I dig the English and their mastery over the English Language. (They just call it “language.”) They often sculpt words into colorful sentences unlike any you will hear in Southern California…. Words like “brilliant,” “bloody,” and “bollocks” get strewn together in wonderful expressions of angst, exuberance, and sarcasm – I never fail to be impressed by even their most casual utterings. I recently enjoyed a brief stay in the UK during a three day layover (Almost 1/5th of a “fortnight.”) in the country just outside of London.
Known as Hanbury Manor, this Marriott property boasts 16th century roots, a fantastic golf club/course, heated towels (always a favorite), and undoubtedly several ghosts. I am no stranger to hotels – they are a necessary evil to my other profession as a corporate pilot, but most of my layovers take place in more traditional business-type inns. As we pulled up to the gravel parking lot in front of Hanbury Manor I knew my stay was going to be different than my usual overnight. Due to a wicked (but not unusual) case of jet lag I found myself wide awake at 4:30am. (To be completely honest, I was awake at 2, 3:15, 3:55, and 4:10. I just gave up at 4:30) As I lay in bed, trying to surf the web on my phone (16th century English manors have may positive attributes, but speedy wifi isn’t usually one of them) I saw some natural light starting to peek under my curtain. I got up, peered out the window and saw a beautiful site: early morning light illuminating rising fog on the moors. (Golf course actually, but I figured since I was in England it must be a moor. ) By this time I was wide awake so I grabbed my camera and headed outside in search of great light, still air, and perhaps a hobbit or two. I ended up playing that golf course later in the day; but for the next hour I walked around the grounds of our English countryside inn. Parts of the early morning stroll were magical. There were pheasants (not peasants) in my presence. (Sorry about that, couldn’t resist) The grounds were quite beautiful complete with walled gardens and a hedge maze. (Maybe not a maze – but it did feel a bit “Shining-esque.”) Our brief stay at the Hanbury Manor was a nice break from our usual urban layovers. I enjoyed the solo morning stroll with my camera most of all, and couldn’t resist dabbling with some HDR shots of the main building. (First 2 images.) I made it a point to utilize English vernacular in my conversation – I said “lift,” “cheers,” and “al-u-minium” so many times my crewmates rolled their eyes at me. I didn’t see any ghosts, but I haven’t really finished looking through all my image files – who knows, I may have captured one or two. Great stay. Cheerio!