Monday, October 18, 2010

City After City Surrounded by Countryside

Lincoln College where John Wesley attended
Park in Oxford
The long river boats

The Alice Shop

Standing at the Alice and Wonderland Garden

The lamp post for Narnia

Oxford University

All Souls College

Where Harry Stood and his parents house
Oxford University site where it was filmed

Lacock Harry Potter Film Locations Above


Standing at Bath

And the Countryside

Guards walking the streets in Windsor The "long walk" in Windsor

Windsor Castle

City after city, we traveled this past weekend. It was practicaly a long road trip through England. One thing I can say is that the countryside of England is GORGEOUS. I can admit that it is prettier than Tennessee, but there is just something about the place you live that makes that pretty. At certain times while driving down the road here I felt like I was at home, then behind all of the trees the English countryside showed up and it no longer looked like TN. The land here is so rich and fertile. I would love to have a farm in England. It's so peaceful.
Well, going on with this amazing weekend trip. We ended up going to Windsor, Bath, Bristol, Lacock, Oxford, and Stonehenge. I'm not sure which one I can say was my favorite. They all contained so much history and were all gorgeous. I will start from the beginning.
We left Canterbury early in the morning and arrived at Windsor about 10 in the morning. We had our guided tour of the town and then a little bit of free time. Like all of the other cities I visited on this trip I had no idea what was in Windsor. It was amazing for me to find out that Windsor castle which lays in the middle of the town is where the queen actually lives. The guide said that she drives around town weekly. I wish we could have seen her. Everyday the guards walk the streets of the city. These are the guards with the big black hats and dressed all in red. We saw the march. It was really neat. Seeing this I said to myself, "Now this is England" Also in Windsor there is a 3 mile path. It's called the long walk and it lies right at the head of Windsor Castle. I wish so much that we would have had time to walk the walk. They said that the queen drives this all the time. It had that royal look to it. The shopping area in Windsor was called Windsor Royal Shopping. Of course Darette, Kaitlyn, Shannon and me fell in love with this area. We all have fallen in love with all of the shopping in England. I know I am definately coming back with a new style. I have bought about 6 or 7 dresses so far here, and I could buy hundreds more. Dresses are my new look. :) After Windsor we got back on the bus and travelled to Stonehenge. Again I had no idea what to expect. Driving out to Stonehenge was beautiful. There were so many sheep in the fields and again the grass was so fertile and green I felt like I had fallen in love. We arrived at Stonehenge and it was freezing! But the site of the rocks was spectualar. The history said that in the day these rocks were said to have been carried 160 miles and some just 19 miles. These rocks are so heavy and I can't imagine how these were carried those long distances up and down all of the hills. We had a good time at Stonehenge. We tried to take one of those famous pictures to look like we were holding the rocks. It didn't turn out so great, but we danced in front of the rocks and jumped around. There were sheep nearly 5 feet from us too. Some of the girls had never seen sheep before so it was a site for them to see them so close.
Stonehenge is one of those places you have to say you have been like the grand canyon ( Which I have never been to yet).
When we got to Bristol I was exhausted. I had been really sick earlier in the week with a fever, and I was just recovering. When I walked inside my eyes swelled up and were so pink, it was a good thing I still felt ok though. We stayed at a Holiday Inn in Bristol. It was nice, just like the ones at home, and my favorite part was that breakfast was served. I slept so good on the soft beds and it felt nice to take a shower in warm clean water. This was the first time I have watched TV since I got to England too. It was nice and relaxing. This trip felt like a vacation on a vaction.
The second day we made our way to Bath. And again I really I no idea what was in Bath. When we got closer the guide told us that the city held strick rules and all of the buildings had to be made from the yellow limestone. This city was gorgeous. All of the yellow buildings, the river and the view of the hilly countryside. I was in love once again. I was pretty much speechless when the bus drove up the road. Bath holds so much history too. We had our guided tour again around this city. We saw the Roman Baths. This was neat. There was water we could drink from the baths but I decided I wouldn't try it. There were signs all over the city that pictured out some of the must see places in England. The catherdral here was pretty too. Walking around this town I felt like I was in Italy or somewhere like that. There were over 4000 shopping places, and we went into so many unique stores. There was even an urban outfitters. Kaitlyn and I bought a reall cute yellow butterfly dress. It is the kind of dress you wouldn't pick out at first. Darette held it up and I told her it was so ugly. Then later we looked at it again and it was cute. It was only 5 pounds so we bought it. I think it is one of my favorite dresses I have bought. Also in Bath there were many little tea rooms and pastry shops. The layout and yellow buildings in this city is what I loved the best though. As we were leaving there was a street performer playing this insturment called the hang. He said it was one of the newest instruments and is from Italy. It sound so pretty. The sound was just relaxing like the ocean.
We left Bath and went back to the hotel in Bristol. There was a Mcdonalds on down the road from the hotel so a bunch of us decided we would check it out. It was probably the worst Mcdonalds I have ever been too. We also had quite an interesting walk back too. I wasn't scarred in the area of Bristol we were in, but i had heard earlier on the news that there is a road in Bristol that is the most dangerous road in the UK. Luckily we were no where close to this road.
The next morning was an early morning and we made our way to Oxford. I was sooo exicted. We made a stop in the small town of Lacock first. This was the cutest old town. It was like an English version of the Cumberland Gap. The population here is 400 or so people. All of the roads in Lacock were rock and the bulidings were all stone rock. There were about 2 main roads that we walked around. The cool thing about this town is that there were two places that Harry Potter was filmed at. One was Harry's parents house. I have a picture of it, and the other is one of the professors houses. The street in this town is a street that Harry and Dombledor walked down in I think the 6th movie.
When we got to Oxford we had our guided tour around the city. We saw all of the colleges from the Univeristy. This campus and town was so beautiful. It had that England upscale look like Windsor. I wish so bad I could attend Oxford University. All Souls College here was really pretty. We couldn't go in which was disappointing. We got to go into Lincoln College. This one is the college that John Wesley attended. We saw where John Wesley lived while he was there. Also while walking around campus there was another building that Harry Potter was filmed at. This trip really contained so much Harry Potter history. Also we saw where Bill Clinton went to school and lived while he was in Oxford and then where his daughter Chelsea lived. The best part about Oxford was all of the Alice and Wonderland history. The yard that the story orginated from is in Oxford. There is also a gift shop that is the offical Alice and Wonderland shop. We had to go in. While I was in Oxford I had to buy an Oxford sweatshirt too. We ate lunch in the middle of town on a park bench and then we walked down to the river. The park that the river was in was so pretty. The leaves were starting to change, so the fall weather made my day. I wasn't sure if leaves changed color in England but I was so happy to see that they did. At the river there were people rowing those long boats. This was really intersting. If we had time I would have loved to rent one and try it. There were many cool things in Oxford and it is probably my favorite city I have visited so far on this trip. The lamp post that gave CS Lewis the idea to write Narnia was there, and the coffee house that Jane Austen used to drink coffee in and write is also in Oxford.
I'm going to Paris this weekend, so there will be so much more for me to write about. I am traveling more than going to class and it is the best way to do school. I feel like I am learning more and more each day than I ever would in class. I am not just learning about history of England,but I am learning so much about myself.

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