24 February 2008

Ireland Pictures

20 February 2008

England, Scotland, and Ireland

Well we've just returned from our trip to London, Edinburgh, and Ireland. We had an amazing time and took so many pictures! It was so nice getting to speak English for a whole week, but when we first got there it was really weird to hear people on the street around me speaking English.

We left Lille last Tuesday morning and took a bus to London. To cross the channel, the entire bus got on a train. It was the weirdest thing. It was like a freight train and it took cars and buses through the Chunnel.

I loved London! We saw so many things. We went to Buckingham Palace, saw Big Ben and Parliament, walked by 10 Downing Street and down Fleet Street, we saw Westminster Abbey and the Tower Bridge. There is just so much to do and see in London. We spoke to a guard at the Parliament building who had the worst teeth I've ever seen. It was the perfect English stereotype. He told us, however, that we could come in Monday (when we came back to London) and listen to Parliment debate. I have to say, that was one of my favorite things that we did there. We listened to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and it was really interesting. It was sort of funny to see them do all the same stuff I did in debate...

That night we took an all night bus from London to Edinburgh. We left at about 11:15 at night and got to Edinburgh at about 8:00 am. I was surprised because the bus was PACKED! It wasn't too bad, but I was happy when we finally got to Edinburgh and could get off of the bus.

Edinburgh is a very nice city. There are lots of cute little stores and Davidson stuff all over the place, but the best thing was the castle, by far. We spent hours in there because there was so much to see. I was exhausted from the bus ride and walking around London for 10 hours the day before, but it was worth it. We got to see the Scottish crown jewels, which are the oldest crown jewels in Europe because Cromwell destroyed the orginal English crown jewels but the Scots hid theirs. The Scottish accent is pretty funny. I didn't really think they were hard to understand, but I could tell that if I spoke too quickly they had a hard time understanding me. That night we ate at Pizza Hut. It was so nice. Pizza in France is good, but it's just not the same.

The next morning (always on the go, arent we?) we flew to Dublin. We only had a few hours to spend in Dublin because it wasn't our final destination in Ireland, but it was fun. Trinity College is amazing and we had fun just wandering around for a while. I thought it was cool how everything was written in Gaelic and English. There are a lot of beautiful churches in Dublin, but they all cost money to go in. That seemed weird to us (Notre Dame is free afterall) so we didn't end up going in them. They have this weird Millenium Spike in the middle of one of the main streets. They built it for the millenium (even though they didn't finish it until 2002) and it's not super impressive. That afternoon we caught a bus to Galway, which is on the west coast of Ireland. It was nice getting to drive through the country like that and Ireland is so beautiful. It is just like it is protrayed in movies. I loved it.

We were lucky enough to stay with a great family in Galway, so we got to see a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. The first day we spent wandering around the city of Galway, which was really nice. It's funny because they have this big medieval wall in the middle of their mall. They just built the mall around their big medieval wall. It's a lot different then in the US. We walked along Galway Bay, which was beautiful and ate fish and chips at a really good little place, if you like fish. The Claddagh Ring was, also, invented in Galway, and I was able to get one.
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The next day we took a trip out to the Cliffs of Moher... better known, perhaps, as the Cliffs of Insanity in The Princess Bride. They were amazing. I think that was our favorite part of the whole trip. Pictures do not do it justice, but we took a ton, anyway. It is just a straight drop and they go on for so long. We walked for a long time and the cliffs just kept going. It was so cool. We also got to go to a castle in Limerick. It was comissioned by King John (like from Robin Hood) but he never actually visited it, but it was still pretty cool.

One thing you can say for Ireland, it does not disappoint. Go to Ireland. It is so beautiful and there is so much to do. I would love to go back and be able to spend more time.

All in all, we had a great trip. We wrapped it up, like I mentioned earlier, back in London. We went to Parliment and the next day to the Natural History Museum. That was really cool, although there were whales hanging from the ceiling and I hate that. Yesterday we caught the bus back to Lille and are home now, safe and sound. Now we just have to get back into the habit of speaking French all the time.

10 February 2008

Making Crepes

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07 February 2008

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He made it!

So Jonathan FINALLY made it back to Lille. I think it was a challenging few days for him. I'll spare you the airport details, but we had a little adventure here. I was supposed to meet Jonathan at one of the train stations here on my lunch break. The problem was, hadn't purchased a train ticket ahead of time, so I didn't know exactly when he should arrive. I got to the train station expecting him to be waiting for me, but he wasn't. After checking all the incoming trains and waiting a little bit, I had to leave to go back to school. I thought for sure he would be at the station when I got back after school. He wasn't. There are two train stations in Lille, I checked the other one, but he wasn't there either. I went home to see if he was waiting for me there (we only have one set of keys,) but he wasn't there. This patterned continued got several hours with me suffering various degrees of panic. Finally I came home convinced I was a widow and he was, miraculously, there. We just missed each other at the station somehow and he expected me to be places that I wasn't. It was a huge mess, but it worked out in the end.

So we're off to the UK and Ireland next week, so we'll be out of contact with everyone until the 19th. We are going to start in London, head north to Edinburgh, catch a flight to Dublin, spend several days in Galway, and then head back to London. It should be fun. It will be nice to be in a place where I don't feel guilty about speaking English.