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taking the steam train...

Monday, July 11, 2016
...on Monday to Dartmouth. It's pretty obvious now, but at the time, it did not occur to me to think that going to Dartmouth means to make a trip to the Mouth of the river Dart. It was very scenic. A steam engine pulling several cars of tourists through the lush, green English countryside. Passing through several tunnels, under a number of roads (often referred to as 'carriageways'), along the waterway, to the south of the country.   The train unloaded at the Dartmouth station, where we had to take a quick ferry across the river to get into town.

A quaint little village, hundreds of years old. With homes built on a steep hillside, dozens of old stone houses with slate roofing, leading down to the water's edge, where commercial district is located. And a multitude of boats of all sizes, tied up in rows in the river, and along the docks.We had lunch bought at a little French patisserie. I was told the mouth of the river has been historically chained off over the centuries to prevent enemy entrance in times of war.

Beautiful wildflowers blooming everywhere. Things that we would normally see growing prolifically on the right of way here, and things that are apparently native to the area. Lots of Queen Anne's Lace, which is very common in the US. And something really pretty, with a bloom shape comparable to verbena, but growing more upright. It was pink, and finally identified as Valerian. Something that I suspect could easily get out of hand, and quickly revert from pretty wildflower to nusiance weed. Oh, and the gloriously blooming hydrangeas... wow!

The weather was misty, moist-y and somewhat overcast. But like Florida, quickly changing from damp and dreary to clear and bright. Pretty and sunny in the afternoon, when I had some time to sit down and write all those postcards. I depended on my travel companions for figuring out the funds, keeping up with our cash when we exchanged US dollars for English pounds. The postage was a bit higher than the cost of stamps here, but the compulsive correspondent was compelled to generate mail. Knowing I would likely get back to the US before the cards were delivered. As is the nature of 'having-a-wonderful-time-wish-you-were-here' missives, mailed from  exotic locales.

Monday, Independence Day, July 4, 2016

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