Monday, June 20, 2011

Phase 2: Wales, Liverpool, and Bradford

Hello, loves! Sorry it's taken me so long to do another post. I don't really have any excuse other than I'm lazy and was overwhelmed by all the pictures I have to go through. But, I'm doing it now, and will try to keep staying on top of it. :) So, unfortunately, we had to leave Ireland, and I was really sad about it. But, that being said, going to Wales was pretty darn exciting. :)

This picture was taken on the Stena Ferry that we took from Dublin to the port in Holyhead (pronounced  holly head), Wales. It was by far the biggest boat I have ever been on. It had seven decks and a restaurant and a movie theater and everything. It was kind of trippy. On smaller ferries I have taken, I've usually been up on deck enjoying the sea breeze and mist. But this boat just felt like a tipsy building. We couldn't see out of the windows because it was night time while we were on it. It was really weird feeling. I don't think many of us were really sea sick, but we got a little loopy and disoriented, especially when we tried to walk. I think we were probably acting kind of drunk. :)

It felt good to get on dry land again, which was good because we had to walk pretty far with our luggage from the port to our hotel.  We only got to spend one night in Wales, but I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was. It was about as green as Ireland, but it had a completely different feel to it. My favorite part of that day was while we were on the bus. We were all watching the scenery from the windows of our coach, and we randomly all started singing Hymns. It was really cool, because I guess Wales is widely known for its music. Brother Waddell said the exact same thing happened last year.

This picture isn't of anything special, it's just very Welsh. I would LOVE to live in that house.

 This is a pic of Conwy (con-way) Castle, which is really the only thing we visited on our day in Wales. I LOVED it! I found that these types of places were my favorite thing to visit. Each castle we went to had its own personality. It was fun to imagine what life would have been like in its glory days.

 After our brief stint in Wales, we crossed over into England! The first place we visited was Liverpool. I was super excited when we got there. I was really happy to finally see the homeland. It really did kind of feel like I was actually returning home. I have so many ancestors who were English, and some that had left from Liverpool to emigrate to America. It was a really cool feeling.

This was the first thing we saw getting off the coach in Liverpool.  It's some weird vehicle that drives on land but can also float on water. Brother Waddell described it as "a strange amphibious duck." It made me miss Taralyn.

I've always had a weird fascination with these zig-zag lines on British streets. I was excited to see some in person, so I had to take a picture of them. :)
The people who owned this ship tried to convince me and my friend Kaity to join their crew. Hmmmm... tempting. 

This shirt reminded me of my brother, Steve. He's started calling me T-Maxx, so I think I'm going to start calling him this. :P
 That night we drove to Bradford, where we stayed for a couple of nights. The next morning we headed over to Skipton, a town in the Bradford area. I saw signs like this all over the place:

The name Craven, which is Grandma Boyer's maiden name, was all over the place in Skipton. Craven Arcade, Craven Museum, Craven Bowling Alley, Craven Swimming Pool, etc., etc. I was really really excited, because I knew we were close to Clayton, where my Great Grandpa Gerald Craven grew up. While we were there we went to Skipton Castle, which was pretty amazing, but more on that in a minute. I asked one of the castle's curators why the name of Craven was all over town, and he told me some really interesting stuff. I guess Skipton and the surrounding area was overrun by Cravens way back in the day. When William the Conqueror conquered this area of England, Yorkshire county had three prominent family names in different areas of the district. The Nordsmen, or those to the North, were the Cravens, so he named the entire area Craven Dale. Those are my ancestors, people! I just thought that was really cool. :)

Back to Skipton Castle, it was pretty amazing. It's the most well-preserved castle in all of England. And it was 100% different from Conwy. My favorite part of the castle was the courtyard in the center, which contained this tree...

...planted in 1692. It was really beautiful. I also enjoyed these trash cans that were all around the grounds:

 And this massively huge archway in the castle wall. That's me hugging a thousand-year-old pillar. :)

 It truly was a beautiful place. I love picturing the stories that took place there, whether they be truth or the stuff I make up in my head. :) Later that day, we went to the town of Haworth, where the Bronte sisters, Emily, Anne, and Charlotte, lived. If you've read anything Bronte, you know that their works are pretty dark and depressing, and in a lot of cases, just creepy. The entire city of Haworth pretty much feels like that. Back when the Bronte family lived there, the water supply was basically poison. Thousands of people died within a few years of each other. The cemetery at the Bronte Parsonage (pictured below) was so full of people who died during this epidemic that before long they had to start cramming people in wherever they'd fit. Some of the headstones are inches away from eachother, and the flat headstones are crammed in so tightly that some of the ledges overlap. It is incredibly sad, but, being my mother's daughter, I could not believe how beautiful it was. I have grown to love the works of the Bronte sisters, so it was cool to see what made their stories. It gave me deeper insight into the minds and their writings.

The home of the Bronte family.

The Bronte Parsonage

In Haworth, we also got a chance to hike up the Moors, which are of huge significance in Wuthering Heights, so I was pretty excited about it. They were exactly as I pictured them, and they were amazing.

 They also had a pretty amazing view. You could see all of Haworth from up there. Besides the crazy wind, it was kinda perfect.

My token phone booth pic for my visit to England. All the booths in London looked like crap, so I settled for this cute one in Haworth. :)

Since dinner took so long in Haworth, we didn't have time to do anything else in the Bradford area. We were leaving the next morning for York and Stratford-Upon-Avon. I was pretty bummed out about it, because Brother Waddell had promised a stop in Clayton, the town were my Craven ancestors lived, just for me. But it didn't work out, because it would have taken too much time. I was really sad. But, evidently Bro. W felt really bad about it. When we got back to our hotel he offered to pay for a cab to take me there with a friend. I can't tell you how amazing it was. I not only got to see a little of Clayton, but I got to go to Holt's Lane and see the house where Sam and Annie Craven raised their family, including my grandpa Gerald.

This is the first view I got of Holt's Lane. I got so excited that I literally leaped out of the taxi. I LOVE that it still looks so old. 

That is the door of the house where Gerald grew up. :)


Taralyn said...

So fun! I love the storytelling picture posts--it makes me feel like I was there. :) I would be ok living in that house until the river flooded... Wacker Quacker ha ha! Keep 'em coming!

Tiffany said...

Stevie G and Amphibious Duck Taralyn ...I can see it now. :)

I love love LOVE the castles. That would be the coolest thing to see.
How need that Br W paid for you to go see were our ancestors grew up!!! That is just so neat. I am so glad that you got to do that. Did you know on the door?

I am loving your pics! Keep it up! xoxox

The Clarks said...

I think Giblet means to ask if you 'knocked' on the door. ;-) Glad you're taking to T-Maxx, too.

It's crazy how everything over there is so old. Makes me think of ye olde mission a bit, except it was all German, of course. The castles and churches over there are FOUR times older than ANYTHING here! In Dresden, there were parts of the downtown district that were closed off because of archeological digs going on in town square!


Taunalee said...

I wanted to knock Tiff, but we didn't have much time. The meter in the taxi was running the whole time we were there. :) Plus there was this super awkward couple next door that were giving us weird looks. :)

Tiffany said...

It wouldn't be good to knaw on the door either. Too bad! I like it when you call me Giblet. :)

Taunalee said...

You do? Once you got mad at me for doing that. :)

The Clarks said...

oh wow i love this! it is so amazing to see all these things you guys got to see! the castles are so cool. i love that skipton castle - it looks gorgeous! and i love that you got to see so much craven stuff. that would be the coolest experience, i think, to actually see where your ancestors lived! very very cool. p.s. you just look darling and SO happy in all these pictures. =)