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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Fan vaulting in Bath Abbey

Fan vaulting in Bath Abbey

Here’s a shot of the delicate fan vaulting in Bath Abbey. This is from our trip in 2002. Unfortunately we took way too much time at the Tourism bureau trying to arrange a B&B for that night.

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Do but look up

Do but look up

I’d been to Salisbury Cathedral more than once, but on our last visit we decided to talk with a tour guide. He stood right at the base of one of the major columns at the crossing and asked us to look up. The height of the view alone would be breath-taking; but the curvature of the columns makes it startlingly vertiginous. The weight of Salisbury’s spire exerts so much downward force that the columns actually bend. Some believe the tower to be the only surviving large one from before 1400 A.D. William Golding’s bleak novel The Spire is an imagined story of its creation.

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Gaffney cooling tower -- NYTimes

Gaffney cooling tower -- NYTimes

U.S. 29 Journal: More on Gaffney.

All right, my home town is famous for more than just the world’s largest water tower in the shape of a peach. It’s also the home of the world’s largest nuclear cooling tower that housed a major motion picture. Started but never finished in the 1970’s by Duke Energy (then Duke Power), the abandoned cooling tower became the set for underwater scenes in James Cameron’s The Abyss starring the estimable Ms. Mastrantonio, in 1989. (Wouldn’t it have been great if James Cameron had cast Andie McDowell in the part? She’s from Gaffney! Grew up around the corner from me!)

In recent years the growth of interest in nuclear power has led Duke to reopen the idea — of building the plant, that is, not remaking The Abyss — though not without some opposition.

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Port Isaac

Port Isaac

We’ve become fans of the English import series Doc Martin on PBS. If you liked Northern Exposure you may enjoy this fish-out-of-water series about a quirky doctor in a quirky village. If you didn’t like Northern Exposure you may find Doc Martin slightly less self-consciously precious. It’s filmed in the village of Port Isaac in Cornwall. We’ve never been there (or anywhere in Cornwall) but the location shots are very appealing.

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Van Gogh

Van Gogh

This imaginative look at Van Gogh’s paintings was made by students at Clemson University.

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the Peachoid

The Peachoid

The Peachoid

One of the great things about my home town of Gaffney, SC, is the Peachoid, a one-million gallon water tower in the shape of a peach. I took this picture at my high school reunion in 2004.

It used to be that no one knew where Gaffney was. Now everyone traveling I-85 between Atlanta and Charlotte, NC (a very busy road) knows Gaffney.

At one time Cherokee County produced more peaches than all of Georgia. It was shown in the Albert Brooks movie Lost in America; however, it was used to indicate their entering Georgia! Cretins.

As part of my blogging experiment, I created a blog about US 29, which I-85 essentially follows. 29 runs right through Gaffney, and my two sisters still live within a few miles of it, in South Carolina and in Virginia. One day we may take a road trip and follow 29 from Pensacola to Baltimore. Then we’ll complete the blog.

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Gite in Normandy: cat

Gite in Normandy: cat

Another of our France photos. This one from a gite in Normandy, from our 2005 trip.

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Montmartre 2002

Montmartre 2002

Montmartre, the steps leading to Sacre-Couer.

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LaSamaritaine

Samaritaine ironwork

The elaborate ironwork in this photo comes from the legendary Parisian department store, La Samaritaine, alas now closed.  (more…)

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