The Final Study Trip

I’ve officially finished finals and everything now, so I’m getting around to writing all of the other things I’ve been meaning to write.

A week ago, my UK Media class took a trip to London to do two things: go on a walking tour of the places in London where Harry Potter was filmed, and visit the offices of The Telegraph, a newspaper. After a four-hour bus ride that was delayed because some royals were going somewhere so traffic stopped, we met up with our tour guide, Liam, at the Royal Exchange. As it turned out, the tour was not just of Harry Potter stuff, it was more about writers and stories that were inspired or influenced by places in London, including two ghost stories and part of the origin of Dracula (look up Countess Elizabeth Bathory if you want a pretty gruesome story). I really enjoyed it though, it gave a good idea of what London is like, as well as introducing various spots that have been culturally relevant. Our tour guide was also great, really friendly and engaging, and I think he was impressed by our knowledge of Harry Potter.

The tour of The Telegraph was also really cool. Our tour guide was a 70-year old man named George who had been working there since he was 27 and is technically retired, but still comes to work every day. I didn’t know much about what it takes to run a newspaper, but he explained it all pretty well, plus it was pretty cool to see everyone’s desks all laid out, it was an open floor plan. One of their people in the obituary department used to be an ASE tutor who taught this class, so we got to talk to her for a while, which was interesting.

Overall, it was a cool trip, although it was four hours on a bus each way, which was a little long. Today we have final tea and I have one last performance with Bath Phil, and then tomorrow the program is officially finished and we have to move out, which is crazy. But I’ll get to see my boyfriend and begin our travels, which I’m very excited about.

To London for a Show

On Friday, myself and some other ASE students went into London to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, which had Daniel Radcliffe playing Rosencrantz. This is one of my favorite shows, and I performed in it in high school as Guildenstern, so I was really excited to see it.  It did not disappoint, but I will get to that in a minute.  We got food beforehand at a Mexican street food restaurant, which turned out to be really delicious. And it was Cinco de Mayo, so we accidentally kind of paid homage to that with our food choice. Our dinner ended right around when we wanted to be at the theater, which was right across the street. I had some really good bean and cheese quesadillas and fermented corn and cheese empanadas.

We went over to the theater after that and went to our seats. My seat was very far over to one side, but there was a rail in front of us that was padded that I spent a lot of time leaning on, which I think the theater realizes, and I appreciated that they compensated for that. The set was really great, the stage expanded backwards a ton and had a cloud and sky canvas that expanded through the whole ceiling and onto the back wall and faded into the ground on the stage, and it created a rounded back to the stage. They also differentiated between the “play” and the action by having all of the “play” with a curtain that had some illustrations on it that made it clear it was in the court of Denmark. I thought the set worked really well and I loved how they used it.

And of course, Daniel Radcliffe did a wonderful job. I thought he brought a great energy to the character and made the character’s arc and emotional change throughout the play very clear. Joshua McGuire played Guildenstern, and he did a phenomenal job as well, he really carried things forward, at least in the way that Guildenstern kind of does. The cast of players was also great, they played, I think, live music that fit into the show well and also sounded really good. I was really impressed with how everyone did and was so happy with how the show was. It’s basically over now, but I would recommend it if you have the chance. We stood in line for a little while to try and meet Daniel Radcliffe, but we had to leave to catch our bus back. Overall, it was a really good time and I’m very happy that I got to see it.

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My Feet Have Never Hurt More: How to do London in One Day

Spring Break has officially begun and Rachel and I started by getting up at 6 in the morning to catch a 7 am bus. Well, I got up and Rachel’s alarm didn’t go off so I woke her up approximately 5 minutes before we had to head to the bus station. She was able to get ready and we didn’t miss our bus, so it was all good. Then we took a three-hour bus ride to London, in what turned out to be basically the last time we were sitting until we got on the bus to go home about 10 hours after we arrived in London. Once we got off the bus, we grabbed some food and headed out to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (see additional photos). Honestly, I didn’t find it to be super exciting, it’s a lot of watching them march and hearing them drumming. It is impressive how in sync and together they were, but there were also a lot of tourists and so it was pretty crowded and a tad difficult to see.

We had bought tickets to go on the London Eye the night before, so we headed generally in that direction, with a few stops on the way. The first was Big Ben (see additional photos). I feel like there are a lot of buildings in London that you go and see, but unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money, you just kind of look at them, take your picture, and then go. That is part of the reason why I am so appreciative of how many museums have been free in the places we’ve gone to, but since it’s London, that isn’t as much of the case. But anyways, we saw Westminster Abbey (see additional photos) and Parliament as well. There were a lot of places around Westminster where people had laid out tons of bouquets of flowers and remembrances for the people who were hurt in the attack last week. It was a really moving and meaningful thing to see, just how many people wanted to support those affected by it. We then headed to the London Eye, and after about a 25 minute wait, got onto one of the little pod things and off we went. I don’t typically like heights, but I actually didn’t mind going on the Eye, partially because it went rather slowly and so it was easy to adjust to, like flying in a plane. And the view was absolutely beautiful (see photo below), I would also be curious to see what it looked like at night.IMG_6812.jpg

From there, we went somewhere I was very excited to go, the reconstruction of the Globe Theater. The original theater burned down when they were doing a performance of Henry VIII and a canon had to be shot off, but it ignited the thatched roof of the building and it all burned down. There’s now a parking lot where it used to be. This was one of the only places we paid to do a tour of, but I’m very glad we did. Our tour guide was absolutely wonderful, definitely theatrically trained, but also clearly had a good time telling us about everything. He gave a lot of good information that I hadn’t heard of before, so if you’re ever in London and interested in theater and Shakespeare, I highly recommend it. And there were also two very cute infants crawling around the stage, getting their photos taken when we got there, so that wasn’t too bad as an added bonus. They based the inside of the theater on reports of other theaters of the time (see photo below) because they don’t have any records of what the inside looked like. The theater still has shows in it, which is really awesome, there were some people rehearsing a sword fight when we got into the visitor center. IMG_6816.jpg

From there we went down the street to the Tate Modern, which is a modern art museum. I thought they had a really good system where some of the galleries were free, but some were paid, so people were able to see art, but they also still had a business model. And the free galleries weren’t that bad, we got to see a Picasso (see additional photos), a Matisse, and a Dali, along with a bunch of other cool exhibitions from less well-known artists. Then we started a mini-trek to see the Tower of London, which isn’t actually much of a sight as it is behind a wall (see photo below). A bonus to having an English history buff as your friend is that she will tell you all of the fun historical things about the sites you’re seeing, like how the Tower of London has had a large variety of functions throughout its years, including a zoo and a prison. We also got some ice cream while we were there, which was much creamier than any ice cream I’ve had before, and I really liked it.IMG_6831.jpg

We then took a break from doing touristy things and went to go find a friend of Rachel’s who works at a pub in London, we eventually did locate him, and said a quick hello and they caught up and all that jazz. At this point, we had walked a fair ways away from the bus station we had come in at, and we began the first of two hour-long treks on our way back to the train station. Our destination was Kings Cross Station, as I am a huge Harry Potter fan and wanted to take a picture at Platform 9 3/4. My feet began to hurt a good amount, but we did eventually make it to Kings Cross. I hadn’t realized, but it actually is a whole commercial thing, with a line and a photographer and props for people to use. It lead into a Harry Potter shop where I only bought two patches, but you could also buy your photo, although they do let you take a photo on your own, which Rachel and I did for each other (see photo below, and I don’t know what happened with my legs going bow-legged either).
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We then started yet another hour-long trek back to the bus station. We got to pass a few cool things though, such as the British Museum (see additional photos), the theaters where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho are playing. We also went by Trafalger Square and the National Portrait Gallery, so there are many places that I could go to if I wanted to go back to London at some point, which I may. By the time we finally reached the bus station, my feet were hurting more than they’ve ever hurt before, and my hips had begun to hurt as well. If you want a few facts about the day, according to my phone, we walked 36,737 steps, approximately 15.8 miles. The bus ride back was a welcome relief from being on my feet, and I slept very well last night. It was quite a good day though, we got a lovely walk back past Buckingham Palace at sunset (see photo below).IMG_6838.jpg

I think it was a good start to spring break, although I am enjoying a much more relaxed day so far, in which Rachel and I have already watched The Muppet’s Treasure Island and The Princess Bride. I’m also almost entirely done booking flights and things for my trip around Europe with my boyfriend after my semester has ended, which is a relief too.

A (Not Very) Brief Guide to Every Museum in Oxford

Most weeks, on Tuesday and Wednesday I have my internship. However, seeing as we are in Oxford, I did not have my internship, so I had entirely free days for the past two days. Fortunately, so did my housemate Rachel, whom I will also be traveling with for spring break, so we decided to try and do all of the touristy stuff these past two days. Except the Ashmolean Museum, that is, because we’re going as a program on Thursday, so look forward to that.

We started at the Museum of Natural History, we got there as it opened, so it was pretty empty initially, although it did fill up. There were also multiple primary school groups that came, which was cute. The first thing we saw was a stuffed American Black Bear that said “Please touch” on the sign (see additional photos), which is not really something I’ve ever encountered before. It had pretty coarse fur, just for reference. The first row of exhibits was mainly related to dinosaurs and animals from around that period, which I really liked because I’m a huge fan of dinosaurs. They also had a dodo, and are known for their dodo because they used to have on display the most well-preserved dodo head in the world, although I don’t believe it’s out on display at the moment. A lot of it was the same kind of fare you find at most natural history museums, although I think this one had a bit more things that you were encouraged to touch, which was kind of cool. I also liked the layout (see photo below) in that it felt very open and that every piece of it was very intentional, like the upper level has pillars and each is made of a different mineral and they’re all labeled. It also allows for a lot of natural light to come in, which adds to the fact that it’s natural history.
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There is also a museum attached to the Museum of Natural History called the Pitt Rivers Museum, which was started because one rich English man, Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, went around and collected things from all over the world and therefore started his own collection, which was made of around 22,000 items and started the collection of anthropological items that now make up the Pitt Rivers Museum. My first reaction to it was feeling overwhelmed, there are just a lot of items in a not very large space, it’s a lot less open than the museum it is attached to and has no natural light coming in, which makes it feel very dark and cramped. Some of the highlights to me were the large collection of model ships, multiple cases of items that were thought to be magical, shrunken heads, a giant totem pole, and a collection of very ornately decorated Easter eggs (see additional photos for all of those). They also had an upstairs exhibit on various body modifications and adornment which was very cool, but we were running out of time so had to go through it pretty quickly. I do highly recommend both museums if you ever find yourself in Oxford. Plus they’re both free, so why would you not.

After lunch, we headed to the Bodleian Libraries. They are a tourist destination in part because they were used in the filming of Harry Potter. The Divinity School was used as the infirmary in the first movie (see photo below), and in the fourth movie, for the scenes of them practicing and learning to dance. The Duke Humfrey’s Library was used even more for filming a lot of scenes in the library at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take pictures in the actual Library because of copyright reasons, but I promise I did actually get to go there. We then went across the street to the Weston Library to see their exhibit on their “Treasures,” which were a lot of cool documents, including one of the copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio and a page of the Magna Carta (see additional photos for both). There was also an original illustration and page of a story written by J.R.R. Tolkien, but we were not allowed to take pictures of that either.IMG_6765.png

Then we walked down the street a bit to the Museum of the History of Science, which again had a lot of items in it. It was a very cool museum and I think that if I was more into scientific instruments, it would’ve been great. It’s something that I think my dad, who is a physicist and is just generally a science guy, would very much enjoy, but to me, it lacked a through line, as in each room was full of objects with descriptions, but there just wasn’t really any cohesion or story being told with them. There were very cool things like a chalk board with Albert Einstein’s handwriting on it (see photo below) and a coin orrey (see additional photos). However, it felt just like a collection of a lot of cool items, but as more of a display than a museum where you are following along it. IMG_6701.jpg

We walked over to New College from there, which was another Harry Potter filming location. The cloisters there were used in the fourth movie, if you recall the scene that took place under a tree, where Moody transformed Malfoy into a ferret, we got to visit that spot (see photo below). I didn’t really expect to have as much of a reaction to seeing it as I did, but straight when we walked in, it felt familiar and just very exciting to be in a place that something that means and has meant a lot to me was created. So you are not interested in hearing about Harry Potter filming locations, then I’m sorry, but you’re going to hear more about them because Rachel and I are traveling around the UK for spring break and will definitely try to see as many of them as we can. IMG_6712.jpg

Today we had a plan that went a little awry. We intended to start at the Story Museum, which was created because Oxford does have such a long history of storytelling from inspiring Alice in Wonderland to J.R.R. Tolkien to the Harry Potter films to inspiring parts of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and everything in between. Unfortunately though, it was closed, but there was a modern art museum that we didn’t know about down the street. But it didn’t open for half an hour by the time we got there, so we waited in a cafe. The exhibit that was up when we went there was by Lubaina Himid, and centered largely around her experience and identity of being black. Some of my favorite pieces were pages from newspapers that had pictures of black people on them, that she had painted over various parts of (see photo below). It wasn’t a very large museum or exhibit, but I enjoyed it, and like most other museums, it was free.IMG_6720.jpg

Our last self-lead museum of the day was the Museum of Oxford, which was a smidge hard to find because it is actually in the Town Hall.  It was very well set up though, the first room we went into had an interactive aspect that allowed you to swivel a screen that had an image of the room and over each exhibit, there was a button you could click to get a virtual tour of the part of the city that that exhibit was about. Throughout the tour, it would also stop at significant spots and again allow you to move the screen around and find things to click on that tell you more about the spot. One of my favorite exhibits though was in the gallery about the different things that inspired Alice in Wonderland. There was a little station that had headphones and little cards a projector that projected a spot to put the cards on the table (see photo below). Each card would activate a little narration and interview with someone about different things like how C.S. Lewis knew the Alice who inspired the story (her father was a dean of Christ Church College and C.S. Lewis was a librarian) or how the Museum of Natural History inspired a lot of the creatures that were used in the story like the dodo and the hedgehogs and flamingos.
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This afternoon, about half of the program did a tour of Christ Church College (the other half had done it yesterday) with one of the tutors and Jonathan, our program director who also had done his grad studies at the College. Christ Church College is home to two more Harry Potter filming locations, the stairs from the first movie that the first years go up before getting sorted (see additional photos) and the Great Hall where the students dined (see additional photos). As well, the posts on the side of the fireplace were said to inspire the part of Alice where she stretches (see additional photos). The walls of the Great Hall are also lined with portraits, including Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, and William Penn, this time the actual founder of Pennsylvania. We also got to see something that apparently most people don’t, but since Jonathan knows the college well, they showed it to us, which is the yard with a small door that inspired the scene where Alice has to shrink to go through the door, and the tree that is where the Cheshire Cat was supposed to sit (see photo below). Then we walked over to Christ Church Cathedral, which was as beautiful as one would expect a cathedral to be. Jonathan also managed to get us into the library (see additional photos), which is not typically open to visitors. It was incredible, there were so many very very old books, that you actually are not allowed to take out at this point. We also couldn’t take pictures of the books themselves, which was interesting. The library also has the hat, from the 1600s I believe, of the man who founded the library, in very good condition. IMG_6740.jpg

After the tour, Rachel and I popped over to the door that is said to have been the inspiration for the door in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (see additional photos). Basically, a lot of the past two days have been spent seeing things that were the inspiration for various works of literature by C.S. Lewis or filming locations from Harry Potter. I’m also very glad that, unlike the US, so many museums are free to the public, it makes them so much more accessible and I don’t think I would have done as much as I have in the past two days had that not been the case. But tomorrow is back to classes and actual work. And I also just want to note that everyone on our program is here in Oxford, so no one was affected by the attack at Westminster, we are all perfectly ok.

ASE… In Oxford

On Saturday, the program moved to Oxford for the week, where we’ll still be having classes and all of that jazz, except I won’t have my internship or my usual volunteer stuff. As a side note related to my internship, Bath Phil had a concert last week and I spent 10 hours that day at the venue working, and it went off really well. They have a program pairing with a local private school and were as one orchestra with students and members of Bath Phil, and it was a beautiful concert. In academic news, I have turned in all of my first round of papers, so we’re steadily moving through the semester.

But back to Oxford, on the drive over, we stopped at Blenheim Palace (see photo below), which started being built in 1705 and took a total of 28 years to build. We were running a little behind on time, so I didn’t get to see everything that I wanted to see, such as the butterfly garden, but we were given a tour of the palace itself. They had an exhibit called “A Passion for Fashion,” which meant there were a bunch of replicas of clothes from the time period, starting with a piece made entirely of paper (see additional photos). I also learned that since a lot of their makeup actually had poison in it, their hair would fall out which would result in two things. One, that’s where powered wigs would come from, and one was discovered with an absurd number of lice in it. Two, they would skin rats and use the skins as eyebrows. There were also 10 tapestries throughout the palace that were made in Belgium and took a total of 8 years to make. The main one is of the battle of Blenheim (see additional photos), which was a victory for the first Duke of Marlborough, and the reason he was given the land for the palace. One of the tapestries also has a mistake in it, there’s a dog who has horse hooves instead of dog paws (see additional photos). The tour ended in the library, which has over 10,000 books and is over 183 feet long, in fact there was a Dior (I think) fashion show there recently. Fun fact, Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim, although he never lived there. We then got lunch and mostly just wandered around the grounds until we had to leave, as we didn’t really have time to do much else before we had to leave again.IMG_6594.jpg

Then we headed over to Oxford. A fun fact that a lot of people don’t realize, Oxford University is not really a thing, there are 38 colleges that make up Oxford. We are staying at University College, which is the oldest of the bunch. We all are in single rooms, and I have the pleasure of being on the very top floor of the building I am in, so I get to climb a slew of stairs whenever I go up to my room. My building also has a memorial to Percy Shelley, the poet, who went to University College, also called Univ (see additional photos). We got an introduction to the college from a former ASE tutor who is not a Senior Tutor at Univ, he went very in depth with the history, as that is his subject. It’s funny, he described Oxford as being a “newer” city because it was established in 800 AD, which is pretty different from what we hear in America. Univ, though, is one of the oldest universities/colleges in the world. We then got a tour of the college, the library which we have access to, and the town. There are a lot of museums and things here, so you will definitely hear about those later as I get to them. Then we were left to our own devices, some of my housemates and I got some Thai food and then there was an ASE event thing at the Univ bar, which we were welcome to go to or not. I did go, again with my housemates, and it was pretty fun. We taught one of the staff how to play flip cup and another one joined us on the dance floor for a couple songs.

Yesterday was much more open, so I ended up walking around town with some people, mostly just trying to get a handle on where everything is. We started at the Christ Church Meadows (see additional photos), which were beautiful. Christ Church is another one of the colleges, which I will be going on a tour of later in the week, a lot of Harry Potter was filmed there, so that’ll be exciting. We also wandered by an old cemetery which was very peaceful and had a small little labyrinth in it. Then we went by the Eagle and the Child (see photo below), which is the pub that CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien would meet in and talk, and one of them would sometimes even hold his seminar classes in the pub.IMG_6636.jpg

In the afternoon, we went punting. I’m guessing you don’t know what that is, so basically it’s doing what the guys who steer gondolas do, with the long poles and all that. It was a little windy, so it was marginal if we were going to do it or not, but we did end up going out. I got the pleasure of being the first person in my boat to be doing the pushing (see photo below) and steering, and let me tell you, it is much more difficult than you think it is. We were supposed to go around a little loop, but we couldn’t get past this one part nearby where we were supposed to begin to turn on the loop, so we decided to turn around and come back the way we had come so as not to be too late. We did trade off who was steering, but I don’t think that any of us excelled at it, we had a paddle in the boat that was definitely used liberally to try and move us along and steer as was a large part of the way we were able to get back. It was also very helpful in making all of our crashes into the bank much more soft. Happily, no one in our boat ever fell in, but there were two people on the program who unfortunately made it into the water at one point, although only one fully went under the water. I would say that it was a fun experience though, kind of one of those situations where you just have to laugh at how poorly you are doing.

We’re back to classes today, and I’m curious to see how my drama class will go because we’re done analyzing plays and moving into figuring out what we’re going to perform as our final for the class. I also have entirely free days on Tuesday and Wednesday since I don’t have my internship, so a lot of exploring will be done around that time. I do like Oxford though, I think it’s a cute but still energetic city.

History, man, it’s cool

So this will probably be long, so buckle up, we did a lot of awesome, semi-touristy stuff today.

We got up bright and early to drive over to Stonehenge, which was about an hour drive. There is also a lot of cool historical stuff just in and around Bath that I want to check out, like the American Museum, which I think would be interesting to see how America is portrayed to a British audience. Andrew, who is a tourist guide and also my ASE staff mentor for my internship, is incredibly knowledgeable and gave a lot of good information about the history of the area and all of that. It was a bit foggy, though, so we couldn’t see everything perfectly clearly, but he mentioned things like a long trail along, if I recall correctly, the canal, which sounds like it might be a fun hike some weekend.

But I guess the really important and cool part is Stonehenge (see photo below for proof I was there). First of all, it was definitely a lot smaller than I expected it to be, which I have often found to be the case with historical, have-to-see places and objects. Some people, so I have heard, kind of feel underwhelmed by it because of that. That was not my experience. I think it’s absolutely astonishing the amount of work that went into this structure, that it is still there, that it was something that once meant so much to a group of people, and that it is just so old (try dating to about 3000 BC). As someone involved in the arts, I tend to think a lot about the artistry and skill that went into this kind of thing. They had to come up with a way of erecting the stones, the standing up ones, bring the stones from south Wales, and a way of getting the ones that are on top actually on top of all of the other ones, which takes a good amount of creativity. As well, the rocks are shaped to be rectangular (see photo of what the rock may have looked like before shaping in additional photos), which is no small feat.

There’s also so much work that has gone into finding out about this structure. A “henge” is actually a hill and a ditch in a circle, and there are things such as wood henges. They believe that Stonehenge had to do with death and dying, they’ve found the ashes of a bunch of bodies there, whereas there’s a wood henge nearby that they believe had to do with life. Obviously that didn’t hold up as well, as wood decays while stone does not. I don’t know how much people are interested in the history of Stonehenge, but honestly, it’s super cool and I highly recommend looking things up and finding out more, there’s a lot to it.IMG_6158.JPG

We then took a bus to Salisbury (pronounced as if the ‘i’ isn’t there). On the way, Andrew pointed out a place called Old Sarum, which is a medieval new town dating to the 1200s. It was a fort on a hill surrounded by trees, there’s a bad quality, zoomed in photo in the additional photos. There is also a New Sarum, but it became Salisbury. The main attraction in Salisbury is the cathedral, which was too massive for me to get it into one photo, but I did my best (see below). It’s spire is 404 feet in the air, which is the tallest in England. Amazingly, the cathedral was built in only 38 years, from 1220-1258. Since it was built in such a short time, the architectural style is pretty consistent and together, which you don’t usually find with cathedrals. It also has the oldest working clock, which has been in use since 1386 (see additional photos). In 2008, it also got this incredible fountain that creates a beautiful reflection (see additional photos), which was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in holy oil, but the oil actually has not come off, despite attempts to clean the fountain. The cathedral has tons of beautiful stained glass and tombs and a lot of just truly wonderful art inside it, it’s absolutely stunning.

And of course, there’s a lot of history behind it all that’s pretty amazing. Such as there was a man named William Longspree (pronouned long-spray), who was the illigitimate son of King Henry II, who laid the first stone of the cathedral and was the first to be buried there. The fun part of it is that he was married to a woman named Ela (pronounced eel-la), and he was once gone and his ship never came back, so he was presumed dead, and so one man basically asked if she was free to be married again then (she had a good amount of money). But then William came back, and the man who wanted to marry his wife invited William to dinner, which he accepted. William fell sick and died a few days later and in much more recent time, they opened his tomb and found a rat in his skull, presumably that had gotten in there after his death, and the rat had large amounts of arsenic in its system. Happily though, widows were allowed to choose if they wanted to remarry, and Ela did not, and she went on to found the Lacock Abbey and become a nun and was the Abbess for from 1240-1257. (See additional photos for William’s tomb)IMG_6171.JPG

Salisbury is also just an incredibly cute and really old town. We had free time after the touring the Cathedral, so we went and saw one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, which was very cool and incredibly difficult to read. We also went to St. Thomas Church, which features a large painting that has been white washed over twice, but happily recovered of the kind of fire-and-brimstone variety (see additional photos). That church also dates back to the 1200s. Some of my housemates and I then got some coffee and tea at an ale and coffeehouse that was established in 1411. We also found out, from the police officer who had lived in California, that Salisbury also has the house where Sense and Sensibility was filmed (see additional photos).

Then it was back on the bus to go to Lacock (pronounced lake-hawk). Lacock is another very cute town, it doesn’t have any yellow lines on the streets or telephone wires cutting across town (see additional photos), so it is frequently used for filming period pieces, such as Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and Downton Abbey. I grew up reading Harry Potter, so I paid a good amount of attention to those filming locations that it houses. The Abbey, which was established by Ela, as mentioned above, has been used to film some scenes from the first two movies, such as Quirrel’s classroom. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go in. But we did get to see the house whose exterior was used in the flashback in the first movie as the Potters’ house when Voldemort comes to kill Harry (see photo below). We also went to Tithe Barn, whose timbers, which are still there, are from the mid 14th century. We then went to The George Inn for a very yummy dinner and a surprise quiz on the things we had talked about that day so round up the day. My team did solidly not at the bottom, but not the top either. IMG_6213.JPG

I apologize both for posting twice today and that they were not short posts, but when we do touristy things, it’s gonna be a little like that. Classes start tomorrow, so posts will likely be a bit shorter, although the Bath Phil has a concert on Thursday, so that’s something for this week. I only have one class tomorrow, so that should be a nice easy introduction into doing classes. Most of the house is at a pub watching the Super Bowl, but I am tired and so am staying here, but hey, go Falcons.