This lowly blog chronicles the life-altering experiences of a certain beloved Chicagoan. As he establishes his
identity in the United Kingdom, he shall post *semi-regular* updates regarding his year-long endeavor. Please do
enjoy these baffled thoughts; it might help to sip some tea while doing so. Cheers!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

These Posh Travels

Win of the week: finding an adapter for four pounds. It's almost as win-ful as rhubarb pudding WHICH THE UNIVERSITY IS SERVING FOR DINNER.

So it's blogging time. As you may have heard, I did some traveling over the weekend. Do you want to hear about it? Of course you do! Here are some pics. LEARN THEM WELL.

We first visited York, the town where Guy Fawkes was born and executed, to visit Yorkminster Cathedral. It was rather large and imposing, but also full of historical goodies. In fact, it kind of functioned like a time line. Every century or so some changes were made to it. Because of several fires, new roofs had to be built. Because of King Henry VIII, several artifacts were stolen. You know, that sort of thing.

Yorkminster Exterior

More exterior. It's so huge-ish!

Statues of kings found inside

The tour proved to be quite remarkable, the architecture astounding, and the overall visit quite enjoyable. Afterwards, we were free to travel around York. Naturally, we explored the shopping area, and we were especially drawn to the--sometimes literal--hole-in-the-wall places.

The Shambles: where buildings lean together.

Example shop. That's for you, Jake.

We stopped at a tea shoppe where we were served REAL sugar.

Another shop, for mom.

At around seven, we took part on a ghost tour. York happens to be the city with the most recorded ghost sightings. It was like scary stories around the campfire, except without the campfire. And finally, we went to our youth hostel for the night. So that was fun.

Portly tour guide with obligatory top hat and cane.

Six beds. Twas cozy.

The following morning we traveled to Hadrian's wall. It was built by the Romans and runs from coast to coast. We only walked along for about two miles, but the view was stunning. Here's a video.

I know, I know. Beautiful cinematography.

Afterwards, we hopped on a bus to Alnwick, where we had the most unusual opportunity to stay at the castle there. It belongs to the Percy family, and has for over 700 years. The current Duke and Duchess are very much involved in the community, and run a very intricate farming/tourist business.

I managed not to capture a single sheep in this photo. Quite an accomplishment, I must say.

The front gates

Remember this? The scene from Harry's first flying lesson? "UP!"

Before we left, we were able to briefly tour the gardens. Rumour has it that the Duchess Percy was not happy about coming to live at the castle, and agreed to stay only if she could have a garden. The Duke agreed, not suspecting that it would cost a staggering forty-two million pounds. The garden itself features several large water fountains, a treehouse area, a poison garden, two hedge mazes, several flower beds, and a cherry blossom collection of at least 300 trees.

Megan and girlfriend on treehouse swingy bridge.

Poison garden. Several plants were kept in cages because they were deadly to the touch.

Next we hit up Lindisfarne island (population: 62), where we toured another castle/monestary and ate crab sandwiches. But we had to leave quickly before the tide came in; otherwise we would have been trapped there for 12 hours.

Lindisfarne beaches

Lindisfarne castle

Girlfriend being majestic

Finally, we traveled to Durham where we stayed at a college dormitory. The cathedral we visited there is home to the renowned St. Cuthbert tomb, but tourists were not allowed to take pictures. BUT I TOLD THEM I NEED PHOTOS OF SAINT BONES. And they asked me to leave. Not really.

ANYWAY, that's about it. Still haven't got decent internet back at the flat. (I'm at the University currently. The Welcome Programme requires us to stay overnight for a few days and attend meetings. It's pretty neeto.) So I'll probably update again if WE EVER FIGURE OUT THE STUPID ROUTER/EXTENDER.

In the meantime, do keep it real whilst in the states. Please.

P.S. Coke is made without high fructose corn syrup here. So it's fresh and tasteful and refined and pleasurable and just plain nummy.



  1. I'm very glad you included that photo for me!!!

  2. dude, you can find corn syrup free coke here, its called mexicoke, since its bottled in mexico, but it comes in glass bottles and is also nummy

  3. I am SO JEALOUS of your trip to visit Percy Castle. QUIDDITCH!!!!!!!!! AHHHHH. Anyway, I am so glad you guys are having fun. I miss you! See you VERY soon. :)


  4. Ha ha I heard your voice. Loved the video post.