Getting oriented to the Bournmouth area

Trip Start May 04, 2007
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Trip End May 21, 2007


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Sunday, May 6, 2007

As I begin day 2 in the UK, I have almost adjusted to the 6-hour time difference, but getting up this morning was still a challenge.   Today began with a full English breakfast in the hotel (over easy eggs, beans, tomatoes, sausages on the buffet).  As we prepared to leave for the day, we checked in on the internet (see pictures!); we have found our hotel near the college to be quite convenient, as we are able to access the internet in the lobby. 



As you can see, I took a picture of the Bournemouth & Poole College (Landsdowne centre), some local creatures, and some hotels in the area before we began our outing for the day. 




We then decided to walk around the area, which resulted in an approximately 8-mile walking trip around the city. We first went to Boscombe pier (at the far east end of the city), traveling through Boscombe gardens along the way (an amusement park and green space). 

 

I took a brief video clip of some enthusiastic folks playing in the ocean on this chilly day! There were even surfing lessons going on!






 It was windy and misting out, but the dramatic coastline and flora in the parks were worth the walk.  Especially gorgeous were the rhododendrons, which do not really grow well in our area (except for azaleas); they are gorgeous and it seems that spring has recently arrived in this area.





We then walked down Christchurch road for several miles and had tea at the "Cosy Teapot" (tea included Dorset area clotted cream and scones). 




The architectural details along the way were very interesting, including some buildings that appear to date from the 17th century (some with gargoyles). 

 


I was impressed by the appearance of a nursing home in the area, certainly quite regal looking.














We meandered through Kings Park and saw a cricket game in progress; I must confess that I still don't understand the rules of this game, but it was interesting to watch a bit of it.









As we made our way through the park, we saw a cemetery nearby and we spent a considerable amount of time exploring that area; we saw a dedicated Jewish section and a section for World War I veterans.
 


  While returning home before dinner, we felt obligated to get a shot of ourselves in a traditional English phone booth!




We ended the evening with dinner in the Bournemouth town centre at Yates restaurant; it was quite crowded as there was an important football (soccer) game going on. The restaurant was so crowded indoors that we took a seat on the outside deck.

While on our outing today, we encountered some mysteries that we were not able to answer until we returned to our trusty "google" access.  While at the cemetery, we were unable to figure out an unusual symbol that looked like a dollar sign with 2 additional vertical lines through the sides.  

I did decipher that the symbol was 3 letters overlapping, "IHS" and we subsequently saw these on other headstones, but could only guess at what the initials meant.  After returning to the hotel this evening, mystery solved: 
http://cemeteries.wordpress.com/2006/10/02/dollar-sign-ihs/
 
We also were confused by the fact that "chine" appeared in the names of several areas/restaurants; I had thought that this was a reference to the French word for Chinese, but later discovered that this was meant as a descriptor for the landscape of the surrounding area (which was certainly appropriate): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chine
 
Tomorrow we hope to find the gravesite of Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) which is near the town center (St. Peters graveyard). We will be having a dinner with a Bournemouth & Poole faculty member in the evening and look forward to beginning our activities at the college.
 
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