Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ooh La La! The Thrills of Paris!

Before I delve into Paris, I will do a quick recap of Spain:

It was beauitful! I went to the beach on Monday, and for the most part the weather was perfection. It did rain on our walk back to the bus, but I still think it was worth seeing San Sebastian! I explored some on my own, but my favorite part was shopping, of course! I found the most flattering jacket and bought it. The city of Bilbao itself was filled with architecture everywhere...statues, stairs, even the metro system had some architecture at either main entrance. I loved every moment. Seeing Jenny was great too, and I felt bad that she was sick and I was too. It made the damp weather hard to go out in, but we did our best, and I am satisfied with my time in Spain.

Now on to Paris! Can anyone say whirlwind adventure? We only had one and a half days really, but the girls and I managed to see a few things and experience Paris at its finest. We of course saw the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. There was lots of walking involved as well as getting lost on the metro a few times. It was all part of the adventure though! Saturday night, we ate at one of the most delightful little cafes across from the Notre Dame. I had the crème brûlée, which was to die for! I would go back to Paris just to have that again. :)

While we were at the TOP of the Eiffel Tower, Elise saw someone get proposed to. The woman said yes, thankfully, and then they went back to talking! I suppose none of us really know what you do in that situation, but we thought going back to talking immediately after was a little weird. I guess on top of the Eiffel Tower, you can't do much else. Maybe scream that you are engaged...like yelling it from the rooftops? I know that's what I would do...but I don't want to be proposed to up there. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

English at Heart

I'm not off to a very good start of blogging, am I? :) I will try harder to write more than once a week!

This week has been filled with touristy things and travel! I saw Les Miserables and fell in love with it. It is such an emotional story. I also toured several places on Monday, including Westminster Abbey, Winston Churchill's War Cabinets and Museum, saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and viewed the London Bridge and Tower of London. That already seems so long ago though!

I am now in the English countryside and have been enjoying the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. I was able to help out in the church's school that I am visiting. Here, my degree in English and specifically British literature, is quite useful! I was told by one of the teachers that I am really English at heart. That made me so happy. :)

I drove to Winchester yesterday (left) and explored the city, known for the Great Hall (part of Arthurian legend) and the Round Table, as well as Jane Austen's house and gravesite. It was the perfect day. I was obviously overwhelmed when I stood over Jane's grave and realized that this was the place she actually was, not in some far off place that I read about online or imagined while reading Pride and Prejudice. It was wonderful.

Tonight, I am going to a barn dance (yeehaw!), but I don't think it's anything like what I've been to back home. I am sure there will be pictures and some detail to come on that event. :)

Tomorrow, it's off to the next adventure!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's a Jolly Holiday in London!

I've walked a lot in the past two days and seen many touristy things! I was mostly on foot and today I am completely sore, but it was worth it. Of course, it rained the whole time but rain here is different. It's just sort of present and you get used to it. It's also just a drizzling sort and never pours like at home. :) In all, I covered about 4 miles on foot, which turned out to be a good exercise for me. I saw the National Gallery, which has several famous paintings and was overwhelming. I loved that I had taken an art history course and learned about most of the paintings. I also visited St. Martin's, a church next to the Gallery. I ate in the cafe downstairs in the crypt...quite interesting to say the least. I also walked to Westminster Abbey and crossed the Thames, right by Big Ben! It was a wonderful first day!

Today was a special day...I visited John Keats' house. He was my senior seminar research topic, and it felt unreal that I could sit in the very room he worked in and touch the same mantle he stood at. It was absolutely delightful. I could not take indoor pictures, but the outdoor landscape was beautiful. There was a mulberry tree that had been there for over 200 years!

The people here are lovely as well. I feel right at home with everyone and am learning how everything works here. I watched the X Factor tonight (and not on youtube for once), and also their version of Dancing With the Stars (called Come Strictly Dancing). They had a former member of Parliament dancing! It was, um...yeah. Anyway, I am a happy girl here having the time of her life!