Sunday, April 11, 2010

North Trip part 1

This week we went on a 5-day trip through Northern England. On a coach every day... with 50 people... it was a long trip. We saw some cool things and some not-so-cool. But i liked getting to see a different part of England. Here's the first half of the trip!

Monday 3/29
Day 1. We left early for a long coach ride, and watched Bright Star (good movie about the poet John Keats. I maybe almost cried..). Our first stop was one of the best of the week - Chatsworth House. A mansion actually. Dukes and duchesses live there, and it is gorgeous! We were especially excited because in the Pride and Prejudice movie (with Keira Knightley) it is Darcy's home - the Pemberly house! I recognized it :) I recognized the black/white checkered floor, the mythology-adorned ceiling, the room with all the white statues (no bust of Mr. Darcy though), the staircase outside, and the fountain they sit in front of in the last scene. Yes I really like this movie. Other rooms included an display of historical paintings, antique furniture, and a cute display of Elvis paraphernalia kept by an old duchess. Outside everything was SO pretty even though it was gray and raining. There were gardens, paths, fountains, lakes, a waterfall, rock formations, and even a mini-maze. Gorgeous.
cam and i
When we boarded the coach we immediately started watching Pride and Prejudice! I have seen it quite a few times here, but this time was the best because I had just been to Pemberly! :) We all went a little crazy (well there were 36 girls on the bus) and we got very irritated (fiesty) whenever our talkative bus driver Tony interrupted the movie to point out random things on the road.

Next stop - Haworth, home of the Bronte house/museum. It was.. an interesting place. It's the setting of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and we saw the moors - dark and foggy and wild. Kind of creepy. Very cold and wet. It fit the mood of the Bronte's town. The countryside was pretty still... lots of green underneath the fog. Next to the Bronte house was a huge cemetery that added to a gloomy atmosphere.
Last stop - York. We didn't see the historic parts of town because we got in late. A group of us got dinner at a pub where I tried rootbeer (the drink i miss the most) but it always tastes wrong here! Well apparently it had actual root flavoring in it. Nasty. Every lemonade and rootbeer I've tasted were just wrong here. The pub had some cute guys but they were mostly drunks. Afterwards we stopped at Sainsbury... where I meant to buy healthy snacks for tuesday but ended up buying a diet coke and 5 candy bars. (2 were for my mom!). Gross haha. :) We stayed in a hotel for the first night.

Tuesday 3/30
Day 2. We went further into York, walking on a big medieval wall surrounding York. It was pretty cool. We reached York Minster, a big old cathedral. Massive and gorgeous. I probably overuse those words… but they describe many cathedrals very well. :) York Minster is quite ornate and gothic, with, of course, beautiful stained glass. After a lengthy tour we saw the crypt underground but it was piles of Roman ruins of something… not much to see. York Minster reminds me of Notre Dame a bit. I love that I can say that. :)
After York Minster Ali and I hurried over to find a McDonald’s (God bless McDonalds for free wi-fi and cheap good-ish food!) so I could email my parents about next year's class schedule (my registration opens up while I’m in the North) and eat lunch (and yet another crème egg mcflurry! yum). Sadly I didn’t have time to explore anywhere else in York, but it seems to be an interesting town. :)
Our next stop was Fountains Abbey. It’s a very old ruin of an abbey, and at this time of year it’s very green and muddy. Not many of us were in great moods (looong week) and it was cold and rainy (what else should we expect?) and I kept wishing that I had some rain boots to keep the mud out of my poor worn boots. But the abbey was pretty, in an ancient stone ruins kind of way.
Last stop was Durham… a tiny little town with a big castle at the top of a hill, which happens to also be a university. Tonight we got to sleep in the castle!! So freaking cool. There are dorms inside the castle and students are on break so we got to stay there.
We walked into nearby Durham cathedral and stayed to watch Evensong. A priest spoke and then the choir (young girls and teen boys) sang. The music was really pretty and I liked seeing a Catholic (or Anglican?) church service, in a cathedral no less.
A group of us had dinner at Pizza Express (which sounds cheap and crummy but it’s actually a pretty nice restaurant) and made a Tesco trip. I can’t walk out of Tesco without buying chocolate. It’s a problem (that I don’t care to fix). Walked back to the castle… about half the people I saw on the streets were other BYU students haha. Durham castle was big and a little spooky and seems to haunted… a few girls had experiences with doors opening and closing mysteriously and creepy sounds. Well it is an old castle… Freaky though. Haha so I roomed with Alyssa and i was in my room talking with Ali and we planned to surprise her when she came back in. When Alyssa knocked (doors are always locked) Ali hid in the closet and when she walked in Ali shook the closet and I yelled "For Narnia!" laughing hysterically. Then Ali burst out and said "I found Narnia!" We scared her. So funny I know. :)

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