August 20, 2008

home again

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I'm back in Madrid! ^__^/ The 6 days I spent abroad on vacation were lots of fun, but exhausting as well. ^^ We didn't just stay in London; we also went to visit Hampton Court palace, in Surrey, Windsor castle, and Oxford. =) I want to go back already. ^0^ There were so many places we didn't get to visit!

The first three days it was a bit cold and very windy, and we had dark clouds and light rain showers, but in the last three days it was sunny most of the time and even a little hot.

Before going there I was aware of the difference in habits of British people, but some things still seemed curious to me even after six days. XD The "keep left" signs in the underground (here in Spain we always keep to the right when walking), the three-pin plugs (here they have only 2), bus shelters facing the façade of the buildings on the street instead of the road (it's the other way around here), the fact that many shops and tourist atractions closed at 5-6 PM (here they close around 8 PM)... It felt a bit like the world turned upside down. LOL But I loved it there anyway, and people were all so kind and nice. =)

I didn't have the proverbial fish 'n' chips, but I did try the beef and ale pie with potato mash and peas. When we visited Hampton Court I learned something curious: In Henry VIII's time people didn't eat the whole pie. They ate the meat inside and left the crust pastry. The baked pie was a mere serving dish, as it was made of flour and water and thus not very tasty.

A few photos. =D I finally bought a digital camera and I'm so happy with it. ^__^v Took lots of pictures. XD

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The first one is from our visit to Hampton Court. The tour guides were dressed in medieval style. She was really witty, and I loved listening to the history of the palace, which was very interesting. =) The second and third pictures are two views of different parts of Windsor castle. It's HUGE! =O It's a pity photographs are not allowed inside the buildings, because St. George's Hall in particular is so amazing!

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The picture on the left is from Magdalen College, in Oxford. It is so beautiful, and it was so peaceful there! ^^ The second picture is a stained glass window from Christ Church's cathedral, in Oxford too, which shows Edith Liddell as St. Catherine. Edith was the younger sister of Alice, the Alice for whom Lewis Carroll wrote "Alice in Wonderland". I'm a big fan of Lewis Carroll's works. =) When we visited Christ Church college I was more excited because Alice and her family had lived there, at the deanery, and because Lewis Carroll had taught Mathematics there than because some scenes of the first 2 Harry Potter movies were filmed there. XD Oh and there was "Alice's Shop" as well, the place where supposedly Alice bought her sweets as a kid, there in Oxford. =) Now it's a shop that sells "Alice in Wonderland" related souvenirs. I bought a couple of very cool things there. ^__^v The third picture of course is the Big Ben.

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The picture on the left is St. Paul's Cathedral. We were so lucky we had a private guided tour with a Spanish volunteer guide. =D She was really nice and friendly. The picture on the right is a view of Westminster Abbey. I absolutely loved Westminster Abbey. It's so amazing... and Gothic. ^-^ I love Gothic architecture. =) And I was so impressed by the ancient treasures it holds - like the coronation chair (also known as "King Edward's chair") from the 13th century.

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The picture on the left is a monument to the Celtic queen Boadicea, who led her people against the Roman invaders. You literally stumble upon this monument when you go out of the Westminster undergroung station. The picture on the right is the famous "Harry Potter" starcaise at Christ Church college in Oxford that leads to the dining hall.

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And these are two views of Christ Church from outside. =) The buildings and the gardens were so beautiful!

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And these are from Shakespeare's Globe theatre. It's a reconstruction, but it still felt magical to be there. =) And the guide's talk was so interesting. I really want to go back to London and see a play staged there. =D

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And finally these two are from Hampton Court. ^__^ The one on the left show two other guides that were dressed in medieval clothes too. XD I wouldn't mind doing that sort of job. =) The second one is a picture from the kitchen's area. I love seeing those sort of recreated scenes, so you can imagine what the place was like centuries ago. ^__^

PS: This entry will end on a sad note because this afternoon there was a terrible accident at Madrid's airport, Barajas. There was a plane crash and more than 140 people died. Only about 26 people survived, and many of them are injured. I feel so bad for all those people and their families. ;___; I also feel incredibly lucky it was not us.

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