Friday, 14 November 2008

Aldeburgh - Pt. 1

Having spent the morning in Woodbridge we have now arrived in Aldeburgh. The North Sea is choppy, the wind is blowing and the rain is beating down. Bracing to say the least, but therapeutic to listen to the surf crashing onto the beach.

Aldeburgh was once an important East Coast harbour but now is a quiet resort famous mainly for the Annual Music Festival founded by Benjamin Britten, who is buried in the town. Quaint old cottages and elegant Georgian houses (another post) line the main street. It has been a dignified seaside resort since the early 19th century, but the shingle beach is popular with fishermen (another post) as well as holiday-makers.

The North Sea

Our hotel
The turret at the top on the right was our sitting room
that led through to our bedroom with a hall into our bathroom

It's warm and welcoming inside

We are about to take the lift to our room but I happen to glance across to one of the lounges. I do a double take. Sitting there having afternoon tea are 2 evangelist friends from Ohio,USA with another friend from Indiana. They were as surprised as us and as Americans do, squealed with delight.They had been attending a conference and had been taken by their host to spend the afternoon in Aldeburgh, ending up with afternoon tea at our hotel. In the past they had been guests in our home for 6 years running and we did know that they were in the country, but this coincidence seemed particularly amazing as Aldeburgh is on the coast and off the beaten track and not somewhere that you would just 'pass through'. Having checked our room we sat in the lounge with them for a while before they
had to leave.

We have an unusual room, our bedroom faces the marshes at the back but then we have a corridor that leads to a small turret sitting room that faces the sea. It's my birthday and I get up and check the sea soon after dawn. After yesterday I am surprised to see it as flat as a mill pond. If the cloud breaks up it is going to be a lovely day.

After breakfast I go outside and the clouds have cleared and we are just left with a sea mist.

Looking from the back of our hotel the mist is slowly clearing and the marshes and River Alde are coming in to view.

I'm off for a walk and a beautiful day beckons.You are welcome to join me.

A power station on the horizon

The ancient lifeboat station

The modern lifeboat station

Somewhere to sit
If you double click on this you will see that it was erected to commemorate
the Coronation of King George V

Elegant loos (restrooms) on the beach

The Moot Hall. Originally this was seperated from the sea by 3 roads which have since been washed away.This early 16th century building of stone,timber and brick is a reminder of the days when Aldeburgh relied for its prosperity on trade, exporting cloth to Flanders and the Low Countries. The local council still meet in the upper part of the Moot House.

The war memorial

We have now arrived back at the hotel for coffee.It's November and we are able to sit outside without a jacket, what a blessing. One can get away from most things here, but not everything!!

When we have finished coffee I will show you some of the town,(another post). As the weather is so good we have decided to stick to the coast today but that will have to wait until after lunch and yet another post.

I left the cards at home


Susan said...

How wonderful to run into the old friends in such n unlikely place. A special birthday gift from God :o)

Drottning M said...

ooohhh, I love your pictures! I have bookmarked your blog, so I can come here and dream a little bit!

greetings from Sweden

Mike said...

Sitting out in November, how wonderful. You stayed in a lovely place. Thanks for the tour. :)

Patsy said...

Love the pictures.What a great birthday and lots of cards to get from family and friends. Wishing you a happy 2009. With the rest of this year.

Anonymous said...

Afternoon Barbara, thanks for the info on that pub. Are the old roads in Aldeburgh laid out like a cross with minor roads off them? If so it could be a saxon "Burgh" town. A "moot gamut" was a meeting place to discuss any legal issues arising in the local population. I am so intriegued with this place. LOL I know I'm ever curious and should get back to the tree skirt I'm sewing.

Thank you so much for taking me here it is so beautiful. I like the sounds of stormy seas too. In West Wales, the pebbles of New Quay beach were so loud yet soothing. Strange. I'm now eagerly awaiting the next installment. Thank you once again dear friend.

Susan said...

Barbara, I just passed on a Award to you. Come and get is!!

Patsy said...

ATC or artist trading cards they are 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 and we make them, then trade to people all over the world.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. And what a coincidence to meet friends :-)

Tess Kincaid said...

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your lovely tour, Barbara.

Winifred said...

What an amazing coincidence meeting your friends in Aldeburgh. Thanks for your lovely photos of your trip. Nice way to spend your birthday.

The lifeboat looks great, those lifeboatmen do such amazing work.

Needled Mom said...

What a coincidence to run into friends along the way. It's why we always say that "It's a small world."

The scenery is beautiful and I enjoyed the walk with a knowledgeable tour guide. Thank you.

Jeanne said...

Blessings my lovely friend.
I love all that you share.

Tea Time With Melody said...

I pass to your blog via Corners of my mind...What wonderful pictures you post. It's going to take me some time but I am going to go though them all. I started on a few of your older posts and loved it. I love the English countryside and just love to travel though these pictures. Thanks for sharing. I'll be back!

Kristen said...

How fun to meet up with friends and to have sunshine! Enjoy your holiday!

Elizabeth said...

Your fans will not be disappointed in this fascinating post.
I liked the Tudor-look loos.
Very elegant.
This looks a terrific birthday celebration.
I also got a kick out of the photo of you two newly-weds in New York.

Willow said...

Barbara, This walk refreshed me! I could almost 'feel' the sea breeze and 'breathe' in the ocean air. It reminded me so much of Leigh-on-Sea.

How amazing that you saw your American friends there. What a sweet blessing for your birthday!

Candytuft Corner said...

Hi Barbara,

I've never visited Suffolk, although it has long been on my list, so thank you for sharing your holiday with us and a belated Happy Birthday!

Marie x

Mmm said...

A God encounter, no doubt.

a woman who is said...

Here I am way behind, catching up on all your latest posts.

Thanks for taking us with you on your birthday vacation.

"and as Americans do, squealed with delight"...cracked me up, we do squeal so :)

Glad you had a surprise reunion.

Betty said...

I'm catching up on blog reading and what a treat to meet up with your friends...I'm sure they were as thrilled to see you and Alan as you were to see them....God is so good....

You must have birthdays more often, take more trips (with us along)....

I know you don't celebrate Thanksgiving but Happy Thanksgiving anyway......Betty

Vee said...

The squealing bit made me laugh. Honestly, I have never thought of it before, but you are right, of course. Wonder why that is...not your being right, our squealing. Hahahahaha...

Okay, I've got a good sense of it now. It's going to be so lovely!