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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today Was A Fairytale

May 5, 2010 - Holy cow...what a day...

We began at Stonehenge. Yes, Stonehenge. We didn’t spend much time there, but there was plenty time to take many many pictures, all of which will probably find their way onto Facebook. I find Stonehenge a really intriguing monument – there are several theories as to why it was built and what it was used for. I’m in favor of aliens building it, like the pyramid :)

After Stonehenge, we went to a small town call Bemerton. It was so picturesque, I can’t even say. I want to live there. All the streets were tiny and we visited the Bemerton Church where the poet George Herbert worked as the clergyman. He lived right across from the church and wrote much of his wonderful religious poetry there. My favorite poem of his is the following:

Love (3)

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.

I can’t believe I got to visit where he lived and wrote – it was so perfect. Tiny houses from hundreds of years ago lined the streets. The chapel was tiny – about 30 people worship there each week. I fell in love with this little place. It was like stepping into a Jane Austen novel.

And then my day got even better. We went to Wilton House where William Herbert, the 18th Earl of Pembroke and 15th Earl of Montgomery lives. Still lives. A real Earl. And he’s a young guy! He’s getting married in three weeks and the entire town is very excited. We got to explore parts of his house – we walked through the rooms where they filmed bits of the new Pride and Prejudice, Young Victoria, and Sense and Sensibility!

It was amazing. There were portraits by Van Dyck and paintings by Rembrandt and also one partially by da Vinci. And the rooms were so gorgeous and decadent. As we continued through house, we found a display containing – get this – a pair of Fred Astaire’s dancing shoes!!! The Earl bought them at a charity auction. They were signed by Fred and the note included with them was written by Fred himself. I nearly died. I literally almost began to cry. Fred Astaire’s shoes!!! It was the PERFECT house! Jane Austen and Fred Astaire all in one building – yes, I’m in love! I so wish we could have taken pictures. And then we went on the grounds – the extensive grounds.

Wilton House has the most beautiful land surrounding it. The pictures don’t even do it justice. I literally felt like carriages should be driving up for a ball or people should be strolling through the grounds in Regency attire, chatting about the weather and Miss So-and-So’s new beau. I was in heaven. Apparently some people from our group actually ran into to the Earl too. It’s like a real life fairy-tale here.

You’d think it couldn’t get any better. But it did J We next went to Stourhead. For you die hard Jane Austen fans, you’ll know that this is where they filmed the first proposal scene in the new Pride and Prejudice – the one in the rain where Elizabeth refuses Mr. Darcy. And we went there! To the very spot!

It’s at the Temple of Apollo at Stourhead and we took hundreds of pictures. All the girls were dying. We also took pictures by the bridge that Elizabeth runs across in the same part of the movie.

It was so amazing. All of Stourhead is so incredibly beautiful! Once again, the hundreds of pictures I took do not do it justice. The flowers, the lake, the trees, the Pantheon, everything – amazing. It was like walking through heaven for the third time that day. England is so so so beautiful! I can hardly stand it!

This was the best day in England by far.

After the bus ride home I got Italian food and gelato. I have eaten so much here…I may come home fat, but I’ll be fat and happy.

Today was a fairytale.

1 comment:

  1. ahhh I can't believe you went to all those pride and prejudice places!!! I can't say I'm an Austen fanatic, but I'm definitely a beautiful landscapes fanatic. It looks like you are having an AMAZING time!! Love you!!