Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take Me to the West.

Our group's trip to the West of England was an adventure to say the least. It was actually kind of funny. It seemed like most of us really had no idea what we were in for. We were constantly asking each other, "Now, where are we going???" And no one knew. Even our directors seemed a little disoriented at times. The West was really a mystery to all of us, it seemed. But whoever suggested the trip must've known the amazing sights that lay in our path.

My pictures are out of order, but our first stop was Stourhead. It is a HUGE estate with lovely walking paths that take you around a lake, by temples, waterfalls, gardens, gorgeous buildings, etc. I heard one of the Pride and Prejudice movies was filmed here. It certainly looked liked something from a movie.

That night we stayed the night at the YMCA in Penzance-- yeah, just like the Pirates of Penzance!! I was singing all the songs as we took a walk out by the ocean at night.

In the morning we drove to the most amazing beach right next to Penzance. It is called Porthcurno, and it was stunning. 

We made a few more stops on the trip at Lyme Regis, a castle in the water, and Exeter Cathedral. I'll have to post more pics later...

Thank you, Porthcurno, for having me.
That's little Francis playing out there. Our director's daughter.
I really didn't take enough pictures of this place. It was so gorgeous. Everywhere you looked was a sight to behold.

Seashells by the seashore
This was probably one of the coolest beaches I have been to. Ever.

An ol' classic-- the Achilles pose.
Aloha from England!
Climbing over Rocky mountain! This my Pirates of Penzance pose. I was definitely singing all the songs here.

Alison being rad.
Staying at the YMCA was a first for most of us.

I wonder where we are going.
A spidey on a daisy at Hardy's Cottage.
Thomas Hardy's cottage.
Why is everything so cute here? Even the bees are cute. They're all big n' fuzzy, and they even let you pet them.
Inside the cottage. This could be a scene from Rear Window-- victorian style.
hours and hours of the English countryside from inside the bus.
The long, lovely path.
Humanities education moment-- notice the corinthian-style pillars. All right, move along...
Showing Stourhead what's up

The big naked giant on the hill. It had something do with pagan fertility rituals.
My cool new friends who are good at following directions.

Our heart silhouette.


Yeah, those are swans. Not ducks. Not geese. Straight-up swans.
I think that this is where they filmed one of the Pride and Prejudice movies.
I desperately wanted to walk on that bridge, but it was roped off.

Hydrangeas everywhere.
They were huge, and came in about every color possible.
I don't know.

Lauren and myself.

Consider the Lilies.
Party in the Back of the Bus! Yee-haw!
Someone kept pushing this button, which only makes a red light flash to our bus driver, Tony,.. who had a good sense of humor.
Another school group-- a little younger than ours.
The Stourhead Estate.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Innocents Abroad

The BYU London Centre on Palace Court.

The street where I live.
The Rosetta Stone
 SO-CRATES. haha. (bill and ted's excellent adventure)
The British Museum-- perhaps, the best museum in the world.
Portobello Road.
Best gelato in the whole world!
The many flights I climb to get to my room.
Hyde Park. Right down the street from where we live.

Chess is a sport.
I found a Botero!! Grandma would be very proud!
A cool little church we found on a walk. Apparently, Mother Goose was buried here. I didn't know she was a real person.
The London Tower.
Posing for pictures isn't our forte.

Some people believe that aliens built this. haha. typical aliens.
There were sheep everywhere.
heart telescopes.
I spy, with my little eye, something big, mysterious, and prehistoric... STONEHENGE!
fambly picture.

The lovely city of Bath. Pronounced "BAAAHWTH." Yeah, really drop that jaw, and give that British accent a try. It just doesn't sound as elegant with an American one. Not for a city this beautiful.

Fan Vaulting. Very cool.
Bath Abbey.

The Royal Crescent... breathtaking!

Audio tours. We are learning a lot.
Above the Roman Baths
You really can't grasp this place from the photo... the classic guitar, the historic buildings, the people, the elegance and tranquility... Bath is magical.
At the Criterion Theatre for 39 Steps.
Piccadilly Circus at night.
A quiet, hidden park in the middle of the city. It is dedicated to ordinary people who died performing heroic acts. This small place had the strongest feeling of peace I have felt in this city.
Here is one of many memorials.
The financial district? London business people like to bowl together on their lunch breaks!
The Borough Market. So many interesting foods and plenty of samples!
A Razzle Dazzle Rose in the Queen's Garden at Regent's Park.
Westminster Palace at Parliament.
A guard ready to blow our brains out.
Do you feel lucky, punk?
A little snippet of Westminster Palace.
Afternoon tea at the historic Pump Room. This was the real deal, ladies.
Oh Bath! How will I leave you?
How do you solve a Problem like Mr. Darcy? How is it done, Jane?
The endless panorama that is the Royal Crescent in Bath.
Me and Natalie at the ancient Roman Baths.
Westminster Hall at Parliament. We weren't allowed to take photos anywhere else in this building, but it was amazing! I really liked the Queen's robing room.
Arriving at the Piccadilly Circus to see the play 39 Steps.
St. Paul's Cathedral
new kicks.
Turkish Delights from the Borough Market. Mine was rose flavored!
Ol' Bill Shakespeare and I.
An exciting day on the Thames-- full of life and culture.
London Bridge... not the one in AZ.
Does anyone have the time?

Okay... I don't have a lot of time to go over everything I did this past week, but if you are interested in reading some details about some of these things here is a passage (well, most of it) from an email that I sent to my Grandma:

"My first week in London has been absolutely amazing. It already feels like I have been here for weeks! I have already done and seen so much! A few things of interest: 

-The British museum. (saw the Egyptian and Greco-Roman rooms.) It was our assignment to see the ruins of old Greco-Roman architecture. It was really amazing. i'll be back there for sure.

-Stonehenge. I found that National Geographic article you were telling me about, and read it on the bus ride there. It's amazing how mysterious this prehistoric monument really is. Apparently, they believe the stones came from Wales. Some people even think it was made by aliens!!! haha. The area surrounding was very beautiful. There were sheep herds all around. It was very picturesque.

-Bath was something out of a storybook. I visited the Roman Baths, which was very VERY cool. I couldn't believe how well everything was preserved! Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to swim in the baths anymore. It is a very interesting place though. Historically is was a place of leisure, business, cleansing (physical and spiritual), and worship (It had a surrounding temple dedicated to the patron goddess Silus Minerva).

While at Bath I also visited a museum of a fancy Georgian home, and the Jane Austen Centre (we are reading Persuasion). Bath Abbey was also a very beautiful visit.

Before we left, me and some girls dined at the historic "Pump Room." It looked like a gorgeous ballroom with an extremely high ceiling and gorgeous chandelier. We ordered the famous "bath buns" and I got the traditional pump room tea. This included a well-presented assortment of little sandwiches, biscuits with jam, fruit tarts, and a little mini creme brulee! Oh, and some herbal tea of course! It was so delicious. I was just like Jane Austen or any of the fashionable ladies of Bath would've had their tea time. Mostly, it was really cute.

-We went to the Piccadilly Circus to see  39 Steps, a hilarious mystery play with only 4 actors and about 40 characters! They were very talented. I bought some ginger flavored ice cream during the intermission that was very tasty. I never knew they made ginger flavored ice cream! 

-The other night, me and a friend went to the open air theatre at Regent Park, (It's just right off Baker St. where Sherlock Holmes was supposed to have lived) and we saw the musical "Gigi." The music and costumes were beautiful,a nd we were very glad that it didn't rain on us!

-We traveled to Westminster Palace to take a tour of parliament. It was very awesome inside. Everything is so ornate!! Well, except teh House of Commons. They had to keep a tight budget after WWII. My favorite was to see the statue of Winston Churchill, and his shiny foot where conservative politicians have often rubbed his toe for good luck. I was tempted to do the same, but they asked us not to. We heard some god stories about Churchill while on the tour.

-Yesterday, me and two friends took the walk down the Thames. It also happened to be the weekend of the Thames River festival. There were booths and all kinds of things to see everywhere. We also went to the Borough food market and a really neat open air book market. The markets here are so awesome. All kinds of cheeses and interesting foods! I had a rose-flavored turkish delight! It really tasted like a rose too. Next time I go, I want to get some good cheese and a baguette and have a picnic in the park.

We walked by the Tate Modern Museum, but we didn't have much time for it. Tomorrow I hope to stop by the National Gallery and see a few things for my class. So much to do, and there's so little time! All of this, and I still have to study, go to class, and get sleep at night! I'm having the time of my life!"