London Day Trip: The Cotwolds & Oxford

England
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London Day Trip: Dover & Canterbury

England

Today I woke at the ungodly hour of 7:30 (having gotten home at 4 in the morning eek) to make good of my social programme trip to Dover and Canterbury. It poured ALL DAY 😦 And the winds were so bad that they ended up closing Dover Castle (a fortified structure. Doesn’t make sense to me either) so I only got really rainy pictures of the outside. Whatevs. Hopefully they will reimburse us.

Stonehenge & Winchester

England

This blog is seriously the best thing to procrastinate with since the discovery of Facebook. Today: Stonehenge and Winchester. And guess what? Yup, no rain. Beautiful pictures. Happy Lindsey. The long bus ride through the countryside was enjoyable, and I was actually awake this time. Took some out-of-the-window photos, which didn’t make the cut here but I still saved them. Stonehenge was really cool but very quick. Walked around once and got back on the bus. But still managed to get pictures!
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I give the sun credit for how this one came out.
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Then we rode another 45 minutes to Winchester, home of the Winchester Cathedral!
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(I figured you could find outside photos online, so only inside ones here)
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Which holds the grave of the brilliant Jane Austen. This is her memorial, which stands right beside it. We also saw the home where she spent her final days. It was very yellow.
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This is the Bishop of Winchester’s official residence, also: Wolvesey Castle.
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And up Winchester High Street, we entered the Great Hall to find King Arthur’s Round Table! 13th Century and oldddddd.
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In back, a beautiful little garden.
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The girls, minus Andrew, who sadly had to take the picture.
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Hurray!

ETA: Pictures have FINALLY been uploaded to my entries at Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s/Covent Garden/Tower of London. Have a look!

London Day Trip: Hampton Court Palace

England

9am-5pm class today with no lunch = EXHAUSTING. But we got to take an adventure to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace in Surrey (HP lived in Surrey! ahem), which had the loveliest gardens. And some kingly architecture.
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The front of the palace.
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The great hall, I think.
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Some staircase. Some really pretty staircase. Some good painting.
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One of the courtyards.
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And the backyard gardens. Some in French style.
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And some in English style, which is always the prettiest.
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Outside we caught a sighting of King Henry VIII himself!
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Before we left, we walked through the Palace Maze!
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After I came home, I really did nothing more than buy groceries and sit around the room eating what I bought. Digestives: 1, Lindsey: 0. ALSO, today I got my Student Oyster Card. FINALLY. So after paying the £205, I will now be able to travel as many times on the Tube as I want in Zones 1&2. Which meansssss….. a trip to King’s Cross VERY SOON. To see Platform 9 3/4. Which will begin my long and arduous journey into touring as many as-made-famous-by-Harry-Potter locations as possible. AM TRULY PSYCHED.

Brighton & Westminster

England

Ahhh 6 minutes until tomorrow! I’m trying to get entries in every day in real time, and so far it’s been a little stressful. Especially because I have like no time at night and no real want to write anything down. Anyways, today we went to Brighton, which I thought was really anti-climactic. It took an hour and a half to get there, our tour guide was horrible, and there wasn’t really much history outside of George IV’s Royal Pavilion, which in itself was very bizarrely non-English. The outside is very Indian, while the inside is decorated ENTIRELY in Chinese. In the words of Craig Ferguson: Iiiii knowwww!

Windsor Castle & Eton

England

I dropped my camera today, and now it does not work. Needless to say, it put a damper on my touring day of Windsor Castle and Eton. But after getting over the shock and panic of it all, I decided that only one thing can be done. So I’m taking it to a Sony Centre at High Street Kensington on Monday after class in hopes of getting it repaired. And if not, replaced. This is so dumb.

But lovely Melissa had an extra camera with her at Windsor (imagine the luck) and I was able to get pictures online!

So today I went to Windsor Castle and Eton, which were both so beautiful. The weather was, shockingly, sunny and bright and pretty much perfect again, just like our boat cruise day. So we arrived at Windsor.
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And it was beautiful. (picture off of Melissa’s expensive camera)
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We were able to get in early enough to watch the changing of the guard, which was all yelling and stomping of feet and marching and pomp. And furry hats!
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I really like their uniforms. This guy didn’t know what to do with his eyes, they were swirling around so fast, I think, trying to avoid eye contact.
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So afterwards we toured the castle, which was full of rooms bigger than my house complete with marble statues, portraits, coats of arms, gold-flaked ceilings, and very expensive and extravagant-looking furniture.

We also looked into Queen Mary’s dollhouse, which stood about 5 feet high complete with basements, intricate details, and even miniatures of famous paintings of the family painted by the original artists. I felt like a ten-year-old princess, rich enough to appreciate it but young enough to want to play.

After touring the inside, we stumbled upon one of the courtyards, which looked like it belonged inside a brochure.
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Once we pretty much covered everything, Melissa and I wandered off and decided to have a photoshoot along the outside wall!
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Then we took the bridge over the Thames to get to Eton which, I think, has been the most beautiful part of the trip so far. Everything was lush and old and quiet.
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(I have a LOT more of the campus and the greenery, obviously I can’t fit them all on here. But take my word for it—they are equally as gorgeous)

The term for the boys starts next week so the school is currently closed. But considering the fact that I’ve simply waited 21 years of my life to get there, I thought I deserved something better. So I broke some of the rules.
sneaking

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Sneaking is stressful!
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We snuck into the back where we discovered a lot of residences and offices and cottages which led to the backyards where sporting took place. The view on our way to College Park.
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And in the park.
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Where men were playing cricket!
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There and back again.
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It was a lot of walking, but a trip well worth it.