Sunday, March 22, 2009

Travel much? Just a bit

Well, I'm finally back from my marathon traveling, and I'm exhausted, sick, and rather pleased. Instead of detailing all of my adventures from the past week and a half, I will hit the highlights of my two major trips -- to Nice, France, and the North of England.

Nice -- Nice was nice (bahaha). It was a relaxing paradise, to say the least, and as such, it would betray the essence of the vacation to give a daily account of our doings. So here are a select few of the highlights:

1. Roller-blading down the Promenade d'Anglais
2. Laying out on the beach in that wonderful Nice sun(except I will never let Elizabeth talk me out of buying sunscreen again)
3. Fresh pastries yummm
4. Hiking to the chateau colline
5. Walking out to the lighthouse
6. Staying in a hotel that looked more like a Mexican prison
7. Speaking FRENCH to the FRENCH
8. Walking the entire length of the Baie des Anges
9. Getting all wet in the Mediterranean Sea
10. Elbowing French freeloaders out of the way to get a really ugly free hat to wear while waiting to see the end of the Paris-Nice bike race.
11. Making it onto the Nice news two days in a row
12. Getting kissed at by French boys, calling me their cherie, only to see them hitting on someone else 2 minutes later. Heartbreak.
13. Sitting on the Palais de Justice eating GELATTO!!!! The most delicious gelatto I've ever had in my LIFE.
14. The markets in Old Nice, specifically the marche des fleurs (flower market)
15. Elizabeth's Richter Scale-worthy snoring
The Bay of Angels

My scent! In the country from where it comes.

Our really nice 2-star hotel
The freeloader hats... trust me, we looked the best in them out of anyone on the promenade
Skating down the promenade
The Marche des Fleurs

York & the North Country 6 hours after I returned from Nice, the entire group of us headed out in the coach for a 5-day tour through the North Country, going through Leeds, York, Preston, and, my favorite, the Lake District. Sadly, I lost my cellie phone in Leeds, which is inconvenient but not the end of my life, so I'm not stressing. Other than that, here were some of my favorite moments:

1. The Bronte Parsonage -- seeing where the amazingly talented and ambitious Bronte family grew up was a huge reminder for me of everything I
should be doing, and how much harder I should be working towards my own goals. It may sound weird, but this particular stop was a rather spiritual experience for me.
2. Preston Temple and the church history tour -- Our final day of the trip was spent in Preston, where the first LDS missionaries in Britain were sent, and President Hinckley also served his mission here. We had a 2-hour walking tour of the major sites, finishing it at the Preston Temple. Also, we had
amazing fresh doughnuts from a stand there.
3. Durham Cathedral -- the cathedral where the very first pointed arch was made and where flying buttresses were invented. Plus, a scene from Harry Potter was filmed there. Pretty tight.
4. York -- talk about amazing shopping. I bought stuff. Even though I shouldn't have.
5. The Lake District -- just driving through the countryside was so much fun. It was like no other part of England -- it was mountainous, with lots of trees, and browns and greens and lots and lots of lakes. We really wanted to go skinny-dipping, but it was freezing at night, and as it was, a third of the girls were sick, and the other two thirds were starting to get sick as well.
6. The ruins of Fountain's Head abbey -- If I lived in this area of the country, I feel very certain I would walk these ruins every day I possibly could, just walk, and sit, and write. That place has a spirit. I don't know how a location can be moody, but it certainly is -- I suppose the heavy mist might have added to that as well.
7. Hadrian's wall -- this pretty cool-looking wall marks the Northern extent of the Roman Empire.
The ruins of Fountain's Head Abbey -- I put a lot of pictures up of this because I loved it so much.

Bolton Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive. Elizabeth thinks she's so clever.
The alluring and mystical Bronte parsonage

The dock at the lake in the front yard of our hostel in the Lake District
Well, at dinner one night we were all deciding for each other what animal we look like, and there was a general consensus that I was a fox for whatever reason. The next day we were in Keswick and went to this tiny museum famous for its randomness, and guess what was there. A fox. Do you see the resemblance?
Dove Cottage - the home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth
Sitting on Hadrian's Wall
Durham Cathedral
Me and Patrice in front of the Preston Temple
In Preston at the river where the first baptisms in Britain took place

I know this is not my usual format, but there's so much I could tell, and honestly I don't have the time or the motivation to do a normal entry. Peace out, babies. Oh, and Paris next week. I've got one week in London, one week in Paris, another week in London, and then finals and I head back to the States. Weird.


Liesl said...

Oh, wow. By the way, did you take that picture you have up at the top? Because it's AMAZING. Love it. Truly. Also, love the puns on Nice. I'd totally do that.

Roller-blading? I'm jealous. I've discovered a new favorite pasttime: classic skating. I secretly want to be a regular there. We should go when you come back, that is, assuming I'm not in Idaho.

tenorios said...

ONE WORD. JEALOUS. you look soo happy in all the pictures.

you are living my dream, connie!

Wendyburd1 said...

SOO jealous!! Fountain's Head looks like somewhere I'd want to go everyday too, to just sit and soak it all up, so pretty!! You are so lucky Con!!