Thursday, February 22, 2007
I hate being sick in a different country. It makes me feel so small and far away from home. Everything seems even more unfamiliar and foreign and what I'm wanting right now is familiarity (and a cough lozenge that isn't black currant flavored).
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Anyway, you get the picture. Stonehenge is really old, and it's a huge tourist trap. There were people everywhere. In the movies you always see it as some solitary figure on the Salisbury plain with absolutely nothing around it. You don't see the gift shop (which includes such wares as a Stonehenge Rocks t-shirt, Stonehenge Socks, and the ever popular Stonehenge decorative spoons. I totally bought the Stonehenge socks, and I'll sport them proudly), the large car park, and snack bar.
Then we moved onto Salisbury, site of the Salisbury Cathedral. It's 800 years old and possesses one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, which is also about 800 years old. The cathedral is absolutely awe-inspiring. It's massive and it sports one of the tallest church spires in the United Kingdom. And I was lucky enough to climb to the top of the spire because we roped a guide into taking us up to the top. I climbed a lot of really tiny spiral staircases. It's a miracle I didn't trip and fall. And I saw some thirteenth century wood and two hundred year old graffitti. It was pretty awesome. But when we got to the top and went outside on the balcony, the view was breath-taking. That's all I need to say. The view speaks for itself.
Everyone in the play was incredible though, so--no suprise--it was a production of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Antony and Cleopatra is part of the Complete Works festival they've been holding for the last year (I bet their staging of Titus Andronicus was really cool). I've been gushing about this for the past three days. I can't say enough how amazing it was, as anyone I've talked to since Thursday has seen full well. It is by far, my favorite England experience.
And who am I kidding--it wouldn't have been nearly as exciting without Patrick Stewart. I'm such a trekkie nerd. I'm going next month to see him as Prospero in The Tempest. We're also travelling to Stratford to see Ian Mckellan as King Lear. I bet that will be a really really great performance.
Feel free to be jealous of me now.
Monday, February 5, 2007
First we went to the Roman Baths. Looking back at my pictures, I seemed to have been fascinated with odd bits of brick. It probably had some sort of significance when I was actually taking the picture, but what that was is lost to me now. The water actually bubbles--apparently it's some reaction to underground gas or something like that. There I am in my requisite red coat at the Baths--every picture from England that I've been in I've been wearing that red coat. I'll be really glad when it's warm and I don't have to wear it any more. Next, we went to the Bath Abbey. We were particularly happy to go there because it was free, although I did leave a small donation to help with the church's upkeep. Besides, the volunteer at the front desk was really the nicest man. There are tombs and memorial plaques everywhere, and I saw one dated as early as 1683. It was cool just to bask in the historical oldness of it all.
Here's a picture of the Abbey I took right before we left to return to Leicester, one of my better efforts if I do say so myself. We went to an evensong service that evening, and it was really beautiful--very calming and majestic. I wish you all could have heard it.
Of course, we had to take a tea break and where better than a place with a clever name--they serve really good tea too. So if you're ever in Bath, and you want a pot of tea, I recommend the house blend. Yummy.
And just because I had to throw in something really weird--and there's not much stranger than two men on really tall unicycles wearing hot pink tutus and holding torches (they juggled those torches as their big finale). This street show was truly one of the high points of my trip to Bath. I haven't laughed that much in a really long time.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
I went out on Thursday afternoon to run a few errands, and the whole enterprise turned into a lovely wander around the
After the Farmer's Market, I wandered through a small alleyway and found a place called
I love when I find great places while wandering aimlessly. I'm going back next week to see what I can find.