First, we had a very enjoyable tour of Highclere Castle, the location of the fictional Downton Abbey castle of the popular TV series produced by the BBC. Martha and I were fans of the show and we had arranged this phase of our trip in the UK to fit with the tour reservations Martha managed to book earlier this year.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, for those of you who've not seen Downton Abbey....enjoy the architecture, then go see the series!
Oh, photography wasn't allowed indoors, but it was very cool to see the actual indoor set locations. They'd even posted large photos from the movie set so you could easily compare what you remembered from the series to the actual rooms they were shot in and which one was now standing.
We were the first ones to arrive, and lucked out with a brief
period of really nice and warm light shining on the castle.
Cedar Tree from Lebanon, planted years ago by one of the Earls.
Another lovely Cedar Tree
" Woman of the house! Where's me tea?"
Having refreshments after the tour in the "Coach House"
Spotted this angle of the tower from a window in the tea room.
Sorry for all the spots, they were caused by water spots on the glass.
The back portion of the castle
At the "Jackdaws Castle" Folly
Jackdaws Castle, one of several follies on the property.
After we left Highclere, it was a short ride to the small village of Yattendon and The Royal Oak Inn where we're staying tonight. Really cute village with a nice pub/inn and a general store across the street.
Here's where the real high mark of the day happened. Gary France and his lovely wife Jacquie drove down from north of London to come meet with us for dinner! Gary is a fellow moto-blogger which a great photographic eye and story-telling ability, he toured the USA on his custom painted Harley Davidson motorcycle "The Leading Ladies" back in 2010. http://www.garysfrance.com/
Gary also runs Tour1, an authorized Harley-Davidson motorcycle touring company. In fact, he's pretty much living the dream, guiding people on motorcycle tours and getting paid to do it! It's his company and business is good!
Jacquie, Gary, Martha and yours truly
Hey Gary, I wondered why you were holding the iPhone at an angle when shooting the last picture above. It does work though, I get it. Thanks again for driving all the way to Yattendon to meet with us!