Sunday, 11 May 2008

Excursion #1: Canterbury, Rye and Beachy Head

Our first "excursion" was so cool! We drove through miles and miles of the Southern English countryside to get to awesome places. Fields and fields of canola (which flowers bright yellow) looked amazing as the sun rose (we left really early). I loved the three places we stopped. I think Beachy Head was probably my favorite though, I've always wanted to see the White Cliffs of Southern England. Our day culminated in our bus almost breaking down...but luckily we made it home safe and sound. Here are a few snippets of my day:

Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral:

This Cathedral was awesome and one of the oldest sites we've seen so far. It was founded by St. Augustine (the first Christian missionary to England--sent by the Romans) in 602 and then it was made really famous when St. Thomas Becket (archbishop at the time) was martyred here in 1170. From that point forwards hundreds of thousands of pilgrims made their way to Canterbury to pay their respects to Becket at a shrine that was built for him. This is where Chaucer's Canterbury Tales had their origin. It's really crazy to think that I have actually stood where all of that happened. I also loved the architecture. All of these really awesome Gothic buildings are making me really excited for my Gothic period class next fall.

The Cathedral was falling down, but don't worry, we held it up and everything was ok. It is a pretty old building...


Our next stop was the little town of Rye. It was kind of a quintessential English village. Nothing really profound happened in rye, it was just sort of a stop to see the English countryside. It was complete with an old fortress, gate, cobble stone streets, a church set on a hill, Victorian style houses, Simon the Pieman pastry shop and just an old town feeling. The Mermaid hotel was awesome and I loved the way they named their houses instead of having house numbers. Such a fun place with a really unique atmosphere. I think I could live there and write a book. Henry James did it.

When I saw this little cottage I thought of McKell. Kell, does this look like something you should live in some day? Do you want to move to Rye with me?

Isn't that old Victorian architecture awesome? It's picture perfect, just what you'd think of when someone talks about a sort of vintage English town.

These two pictures were of my favorite street, Mermaid Street, which was so cute, complete with cobblestones and all.

Beachy Head:

Finally we went to an amazing site on the southern coast of England called Beachy Head. It's part of the "Seven Sisters" series of white English cliffs that span along the coast of the English Channel. I loved this place! I think I could have easily spent the whole day there. Not only could you see the amazing and breathtaking cliff views but there was so much open English countryside and rolling hillside in the opposite direction, and little pastoral sheep farms everywhere. It really was an astounding place.

The cliffs were really neat, and straight off. Word to the wise: never EVER take the Murdoch boys here. They'll just get too close, I know it.

It was so windy, we had to be careful not to get blown over the edge :). Look at that though, the English Channel and White Cliffs--WOW!

I took video of all of these places but I can't figure out how to add them and actually have them work. Soon, when I become a pro blogger I'll figure it out.

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