“Pic of the Week”, February 13, 2015: Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace

UK 26 – London – Buckingham Palace – Changing of Guard 2

There’s so many fascinating and historic things to see and do in London, it’s hard to prioritize them.  But I’d put watching this event towards the top of the list, as the changing of the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace is worth seeing if you’re in the city a few days.

Many countries have a “Changing the Guard” ceremony, but England’s is the most elaborate I’ve ever seen.  It is a ritual involving a new guard guard exchanging duty with the old guard.  There are several regiments involved in the ritual, and the interested reader is refered to the British Monarchy website for more detailed information.

The ceremony occurs most days between around 11 am and noon.  Check the…

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“Pic of the Week”, January 2, 2015: Chester, England

UK 176 – Chester – Half-timbered houses

The city of Chester in England has a history going back thousands of years.  It was an important garrison outpost of the Roman Empire and many Roman ruins are found in and around the city.  One of the reasons the Romans found the city appealing was because of its salt deposits.  Salt was important because it was rare and used to preserve and flavor food.  The world “salary” is derived from “salt” because Roman soldiers were paid, at least in part, with this valuable mineral.

What I remember most about the town, though, are its half-timbered homes.  Dozens and dozens of them, beautiful and elegant, usually white-washed with dark timbers like those seen in this photo.  Hundreds of years old, but …

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