Gloria tour gal, and driver Rob
On our way to Stonehenge and Salisbury. 9:30 am start on 10 January 2013.
Britains premier port is Southampton, since time past. Azura is another liner in port. Famous people have toured through here. And stayed in his lovely first class hotel (picture).
250,000 population. Old city walls, complete and where water used to come too. 700-800 years ago the kings wine was stored here. Defensive towers were built to protect royal belongings, like wool and wine and are all still intact. Wool was English gold, used for coats and cloth. Wool exported, and in trade for wine, spices.
Pilgrim fathers left from this port. Many ships were not sea worthy. This city has very proud maritime tradition. Many old buildings converted to luxury expensive apartments. Driving on the left side of the road..
Many people commute from here, the 70 miles by train to work in London. Lovely little red brick buildings. 700 islands in Britain and 180 are inhabited. We are on the biggest one now. 61 million inhabitants in Britain, and most dense country in Europe. 15 million live in Lomdon. 70 percent of land mass is countryside, only 12 percent with buildings on. Mainly agricultural in this area. Top third is industrial. Mid England, textile and pottery. Bottom 1/3 is lovely agricultural land and commuters to London. Few sheep, cows, pigs can be seen out the window, also grow grape seed and linseed used for oils..
Average earnings not high, 23,000 pounds gross income. Taxes off that starting at 25% tax. 40% for higher income and 45% if make over 120,000 pounds annually. Very affected by the economic times, many struggle and in the traditional British way, no one really talks about it.
We drive through forested areas that the Royals used for hunting in previous generations. This area is famous for all residents of the area to let their ponies graze and wander in the open farmland. Oak, ash, beech, elm trees are traditional in forest. Queen Elizabeth daughter of Henry 8, her gloves were made here: white leather, gold thread and adorned with jewels.
In the year 1066 King William the Conquerer changed all laws and rules forever in England. Originally he came from France and hunted deer in this forest. If others tried to do the same, the law cut off hands of those who hunted deer in this forest. 1000 years ago a king of England was murdered in this forest.
It takes about 10,000 oak trees to build a cathedral, and many were built here! Also used trees to build war ships. Now only 6% of land of forest remains.
Quant cottage style homes dot the landscape. Beautiful. Some thatched roofs, many with multiple chimneys out the roof. Scattered trees, as we near Salisbury where the land is mostly flat.