The Bucket List, Minus 3

May 30 2011

Everyone has a bucket list of things they want to do before the die. Mine is mostly experiences that align my interests with locations and history. I am pretty good when I travel that if I am close to something that is on my bucket list, I find a way to do it. But never before have I been able to check off three things from the bucket list one a single day.

Item 1: Stonehenge - from inside the stone circle

Image:The Bucket List, Minus 3

I have been to Stonehenge before, back in 1988, but I always wanted to see it from close up. Thanks to Carl Tyler, he pointed out that anyone can if you sign up for the Stone Circle Access. This picture is from the center of the ring lining up with the summer stone. A great experience with less than twenty people. Sadly, we did not meet the man who legally changed his name to King Arthur Pendragon to protest the fences and charging for access to Stonehenge. The nice young security guard suggested he was a bit nutter ;)

Item 2: Oxford and to sit in the same place as Tolkien and C. S. Lewis
Image:The Bucket List, Minus 3

Most of readers of this blog know that I love the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, but I am a fan of all early fantasy writing. This includes C.S. Lewis and many others. It was always a dream to see Oxford and where both Tolkien and Lewis used to share a pint and discuss their work, history, and the news of the day. So when a stop at The Eagle and the Child was possible, it was done.
Image:The Bucket List, Minus 3

Above is the plaque marking The Inklings.
Image:The Bucket List, Minus 3

And what do you do at The Eagle and the Child? You have a pint and read ...

Item 3: The Ceremony of the Queens Keys at the Tower of London

While I have no picture of this (photography and mobile phones are not allowed), anyone who has read Patriot Games knows about this ceremony. As the Tower of London is locked up for the evening every night, a special ceremony, which has taken place for over 700 years, marks the importance of tradition. It was even more special to witness this on the US Memorial Day weekend.

Bucket List, minus three. Yet so much left to do.