Monday, April 5, 2010

trip to the [lake district] north.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up. I know my parents have been anxious to see what I did what I was in Northern England. I started to write down pages and pages of notes from my trip but then I realized that I am sure no one reads all I have to say so I am going to skip to short captions on the subject of each photo I put up.
Anyways I loved visiting a new part of the country I have come to call home. We all woke up fairly early Monday morning and piled onto the coach we would call "home" for the next five days. Our first drive was about three hours and the entire coach was full of sweet slumbering girls, and a few boys.
Our first stop was Chatsworth House or better known as Pemberley
from Pride and Prejudice [Mr.Darcy's estate]
It was gorgeous and despite the pouring rain Britin and I went exploring on the elaborate grounds. I love Britin's sense of adventure, she keeps me alive.
After getting a cup of soup and getting back on the coach we were off to Hawthorn to see the Bronte Parsonage. After seeing the graveyard and gloominess of the Moors I soon realized why Emily Bronte would have written such an almost disturbing book like Wuthering Heights.

Another lenghty drive and we were in York. It was still pouring down buckets of rain but Katie and I walked down a ways to eat at a local pub. I had pasta and of course sticky toffee pudding with custard sauce, a British dessert that I have come to love. Although we were looking a little crazy from the rain there were some Yorkish fellows that thought we looked like the gorgeous American girls we are [haha]. As we walked out of the pub we got some knocks on the window, a wink, a wave and a blown kiss.

After a long chat with my roommate for the night Caitlin and semi-good nights sleep we woke up, had breakfast, and then walked on the city wall of York to the York Cathedral. Yes, another cathedral and surprisingly not the last.

Once we had our lenghty tour of the Cathedral we walk through the adorable inner city of York and then got back on the coach. We then drove to Fountains Abbey which is an old abbey that was put to ruins by king Henry VIII in the dissolution of the monasteries. I walked around the grounds with Katie, Calvin, Cam, Laura M, and Kalyn. We had a lovely time although we were attacked by gnats. Next we drove to Durham, where we next checked into our place of residence for the night, Durham Castle. I can now check off sleeping in a castle off my list of things to do before I die. I slept in the room with the top small window right above my head. :)
After checking in a setting my stuff down I went to dinner with Laura, Jenny and Christina. We had such a fun night and talked for hours in Jenny and Laura's room after dinner.

The next day we walked through Durham down to the coach park, loaded up and headed even more north. We first stopped along Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads where I proceeded to climb an fairly steep hill [more like a small mountain] to see remains of the wall.
This is me after I had made it to the top in my no traction Uggs.

This is me about five minutes later after I had fallen in the snow and froze the right half of my body off. I was not happy. [I have a gigantic bruise on my side still.]

After a quick change session, luckily I had brought some extra sweats, we were off again to see two of the poet's Wordsworth's houses. This one was my favorite because it has the most beautiful view of the lake district.Next we drove through the Lake District to where we were staying just outside of the bustling metropolis of Hawkshead. this was my first experience of staying in a youth hostel and I was surprised at how clean it was, but then again we were in the Lake District which is an exceptionally nice part of England.
Before we ate dinner at the hostel, I went for a walk with Eliza and Britin. If I wasn't quite sure that I was in love with the English countryside already, I am sure of it now. The lake district is one of the most beautiful places I have even been in my short lifetime. I would be utterly content to spend the rest of my life there in a small country home.

There are sheep everywhere. Luckily we were there in spring and were able to see all kinds of baby lambs . Loved it.
Then after dinner I went for another walk with Jenny. I could have spent hours outside. I know this is probably hard for my parents to believe but while I was there I had the urge to go camping. It is quite the sport to walk along and camp in the lakes and I actually thought it sounded like fun.It was a little tricky going for walks because there are no sidewalks and we have to remember to stay on the side of the road so cars are coming head on to us. There were some parts of the road where the hedgerows were about three feet taller that I am and we would have to run around corners to be sure there were no cars.
I found a sign for cow crossing. I thought it was hilarious, mainly because my nickname from my family is Macy Moo. I miss the stinky smell of Turlock cows.The next morning after breakfast most of the group including myself walked about three miles to Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Farm. This walk was my favorite and the weather was perfect, a change from the rain and snow we had the previous days. It was blissful. Once there we toured her house at Hilltop Farm. Before she died Beatrix left all of her property to the English people for the preserving of a certain breed of sheep in the lake district and left Hilltop to the National Trust for visitors. She literally had left directions as to where even the furniture was to be placed in the house so it looked as if she had just walked out when you tour the house.
After taking the craziest taxi ride I have even taken back into Hawkshead and getting some lunch we hit the road for Preston. Church history time. We met up with our favorite tour guide Peter Fag who lead us all around town showing us various sites where prophets have been. My favorite was being next to the Ribble river, where the first baptisms occurred in England.
Next we were able to go visit the Preston Temple, which is actually located in Chorley. I realized while we were there just how much I love the temples. I love the feeling of being home I get when I am near one. I am luck enough to be able to see the Rexburg Temple just out my window while I am at school and I am just two hours from three temple when I am in Turlock.
For some reason I think it is hilarious to take pictures with Jake as if we were a couple. Here we are at the temple, I think it's my favorite of the collection.
After our quick visit to the temple grounds we drove into Liverpool, not the most gorgeous city in England, where we stayed for the night. In the morning I went with a few girls to the Beatles museum. It was probably my favorite museum so far, I am quite fond of the Beatles.
After our visit to the gift shop Margret, Sarah, Kalyn, Christina, Laura and I went to lunch for Marg's birthday at a place called Pesto. Yes I had pesto, and it was the nastiest pesto I have ever eaten. We then walked back to the coach for our last ride on the beloved home of the five day trip. Once home I instantly packed, showered and fell asleep. It was overall a wonderful last trip while here in the UK. I am going to miss it so.
12 days left.


vocalise said...

Having been to every one of the places mentioned in this post I could not help but smile the entire way through. (The poem on my blog, Macy....Wordsworth...'My Heart Leaps Up') You could totally see the Beatrix Potter books in her land, no? And, sorry...but the Beatle stuff was just way too cool. Did you go to Strawberry Fields or Penny Lane??? Don't the sheep look different? Were the Temple Grounds green for you? You all look like you are having so much fun.....all of those old castles......whoa.

macy marie. said...

I could completely see how Beatrix would think up her books from the places she lived! I was so sad because we only had a few hours to see Liverpool and we only stayed by Albert Dock but we did drive past Penny Lane. So neat to see where the ledgends got their start. The temple grounds were green, so green and beautiful!

vocalise said...

Ahhhhh.....sending all of this to Chase. He lived in Chorley. I seriously cannot get over all of the ground you have covered on this semester abroad. Absolutely Amazing!! Love to you!

Kristy said...

This blog info will be priceless to you someday helping you to recall ALL the wonderful and amazing things you did during your Semester abroad in 2010. You lucky girl you...your parents must really love you! Dad P.S. They do!

Kristy said...

Macy you are seeing such wonderful and amazing things and I am so happy for you! Enjoy every moment of your last few days there...I can't wait to see you on the 17th! Mom

Denise said...

You are seeing such amazing places. I love Beatrix Potter. And the castles are fascinating. What a great semester.