Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lyme Regis, Thomas Hardy, Stonehenge, Wilton House

Sorry it's take me so long to post another update! I've been super busy. But here goes some more awesomeness! :)

One of our next stops in the following days was Lyme Regis. If you're familiar with Persuasion by Jane Austen (which happens to be my favorite Austen book ever), Lyme Regis is a pretty prominent location in the story. As is the Cobb, which is located at Lyme. It was AMAZING!!! We were there on a beautiful day. It was pretty perfect. And it was amazing to get so close to the ocean. Besides Inishmore, this is the only opportunity we got to explore a beach.

Isn't is cute? 
This boat harbor fills up with the tide, but when the tide is out it looks like a boat graveyard. It thought it was cool. :)

The Cobb!

Those things jutting out of the side of the cobb are called granny's teeth. They're really scary to walk down.

The home where Jane Austen supposedly lived during her stay at Lyme Regis.
 After we spent the morning at Lyme Regis, we explored Thomas Hardy country. He wrote such books as Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Under the Greenwood Tree, and Jude the Obscure. His books are really depressing, and not very many people on our trip liked him. In fact, I don't think anyone was very excited to go to these sights, but there was still some cools stuff, like his grave- well half of it. This is where his heart was buried, with his first wife. His ashes are in Poets' Corner at Westminster.

This is the D'urberville window, in a church in Bere Regis, which is part of Thomas Hardy country. If you've read or heard of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, this window is featured in the story.

We went to three of four places in Thomas Hardy country, but like I said, no one really cared. :) So my buds and I spent our time at one stop playing at a music store. It was fun to compare it to the Piano Gallery. :)

The next day was fantastic! We started off at Stonehenge... no biggie...

...except that it was AMAZING!!!! 

I couldn't believe I was there. It is much more impressive in person than it is in the pictures. It was incredibly windy, but the lighting was perfect. It made all the colors stand out more.

No, Juan is not on a cell phone. Those are the audio guides that teach you about Stonehenge. They were pretty boring after the first 20 markers... 

I loved Loved LOVED this place!
 We were all kind of bummed to leave Stonehenge. Especially since we were going somewhere that none of us had heard of or cared about: Wilton House. We were expecting it to be like Blenheim Palace, the least enjoyable place we visited. But we were all very mistaken...

This place was incredible! It's occupied by the Earl of Pembroke. He's only 31 years old and his wife is like 27, and you could tell that they actually welcomed visitors. This place had amazing, and huge gardens. A lot of movies were filmed there, most notably Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version), Sense and Sensibility, Young Victoria and Johnny English. There's a big long list. Kaity, Mary, and I toured the house together, and at the end of the tour this really friendly curator started giving us all this information about the house, including what had been filmed there. She let us go beck through the house backwards to see it all again, and she pointed out all the amazing things we had missed the first time. You know the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth is touring Pemberley and she peeks in on Georgiana playing the piano, then Mr. Darcy shows up? They showed us that door and let us walk through it. It may seem kind of dumb, but I was excited. :) The lady in that room told us a lot about how they filmed that scene and everything, and even offered to send us pictures of the shoot (we never got them, but that's ok). We felt like VIP's. No one else got our extended tour. It was great!

Everything else about this place was amazing, too. As I said, there were lots of beautiful gardens, and some really big beautiful dollhouses on display. Plus, the Earl's personal car collection, which is quite extensive. One of my favorite things on the grounds was the whispering bench, pictured above. It's a bench shaped like a big semi-circle. The way it's shaped and the height of the walls create amazing acoustics, so if there is a person sitting on both ends of the bench, one can whisper into the wall and the other person can hear it is if the person who said it was right next to them. It was a useful tool in many secret courtships. :)

As amazing as everything was, the absolute best part of the Wilton House was the adult playground. SOOOO fun. It had ziplines, as you can see below, which were addicting, these huge boat swings, monkey bars, and MASSIVE tree houses with rope bridges and slides. It was pretty legit, and pretty dang fun.

They also had a big trampoline, which Kaity and I used to practice our King Fu (and ballet) skills.

...I won... :D


Tiffany said...

Stonehenge looks AWESOME! That would have been awesome to see. The rest looks boring. Ha ha. I love your ballet pose! Look at that pointed toe! You shoul crop it and make UT your new profile pic on Facebook. ;)

The Clarks said...

oh fun, i'm glad you posted again! i too love the ballet pose, ha ha. =)

Tiffany said...

Um ... It not UT ha ha

Taralyn said...

Ballet pose: favorite. I've never thought I've burying body parts separately. Hmmm...intriguing.

Stuart Clark said...

Stonehenge - hauntingly beautiful - the colors are amazing. Playground - so jealous! Ballet pose - priceless!!!'re twisted. But then again. . . ;o)

Mommy T