Friday, March 27, 2009

Sister Withdrawal

We spent a week making our way all around Northern England, taking a break from the busy city to go check out the Lake District, York, Preston, and random sites all along the way.

Our first stop was Haworth, to tour the Bronte house. Looks a little creepy, yeah? I could totally see Wuthering Heights coming out of this place. We watched Jane Eyre on the bus while we drove there, very appropriate. My favorite part about the museum inside their old house was a display called "Bronte Myths." It went through a lot of stories people hear about the family, like the dad neglecting them or the children being sheltered, and explained that these are actually false perceptions.

The countryside was beautiful the whole week, this is a good view of it from the highest tower of Bolton Castle.
I felt like this picture just really needed to be included -- I spend a LOT of time on that bus so now you know what it looks like! Too bad you can't see Tony...or hear his random facts. Good look at Bolton Castle, too. It's closed for a few months but they opened it for an hour so our group could go in.

Fountains Abbey was beautiful, probably 2nd on my list when it comes to amazing (Stourhead is still a strong 1st). Here are some ruins that were fun to run around in, and it was very appropriately foggy that day. This is where parts of the Secret Garden were filmed. Is it bad that whenever we stop somewhere and they tell us some random movie was filmed there, everyone gets a little more excited?

Here's Melissa and I at Fountains Abbey again, in front of the Water Gardens.

York! The old one. We climbed the tower of York Minster (246 steps, thank you) and got a good view of the city.

Here's the other side of York Minster...2nd largest cathedral in Europe! I believe it, the thing was big.

Then the next day, we climbed again.....325 steps, to be exact.... the top of Durham Cathedral. Here's the view from the top!

Tony convinced our professors to make an extra stop in our day. We pulled off and got a good look at Hadrian's Wall, built by the Roman Empire in 122 AD. It stretches across 73 miles of English countryside. It's so hard for me to comprehend how old things are.

See the wall? It just kept going and going...

The Lake District! This is about 10 steps outside of our hostel in Ambleside. The view definitely made up for the nastiness of the hostel. We stayed in Ambleside for two nights, so both of them involved cookies and milk on the dock.

Sunsets never cease to amaze me. Ambleside felt like Juneau, long streets of shops and shops and you kind of just know you're not seeing the real part of the city. We did see some cool sights though, like William Wordsworth's house, his old school, and where Peter Rabbit was born. Beatrix Potter wrote a lot here.

We spent our last day in Preston and took a church history tour. Here's our guide showing us the river where thousands were baptized when the church first came to Great Britain. We also saw the town centre where missionaries preached, the house Gordon B. Hinckley stayed in on his mission when he received the famous letter from his dad, and where apostles stayed when they first arrived.

We ended the tour with a stop at the Preston Temple. I loved being there, especially after seeing countless cathedrals. Everyone loved walking around the grounds -- I don't even need to go inside to feel the different spirit that surrounds the temple compared to the cathedrals I've toured.

Me & Janna at the temple! She's waiting for her mission call!

Fun trip! It felt weird to not talk to my sister for so long though! That was one of our records...her mission doesn't count :)

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