I went to England for nine days. It was glorious and wonderful and frustrating and difficult and so, so many emotions rolled into one.
This is my third trip to England and this time, I took my 15-year-old daughter with me. The original impetus for going was to see Benedict Cumberbatch play in Shakespeare's Hamlet. When they made the announcement that he would be performing, I had a year and a half to save the money for the trip, so it was the perfect opportunity.
Therefore, most of September and the first few weeks of October were spent planning our trip. We left on Oct. 16 and came back Oct. 24. We spent a few days in London seeing all the usual tourist spots...
|Parliament, the London eye, and of course, the iconic red double-decker bus.|
|The Thames next to Parliament.|
|Buckingham Palace. The Queen was in residence as evidenced by the flag.|
|The Map Room in Churchill's War Room. This is almost exactly like it looked during World War II.|
|The Sherlock Holmes museum!|
On Tuesday, we set off for Salisbury in southwest England to visit the Cathedral and take in some peace and quiet. I like London, but it is a city - dirty and busy and full of people - and my introvert nature had a really hard time after awhile. So I was more than ready to take a nice, leisurely train to Salisbury!
We were rewarded when we got there: a perfect, beautiful day of sunny skies and gorgeous, gorgeous scenery:
|Salisbury Cathedral in the distance!|
|Calm. Quiet. Clean!|
|The River Walk.|
|The worship hall.|
|One of the many prayer chapels.|
|Beautiful stained glass windows.|
|Detail of the ceiling work.|
|The Prisoner of Conscience Window|
|Organists have been here since 1463!|
Our plans were thwarted the next day. We had wanted to go to Wilton House, a grand estate a few miles from Salisbury, but we discovered on their website that they were closed for the season. We were heartbroken. But we decided to use the time to become further acquainted with Salisbury. During our time in Salisbury, we'd take a walk from our charming bed and breakfast to the city centre along the river walk. It was a beautiful stroll.
In London, we took our last day there to visit The Who Shop (all things Doctor Who!) and then headed over to the Imperial War Museum. This is my second visit to this museum, but last time I went, I was not a World War II historian, so it was much more meaningful this time around. Plus, they had some new exhibits. The Holocaust exhibit was very well done and very sobering.
|The Imperial War Museum|
|A boat used during the evacuation of Dunkirk.|
|A Nazi eagle from the Reichstag.|
Wonderful and amazing? Well, I was in England. I am a Anglophile and I love this country and its culture. I loved eating fish and chips and scones with clotted cream and jam, and staying in a glorious Bed and Breakfast in Salisbury (travel tip: if you are going to England, stay in B&Bs! I have done that the past few times and have had a much better experience with them than a regular hotel) and watching my daughter's delight and fascination in experiencing a new country. I loved seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in person and seeing Shakespeare performed. I loved talking to English people (our B&B hostess was such a delight) and soaking in the beauty of the country itself.
Although we were ready to come home after our time there, I was a little bit sad to leave. I could easily live there a few months out of the year (maybe during our horrendous summers!), and there is so much more I want to see and experience.
But that is for the next trip!
A Note on Blogging...
I am going to make an effort to blog more. I miss it. And with my big trip behind me and life settling back to normal (here's hoping!), I'm going to try and blog at least twice a week. That's the goal!
I'm working on my novel again and it is wonderful! Plus, it's autumn and the trees are gorgeous, the air cooler, and November is here!