United States 21 April: Shelby, VA - Charlottesville, VA

Miles to Monticello

Today the team had a real experience of Thomas Jefferson as we spent time in his home locale. We started at the University of Virginia.

Our tour guide, third year English major, Kate, kindly volunteered her time to take us through the history of the University, designed and founded by Thomas Jefferson in his twilight years opening in 1825.

The highlight was the Rotunda, which is similar in appearance to the Monticello. It is both a museum, library and study space. Jefferson certainly considered the University one of his major achievements, it was one of only three things he wanted listed on his gravestone.

Jefferson, in his own academic times as a student found it difficult to consult his professors when they lived off campus so he was sure to include in his architecture and design, accommodation for the academia as well as the students. His beautiful quadrangle encapsulates plenty of open space for both staff and students, resulting in an area of residence which is still sought after by modern day academics and undergraduates for accomodation.

Busses took us up from the visitors centre to the home of the former president. We were guided through his house room by room seeing his favorite sculptures, busts, paintings and clocks. Many of his inventions and gadgets were on show.

Continuing on the theme of Jefferson’s inspiration and architecture we headed to Monticello.

The gardens were spectacular.

After a busy day we filled in a few miles we had missed the day before. It wasn’t too much running but tomorrow is a big day of mileage. The girls utilized a quieter service road.

The boys carried on along the highway.

A big thank you to Ming Dynasty Restaurant who kindly gave us a tasty meal of fresh Chinese Food. Tomorrow we head to North Carolina.