Alright followers, sorry I have been MIA for the past couple of days but I have been super busy, seeing tons of things and of course doin’ great work like a true Gettysburgian. I have a feeling this is going to be a long one so I hope you enjoy. Oh and here is a picture of the Bath Bun I talked about in my last post:
Thursday found the girls of Linley House not wanting to start their papers, so instead the eight of us decided to walk the Bath Skyline walk. Now we were told that it was a beautiful and easy 6 mile walk where you can see views of all of the city of Bath. Slightly true, but more false. First off, we had to get to the start of the walk. That totaled about a mile. Then we get to the first part of the walk and we see amazing views of Bath. We could see everything and it was amazingly a beautiful day. We went on following our directions, (they would not fly in the US, but more on that later) and found that we were going up and down many hills and valleys. We arrived upon spot 2 of 9 and were about a mile or two into the 6 mile walk, oh wait plus the first mile, and 3 of our number decided they were in no way going to finish and decided to go back home down the mountain. The other 5 of us determined to do the whole thing, continued on. Here is where we found the mud. Now in England it rains….a lot. So even on this bright, sunny, dry day, the path was not dry. Now in our minds when people described this lovely walk, we pictured a paved path. We thought we just had to walk up the hill to get to the path and then it would be flat and dry. Oh how we were wrong. This path was not level, and definitely not paved. It also went through the woods mostly and we only could see Bath every once in a while. As for the directions, some lines were so vague we were sure we were going to be lost. One said follow between the trees. Um What Trees, which path, how far? However, amazingly we did not get lost, and we made it through the 6 miles, plus the two to get to the path and back. It was an interesting journey but the 5 of us had a ton of fun even though it was muddy and mostly in the woods. Plus of course at the end of it all, in our tired, extremely muddy state, we got to laugh about what had just happened. Here are the 5 pairs of very muddy shoes:
So on Friday we had another trip with the program and this one was to Stonehenge and Glastonbury. I knew coming to England Stonehenge was something I wanted to see, but at the same time I did not know what to expect. The administrators that went with us said many students are underwhelmed when they finally see the stones, so they told us to not expect too much. I must say I am glad they warned us. I do not regret going, since I can now say I have been there, but it was a little underwhelming. The stones are definitely a lot smaller than they look in pictures and I think that may have been the issue. When you come upon them, it is definitely a beautiful site, but not as mystical as one would think. The stones are clearly big, just not as big as expected. Plus it is definitely impressive that they shaped them into perfect rectangles and managed to get them into a perfect circle, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, while they did not have advanced technology to move the stones easily the 20 miles or so they supposedly did, it definitely seems plausible that they did use logs and rope to move the stones and that it would not have been impossible for them to get there.
The thing that was cool was the theories behind why they even put the stones there in the first place. Many believe that it was a burial ground for an extremely wealthy family. Another idea is that it was a place to gather for the different solstices and to worship. Whatever it is though, it is extremely cool and was fun to see. We were then off to Glastonbury. Now I did not know what to expect from this town. But boy was it interesting. About every other shop we saw was a Wicca or related to sorcery store. But not in the Harry Potter sense, more like Hippies who believe in a ton of gods and goddesses. It was a very interesting place to say the least. Most people we dressed interestingly, and we definitely stood out. We got to see the Glastonbury Abbey which is the supposed site of King Arthur’s grave. We then ate at a fish and chip shop with supposedly one of the best fish and chips in England. I however still think Canterbury’s were the best, though it was very good there too. We then hiked up a huge mountain, which was extremely steep and saw the Glastonbury Tor. There were amazing sites and you could see all of Glastonbury and the surrounding land. Very cool last trip with ASE to say the least. Here is one of my Bucknell ADPi sisters with me throwing up Diamonds!
Now Saturday was dedicated to writing my Jane Austen paper on the differences between the Bollywood Bride and Prejudice and Austen’s novel. Super fun to write but I was glad that I got it done since Sunday was probably the highlight of England.
Here is where I am going to make tons of Harry Potter references so I am sorry if you are confused or lost. Sunday I woke up and packed some PB&Js to take to London. By 8:30 we were on the bus off to London and all super excited. We got to London with a couple of hours to spare so we walked around the area of London near Victoria Station and waited until 1:30 when we could go to the meeting spot for the Golden Tours. Now I would say we were mainly the only teenagers or young adults there. It was mainly parents and their 10 or younger kids, but we did not care. We were also so excited when the bus pulled up. It felt like I was riding on the Knight Bus. It was beyond cool.
That is me in front of part of the bus! So we got on and arrived at the studios and by that time I was literally acting like a 5 year old. I was so excited and could not contain it. We went in and stood in line and it actually went pretty fast to get in. At first you walk into a room and they play a clip about the world of Harry Potter and how it came to be a phenomenon from the idea, to the books, to the movies. I will admit, I was glad it was dark since I honestly almost started to cry. We then went into another room where it was more like a movie theater. They showed another short film about what Leavesden Studios was to the actors and film crew. It is basically where all of the film sets were made and used. As Dan, Emma, and Rupert said in the clip, it is basically where they spent the last 10 years, they grew up there. Then the best part ever, the tour started. We entered the great hall and I literally could not believe I was actually on the sets that the actors used. Seeing their wardrobes, their wigs, their seats, wands, everything. It was in a word MAGICAL. And yes I realize that is corny, but it truly was. It was honestly one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life, and it was like a dream come true. We got to see almost every costume and prop, see buckbeak, learn how they animated Bobby, everything. I got to see the burrow, and Hagrids hut, step into Dumbledore’s office, and see the brooms. Now the tour was set up in two sound stages, and the back lot, exactly how it was for filming. The stages were J and K. Get it? And the back lot was in the middle. When we went out to the back lot it was raining, of course since it’s England, but we were not deterred. We sat on Hagrid’s motorcycle, climbed into the Flying Car, stood on the Knight Bus, and stood next to number 4 Privet Drive and even Godric’s Hollow. I saw the giant chess pieces from the first movie, Aragog (creepy) and got to walk through Diagon Alley. It was all amazing. We saw so much more than even all that I am telling you but there is just so much (there were 8 movies after all), but I think by far the coolest thing we saw was the last room. We walked up to the door and heard the final song, and we knew our time was almost over. We walked in and there stood the 1:24 scale of Hogwarts grounds that they used to film parts of the movie. It was unreal. I again almost cried. I was so beautiful and I literally could have stood in there all day. I wanted to sit there and stare at it, and then play on it. It was like the world I had always read about was alive. While each set made it feel real, this put together made it even more so. Yet on leaving that room, it again felt like the series was ending. But then came the final surprise. We had thought the tour was over, but we walked into one final room, it was supposed to be the inside of Olivanders. The coolest thing was that each wand box had a handwritten name on it, which is how they did it for the movie to make it authentic. Where did they get the thousands of names though. Each person who worked on the film had a box with their name on it. It was so neat and so special to see that. And then Harry Potter was over, yet again. It was definitely the best day and so worth it. I had the time of my life and I do not think I can ever fully describe how exciting it was to be there. I must say it also definitely inspired me to do great work on my Harry Potter essay today too. Only a couple of days left here, but I have definitely been having the time of my life. Oh forgot this but added a picture of it. They had Emma, Dan, and Rupert’s hand prints at the entrance!!! So cool!