So, it’s taken a while for me to continue this journal/diary thing about my Europe trip, and I sincerely apologize. It has just been so busy! Has it really only been a week and a bit since I last wrote? It feels like years ago that we were in London. And yet it wasn’t. Strange how time works… Anyways. Let’s continue with the going ons of our trip!
Wuz awesome. Two words that perfectly describe the rest of my time in such a beautiful country. After our one day in Gatwick, London, we took a four hour drive out into the country, a little town called Sheffield, to be exact, and arrived at our small farm house where we were to be staying.
The first thing I noticed about the country, was that it was completely different from the central London area. The buildings were different, the land was different, and there was an over abundance of sheep. Yes, sheep. They were everywhere. Eating in the stone fenced fields, chilling on the driveway to our place, walking on the trials, and even crossing roads. We got used to it after a while, but never have I seen so many sheep in one place. They all had lambs though, so it was absolutely adorable. ^-^
The houses and fields look like something directly out of Babe the movie. You know the one. Yeah, that movie with the ‘sheep pig’. So, turns out that farmer wasn’t the only one who was big on sheep. And that stone farmhouse, with the thick slate shingles, single chimney, stone walls and old gates, is not the only farmhouse like that. In fact, it’s one of many. The rolling hills of the Dale’s and Lake district are peppered with old stone farmhouses and old stone walls. Not to mention castles! Oh the castles!
The first castle we went to was called Pevril’s castle. Just a ruins sitting on top of a hill, but boy was it gorgeous. It was a castle that had originally been used to hide Pevril from those who wanted to kill him, and it was conveniently located on the top of a cliff. A nice large cliff. So about a half an hour later of walking up a steep cliff, we reached the ruins and got to explore them.
Can I just say I would like to write another book set in medieval times right now. The ‘scope for the imagination’ as Anne of Green Gables would have put it, was impressive to say the least. There were winding staircases, a mostly intact keep and walls, the whole deal.
We did a lot of driving this week. Driving up to Cadsbury, and all around the Lake District, and then back down to Sheffield. I have to note that we went to Warwick castle (pronounced Warrick by the British 🙂 )). That. Place. Was. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! (the exclamation points are necessary 😉 )). Ok. There is no way I can accurately describe it all in one blog post, but I’ll try to give you a run through. This place was completely preserved, and rebuilt in places so that it looked like a castle would back in the day.
So we could walk through it and see all these swords and armor, and guns from the later times when it was used. Ok. So I was following my family into this one room, and there was a wax statue sitting right behind the door, and I literally jumped. Luckily no one was looking 😛 “Scared of statues” isn’t exactly something to put on a resume.
There were many more wax statues, all dressed up like the rooms to fit the time period. It was like we were there in the time period, and again, I was like ‘I need to write a book about this!!!’ Of course, there was too much to do to actually do that at the time, but I can’t say I didn’t try. 😛 So after seeing all of the castle, we got to stay in a tent right outside it. There was a complimentary all you can eat supper. And it was the best meat and potatoes I have ever eaten. But the best part of that meal was definitely the hot chocolate. Gosh was that hot chocolate good. They had this Nesquilk machine that made any type of hot drink you could ever imagine, and wow. The hot chocolate (and later a cappuccino in the morning) was the best I have ever had… like ever.
So after growing like twenty pounds, I waddled my food-baby over to the ‘entertainment’ they had planned for the campers who were staying overnight at the castle. There was archery, knight’s school, and jester school. Archery and knight’s school were taken, and I have to say, I was a little hesitant about doing the jester school. But we walked over, and decided to try it.
Turns out, it was like a ‘circus’ class. First the guy there tried to teach us to juggle. I was like ‘ok. I’ll try this. But not really. Cause I’ve tried it before and trust me. I cant juggle’. Either this guy actually is magic or something, or the wind was blowing just right, but somehow, I actually was able to juggle! I have never felt so accomplished… Yeah. So then we tried diablos, stilts, flower sticks, and a little bit of magic. So much fun. Of course, afterwards, we had to try out archery and knight school where we shot things with bows and hacked other things to pieces with swords (no, not each other. Stumps of wood actually.)
Next morning, we drove four hours back to the airport, then got on the plane for a two hour flight into Rome. Jumped off and wandered aimlessly around the airport, trying to find the rental cars and read Italian signs (a language none of us speak at all…). Finally finding our nice car, we drove to a pretty nice hotel, which my brother immediately labelled as ‘sketchy’ and stayed the night. Strange being here in Rome. So different from England. And yet, they aren’t that far away from each other…
Another four hour drive the next day, all the way up to Cinque Terre (pronounced Chinka Terra). After a long winding drive into the mountains, during which I am sure I dented the side of the car I was gripping it so hard, we arrived in the grape vine covered peaks where the small town we were to be staying in was nestled. The streets here are like, maybe… eight feet wide, max. Which is weird. Either these guys are really skinny, or Canadians need a lot of road space.
But the place is absolutely charming. The buildings are tall and multi-colored, the streets paved with large cobblestones. There are tons of shops, most of which sell wine, cheese, and bread. Oh and pasta. Lots of pasta. So yeah. I’m here sitting at the window of our apartment to try and get internet so I can write this. The trip has been so exciting so far, and I can not wait to see what is in store in the coming days.
That’s all for now,