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Monday, September 8, 2008

Falcons, Doves, and Tintern Abby

Peregrine Falcon

We farewelled Glennis and drove to the Cotswold Falconry Centre where we saw a flying display, taken by a Frank Spencer look-alike. He knew his birds though. We saw an owl, a Harris hawk, a Peregrine falcon and a bald eagle put through their paces in the ever increasing rainfall. The rain affected the eagle's plumage which made it difficult to fly, so the display was cut short.
Later in the afternoon we crossed over the border to Wales at Chepstow and drove up the River Wye. Tintern Abbey was our destination and we arrived to find the ruins brought alive with singing. A special Sung Vespers celebration was taking place to honour the installation of a specially commissioned statue. On learning that we were from New Zealand and had come to view the Abbey, we were invited in to share the service, and were later introduced to the sculptor. White doves were fluttering around as the choir was singing which made it all seem very special indeed.

Views of Tintern Abbey
Cistercian monks founded the Abbey in 1131, and the present Gothic building was started in 1269. Partially destroyed in the Reformation, the beautiful ruins look out over the Wye Valley and the little village of Tintern. Another "must see" place ticked off our list.

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