Posted in Travel

Some More Lake Lovin’

Wednesday, June 8

I had another adventure booked for the very next day this week, trying to squeeze everything in. Today, I went up to Penrith and then caught a bus to Ullswater Lake.

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I only had a few hours to hike around by the time I got to Ullswater, due to the bus timetables, but I managed to go up and see a waterfall called Aira Force and do some more hiking through sheep fields, so I had a really good time with that.

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After going up, I came back down to the coast and walked along the waterfront for a bit before catching a bus back to Penrith. The views of the mountains from the lake were just absolutely stunning.

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As I said, I didn’t have a ton of time, as I was dealing with bus timetables and cheap train tickets, but I had another really nice day of exploring!

Posted in Travel

Walking in Historical Greatness

This place has been on my bucket list of places to visit in England, and I’m so glad I was able to squeeze it in in the last week of my time here!

Tuesday,  June 7

I finished my last exam yesterday and treated myself to a day of travel for the day. I went to Stratford-upon-Avon, which is the birthplace of Shakespeare. It was such a nice day out. After my four hour train ride down south and three train changes, I arrived in Stratford. I then found my way to a small cafe where I had a pasty and cup of tea while getting my bearings. My train didn’t leave until 7pm, so I had plenty of time to explore the city. First, I went to Shakespeare’s birthplace home and bought my visitor ticket, which gave me access to all five of the “Shakespeare sites” around town.

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It was so cool to walk through all of these buildings and just think about how Shakespeare once walked there. In fact, I just learned a ton about this great English author, all in one day. After visiting his birthplace, I moved on to Hall’s Croft, which is where his daughter and her husband lived. They were a very wealthy family for their age, and the house was kept in tact with artefacts from what they could have owned.

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After this visit, I visited the church and gravesite of Shakespeare and then took a half hour stroll out to Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Anne was Shakespeare’s wife and he probably came here often, to court her. From this stop, I learned that Shakespeare was younger than she, he was 18 when they married, and she was three months pregnant at the time of their marriage. And, after their initial years of marriage, he spent much time away from their home, traveling and writing.

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From this adorable thatched roof cottage, I took a bus out to Mary Arden’s farm. Mary (Arden) Shakespeare was William’s mother and she grew up in the family of a wealthy landowner. She had several sisters and the farm that is on the heritage tour is still a working tudor farm. The farm animals are all breeds that would have been common at the time and the people wore traditional tudor dress.

After my time out on the farm, I headed back into town. By this time, it was about half five, so I wandered around the river Avon for awhile, just taking in the views and I watched a few boats come through the locks there. Then I headed into the city centre and had a “Shakesbeer” in The Garrick Inn, which is the oldest pub in Stratford and then got dinner at another pub.

 

The whole day was really fun and I feel like I learned so much about Shakespeare in such a short amount of time. In fact, I also learned that many of the words that we use commonly today, Shakespeare can be credited for. He was known to just make up words when he was at a loss to describe something, and they’ve stuck even until today!

Sorry  for the heavily-historical post, but I found all this stuff way cool, so I thought I would just pass it on!

 

Posted in Travel

My Kinda Procrastination

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Wednesday,  June 1

I got back from Dorset on Monday and I knew that I didn’t have my last exam until the following Monday, so I decided to take an adventure by myself as a break from revising and boy am I glad that I did, because this was one of my favorite days that I’ve had! I decided to spend the day up by Lake Windermere.

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I took the train up to Windermere and then walked to Bowness where I got a ferry to Ambleside. If that wasn’t confusing, then you’re doing something wrong. Because I had a hard time keeping this all straight, but it’s fine. Anyways, when I finally got to Ambleside, I had a cute little lunch and then set out for my hike. Before I came, I’d found a recommended hiking path and so I followed that. It was absolutely beautiful!

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Hiking in the UK is so much fun, because you literally just hike through fields of sheep on funny little paths, but I was just having the time of my life. It ended up being a lot longer (and more uphill) of a hike than I expected, because in total it was 15 miles and I was so exhausted by the time I was done. The peak was Wansfell Pike, and the views were absolutely stunning from this point. I literally just sat down (mostly from exhaustion) because the views were that breathtaking.IMG_7573IMG_7580

Pictures still don’t do it justice; God’s creativeness overwhelmed me and I just felt so incredibly blessed to be able to have this time to be able to travel and see the world. IMG_7589.JPG

On the way down, I was racing with time to get back to the ferry in time, and I actually ended up running for part of it, which probably looked hilarious, but it’s fine. All in all, such a great (and exhausting) day well spent!

Posted in Travel

Pictures are Worth 1,000 Words

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Friday, May 27

It was only 11 am and I’d already felt so many emotions. I just said goodbye to Ellie, the friend who has been my travel buddy and companion for the past 5 1/2 months. We parted ways after enjoying one last brunch together at our favorite cafe in Lancaster. She was headed back to Uni to study for her last exam and I headed to the rail station to meet up with Victoria.

Victoria and I were headed for the Southern tip of England this weekend, to go explore the Jurassic Coast. After three train switches and a taxi ride, we arrived at our Air BnB location for the weekend, in Poole (Dorset County). We got there around 7 pm and our hosts were absolutely fabulous, as they recommended a place to eat dinner and even drove us there!

Saturday, May 28

This was really the main-event, the reason we came down. On Saturday, we had booked a tour with a little tour company to take us along the different sites on the coast. It was everything we could have asked for and more. Our tour guide was this nice man in his 50s who has done just about every job in the book. Yet, he had a passion to educate and was full of fun facts. To top it off, we got to ride in one of the “Jurassic Park” busses!

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Our first stop was to see the Old Harry Rocks. Unfortunately, the morning started out really foggy and my poor iPhone just couldn’t capture the view, so I’m going to cheat for one second here and give a picture from the internet, just so you know what we did get to see!

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After stopping at the Old Harry Rocks, we journeyed on farther and did a small walk along the coast just outside of Swanage. We stopped at a Nature Reserve and got pictures by the Great Globe and then walked along the path to the Tilly Whim Caves. The caves are shut down now, after a cave-in some years ago, but we were told the story of how they used to be used.

 

After our walk here, we boarded the bus back again and headed to Corfe for lunch and a view of Corfe Castle. We had really yummy, homemade Cornish pastys and just strolled around the tiny town for the hour we were there. IMG_7245

Throughout the day, our guide kept telling us, “It just gets better. Each stop will impress you more.” And he was not wrong. Because after Corfe, we headed on to the main event-Durdle Door & Man of War Cove. Words cannot describe these views, so I’ll just let you look at pictures instead.

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We were also in for another surprise while we explored this area. We still aren’t sure of the details, but as soon as we got to the cove, there were search and rescue teams all over the area. A man was lain on the beach and there were medical attendants with him. There was even a helicopter that kept circling the area and lowering down men. So, we got quite the show with our view as well.

 

Victoria and I were just in amazement of God’s handiwork and creativity in his Creation of this beauty. Also, I’m still a dork.

After our tiring trek back to the bus, we headed back to Poole. We ended our wonderful day with a roast dinner at Toby Carvery where I got to have a traditional roast and try Yorkshire Pudding for the first time. (Just checkin’ off my English bucketlist)

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Sunday, May 29

On Sunday, we had a pretty chilled out day. We let ourselves sleep in and then headed back to Corfe so we could actually explore the castle and cute little town. We had lunch at a cute little tea room right by the castle as well. And, of course, I had a cream tea.

After our morning at Corfe, we headed back to Poole and went to Sandbanks Beach. It was a bit chillier than we had expected, but still enjoyed just being on an English beach and getting to eat fish (scampi) and chips from a cone!

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It truly was a great weekend, exploring some of the most beautiful sites that I’ve ever seen. IMG_7388