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DiNapoli Europe the Summer of 2013 part ii

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This is part 2 of the DiNapoli trip to Europe, the first part dealing with their stay in Bologna, Italy.

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DiNapoli Europe the Summer of 2013 part ii

  1. 1. E U R O P E T H E S U M M ER O F 2 0 1 3 : P A R T 2 L O N D ON, B A T H , T H E C O T S WOL DS , O X F O RD, N O T T INGHAM, T H E L A K E D I S T RICT , A N D E D I N B URGH First Stop: London
  2. 2. ROUGH LANDING After a rough start in Bologna (see part 1) Ryan Air managed to get us safely on the ground at Stansted airport, about 45 miles & an hour and a half outside of London. After going through customs and changing money, we took the train into London, though not without mishap. Trying to board the train with a backpack and heavy shoulder bag, Tom lost his balance on the platform and fell over backwards, totally helpless, with feet and hands in the air like an overturned turtle. One of the platform attendants rushed over and along with Ben & Robin managed to pull him upright. None the worse for wear, we all climbed aboard and set out for central London.
  3. 3. PECKHAM Arriving in london’s Peckham-Rye neighborhood, where the lodge of the same name was located, our second mishap occurred, this one potentially much more serious. Having to transfer from the train to the subwAy or “tube”, And eAch of us cArrying two pieces of luggage, we made the mistake of trying to get to where we needed to be using the escalator. Within a few seconds Ben in the lead was pulled down by the weight of his bags, one of which slipped off the step, falling onto Tom who fell backwards, head down, feet (again) up in the air, Robin holding up the rear, which in this case belonged to Tom. Together we all rode up the escalator making it to the top uninjured, with a couple of strangers coming to our rescue – one pushing a button that stopped the escalator, the other helping us all to our feet.
  4. 4. OFF TO PECKHAM LODGE Having safely made it off the escalator, the next (mis-)step was to board the subway to Peckham- Rye. Ben & Robin got on first without any trouble, but when the doors started to close, Tom instinctively stuck his Arm in thinking …well, no one’s exActly sure what he was thinking. Fortunately Ben had the presence of mind to push an emergency button that stopped the doors from closing completely, potentiAlly drAgging tom’s arm all the way to Peckham, with the rest of him back at the station. By this time we were all beginning to think we’d be very fortunAte to mAke it back to America alive.!
  5. 5. PECKHAM LODGE The lodge, named after the neighborhood in London, was being renovated . The room was comfortable enough, though we were awakened by an alarm at about 3 a.m. and a loud knock on our door! robin & ben didn’t want me to answer it, but thinking there really could be a fire, I did – to find two lodge employees outside asking us if anyone was smoking which no one was. Satisfied they left and we went back to what sleep we could still get!
  6. 6. PRINCESS LOUISE PUB Named after one of Queen victoriA’s dAughters, the pub claimed to have the oldest stained glass in England. It was about a half hour walk from the lodge.
  7. 7. WHIRLWIND TOUR OF LONDON st. pAul’s cAthedrAl
  8. 8. TOWER BRIDGE Throughout our stay in England & Scotland the weather was cold, rainy, gray – plain nasty.
  9. 9. PARLIAMENT & BIG BEN london’s ben is the one in the background, our ben’s in the foreground!
  10. 10. THE TIGER PUB: 18 CAMBERWELL GREEN, PECKHAM & CAMBERWELL, LONDON This was a quaint pub about a 15-20 minute walk from the lodge.
  11. 11. hermit’s cAfÉ This is the pub we went to after eating dinner since it only served drinks. Sitting at a large table with three others: 2 guys and a girl in their mid- to late 20s, we were soon chatting with them once they noticed our American accents. heAring i’d just studied in itAly, the girl, who’d cleArly hAd A few pints under her belt before we Arrived, sAid she’d been to Italy once and learned just a single sentence – taught to her by some local guys who assured her it was a surefire way to meet Italian men. My mistake was asking her what that practical sentence was. Laughing so loud she could hardly get it out, but get it out she did in what sounded like fluent Italian, was (in trAnslAtion): “my vAginA’s on fire!” -- Robin thought that was hilarious, Ben & I told her we agreed with the Italians that it was probably a pretty useful line.
  12. 12. BATH In bath we stayed in a wonderfully situated youth hostel above the city that reminded us of a small Italian villa. In fact, its name was “Fiesole” which is the name of the small town overlooking Florence, that Robin & Tom had visited years ago and then re-visited with Ben after graduating high school. We had to take a cab up to it, but rode busses down into the city. The room was very nice and the view spectacular. Being a “youth” hostel, Tom just managed to squeak in under the age limit! 
  13. 13. bAth’s “fiesole”
  14. 14. SERVING AREA
  15. 15. THE BATHS OF BATH The Roman baths were one of the highlights of our trip. We spent several hours touring them…All the
  16. 16. BATH CATHEDRAL
  17. 17. THE COTSWOLDS The trip to the Cotswolds involved renting a car since we were going on the assumption that it’d be absolutely essential to getting around. As it turns out the public transportation was excellent between the small towns in contrast to the car which we (Tom especially) soon realized was more trouble than it was worth. Contributing to our unanimous decision to leave the car parked outside the pub where we were staying and take local busses, were the really narrow roads in this district and the quaint British habit of driving on the wrong side of the road. We call it in America and most of the free world “driving on the RIGHT side of the road” for a reason!
  18. 18. ODDFELLOWS PUB The small town of Cirencester served as our base from which we’d take side trips to the nearby towns of Bibury, Morton-in- Marsh, Lechlade, and Tetbury. We stayed above the Oddfellows Pub, which certainly gave new meaning to having to get up in the middle of the night for a drink! The highlight of our stay there was “Pub Quiz” night, a popular trivia contest in which we participated. Each team had to have a name , so we decided on “The Swamp People”.
  19. 19. BIBURY
  20. 20. robin couldn’t get over how large and beautiful the roses were in this part of England
  21. 21. LECHLADE ON THAMES
  22. 22. OXFORD Ben spent the fall semester at Oxford’s Keble College. We spent a couple of days in the city, visiting the places where he studied, dined, and relaxed. The university is everything we’d imagined it to be.
  23. 23. O L D E S T B U I L D ING I N O X F O RD
  24. 24. A WALK IN THE PARK AT KEBLE COLLEGE
  25. 25. THE DINING HALL
  26. 26. THE CHAPEL
  27. 27. “THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD” (ROBIN’S PHOTO) The Chapel also contains Holman Hunt's famous painting "The Light of the World". This famous Pre- Raphaelite painting was donated to the College in 1872 by the widow of Thomas Combe, Printer to the University, on the understanding that it would hang in the Chapel. The painting is an allegorical or symbolic painting representing the figure of Jesus preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door - 50 years after painting it, Hunt felt he had to explain the symbolism. According to Hunt: There are two lights shown in the picture. The lantern is the light of conscience and the light around the head is the light of salvation with the door representing the human soul, which cannot be opened from the outside. There is no handle on the door, and the rusty nails and hinges overgrown with ivy denote that the door has never been opened and that the figure of Christ is asking for permission to enter. The bright light over the figure is the morning star, the dawn of the new day, and the autumn weeds and fallen fruit represent the autumn of life. The writing under the picture, which is rather hard to read, is taken from Revelation 3 'Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.'
  28. 28. m o r e o f r o b i n ’ s c h u r c h i n t e r i o r s
  29. 29. robin’s STAINED GLASS
  30. 30. OFF TO NOTTINGHAM Here in Nottingham, as in Oxford, we had a good chance to see where Ben had spent the second semester. In contrast to Oxford, the University of Nottingham is very modern and a lot like a typical American university with its expansive, unified campus.
  31. 31. DOWNTOWN NOTTINGHAM
  32. 32. THE “JERUSALEM”
  33. 33. nottinghAm’s “deer pArk”
  34. 34. englAnd’s lAke district One of the most picturesque regions in the country
  35. 35. LIFE ON THE FARM Ben found us a wonderfully idyllic place to relax and enjoy the beautiful English countryside: a working sheep farm in the famous “Lake District” north of London. It’d be our last stop before traveling up to Edinburgh. Ben couldn’t have found a more peaceful place for us to stay. Before traveling to the farm, however, we stayed a few days in the quaint town of Windermere at the Lingmoor Inn. It was from here that we took an all day bus tour of the district.
  36. 36. LINGMOOR GUES T HOUS E & IT S P ROP RIET ORS : P AULA & GRAHAM S MIT H
  37. 37. THE TOUR
  38. 38. THE CASTLERIGG STONE CIRCLE Though smaller and far less famous than Stonehenge, the Lake District’s Castlerigg Stone Circle is just as impressive, maybe even more so given its spectacular setting. The stone circle at Castlerigg is situated near Keswick in North West England. One of around 1,300 stone circles in the British Isles and Brittany, it was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BCE, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages. Various archaeologists have commented positively on the beauty and romance of the Castlerigg ring and its natural environment. In his study of the stone circles of this region, archaeologist John Waterhouse commented that the site was "one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain.” We thought so too!
  39. 39. IN & AROUND THE DISTRICT
  40. 40. A DE SCE NT FOR THE RE CORDS We'd climbed a pretty steep hill to get a good view of the valley below as the previous photograph shows and heading back from the summit there were two rocky/gravelly paths down. Ben suggested the one he felt was easier, Tom decided to just do a slow half jog down the other, when before you know it, the half jog turned into a wild sprint down the slope since once Tom took off and picked up some speed he couldn't stop. Ran downhill over a narrow path at a pretty good speed and in dress shoes, arms and legs flying for about 40 yds before grabbing hold of a bush to finally stop. Ben said that when Tom took off he had absolutely no idea what in the hell he was thinking. He says a Japanese tourist looked at him and said "What you father do??? He crazy or someting?" Luckily Tom didn't trip and fall since there were lots of rocks on and along the path. Everyone had a pretty good laugh about it afterwards.
  41. 41. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH’S COTTAGE OF GRASMERE & GRAVE
  42. 42. LITTLETOWN FARM
  43. 43. RUNNING OF THE SHEEP While staying at the farm we were startled one day to hear a flock of sheep running down the road towards us. They’d been let out of their pasture and were being herded down to another. Ben took a video which can be seen at the following link:
  44. 44. TRAIL DOG COMPETITION Our hosts at the farm told us about a periodic competition involving a running of trail hounds, trained to follow a scent. The competition was being held in a field about a 15 minute walk from the farm. The admission price was fair, especially since it went to improve schools in the area. For each race – the courses being of varying length and so duration, the competing dogs were lined up and at a signal set loose. The race we watched lasted about 20-25 minutes during which the dogs followed a scent some 10 miles. Bystanders would follow the race with binoculars and when the dogs came into view, heading for home, their owners started whistling and yelling to spur them on.
  45. 45. LAST STOP EDINBURGH By the end of our trip through England we were all ready for some rest and relaxation. This is why we decided to spend about a week in Edinburgh. Ben found us an apartment at Gayfield Square, across the river from the old town. It was an ideal location since the walk into the old part of the city took us only about 15-20 minutes. While in Edinburgh we twice had lunch with a gentleman who’d been in Tom’s class in Bologna, Robert Thornton, a retired linguist and teacher of English as a second language. It was Robert in fact who told us about a thrift store where as it turns out, Ben found a great leather bomber jacket for an incredibly reasonable price.
  46. 46. GAYFIELD POLICE STATION Robin went out one night to the park across from our apartment to feed the squirrels , only to literally disappear. Ben & Tom had gotten worried since it was pretty cold and she wasn’t wearing a sweater or jacket and was gone quite a long while. Going outside to look for her, she was nowhere in sight, nor was anyone in the park. Well, come to find out, she was in the Gayfield police station giving a witness statement. It seems she saw someone throw a rock at a parked police car, breaking a window. When the police came out they saw Robin who volunteered to give a description of the guy.
  47. 47. GAYFIELD SQUARE PARK W H E R E R O B I N D I S A P P E A R E D
  48. 48. LUNCH WITH ROBERT(0)
  49. 49. EDINBURGH CASTLE
  50. 50. SIR WALTER SCOTT MONUMENT
  51. 51. F I R T H O F F O U R T H F R O M H I L L O V E R L O O K I N G T H E C I T Y
  52. 52. FLIGHT HOME We got up very early on July 5th, around 4 am to be ready at 5 when the cab we’d ordered would arrive. The 8 mile drive to the airport took about 25 minutes and so we had plenty of time to check in and wait for our flight, which as expected was long and tiring. In Charlotte there was a delay due to the weather; still we were all very happy to finally be back home.

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