Day 2

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

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

This morning we had a full English breakfast (eggs,  bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, toast) at the hotel. I passed on the beans and tomatoes. The bacon here is not the typical bacon you get back home. It's like very thin pork steak or perhaps Canadian bacon but larger than what you get on your pizza. The sausage are good but not spicy like the sausage you get back home... more meaty. The eggs aren't quite as "cooked" as I'd like them but they were good none the less. I also had tea which is more popular than coffee.

At breakfast the 3 of us discussed what to do for the day. We considered taking a train into London but the prices were a bit high (perhaps because it's a bank holiday weekend). We also considered going to Portsmouth but decided against it because of the duration of the trip (3 or so hours one way). In the end we decided on walking around Bournemouth and take in the sites.

We walked down Christchurch St. heading toward a tea shop that Matt was interested in visiting a restaurant named The Cozy Teapot. As I walked I took pictures of churches, Tudor-style homes and interesting advertising. We walked to Boscombe and discovered Boscombe Gardens... a family park with miniature golf, a cafe, soccer pitch, and quite an extensive walking trail. There were even some carved and painted totem poles although I'm not sure what they have to do with English culture (LOL).

As we walked down the paths we discovered the Gardens led to the beach and to Boscombe Pier. At this point the weather was overcast and started to drizzle. Not the best beach weather. We went down to the beach and walked in the sand. I decided to take my shoes off and touch the ocean. There wasn't the crowd of people in the water like there was Saturday (much cooler temperatures) but there were some crazy teenage boys jumping in anyway...

We walked back up through Boscombe Gardens and headed back down Christchurch St. through the shopping district. The map we used said The Cozy Teapot was 3 miles and some change. We got there about noon time and had "Traditional Cream Tea - with scones and Dorset clotted cream".

I tried the Vanilla Cream Tea and really enjoyed it. Matt has Indian Spice Chai and Tory tried English Strawberry. The Cozy Teapot was very small, a local establishment with a very friendly wait staff. Our waitress, Holly, was lovely and gave us brochures with the story of the restaurant to keep as souvenirs.

We left The Cozy Teapot and headed back up Christchurch St. to King's Park. One of the first places we encountered was a cemetery with a Jewish section and synagogue. We had seen several Jewish men walking around the streets of Bournemouth so I was quite intrigued to see a special section in the cemetery for the Jewish community. All of the headstones were written in Hebrew and then in English. Many of the headstones were from the 30's. We found a few headstones of service men who died in their early 20's.

As we walked through the cemetery we found many headstones with crosses with Celtic knots and carvings and another section dedicated to the service men who died in the Great War. All the headstones (except a small hand full) were the same size and listed the service man's number, rank, date of death, and what division of the service he was in.

Each of the headstones had a crest of the country or shire he served in. Some of the headstones listed the age the man was when he died. Most of the headstones were for deaths in 1918 and 1919. Quite a few had the same date of September 25, 1918. One in particular was a Captain who did a few years later from "wounds he sustained on September 25th, 1918 at the Battle of Loos". Others were dated in 1940 as deaths.

We were all intrigues with what we read on the headstones. We even encountered a large erected headstone for a Cumberland Clark which claimed he was a poet, historian, and dramatist who was born in 1852 and died in 1941. I hadn't heard of him so I googled him and discovered that King's College in London has some lectures of Cumberland Clark's about Shakespeare in their archives. Another reference has him listed in writing "Shakespeare Supernatural". I didn't find anything about his drama background.

In many of the headstones that were crosses where the initials IHS. On some there was an symbol of an S with 3 vertical lines going through the S with the middle line longer and forming a cross above the S. We saw so many of these symbols and couldn't figure out what they meant by reading the headstones. I was so intrigued with the symbol that I looked it up on an alternative religion website (after seeing it carved on the nave of a Church of England church on the way back from King's Park). This is what the website had to say...

"The IHS is a symbolic monogram of Christ used by the Roman Catholic Church. This monogram consists of the Greek letters iota, eta, and sigma, the first three letters of the name Iesous (Greek for Jesus), the letters of which are also used to spell out the phrase "Iesous Hominum Salvator," "Jesus, savior of man." It relates to the story of Constantine, whose vision of the Chi-Rho was recorded by Church Father Eusebius. In the vision, Constantine was reported to have heard a voice proclaim, "In this symbol, thouse shalt conquer." Therefore, the IHS has also stood for "In Hoc Signo," in this sign."

The website also showed similar symbols like the S with 2 vertical lines and a cross like I mentioned above. This symbol is a more "combined" symbol. The 2 vertical lines over the "S" represent the "H" and the cross in the middle represents the "I".

He left the cemetery and continued on through King's Park. We stopped an watched a cricket match for a while... trying to figure out how the game was played. Quite a puzzle there. I'll have to do some more research on that. I don't know if google will be able to help me out with this one! LOL

We left King's Cross and came across St. John's, Boscombe church. (This is the church where we saw the IHS symbol on the nave and where we were convinced it was a religious symbol.) The church was locked up so we weren't able to go in. I wonder if a Church of England looks the same as a Catholic church on the inside? The outside looks similar. It even had "spitting" gargoyles on the flying buttresses.

We walked back to the hotel taking another route from before. We stopped in to freshen up before heading out for a bite to eat. Other than the tea and scones we hadn't eaten since breakfast and calculated we'd walked about 8 miles. We were all pretty hungry. We walked down to the Towne Center and had lots of options to pick from. We found a Turkish restaurant called Camel which was closed but had big puffy satin cushions to sit on and ceramic Turkish pipes on each table. We're definitely going to try back later this week. The place was completely unique and offered belly dancing classes (no photos... I promise!). There were lots of Indian choices, a few Chinese, and even a Nepalese restaurant. We decided to go with English traditional and went to Yate's Beer Garden.
The Arsenal vs. Chelsea football (soccer for Americans) was on so the place was pretty packed. We went inside and ordered at the bar and the food came out to the beer garden where we decided to sit. The establishment is 2 story and has a fairly large outdoor sitting area. The food was pretty good. I had a brie, bacon, and mango chutney panini with chips (steak fries).

We left Yate's and started to head back when we say a large group of woman dressed as construction workers head into Walkabout, an Australian pub. We decided to investigate. We went inside and discovered from one of the woman that they were dressed as Bob the Builder for a "hen night" which is a bachlorette party. We stayed for awhile to see a rugby match on the big screen TV. The names of the teams were obstructed from view so I couldn't tell you who was playing.
I don't know much about rugby except you can run with the ball, throw the ball, kick the ball, and you get 5 tackles. I have absolutely know idea how the scoring is done. I can tell you the team in black won but where they were from...

It's getting late and we've got another day of site-seeing tomorrow. We've got a few places on our agenda but I'll wait till tomorrow to tell you all about it. Until then...
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