Sunday, November 21, 2010

One incredible weekend! Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and the City of Bath

Yesterday, Lauren, Lisa, and I had an incredible day! We took a tour out of London to see Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath. Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the Queen. She usually spends the weekdays at Buckingham Palace and then the weekends out here. It was actually not too far from London, but so incredible beautiful! The best part of the drive out there was seeing all of the fall colors! We've been in the city and busy suburbs so much that I hadn't been able to see to see many trees. It was actually gorgeous...and COLD! The Castle was amazing, though. I'm so glad that we went. The whole time, I just couldn'tbelieve how old it was. In America, we have things that are 300 years old at the most...and those are our most precious historical places. Here, 300 years is NOTHING. People in the countryside and the city live in homes that are older than that! I can't remember how old they said Windsor Castle was, but I think it was like at least 500 or 600 years. It was so cool! It's has three main sections: the State Apartments (like the royal entertaining rooms, old queen and king bedrooms, drawing rooms, dining rooms, ballrooms, everything!), the Royal Apartments where the royalty live when they are there, and a beautiful chapel. There was an incredibly huge dollhouse given to Priness Anne, tons of knights' armor and weaponry, and beautiful portraits, furniture, and carpets. I wish they would have let us take pictures inside. It was so cool to think about the history there and all the amazing people who have been there.
After Windsor Castle, we drove out to Stonehenge. A lot of the people here had told me not to expect much, that it was a lot smaller than you would expect. I absolutely loved it though! I think it was my favorite part of the day! To see something that you hear about your whole life...that's so old and mysterious and amazing, it was just so cool! They say that it was built in 3000 BC with stones that they think were brought from 250 miles away. Somehow these were trasported before the wheel was even invented! It is a big mystery about how it was built. When you see it, it is absolutely phenominal. No one really knows its purpose, whether it was for sacrifces or special ceremonies or astrology, but it amazing that these are still around today. Fun fact: a third of the stones are actually underground! No wonder it's stood the test of time!

I think I took a million pictures of it. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. People around here said that you used to be able to go right up to and touch the stones and climb on them. Of course, then people starting defacing them and messing around, so they had to rope them off.

Our last stop on the tour was the city of Bath. Some ancient Roman baths were discovered there. They are feed by natural hot springs that are still flowing today...hundreds of years after the Romans created the baths! What they have been able to uncover is so cool!

After a look at the baths, I got to see a sweet kamper from Kanakuk, Gabby Mack! She and her family have lived in England for the past 7 or 8 years. It was so exciting and refreshing to see someone that I know so far away from home. She and her mom rode the train to Bath and I got to spend some talking with them before we had to head back to London. This eas definitely one of my favorite moments of my time here in England so far!

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