Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Up to date

On someone's front door in York. She, the owner, was checking us out from the window.
view from the tip top of York Minster
from the bottom of the minster
gargoyle on the minster
supposedly you rub this cow's nose for good luck!
I couldn't resist. These doors were intended for hobbits.
About half-way up the minster
One of the coolest old, haunted pubs of York.
First day in York. That would be Jeph and Katie!

Oh, yeah we drove. Ha ha ha!

Let the games begin...

I hope I can summarize this chapter better than the last. So, I'm enrolled the first week, start my classes which I managed to get down to just two days a week, Tuesday and Friday. I go to class Tuesday and meet all my teachers, and my Friday teacher cancels my Friday class. Sweet! I only have one class my first week. But...I also had that stinking paper due the following Monday. I was supposed to go to Stonehenge that weekend, but my alarm made that an impossiblity. Honestly that was fine. I needed to do some serious work on my paper. I had tracked down some sources, but had not opened them yet. The paper was due in like two days. I spent my Saturday doing research for my paper instead of going to Stonehenge. I wrote my paper on Sunday and turned it in Monday. I hate waiting to the last minute, but I just work so much better under pressure, Ha Ha! That was the only weekend I did not leave the city. The next week...which happens to be last week, played out very well. It snowed...hard. The United Kingdom has had the worst weather its seen in a very long time. The biggest hit day for the snow guessed it, Tuesday. All my classes were cancelled. I witnessed and took part in some of the biggest, most incredible snowball fights I've ever seen. The students in the village went nuts for the snow and they played/faught in it all day and into the wee hours of the night. It was fantastic!

York!!!! The original

Okay, so we are just about summed completely up. This last weekend, I went to York.

We drove. I drove. York is about a five/six hour drive north of Swansea and in England, not Wales. We rented a car and myself, my good friend Nate, and Jared, Kate, and Jeph all piled in. The most wonderful thing about this travel thing is all the people and friends you make along the way. Each weekend brings new people. I might hang out with completely different people from week to weekend and travel new places with new people. It's been fantastic forming all these great friendships. Okay, so I knew all the people in my car, but we were meeting with some other people. Friends of Nates. Fiona, Audrey, and Ethan. The eight of us navigated all the way north with no problems driving or with directions. I personally enjoyed the challenge of driving. Think about it: other side of the road, other side of the car, stick shift all kinds of backwards, traffic signs that I have no clue what they mean, and a really lousy map (which we virtually did away with for the ride home). It was great! York was beautiful. I had previously loved Bath, but I enjoyed York much more. They are completely different styles. Bath has more Roman qualities, while York is very old English. We stayed in York at a Youth Hostel. It was very nice and clean. Much better than I had anticipated. The rooms only had two bunk beds each. I've heard that many hostels rooms have anywhere from 10 to 20 beds in a room. The first day we took a small tour of the York, we went to the museum, went on a ghost trail, and ended the night pub hoping to some old, haunted, and really cool pubs in York. We finished at a club which was an Asian restaurant that converts to a club in the evening. It was kinda weird and funny thing was we all got the feeling it may have been a gay club. No worries, I had a good time with my friends and we had an awesome first day in York. Second day: We walked around and did the tourist thing; took lots and lots of pictures of each other trying to look candid. Our group split off and my group went and visited the castle museum. It was okay. I took some funny pictures in there, but that was about it. I honestly wanted to get out of there fast, because there were so many other places I wanted to see. After the museum we met up with everyone else, ate lunch, and decided we'd split off and do our own thing. I went by myself and visited the market, various shops, people, places...i dunno? I saw what I wanted. It was good. I like York. period. We drove back and hit a tremendous snow storm in mid-trip. I could barely see the lines on the road. It was a tad bit nerve-racking but I managed. We stopped in Manchester (and saw Manchester United Stadium), and Leeds. I was pretty exhausted, and excited to get back to my room. I knew then how much things have changed. How comfortable and at home the village and my friends have become. It's a good feeling to feel completely settled in. I am staying very busy still. I have reading for classes to keep up on, Amsterdam this weekend, shopping for more travel gear for the BIG Easter Break that is a month long (I'll elaborate more on this as information presents itself), keeping up with friends and going out. I've had some fantastic fish and chips and some really lousy food too.

Food fight...

I'm not too big a fan of the food here. There are alternatives though; indian and chinese are fairly accessable. Everything, even the stuff that is very clearly American tastes different. They have different laws on food here. So there is no high fructose corn syrup. We put that in everything in the states! They use only sugar and believe me it makes a difference. The meat is very lean here. I guess I prefer a big fatty burger over a lean burger. Ketchup is off, Coke is off, Burgers are off, Fries are off, Cheesecake is off. I had the most amazing cheesecake last week. It was a vanilla bean cheescake, served at a pub called Comercials, which also served me the best fish and chips I've had. Yes, the cheesecake was off, but still really really good. They don't use as much sugar in the deserts here. But, in this case it worked very well. It was a mild, flaky, delicate cheescake that melted in your mouth.

Wow... that about sums it up for now. If I can just get down to making this happen once a week I won't have to be so long winded.


  1. I need pictures. And get yourself to Stonehenge.


  2. You didn't get lost in Wales, did you? : ) We want to hear more! What's up?