So, it’s been a whole week since I’ve gotten to England! I will admit the whole “it feels like I’ve been here forever” statement is actually true; I really feel like I’ve been here for way more than seven days.
It may be due to the fact that these past seven days have been jam-packed with a ton of tours, orientation meetings, and a trip. Yesterday (well yesterday for those of you reading in America, it’s five hours ahead here!) we went to Stonehenge as a group, as well as Salisbury and Lacock. The trip lasted the whole day and was my favorite we’ve had so far.
Stonehenge was awesome. That is such a short and non descriptive statement but there doesn’t seem to be any other way to put it. I’ve been hearing about it since I was little and to actually see it (and take some selfies with it, of course) was, to use that lovely word again, awesome. The visitor center is new and has only been there for a few weeks, complete with a cafe, which I really appreciated after all of the wind. I’ve made the joke once and I’ll make it again: the stones did indeed stay intact, but my hair was not so lucky.
There was also a gift shop, and if I’m anything, I’m a sucker for a good gift shop. I ended up passing on the “Stonehenge ROCKS” shirt (difficult, with my love of puns) and going with a newspaper from the time of Stonehenge’s construction. It has everything from a debate of whether or not cave art is art to a feature of a man who burns his finger trying to use fire. Didn’t see any Weird News though, but it will have to serve as some inspiration for Gettysburgian articles to come.
After Stonehenge, we visited the medieval town of Salisbury, complete with the most beautiful cathedral I’ve seen so far. What’s crazy about the cathedral is that it only took about 40 years to build, unlike a lot of the other ones I’ve seen which took hundreds of years to be completed. We also got to see one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta from 1215 (I will admit I did know the date of its writing from Billy Madison).
After Salisbury, we got back on the bus and went to Lacock, my favorite stop of the day. Lacock is the coolest village, untouched by modern business and technology. All telephone wires, cables, and satellite dishes are not allowed to be viewed from the street, making the village look as if it were stuck in a past time.
The Abbey there was closed, but we were told that it was the site for Snape’s Potions classroom and the Defense Against the Dark Arts room in the Harry Potter movies. We also got to see the house where Harry Potter’s parents lived (and died- spoiler alert, but if you haven’t read the books- why on Earth would you be reading my blog and not the Harry Potter books?)
After we walked around a little, we ate dinner in the oldest pub in Lacock, built in the 1300s. The owner of the pub told us how the town is used a lot by filmmakers, with movies like Pride and Prejudice and The Wolfman using Lacock as a movie set. The town also smelled like bonfire, which is clearly one of the best smells in the world. I was surprised it didn’t also smell like warm cookies.
Tonight we went to “Poetry and a Pint,” where community members came to read some of their poetry at a local pub. It was cool listening to all of the poems, which were about anything and everything you could think of. There was also a published poet who read from some of her books. I tried another type of cider, and I think I need to start keeping a list so I can figure out which is the best. I usually try to listen to what the local people are ordering- British people seem to know their stuff.
In terms of a coffee update, I’ve been pretty loyal to one shop in particular. And I mean that literally, I have a loyalty card and everything (8 more to a free drink!). But I’ll definitely be trying out more coffee shops in the city as I attempt my reading list (see my last blog post if you want a picture of my pile of books!).
So there’s an update, thanks for reading! :o)