Let's start around... afternoon tea. That really was the highlight of my first day in England. After we landed, took the train/tube to the B&B and got all settled in, we set forth into the madness of London. I've never seen so many people in my life. We went to the British Museum, which is massive and needs 10 days all to itself in order to properly be explored. We focused our wanderings to the Egyptian exhibits, and spent quite of bit of time trying to track down the Rosetta Stone. There were so many huge sculptures and pillars its amazing that they managed to transport it all.
At the Museum they have a lovely little tea room that we ate at for dinner. Mom and I got the afternoon tea with lemon and ginger, and of course it came with little sandwiches, cupcakes, and scones with clotted cream. Lovely. Just lovely.
After that we wandered about Trafalgar Square, and briefly visited Big Ben. Exhausted, we got back on the tube and went back to the B&B, but took a quick detour to go visit Abbey Studios (the B&B was just around the corner from Abbey Rd.).
We fell asleep around 9 that night, and then woke up around 1 a.m. totally awake. Stupid jet lag.
The next day we took a coach tour of Leed's Castle, Canterbury, and Dover.
Leed's is a very old castle, built in the 1100's if I remember correctly. It was the home of a couple of queens, and sometimes used as a place to hold secret meetings. The large moat made for great security. It was used until sometime in the 17's and 18's when, I think, the landowners tried to spruce it up, but it became too expensive so it just kind of fell into disrepair. A wealthy heiress bought and restored the place in the early 1900's. It's a gorgeous castle, with a very interesting 20's flair.
Next we went to Canterbury to see the cathedral. I. Love. Cathedrals. It's funny because in my teen years I never had any interest in going to Europe and seeing old things, I thought it would be boring. Then I went to Belgium and I discovered my love for old churches and cathedrals.
It's the details that make them so special. I love how the floors feel wavy and uneven as you walk over them, no doubt worn down over centuries of foot traffic. I love finding small inscriptions of names and dates scratched into the stone from hundreds of years ago. Vandalism has been around for a long, long time.
Next was Dover. What a beautiful beach, unlike any other I've been to. Our tour guide was certain it was too cloudy to see France, but the sun came out several times and France was quite visible. My camera's lens was not quite up to the task of capturing it, but you can faintly see the coast in the distance.