Carlisle! We spent five days up north with the aunt of the other side of Dixon’s family.
We arrived the Good Friday and on the Saturday we went on a trip across the boarder into Scotland. Gretna Green was only 9 miles from where we were staying so it wasn’t a long trip – it was an odd feeling to one moment be in England, the next in Scotland. Even while living in China, I had never crossed a land border before.
Our second day in Carlisle was spent doing as little as possible – the non-stop sightseeing over the previous almost two weeks had left us both feeling exhausted and in need of a quiet day.
We made up for it on day three, however, when – after taking the two dogs for a walk at the park – we all went to Whitehaven. It’s a nice little place right on the coast. I wasn’t a fan of the height of the sea wall but the view from the top was nice! We then went to another miniature steam railway. This one was longer than the last one – 40 minutes each way rather than 15. Dixon didn’t get to ride up the front this time but I think he enjoyed the trip all the same. It was a lovely day for it, if a bit cold in the shade. On the drive home we went through the Lake District which was really cool. It is one part of the country I have really wanted to get to and it would be nice to get there again before I leave!
Tuesday the two of us explored central Carlisle more, going to the Cathedral, Castle and picking up our tickets to London from the train station. We did consider a highropes course in town but decided it wasn’t as good as the one at Adrenaline Forest so we would just wait until we are both back in NZ and go there again 😛 Instead we decided to go see Fast and Furious 8, which we both enjoyed.
Wednesday was the day of the Roman Ruins, going to Vindolanda near a section of Hadrian’s Wall. It is the site of a Roman fort and town that they are still excavating. The outlines of some of the building are very clear, and the wall around the main fort, too. Not too far away was a Roman Army Museum with a 3D movie about the forts and the wall and the people who guarded it. It was a well put together museum with lots of different audio visual displays and maps and things showing when different parts were built and what life would have looked like for different classes of people. Well worth the visit! As that was our final full day with Dixon’s aunt and her fiance, that evening we went bowling! It was lots of fun although none of our scores were anything near record breaking 😛 Dixon won the first game, I won the second but he got the highest combined score. His aunt was giving us a pretty good run – I’m sure she rigged it at one point because there was one whole round where she was the only person who got any pins down at all! She got 9 down or something, the rest of us just got gutter balls! Still don’t know how she did it 😛
The next morning it was off to London again. The train from Carlisle to London was a lot faster than the one from Barnstaple to Carlisle – 3 hours rather than 7. Shorter distance, fewer stops and no transfers does that 😛 The original plan for Friday was going to be the Warner Bro’s Studio Tour but we didn’t get it sorted out soon enough. Instead, it was off to the London Zoo! That was a lot of fun – a long day and a lot of walking but seeing all the animals and hearing a couple of the talks about them was really interesting! We each bought a soft toy – his a giraffe, mine a tiger – as our memento. Originally they were going to be clip on tails but it was eventually decided that we would get more out of a soft toy than a tail 🙂
And then, it was our last day in London! What was there left to do?! I’m glad you asked 😉
Westminster Abbey (it was open this time 😀 ). the giant Lego shop, M&M world, Shaftesbury Avenue, China Town, and in the evening: WICKED! It was an amazing show to end an amazing holiday 😀 😀 😀 😀 The whole day was amazing – seeing inside the Abbey (including graves of Isaac Newton, Elizabeth I and Mary I, Mary Queen of Scots, all sorts of people), looking around four floors of chocolate and two floors of lego creations, it was incredible. Between having hot chocolates in a cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue and going to the theatre we packed up bags and watched another Fast & Furious. While we were in London we watched two a day to get through the first 6, in part because we could so why not and part because I had only seen 6, 7 and 8, not any of the earlier ones and that needed fixing 😛
Finally, it was time. The three weeks were up, the sights had been seen, the planes and bus were waiting to be caught. I went with Dixon to Heathrow and waited with him until he had to go through security before going to catch my bus back to Exeter.
I’ll admit, it’s been odd being back, for a number of reasons. Not having any more classes left is a weird feeling, I have to motivate myself to get study done and actually leave my room each day. It is really quite because not everyone is back yet and I’m not sure how back people will be – with only exam study to do, some people may prefer to stay at home rather than come back before hand. And after constantly having someones company for 3 weeks, it was really odd sitting in my room, by myself. But hey, that’s not a bad thing – to be able to put up with him for three weeks of traveling is a good sign, right? 😉