Well, I’m back.
I went on an adventure, and it was more wild and difficult and exciting and wonderful than I could have ever imagined! My two friends (Margaret and her brother Galen) and I went to London, Scotland and Paris. A total of two and half weeks of travel, adrenaline, fatigue, and enjoyment. We used almost every form of public transport available, took trains from all of the major stations in London, and became true experts at the London Underground (aka the tube). We became addicted to bacon sandwiches and the bizarre Scottish soft drink Irn Bru. We got lost in Paris and locked ourselves out of our flat in London. We discovered that lunchtime (especially lunchtime in snobby restaurants) is the hardest time not to laugh like a bunch of crazies. We learned that when we tried to hold on to our plans and schedules, all we got was frustration. We found that when we made a conscious decision to surrender ourselves to the Lord’s plans, and take each day (with gratitude) as it came, we had a blast. We grew to love each other like family. We left part of our souls in Scotland, fell in love with Paris, and felt like London was home.
It couldn’t have been better.
On the plane, on our way to Heathrow!
We got to see the building that has been transformed into the Sherlock Holmes museum; it’s a replica of what 221b might have looked like in the 1800’s.
The view from Mrs. Hudson’s window
Harrods, the world’s most luxurious department store
The Burlington Arcade (notice that I’m proudly wearing my red trench coat!!)
The London Eye reflected in the pond at St. James’s Park
Need I explain this one?
We had fish and chips at the Red Lion pub – it was sublime!!
The Tower of London
Check out this guy’s gun!
At the Tower of London, we got to see dozens of antique breastplates, suits of armor, and weapons.
I was so excited that the Tower Bridge was painted with blue – my favorite color!
We got to go up to the top of the two towers and look down over London.
Near sunset, we rode the London Eye.
The vastness of the city, as seen from the top of the London Eye, took my breath away. And I just couldn’t get enough pictures of Big Ben from my bird’s eye view.
In Scotland, we stopped in at a quaint little bakery.
Though we only had one weekend in Scotland, we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to an amazing tour, we got to see the Highlands, Glen Coe and Loch Ness all in one day.
The bridge reminded me of something out of Miss Potter or Pride and Prejudice.
During the day tour of Scotland, we listened to the most amazing stories and history from our wonderful tour guide, Jamie.
Jamie also played us Scottish music while we drove, like “Caledonia” and “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”
Jamie said that this bagpiper didn’t know what he was doing, but to my [ignorant] ears he sounded just great. 🙂
At Loch Ness, we didn’t see the famed monster “Nessie”, but there is a sort of Loch Ness Monster in the clouds if you look closely.
I took a sprig of heather home with me, and somehow its colors have remained bright even after three weeks.
A highland cow
After Scotland, we returned back to London and then headed to the Lake District for a day.
I LOVED the old graveyards all over England, and especially loved this one in the Lake District.
The village of Hawkshead in the Lake District.
Outside of Beatrix Potter’s home, Hilltop farm.
Thanks to Beatrix Potter’s efforts, thousands of acres in the Lake District have been so well preserved that much of the land looks just as it did 100 years ago.
The sun popped out just long enough for us to get some beautiful shots of one of the lakes.
Back in London, we visited Westminster Abbey and Parliament in the same day.
The abbey absolutely took my breath away.
No pictures were allowed inside Westminster, but a sweet vicar allowed me to take one of my hero, William Wilberforce.
Talk about impressive…
Parliament (right across the street from Westminster) was amazing as well!
Now comes Paris – one of the best parts of the whole trip! There were dozens of old book stores in Paris. I could very easily go broke in one of these stores, and it wouldn’t take me long at all!
I got a copy of Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days” from this shop.
The Arc de Triomphe
The Eiffel Tower, from the top of the Arc
Seeing as how that’s only a teeny fraction of the thousands of pictures I took on my trip, and how I still have a whole week worth of pictures to show you, I think that’s enough for one day. 😉 I’ll post again soon with pictures from the rest of my adventure!