Sunday, 27 May 2012

Day 13: Tell the world I'm comin home...

Today was our very last day in England. We got up early and took the train to Gattwick after being driven by a very frazzled cab driver. After this we waited around for our gate number; for awhile we thought the flight was delayed, then boarded the plane and settled in for the nine hour flight. Three movies, a nap, and in depth conversation with the person next to me we were home.

Day 12: Return to London

We took the return six hour train ride to London, which just seemed kind of sad and drab after being in St. Ives. It was surprisingly warm when we got back and we were got to wear shorts for the first time on the trip. We said goodbye to Katie and Mary at the train station and the rest of us had one last dinner together. We didn't do much that night except pass out as soon as our heads hit our pillows.

Day 11: St. Ives Part 2

 Today we walked around the town and made our way down to the coast to board a boat that would take us to Godrevy Island.  On this island is the lighthouse that Virginia describes in To the Lighthouse and Hyde Park Gate News. We were taken to the island by a boat called Dolly P. and a man named Derrick who was very opinionated and very much in love with Cornwall (he "circumnavigated the globe seven times").  We got to take a ton of great pictures and found that the lighthouse is still operating, although people no longer live there.  We went in to town for to eat and I had some delicious fish pie and a decadent brownie while looking out at the sea.  We also visited the St. Ives Museum which was full of fabrics that looked like those Duncan and Vanessa made for the Omega Workshop. Another thing on our agenda was Talland House. The gardner was kind enough to let us in and we got to see the garden that Virginia described as "full of nooks and crannies."  It was full of water features and secret passages.  After all of this we had some Cornish ice cream, scones with clotted cream and tea. Caroline, Joslyn, and I walked along the beach at low tide and climbed some rocks where we had a great view of the estuary.

Day 10: St. Ives Part 1

Today we took an epic six hour train ride to St. Ives.  Luckily the train went through some beautiful scenery and we all got some much needed sleep. Once we got there we checked in to an adorable bed and breakfast run by the nicest couple ever. Bev and Ian were so warm and welcoming and their dog Ollie was precious.  We explored the town and looked and the cute shops that were full of wonderful art. We also observed the drastic change in the tide. That night we went to the grocery store, bought some wine, and spent the night chatting.

Day 9: Cambridge

The trip to Cambridge was the second day I planned. Going back was so exciting. I felt like I was coming home and kept trying to go back to my old room at Queen's. Today was one of the coldest days of the trip. Everyone was freezing and we had to buy extra sweatshirts just to keep warm. We took a bus tour of the town and learned that Cambridge was founded by students who fled from Oxford after accidentally killing a townswoman while practicing archery.  We walked along the backs and saw the entrances to the colleges, many of which were closed to visitors.  Unfortunately we could not see the library at Trinity College because it was closed during exam time.  We did however get to see King's Chapel and Newnham when two nice girls let us in to the grounds. We missed the turn to the college just like Virginia did.  Following the walk she describes in A Room of One's Own we wound our way around the grounds being careful not to get reprimanded by the beadles for walking on the grass.  After today we all added attending Cambridge for grad school on to our life plans.

Day 8: Knole/free day

Knole...Today we were supposed to go to Knole, but we decided since we were all so tired that we would just take the day off. We all finally got to go shopping and admired the stores on Bond Street.

Day 7: Kew Gardens and Hogarth House

Today we started out at Richmond, but decided to cut our time there so we could spend more time at Kew Gardens, and I'm glad we did. After looking at what used to be Hogarth House which is now a Boots pharmacy sadly, we took the train to Kew.  The gardens were gorgeous. We got to see Japanese style pagodas that Virginia saw when she walked through the gardens and went up to the tree top walk where we could see all the way to the London Eye.  Each part of the gardens had something different to offer and the sheer number of plants was mesmerizing. We also got to see the lily pond that Virginia loved and the inside of the green house was about as humid as Clemson. I bought my mom a beautiful print and a book that shows what the gardens look like during each season which I might end up stealing before it's all over with.