From 2012/01/01 to 2012/01/08

-- From Richmond, VA to Virginia Beach, VA



The road tracklog 
From Richmond to Virginia Beach
from 2012/01/01 to 2012/01/08


Monday morning I headed to discover Monument Bldv, broad boulevard with a central esplanade and roundabouts with statues in the honor of local heroes such Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Arthur Ashe and others. Alas the sun was in the back of the statues! Before leaving Richmond I visited American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar I discovered, sometimes I am naive, the horrors of the war. The Southerners had invented, certainly the first in the world, the underwater and anti-personnel mines. As they had invented the first warship out of steel. It is remarkable besides that the number of death and injury was more significant in the Northern army. The town of Richmond was almost destroyed.

a submarine mine

a landmine

No comment


At about 25 miles southwards, Petersburg was the city which endured the longest siege on the American soil, it lasted 10 months in 1864-65. Three monuments were worth visiting off season, Siege Museum, No photo, reports the siege of the city with drawings of time and a video. The building is Palladio's style. On a hill Centre Hill is one of the houses of the Southern aristocracy employing slaves, No photo. The family made a tunnel dug so that servants enter the house without importuning the visitors.

The Siege Museum

a wagon

Centre Hill Mansion

Reception Hall

In the cemetery of around 30,000 Southerners soldiers, the oldest church of the City 1735, Blandford Church, has 15 stained-glass windows created by Tiffani from 1904 to 1912, No photo. Eleven stained-glass panels are dedicated to deaths of the confederated states representing by saints of the Christian religion. Beyond the religious fact there are pure artistic wonders. I was the only visitor with my guide.

Stained-glass Windows by Tiffany

Triangle Historique

The Historic Triangle was America's birthplace, where the first settlers landed, Jamestown, where the ferment of the revolution grew, Williamsburg and, where Independence was gained, Yorktown.


I went back to Richmond to find a USB cable of connection between GPS Garmin 276C and a laptop Durabook which had broken down from the same manner as Panasonic Toughbook. The doubt fit in my understanding: Is there a second short-circuit? Or is the standard cable used unsuited? Or is the connector inside the GPS also damaged? Grainger did not have the wanted Garmin cable, I ordered it for a delivery at Grainger, Norfolk. Then I took the road for Williamsburg where I was able to lunch, but the laptop Panasonic repaired by Telrepco arrives only the following day. I was thus three days without computer, both laptops were broken down, hardware. I remained at the campground to prepare the visits of the Historic Triangle.

Wednesday morning I took a Tan Line bus at the entry of the campground then the Orange Line bus at the station for Visitor Center where I arrived about 9:20 am. I began the visit which lasted up to 4:00 pm to make the opposite way. The city is not a museum even if attractions are sparse in winter. On the other hand all the craft shops were in activity with workmen in costume of time and actors reciting their history. I was transported back to 18th century by the magic of decors and actors. Tourists were very few I could stroll at my peace and discuss with craftsmen. The day was sunny with a temperature in the night of -7°C and in the day of +3°C. Back to the campground I took delivery of Panasonic Toughbook cf-19. I could work to make up for my lost time.

Governor's Palace



Duke of Gloucester Street

Milliner & Tailor


Saddler & leather goods

Bruton Parish Church


Thursday was devoted in the search of a GPS to replace probably failing Garmin 276C. Alas I discovered that this model was not manufactured any more and that there was no new one. The world changes! The remainder of the day was occupied with my website and to make provisions for my stay on February in France.


Jamestown was the first English settlement in the New World. On May 14 1607 104 men, women and children landed with the Captain John Smith. After a terrible winter they were any more than 40 in January 1608. The majority died starvation and disease, the survivors were helped by the Powhatans Indians. In 1610 Lord of Warr arrived with supplies accompanied by new settlers. In 1619 the first representative assembly in North America was elected. The same year the first African slaves arrived followed one year later by 90 unmarried women.


Captain John Smith


On October 19, 1781 General Cornwallis surrendered to General  Washington putting an end to the Independence War thus the Union of States of America was born. It is probable that independence was not obtained without the help of France which provided a task force, weapons, guns as well as a significant fleet of warships. It is certain that France had a revenge to take after the Seven Year War. But the history held unexpected, in 1789 the French Revolution put an end to the absolute power of King of France.

Brigadier General Louis le Bèque de Presle Du Portail

Captain Louis Alexandre Berthier


Yorktown Victory Monument

King George III

Louis XV

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen


Norfolk is the vastest base naval in the world. It is said that at night fallen the accesses are filled with drunken sailors. I went there to visit it, alas there is only one guided tour a day at 13:30 during 45 minutes.

In the surroundings of Walmart I found McDo where I settled during more than one hour to work on Internet. I bought an air ticket from Miami to Paris via Toronto with a departure on January 30 and an arrival the next morning. Then I booked a room for four days at Hotel Ibis in Courbevoie, suburb of Paris. But I have to find a Cyber Café to print the tickets. I have three weeks to reach Miami, Florida. Then I headed to visit Norfolk where I paid homage to General Douglas MacArthur, the only five-star general in the American army.

MacArthur Memotial

Chrysler Museum of Art

In the early afternoon I traversed the rooms of the very interesting Chrysler Museum of Art where I finally took a picture of a stained-glass window by Tiffani. Of course French painters of 18th, 19th and 20th centuries were well represented.

Portrait of a Woman by Tiffany Studio

Naga Buddha, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Seated Male Deity, Aztec, Mexico

Hot Jazz by Franz Kline

Waiting for William by John George Brown

The Neophyte by Gustave Doré

The Loss of Virginity by Gaugin

Virginia Beach, Cape Henry

Virginia Beach, the most populated city in the state, has a 35-mile long sandy beach. In this sunny windy day a handful tourist walked on the oceanfront at the foot of the concrete buildings. Atlantic Ave extends behind without view on the ocean. In the north beyond the 83rd St two posts control the entry of the historic park. My French passport facilitated the formalities, opening of the cabin, the cell and of the boxes, it was good child, I received a pass. Back I greeted with headlight which the policemen answered pleasantly. Before reaching the site where Jamestown was founded, colonists landed at Cape Henry to make water and wood, their first walks in the New World in 1607. More than one hundred sixty ten years later a naval battle put an end to the Independence War. It opposed 24 French warships to 19 British ones. Engagement began on September 4, 1781 and lasted four days. The English fleet was damaged hard, it went back to New York. On October 19, 1781 Cornwallis, without help, surrendered to George Washington whose military engineering was to seize the arrival of de Grasse to take the army of Cornwallis in the Chesapeake Bay's bottleneck while ordering to La Fayette to continue it and while giving up his project to take New York by walking southwards with the army of Rochambeau. This decisive battle is little known, Paris does not have a Chesapeake Square.

Cape Henry

First Landing Site

Last Battle Site for Independence

Virginia Beach, le 2012/01/08

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