The church at Tintern Abbey, Wales
I came back from England on Wednesday night. I arrived home at 8:00 P.M., which was 1:00 a.m. there. I've been slowly getting back into my usual activities, but falling asleep early every night. It's not the jet lag I felt after the trip to Australia this winter, but I realize I'm still not quite on schedule. As a result, poor Buttercupland has been sadly neglected. I did one post on my iPad, but the four lines took almost an hour, as it kept freezing and closing. There was something -- or a number of things -- memorable every day and I've been pondering where to begin. My thought was to go chronologically, but instead I'm going to pick a few favorite places and write about them.
Perhaps because it was a totally unexpected stop on my itinerary, Tintern Abbey, made one of the largest impressions. In a little known fact about Buttercup, I am a great fan of the English Romantic Poets, including William Wordsworth. I'm not a poet and I'm not a particularly adept analyst of poetry, but I enjoy reading poetry very much. I've read Wordsworth's "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" many times. I loved the idea of going there, but figured it was too out of the way. The sweet friends I visited lived less than two hours from the border of England and Wales and Tintern Abbey. They suggested it as a day trip, not knowing that it was a dream trip for me. On a bright and beautiful Saturday morning we went to Tintern Abbey.
Tintern Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey, founded in the twelfth century. It wasn't an especially large or politically important abbey, as it was set in a remote part of Wales. It functioned for four hundred years, until the monasteries were dissolved by King Henry VIII. The abbey buildings fell into disrepair and in Wordsworth's time -- the poem was written in 1798 -- it became fashionable to visit areas that were "wilder," including the ivy-covered abbey in the Wye Valley.
A detail of the Church window
We had a perfect day visiting the abbey. There were no tour buses and it wasn't crowded. We followed our visit with lunch -- Welsh rarebit -- and then a trip to Gloucester, which will be the topic of a post this week.
I cannot begin to thank my wonderful host, Sybil, who I "met" via blogging early on in the first days of Buttercupland. Sybil no longer blogs -- Alas! -- but we've kept up on Facebook through the years. Sybil was kind, thoughtful, an extraordinary guide to the area and a lot of fun. Dear Sybil, hugs and thanks!
I'm joining in the Pink Saturday fun. If you have the opportunity please stop by and visit with the great group of bloggers there.
As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a great week!