Friday, July 27, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I'd never ridden in The Eye before which was something we did on this trip. All I can say is England should have absolutely no national debt because of this thing! There was a huge line both when we got on and got off and it was $20 a crack to ride. It was worth the price of admission though. The wheel never ever stops, it just slowly goes around. There is a security check when you get to the front of the line and they bunch you into groups of about 20 or so. Then they herd your group up to this large platform ramp thing and the pod comes along, the doors open and a group steps out, staff step in with mirrors to security check the pod, and then your group steps in--all while the wheel is moving. The pods were air conditioned and it was an awesome view of the city. You can see Big Ben in the lower right hand corner of the photo. The Eye is right across the river from Parliament.
Dover castle and the WWII tunnels. Dover has always been a significant location as a fortress and military outpost. The castle was interesting with it's intact buildings and walls and mock ups of medieval living, but I enjoyed the WWII tunnels the most. This was the sight of the historic Dunkirk evacuations, aka Operation Dynamo. Hundreds of thousands of allied troops were isolated and surrounded without supplies or transport on the beaches of Dunkirk. The Germans were bombing any and all rescue attempts and the Allies couldn't risk their large hardware. In the end, civilian fisherman and merchant boats rescued thousands and thousands of troops and brought them back to Dover. They were blessed with both calm weather and German inactivity for a few days and got the job done. We toured the tunnel that served as command center for the mission as well as a hospital tunnel. The tunnels were dug and used before WWII during the Napoleonic wars and used after WWII in the 1960's as a Cold War regional seat of government. The weather was rainy and cloudy when we were there so we were unable to see France. We did get to see a bit of the White Cliffs of Dover.
Loop which was quite easy to find. We rode the Northern tube line to the Angel stop and then followed the signs about a block to the Camden Passage and there it was.
My mother Queen Elizabeth III planned yet another great trip!
Monday, July 16, 2012
My brudekrone arrived in the mail 2 weeks ago! I have always dreamt of a Norwegian wedding crown ever since I was a little girl. We are not having a traditional Norwegian wedding by any means but I do want to have some Norwegian and Czech traditional elements present on our day. Norwegian bunads, or traditional costumes, have delicate jewelery distinct to each of the 19 counties in Norway. This jewelery is called solje and is made of silver or gold with dangling "spoons" of gold or silver. Solje is beautiful and handmade but it is also very expensive. There are a few Scandinavian gift shops that will rent out their crowns for weddings but for some crazy reason, I thought I'd be able to own one. I regularly checked eBay and didn't find anything. I did come across a few museum caliber antique crowns in Norwegian auction catalogs but it seems the only place to get a non-antique crown is ordering one from a solje goldsmith. I contacted one such goldsmith in Norway and to purchase and ship a new crown to the US would cost over $2,000! That is just a little outside my budget.
Karen! I found a woman on Etsy who was selling solje jewelery. At first glance, I thought this woman clearly didn't know what she had because she was selling brooches that should cost well over $200 for $40. Upon closer inspection, I learned she MADE the jewelery out of silver plate components. I contacted her and sent her pictures of the rental crown from Ingebretsen's and asked if she'd ever made something similar. She spent a weekend looking around for different components and agreed to take on this project.
Viking Magazine but until then I will tell anyone who will listen about the beautiful crown she made for my wedding. Thank you again Karen!