Friday, October 31, 2008

Bonnie Scotland

TEdinburgh is a beautiful city, but the Scottish weather is even more fickle than Alamosa's. It literally took five minutes to change from sunny to rainy. Luckily, we were prepared for any weather and the cold only made the experience better because we braved it. Our trip started off slow...the train arrived in Edinburgh two hours late because gale like winds had damaged the railway (Scottish weather), but we made the best of it and even got reimbursed (in vouchers). The best part was the Scotch Broth and toast waiting for us at the home of a missionary couple. They made our trip. We were able to stay in their flat which is the closest thing to a home any of us have seen for a long while.
The next day we walked the Royal Mile, tried deep fried mars bars, and hiked to Arthur's Seat which looks over Edinburgh. It was a really hard hike with the wind and rain coming down on us and once we reached the top, the wind threatened to blow us away, but the trials were worth the view. Just a few steps on the way down and the sun came out and a rainbow crossed the horizon, but that didn't mean the trip down would be easy. I took a wrong path and had to back track up the hill to get back with my group and three of the other girls slipped and fell in the mud quite a few times. I laughed my head off mainly because Sabrina was the last to fall and she fell in the act of making fun of one of the other girls. That night we had really good Chinese food with the missionary couple and Sabrina and I warmed up with Hot Chocolate and a murder mystery. (Oh and the wonderful bed they had for us...we never wanted to leave.)
Our last day of the trip was consistently stormy. Umbrellas were broken, but we were smart enough just to bundle up. It was the perfect day for relaxing in a coffee shop, and that's what we did. We did what any Harry Potter fan would do. We went to the birthplace of our favorite series and wrote on the napkins while enjoyed steamers. Then we left to have another train delay, but not before I fell in love with Scotland.

The Rest of the North Trip

So I keep getting further behind, but I'm trying. These pictures are the remaining pictures from our North trip and include the Preston Temple, the Lake District, Haworth, and Chatsworth. The scenery was amazing and it was an awesome trip. Stay tuned for Scotland, Canterbury and Chartwell, and of course Halloween. Cheers!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catching Up ...Part 2

I'm learning the hard way that once you're behind it's hard to catch up, but I'm still trying. So these pictures are from Liverpool where we stayed for the first part of our trip North. It was really fun and we got to go through the Maritime museum where we found out about how our ancestors left for America. I was very grateful for their decision.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hampstead and Hampstead Heath Walk

Flora of Hampstead
1. Graveyard Path
2. Willow in the Heath
3. October Tree
4. Autumn Afternoon
5. Where Ivy Creeps
6. Last Glimpse of Summer
7. Overgrown
8. Fall Treat

The walk book talked about how Hampstead was once a spa and good walk if one wanted a break from the city and I heartily agree. Though the walk took about six hours due to getting lost in the heath, it has been my favorite walk so far. The sunny autumn day and old brick buildings brought out the natural beauty that had started to change with the season. A walk in an old churchyard seemed the romanticized image of the overgrown and spooky graveyards of horror movies and the heath seemed like a forest where Ichabod Crane would run into the Headless Horseman. These spooky sites only added to the autumn charm. The brisk air and warm glow of the sun enriched the changing leaves. Add the crisp apples I bought from the backyard of the Fenton house and it was the perfect Fall day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Catching Up...Part 1

So I've been so busy these last few weeks. These photos are from Oxford and the Tower of London.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Walking Through the City

Towering London
1. Classical
2. Coffee House & Spire
3. Lloyd Building
4. Great Gherkin
5. Le Bow
7. Modern
8. Future
If there is one architectural theme that is true for most of London, especially downtown London it is tall buildings. Throughout its history, London has been a large and growing population, but there isn’t much room to grow out on an island so the city has grown towards the sky. It’s hard as a tourist not to look up the whole time you’re walking because not only are the buildings tall but beautiful. Even older buildings seem to pierce the sky with marble spires—like stark clouds against the blue sky. One cannot help but feel miniscule next to these structural giants.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Walking the Walls of Londonium

Stone Memories
1. Remembering London’s History
2. Roman Walls
3. Memorial for Heroic Efforts by Ordinary Citizens
4. How the Walls Have Changed
5. Emperor Trajan
6. Memorial for Soldiers
7. Remembering Religion
8. Turkish Bath…now a restaurant
What was so interesting about the Londinium was seeing how London has grown since its beginnings as a Roman town and how buildings have been saved as a memorial to its past. Coming of the tube I saw the remains of the Roman wall and was almost taken back to the time when London was an outpost of a massive empire. I say almost because still the cars drive by and airplanes fly over head and the wall stays as a memory of the past. From there I go up to the bustling streets and find more memorials, these are for soldiers who died protecting their country. Again and again I see memorials-some explicitly for the memory of people, some to mark a time in London’s history, and one in particular, the Museum of London, to remember all that has transpired within the walls of Londinium.