Part 2 of the Adventures in Germany

Hello Everyone, and Happy Sunday!

I apologize for the delay in posts…  just got a little behind.
Anyway, here we go:

When we last left off, I was in Munich, Germany for Schmuck – Jewellery Week.  Wearing the wrong shoes for walking but hanging out with some amazingly awesome friends from the states and seeing some inspiring jewelry work.  The trip so far has been pretty intense, one thing after another, after another, etc.  My last 2 days however, are a little more relaxed and full of exploration mixed with a little surprise.  Let’s find out what happens shall we:

Day 4: March 15th, 2015 – CASTLE TOUR!!!
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, venturing out of the city center to see Neuschwanstein Castle.  Perched atop the hillside above the village of Hohenschwangau, just outside Füssen, Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  Slightly ironic, but Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid… – let’s do a side by side comparison)

Yeah, I think Neuschwanstein might have had something to do with the castle… Anyway, this nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace was never finished.  Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria to be used as his private hideaway, however building stopped abruptly after his sudden death in 1886 (found dead in a nearby lake with his doctor – if I’m not mistaken).  A lover or art, architecture and music, Ludwig II was a colossal fan and patron of the composer Robert Wagner – the interior architecture of Neuschwanstein depicts scenes from many of Wagner’s operas.  I go on about Ludwig II (“the Swan King”), but how about we see some pictures from the castle:

After the castle tour, Jim, Yoko and I made our way back to Munich (via train).  Taking a leisurely stole through the park, we landed at Park Cafe for dinner…  and left with a hefty mug (shh). After dinner, Yoko and Jim walked me to my new hotel around the corner from theirs.  They were heading home in the morning, and I get to explore a bit of Munich tomorrow on my own!

Day 5: Monday March 16th, 2015 – Another Ludwig II creation (well, adaptation)! – with a surprise on the side…
Munich Residenz Palace – the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs.  And this place is huge, a complex of buildings containing ten courtyards and displays 130 rooms, it’s the largest city palace in Germany according to Wikipedia.  The palace even has a theater (Cuvilliés Theatre), and a concert hall.  A large portion of the Munich Residenz was built by Ludwig I, including his state apartments, and extend the palace.  The winter gardens designed and constructed on the rood of one of the palace buildings, was commissioned by his son, Ludwig II (same guy from Neuschwanstein Castle).  It sadly was dismantled due to a leaky lake…  on the roof… but supposedly included “a grotto, a Moorish kiosk, an Indian royal tent, an artificially illuminated rainbow and intermittent moonlight.” What a wonder it would have been to see that.
The palace complex itself was pretty impressive though. A weird mix of styles, and kind of bare in “stuff” however that is most likely due to the heavy bombing it faced during World War II when it was almost completely destroyed.  Here are some of my photos from Munich Residenz Palace, enjoy:

I wandered about within the Munich Residenz for hours… it was lovely, and for most of the time, I wandered alone through the giant halls and rooms. Before my stop at the  Cuvilliés Theatre, I left the Residenz for lunch, stopping nearby in the is odd little chic/eclectic cafe – beautifully decorated with miss matched kind of bohemian meets Moulin Rouge-ish feel furniture and decor.  However, the most odd thing was I think it was an Italian cafe? and the waitress spoke this miss matched Italian/German… and I semi understood some of the Italian… but was just thoroughly confused and hungry.  In the end, I just had 2 large coffee’s and some kind of a panini sandwich – mediocre. Anyway, then made my way back to the Theatre before heading on back to my hotel.

For dinner on my last night in Munich, I had a special treat.  Do you remember the sweet little older Welsh woman I shared the plane trip here with in my last post??  Well, they (her daughter and her) invited me over to the daughter’s house for dinner!  Soo nice.  Nicola, the daughter, lives in Munich with her family, and met me at my hotel so we could venture together to her house.  There we ate, and chatted up the evening, before they dropped me off at the train station and I made my way back to my hotel for the night.

All together I had a wonderful time in Munich.  I learned some new things, was inspired by some great art, met new friends while reconnecting with some old ones and just had fun.  It would have been nice to stay a few more days in Germany, travel about a bit, but that will be an adventure for another day and time.  Back to the U.K. for a few days, and then off again; this time going north in England to Sheffield to visit Grace Horne in the knife maker hub of the UK.  Too excited.

So that’s all for this post… stay tuned for Sheffield!

Also make sure to check out my fundraiser here – to support my learning adventure in the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK (and other learning trips around Europe).  Each donation comes with a hand made reward from yours truly. Keep an eye out for some amazing new rewards coming soon at www.gofundme.com/MeredithTibjash!
And if you haven’t already, check out the daily photos on my Instagram page: @mstibj

Until next time, take care – and see you soon
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Schmuck-Germany Adventure-Part 1!

Hello everyone,

Let’s see, in the last post I traveled to Iceland.  The whole experience was incredible and I would love to go back and explore the country more.  My trip to Iceland seemed to only touch the surface of what Iceland has to offer and I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to visit this beautiful place.  If you missed out on my Iceland post, please click here to read more.

This post is a bit long… so I have decided to split it up into 2 posts… so here goes. Enjoy.

Upon arriving back in the UK (March 7th), I had just enough time to unpack, do laundry, clean up, print out my flight and hotel details before repacking and leaving for Munich, Germany.  I could not have left on a more perfect day, March 11th. Happy Birthday Cuz!  My family were definitely present on this trip via signs and tons of little things constantly occurring and reminding me that you can carry people with you.

On my flight from London, Gatwick to Munich, I met a wonderful older woman from Wales.  We chat for the entire flight, and once at the airport I met her daughter and son-in-law who currently live in Munich.  They were so kind and even gave me a ride to my hotel, where I met up with Sharon MasseyJim Bove and Yoko Sekino-Bove.

This trip was… odd, wonderfully odd and exciting.  I felt like a new kid at my first SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference; mainly because I was hanging out with 2 friends I normally see at the annual SNAG conferences, and partly because I had no idea how to navigate Schmuck (Munich Jewellery Week) or even what to expect.

Day 1 (Thursday March 12th, 2015), first full day in Munich was spent on the move, walking from gallery to gallery, exhibition to exhibition, and I quickly realized that I completely brought the wrong shoes.  Not going to lie, it is all a bit of a blur since there was a lot of walking, but soo many churches to see and Tons of beautiful work. Lunch at Weisses Bräuhaus, where I acquired my first souvenir – a stein!  More walking around “old town,” a stop over to Messe Munchen International to see the Schmuck show, vendors, and more exhibitions. For dinner, we took a trip to the historic, the original, and semi over touristy yet wonderful Hofbräuhaus am Platzl – which, build by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I, was originally built in 1589.  You can see the liter beer we all decided to drink below, and I learned that I love a good Dunkel beer, a German dark lager.  We ended the evening by heading to Schmuck party for a little dancing (hanging out on the side) and mingling before walking back to the hotel to crash.

Below is a photo journey of the first day’s evens. Make sure to note the Neues Rathaus – which is a super ornate neo-gothic styled building serving as the new town hall. This building also has moving wooden figurines – called coopers dancers – on 2 stories that depict Munich’s history.  The moving show takes place daily at 11am and Noon and 5pm.  The facade of this epic-ly ornate building portrays almost the entire line of the house of Wittlesbach of Bavaria.

Day 2! Friday March 13th, 2015.  More walking, more exhibitions, more galleries, more shows. Today’s Schmuck tour demonstrated some pretty cool exhibition spaces and creative display ideas.  During our walking around Munich, we also found our way to the space where Oktoberfest is held, empty now of course, but I can only imagine the crazy excitement and entertainment being held there during the giant funfair. Later, we ventured to the Pinakothek der Moderne for the opening of Anton Cepka’s – Kenetic Jewellery show (after waiting for over an hour in the lobby, listening to someone speak in German before being allowed upstairs to view the work).  A small tangent within the museum, looking at some motorcycles and cars, and finally of to dinner at Cafe Puck with some new friends. Here is a photo run through from the day.  Enjoy:

Day 3! Saturday March 14th, 2015. Even more walking… yay.
Back to the Pinakothek der Moderne to see the rest of the museum.  Then off to the Messe for awards and official opening for the Schmuck exhibition.  Signed up for a Neuschwanstein castle tour for tomorrow – too stoked about this!!!  Giant dinner at another Brauhaus with the masses of Schmuck, and then “out on the town: with Jim Bove, Yoko Sekino-Bove, Sharon Massey, Jim Cotter, Jamie BennettMyra Mimlitsch Gray and Katie Rearick.
Check out this days’ photos below:

This has been a jam packed adventure already, and the trip isn’t even over!  This part of the post is over however.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Schmuck-Germany Adventure which includes Castles and Palaces and Jewels, Oh My!

Also make sure to check out my fundraiser here – to support my learning adventure in the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK (and other learning trips around Europe).  Each donation comes with a hand made reward from yours truly. Keep an eye out for some amazing new rewards coming soon at www.gofundme.com/MeredithTibjash!
And if you haven’t already, check out the daily photos on my Instagram page: @mstibj

Until next time, take care – and see you soon
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Welcome to Iceland…!!!

Welcome to Iceland…  !!!
 (thank you SNL)
this was a bit of the theme during this trip… we even added to the song.

Day 1: Fist official day in Iceland.  Wednesday March 4th, 2015.  Tourist/Wander Day
I stayed at SUNNA Guesthouse, in the center of Reykjavik.  When I step out of my hotel, I am stopped by the epic Cathedral that is Hallgrímskirkja (Hall-grim-skir-kya  sounding ish but roll those r’s!)  At first… the weather appeared to be taking a queue from what I had been hearing from home; a winter disaster storm.  Thankfully, the snowing quickly subsided and other than it being pretty chilly out, the air was crisp and wonderful.

Here is a photo journey through Day 1:

Day 2:  Thursday March 5th, 2015. More wandering and site seeing, and even some shopping. We ate a hotdog at the must-do hotdog stand.  Maya and I walked Forever around the entire docks to visit a large sculpture called a Þúfa which translates into “Mound” and is by the visual artist Ólöf Nordal and was commissioned by fishing processing company HB Grandi.  Day 2 also was our Northern Lights excursion, sadly the lights did not come out.  Maybe tomorrow night we’ll be lucky…

Again… a photo journey of Day 2:

Day 3: Friday March 6th, 2015.  Checked out of SUNNA Guesthouse and going to crash at Maya’s for the last night.  Today’s adventure in Iceland is the Golden Circle Tour… snowy, windy and cold.  Beautiful non the less, but a little difficult to see the mountains and country side. Are you ready for today’s photo journey, it’s a long one…  Here goes:

We were supposed to go to a geothermal spa on this day’s adventure… however they put us on the wrong bus.  Thankfully, we got back early enough to join a late geothermal spa tour which included dinner.  Outdoor hot springs and sauna at Fontana Wellness.  What a great way to wind down the evening.  No northern lights again, which means I may need to come back to Iceland another time (oh darn… she says sarcastically).

By the time we made it back to the hotel, it was nearly 1am and I needed to leave around 5am for my shuttle to the airport (45 minutes away). So of course, Maya and I ventured out for a beer at Kiki’s Queer Bar.  Dance floor with bar on one floor with lounge and casual chill on the second floor.

Up at 5am, shuttle to airport, flight back to the UK, train back to Farnham and walk back to the house from Farnham train station.  Thankfully, the sun was shining, flowers were out and my walk back to the house was gorgeous.

I think that’s about it for Iceland.  It may have been cold and snowy, and we didn’t get to see the northern lights, but I would recommend going for sure.  The air was soo crisp, the water was amazingly clean and refreshing and I will definitely need to head back one day. Maybe on my way back to the states???  haha.
Anyway, a few days rest and repack for Munich!!!  So stay tuned.

Until next time, take care.
-Meredith S. Tibjash

p.s. make sure to check out my fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/MeredithTibjash and check out the daily photo’s on Instagram @mstibj

This is my kind of March Madness!

Hello Everyone.

I am kicking off March as my unofficial extra travel month.  I have been traveling like crazy and this post will actually be split into 3 or 4.
Here’s the rundown:
-March 3rd I head to Windsor Castle – home to Her Majesty The Queen.  Iceland 3rd-7th, meeting up with my friend Maya and her mom Nanc.  To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, or what I wanted to do, no expectations, only that I wanted to come home with a wool sweater… and if possible, see the Northern Lights.  Next up was Munich Jewellery Week, Schuck (which is the German word for Jewelry – it’s also spelled “Jewellery” in Europe) March 11th-17th.  Heading out on a lucky number and meeting up with a few SNAG friends!  Finally (the only bit that hasn’t happened yet), I head to Sheffield this week from March 20th-26th.  Get to hang out in knife maker central for UK! With a wrap up night in London checking out a Jack the Ripper Tour and possibly the Tower of London on the 27th. Very excited!  🙂

Soo much inspiration, passion, cool sights and sounds.  Some amazing jewelry, great company, new friends and some unexpected surprises.  This month has been unbelievable and it isn’t even over yet!  I wont leave you in suspense any longer.

So let’s begin.

This trip caught me off guard.  I felt unprepared and didn’t know what I wanted to do/see while I was in Iceland, but excited for it non the less.  I also decided to kick off this trip with a day visit to Windsor Castle before taking off to Iceland.  I left Farnham in the morning, hopped on the train and headed to Windsor Castle.  A beautiful castle, home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself, and yes, she was home (and sadly no, I did not see her).  While standing within the courtyard, I lucked out in seeing a changing of the guard.

Once inside the main gate, you essentially have to walk around the entire castle to get inside giving you a 360 view of the grand structure before entering, and a view of city of Windsor itself, as the castle is set atop a hill.  The Castle consists of one main round tower and rectangular buildings surrounding almost acting as a wall.  Then the whole castle itself is surrounded by a wall and it is atop a hill. Sadly, are no pictures allowed within the state apartments of Windsor Castle, so I went cheese-tastic on the photos outside… and managed 1 or 2 pictures of the inside.

 

I was most impressed with the arms and armory display inside.  A multitude of styles and fashions of knives, daggers, swords, shields, belt buckles, locks, keys, staffs, etc. I think I spent a good hour or 2 just walking from case to case in this one room.  I tried to see if the Armourer was in, he wasn’t, however I did send out an email; keep your fingers crossed on a response.

After wondering around Windsor all day, I hopped in a cab to the airport and set off for Iceland!  Arriving in Iceland at around 11:30pm and bussing it into Reykjavik which was another 45 minutes away, I was soo pumped!!!  I really wish I had brought my DSLR for this trip, the GoPro was just not cutting it, so I apologize in advance for the poor quality photos.  On the plus side, Maya had her DSLR and took some Amazing photo’s so I shall intermix her photo’s with mine to give you a better perspective.

Get ready… Iceland is up next.
Until next time, take care.
-Meredith S. Tibjash

 

 

University for the Creative Arts

Hello Everyone,

I have a bit of catching up to do since my birthday in mid February so I will split things up in a few posts over the next few days.  Alright, so this is what has been going on:

Happy Super Late Valentines Day!
Valentines weekend also took me into Guildford for an Art Exhibition featuring fellow UCA (University for the Creative Arts) Artist in Residence Naomi Symmons, popular graffiti artist Banksy, and many others.  The exhibition: Caught in the Crossfire; which depicts, as stated by the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry “Artistic responses to conflict, peace and reconciliation.”  The show was a little on the heavy side for my particular interest, but very well curated and the work shown was very well done.

On Sunday, Hannah and I went to visit a friend of hers, Royston Upson, a very talented Mokume Gane artist.  We hung out for a while at his home, and he gave us a verbal run through on how to make Mokume; we even got to see his shop (which is currently in transition – the family is moving to another country soon). All in all, a very good weekend.

Next up on the list for February was an artist visit by David Clarke.  Mister Clarke’s hand-made/readymade mashups consist of traditional silversmithing using found silver items; reconstructing and reforming them into new pieces.  Beautiful work, and makes you question. David and I spoke one on one for a bit and gave me some things to think about while doing this residency, he also assigned homework.  –  Talk to you soon David (great to see you at Schmuck). His advice… just go into the forge and make… doesnt even have to Be anything, just go play.

And play I did.  The last week of February brought in blacksmith Julian Coode.  Julian was at the University for the whole week to work with the first year students during a forging intensive.  I was able to help out with the students, and their projects, and even helped one student make some Damascus (for the first time on my own!)  It was great, and reminded me how much I like teaching.  Hopefully I’ll be able to visit with Julian again soon.

Here are some photos from the forge:

While in the forge, I managed to get a little hammering in myself and made 3 projects.  Please excuse the photos, I managed to just get some phone pics taken before sending them off to their new owners.  if you’re interested in having me make something for you, please do not hesitate to email me at Meredith.susan.t@gmail.com or use my contact page at the top of the screen.  Here are the photos:

Well, that’s it for February…  Sooo much to talk about in March, but more to come on that soon.
Make sure to check out my Instagram page (@mstibj) and
Please check out my fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/MeredithTibjash

Until next time, take care.
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Day trip to London

Hello Everyone,

I’ve only just realized that I have missed one bit of my adventures!!!

Before Windsor Castle, and just before playing in the forge at UCA with Julian Coode I decided to pop up to London on Saturday February 21st to visit UK Parliament.  I wanted this trip to be an easy day, just a visit to Big Ben, a jaunt around the Palace of Westminster, and maybe a walk along the south bank before heading back to Farnham.  It took a minute for me to find my way inside, as the ticket office is down the street and around the corner… however, once through the gate I was taken aback at the grand size of the entrance hall.  I later learned that the grand ceiling woodwork was made in Farnham.

This place was massive in scale. UK Parliament is made up of a series of buildings.  My objective, House of Commons and the Palace of Westminster. The visit was self toured with a remote operated audio guide.  This device was full of fun facts and interesting details.  Sadly, the inside of the House of Commons does not permit photographs, and at one point I was even made to take off my hat (and called a sir).  There were a few moments in which I took the opportunity to sit down and sketch a few details of the architecture or just sat to people watch, but mostly just enjoyed the history and my wandering about.   I did manage to snap a few photos before leaving:

After Westminster, I walked a bit around London, stopping at Westminster Abbey (although it was closed) and then along the south bank of river.  Before I knew it, I had made my way all the way around to Shakespear’s Globe Theater.  Feeling rather exhausted at this point and still needing to walk back, I headed back towards Waterloo Station to head home.  Here are a few more photos from my day:

I think that’s about it for this post…  Keep an eye out for my next post about what happened in Iceland!
And if you’d like to help support my journey, please take a look at my fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/MeredithTibjash

Also make sure to check out my daily photo’s on Instagram @mstibj

Until next time, take care.

-Meredith S. Tibjash

An English Birthday

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all have been doing well and keeping busy.
Let’s see, since the last post to London, not too much has been going so this post is going to be a little choppy in its updates.  First and foremost, I have been getting my butt in gear in the studio and starting a few projects.
Here are a few Studio photos for your enjoyment.  More to come on the last 2 soon:

While things in the studio are moving a little slower than I’d hoped (however I am working on it), I’ve also put my mother on a job back home.  Her mission: to find out what part of Slovenia our family is from…  so I can visit!  So far, no info, but she did find a picture of my Grandma Wilma from 1948!  Take a look! If I had to guess, Id say she’s about 20 years old here.

Wilma_1948

 

On the other end of things, when the studio is open between 9am -5pm Monday-Friday only, it causes for an abundance of extra fun time.  So I have been spending this week with exploring the area a bit more, intermixed with birthday surprises – Thank you soo much to my family and especially my mom for all the cards and valentines!!!!
Take a look:

Thank you also to my friends here in the UK for making me feel very welcome and a part of something for my birthday 🙂  You’ve made it wonderful, Thank you.

To end this chopped up post, please keep an eye out soon for more adventures…  on the upcoming list: London, Windsor Castle, Iceland, Munich and who else knows!!!!
Please make sure to check out my Instagram feed (mstibj) and my ongoing fundraiser (www.gofundme.com/meredithtibjash) for cool rewards in thanks for your donation!

Until next time, take care.
-Meredith S. Tibjash

 

Lets be tourists in London

No really though, lets go be tourists in London.

Hello everyone,
Sunday the 24th and  Monday the 25th were some incredible adventures.  I’ve managed to meet some very caring, cool, laid back little group of people who enjoy site seeing just as much as I do.  I mean lets look at it for real…  They live here, work here, go to school and still come along with my “Wee, lets go be tourists!” attitude.  I’ve purchased memberships to a few historical organizations in order to get into estates, palaces, castles, ruins, etc all throughout England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.  Since my journeys to Bath and my gallivanting around Hampton Court I’ve finally traveled via train into London.  I did however make the big rookie mistake… I forgot to charge the GoPro and it died on me right at the get go.  No worries, this will only be what I imagine to be many trips into the city.  Here are just a few phone pictures of my adventure with Hannah, Vince, Nick, and Kelly on Saturday January 31st, 2015:

The trip was short, but tons of fun.  I had been nervous to just hop on the train and head into the city, but with this little excursion under my belt, I’m feeling more confident there are adventures to come.  **note to self… less of a pub crawl and no day drinking next time haha**  There are soo many things in London to see.  Just a few places on my list: Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Jack the Ripper ghost tour, Globe Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum, Westminster Abbey and Kensington Palace. I’m getting ampted to head back just thinking of it all.

Tonight, Wednesday February 4th, 2015 the housemates and I (Hannah, Vince, Lilla) made a family dinner of a British/gluten free version of Taco Tuesday = Taco Wednesday!  Hannah made these brilliant homemade tortilla/flat breads (gluten free) and chili, and we put together the works: guacamole, salsa, corn chips with cheese, etc. etc.  AMAZING!  I am stuffed, tired and ready for bed. It’s well past midnight here and I have Uni in the morning.

The only thing planned so far this weekend is Pancake Sunday.  Lilla is making Hungarian style pancakes!!!  Cannot Wait to try them.
Studio post coming soon… no worries  🙂
Make sure to check out the Instagram (@mstibj) for daily photos.  Also if you’re feeling generous and would like something just for you from me, please check out my fundraiser at http://www.gofundme.com/meredithtibjash. Every donation comes with a gift from me!

I think that’s all – until next time, take care and good night.
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Holy Cow! I’m in Tudor Nerd Heaven!

Hello again,

Yet another adventure!
Last week Monday (January 26th, 2015), my new friend Kelly and I took a trip towards London to Hampton Court Palace. Now, before we get into all the juicy details, let me just say that I have been looking up and adding new places to visit in the UK since even before my arrival. Hampton Court Palace was on my list, but for some reason I could not, for the life of me remember why!  Also, I was too lazy to look it up, cause I was heading there and would just see it in person. Once we drove up to the entrance and I saw the red brick wonder that is Hampton Court. The only words that rang through my brain were “No Sh*%!!!”
Lets take a little time travel journey together, shall we:

DCIM100GOPRO

In much earlier times, Hampton Court Palace started off with humble beginnings as just a large barn on the manor of Hampton. The site was used to store produce and was a place where accounts were kept by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John Jerusalem.  Once into the 14th century, the estate would occasionally house royal visitors due to its convenient location nestled between 2 royal palaces. As the war of the roses (2 houses within the House of Plantagenet battling it out for the throne: the houses of Lancaster vs. York) came to a close with King Henry VII (Henry Tudor Sr.), Hampton was then owned by Henry’s Lord Chamberlain Giles Daubeney and the estate began to flourish…

Thus the rise of the House of Tudor (the Tudor dynasty if you will)! But first, the palace was constructed into a massive complex by King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.  As the lavishness grew at Hampton Palace, Wolsey’s power and over-exuberance was becoming too grand as well. During this time, Henry VIII was petitioning the Holy Roman Church and the Pope to divorce his first wife, Katherine of Aragon for (his soon to be second wife) Anne Boleyn.  When Wolsey could not pull through on this promise, along with his extravagance and I’m sure a few other reasons, he lost both Hampton and York Place in London in 1528 to Henry VIII.

King Henry VIII continued to expand the palace into one of the most modern and magnificent palaces in England.  Subtle nuances still remain from this period; when Anne Boleyn was in all her glory, to her execution (beheaded), into the reign of Jane Seymour – who gave Henry his only surviving male heir, and dying shortly after.
During Anne Boleyn’s marriage, her and Henry’s initials could be seen intertwined within the woodwork of the Great Hall (“H” with “A” crossed in the middle), where only few still remain. For Jane, he built on the extravagant waiting room (and the removal of Anne’s intertwining initials), full with (I believe) gilded ceilings.  The palace itself held large stately rooms, which were constantly redone for each of his wives and his 3 (surviving) children, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward, along with servants, staff, etc.
**please note inside the palace was somewhat dark, and I do apologize for the poor photo quality… I’ll do better next time.  I got a membership, so I’ll be revisiting**

The year is now 1547, King Henry VIII is dead, and his heir, Edward I is 9 only years old. Edwards’ reign was short, and he was succeeded by his older sister Mary I (after a roughly 9 day reign by Lady Jane Grey- Edwards’ first cousin once removed) Tudor.  Mary, or “Bloody Mary” as she was later deemed, due to countless executions of Protestants and “heretics” (burnt at the stake) during her short 5 year reign.  Neither Edward I, Mary I or Elizabeth I added much to Hampton Court Palace.  It was James I (previously James VI of Scotland and who took he throne upon Elizabeth I’s death) who brought about a new style and entertainment with the welcome of the House of the Stuarts.

After James I, came Charles I.  Charles I’s reign encompassed the English Civil War in 1647, his deposition by Parliament from the thrown, and the first English monarch to be executed in 1649.  His successor, rising from a seat in Parliament, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England: Oliver Cromwell.  Upon Cromwell’s death, his son Richard briefly took the title of Lord Protector until his lack of authority turned him to renounce the throne.  Parliament then turned to bring out of exile Charles II, eldest son of the executed Charles I.  The death of Charles II left the thrown to his brother, James II who was deposed during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and succeeded by his eldest daughter Mary II and her husband William III.

This history lessons doesn’t even begin to explain the craziness that happened within the years listed.  It does however guide us into the expansion of the Baroque Palace section of Hampton Court.  William spent most of this time away at wars, but he construction of the lavish new apartments had begun in haste.  William III did more than any other king to make what we see to day at Hampton Court, spending over £131,000 during his reign and unfortunately did not live long to enjoy his finished work.  Take a look:

The palace was just completely breath taking and my inner history nerd was loud and proud.  I think I may have even impressed a few of the staff with my knowledge of English history.
I can’t wait to go back when it’s nicer out and the gardens are full of color.  I think in the meantime, I’ll brush up on my history… let me know if you want to chat more about English history or want to suggest a place I should visit.  Also, make sure to check out my Instagram (mstibj) for daily photos.

IMG-20150126-WA0044

Until next time, take care,
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Another Adventure in Wonderland…

Hello everyone,

I cannot believe it has been a whole week since my last post.  Every day is a new adventure and this week has been no exception.  Let’s get caught up again.

Last Saturday, January 25th 2015, one of the other residence, Naomi and I took our 2nd day adventure.  This time we ventured a little further away from Farnham with a general idea of heading to Bath to see the old roman bath ruins.  This day trip was a proper adventure, with a general idea of where to head and no quarrels with being distracted along the way (and rightly so – we were).  Our first distraction: Old Sarum; which sounds like something right out of middle earth – and sort of was.  This Iron Age hill fortification combined a royal castle and cathedral within 2 moat-like trenches.  Not much remains currently, however the outlines of each structure still stand.  Here are some pictures from Old Sarum for your enjoyment: (p.s. still getting used to the GoPro)

Next up on the “winging it” adventure day:  Salisbury Cathedral.  Holy Cow was this place breath taking!  I could have walked around this Cathedral for hours and hours.  The Salisbury Cathedral is one of the leading examples of Early English Architecture. This Gothic style Cathedral has Britians’ tallest spire and the best preserved Magna Carta.  I could go into details about how the different sections of the Cathedral were built, when and for what purpose, or how it was changed during the Reformation within the Tudor dynasty, but instead I’ll show you pictures. Enjoy:

We got lucky today, the weather was chilly, but not to bad when you bop in and out of places and keep walking. Once out of Salisbury Cathedral, we drove the rest of the way to Bath.  The city itself is beautiful – driving in from the hillside, overlooking the entire city of matching buildings.  The Roman Baths are ruins in the heart of the city depicting how the Roman epicenter would have looked 2000+ years ago.  Ancient Romans once bathed within these natural thermal spas.

Also within the city center is Bath Abbey, built in 1499 and left to ruin for more than 70 years after King Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of monasteries in 1539.  In 1616, the Abbey was renovated by he current parish and it is still used today.  The vaulted fan ceilings are incredibly beautiful.