slowly retraced our path up to the point at which had entered the car park. The GPS said "Go left", and the screen showed an arrow pointing left.

So I went left, even though both of us thought that we had come in from the right.

Sure enough, we were on the path to the house, not to the main road.

Not wishing to intrude on anyone's privacy, I slowly and quietly drove around the entrance and headed back they way I had come.

Here came the friendly policeman double timing it up the path.

We had set off the intruder alarms and rousted out the dozen or so guards in our area. Fortunately, since we had spent some time with him, the officer immediately identified us (AS what, he didn't say) and everyone stood down.

We were escorted out, so that we wouldn't get lost again.

More to come:

ira is online now  
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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:08 AM
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marking for later digest!
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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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And they didn't even surround your car with GUNS drawn!!!!

Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure and cannot wait to hear more.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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"And they didn't even surround your car with GUNS drawn"

The police visible at Highgrove do not carry arms. There may well be an entire SAS detachment, armed with mini-nukes, hiding behind the shrubbery: but it is a grave breach of etiquette to allow guns - even the finest Holland & Holland sporting rifles - to be seen in a Cotswold garden.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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Ira,

In the future leave a space between the URL and the closing parenthesis, otherwise the latter is included and the page cannot be found.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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t
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Oct 4th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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"But officer, the TomTom said to turn left!"

"Tell it to the judge."
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Oct 4th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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tod
 
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Hello Ira, my goodness it's been a very long tome since I replied to one of your fab posts.
So nice to hear you and your Lady are still jaunting around Europe!
Can't wait to hear if you were ensconsed in the Hotel Bonaparte for the .......50th time??
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Oct 4th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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on for the ride,
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Oct 4th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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Wonderful storyteller Ira.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Topping to follow a TR that I am confident will be splendid!
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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ttt
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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BTW, I note something odd about Highgrove. Just try to find it on Google Maps. I tried to follow the directions on the web page and located Doughton, the nearest place mentioned, but there is nothing on the imagery that looks like the gardens. I suppose it is one of those sites that have been expunged from Google for security reasons.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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Oh, fun, Ira. I didn't know you could tour the gardens.

Luckily security already had you pegged as a harmless though bungling Yank.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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An auspicious beginning! Can't wait for more.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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As always, you tell a good story, Ira! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Like your style Ira and looking forward to more.
Cheers!
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Oct 4th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Ira, really looking forward to hearing more. Just love your trip reports. Continue please....
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Oct 4th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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"there is nothing on the imagery that looks like the gardens."

Google Maps doesn't identify private houses. There's no doctoring in the "satellite" or the "map" view of Highgrove, or in the Street View of the A433 running outside: it's exactly as accurate as the views of any other substantial private residence.

The garden at Highgrove is perfectly visible on satellite view, in exactly the same detail as the satellite view of Flanneruk Towers.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 09:39 PM
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>> in exactly the same detail as the satellite view of Flanneruk Towers.<<

When might we expect the State Opening? I'd imagine there are a fair few Fodorites who'd divvy up for a tour.....
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