Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Castle Comb

One of the highlights of our trip to Bath was the Mad Max Tour. I know, the name scared me off a bit at first too but as in turned out the company was founded by a girl name Madeline and her dog Max, hence: Mad Max. Instead of spending forever doing a huge blog on our tour I will break it into our stops because each place deserves its own little highlight. The first stop in our little tour van was Castle Comb. This was the cutest village I have ever seen! Apparently a lot of people think so too because there have been a ton of movies filmed here including the original Dr. Doolittle and, our favorite, Stardust! For all those who love Stardust as much as me, this is the city of Wall!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Neighbors

Before I continue posting about our Bath trip I first have to vent about our crazy neighbors. They moved in about two weeks ago and all I can say is that they are Spanish woMEN, if you get my drift. They walk around with their big old breast implants hanging out of little tank tops and showing off their hairy masculine legs in their mini skirts which they don't even do up for some reason. Their door is never closed and they are always walking around and for some reason every time I see them, whatever they have on the bottom is not done up! I don't understand it. The first time I saw one of them I was polite and said hi and I almost jumped when this deep manley voice reponded. I'm still polite and say hi but it is just so awekward. Another phenomenon about their move in is that our little basement corner that they share with us has developed this horable smell. We seriously have to hold our breaths when we walk down the stairs and to our apartment. We wonder if they are smoking something wierd in there. It is a strange mixture of smoke, BO, rotten eggs and perfume. Ick! To top this all off they are always doing laundry for some strange reason. Yesterday I finally snuck in a load in between their washes. This was all fine until I pulled our laundry out of the dryer and with it came one of their thongs! Sick! This was the last straw and what led me to vent my feelings through the wonderful world of blogging.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bath

We had a lovely weekend in and around the town of Bath. After arriving we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that although we had to sleep in bunk beds, we had our own dorm room at the hostel we stayed at. After checking in we were anxious to be out side and enjoy the beautiful day. We found a perfect little picnic spot right on a lock.

We then decided to take a lovely stroll along the River Avon and head into town.

After our stroll, however, we were a little tired so we decided to have a lay down in this beautiful garden park and enjoy the sun. (what a rough life)

To explore the city we took a 2 hour free guided tour. It was great to be shown the ins and outs of Bath and hear the little stories to go with it. This is Abbey in Bath. Notice Jacob's ladder on either side. We thought that was pretty cool. Something else interesting about this spot is that it is where the first King of England was crowned and anointed.
The poor in Bath are very well taken care of. If you can prove that you are generally in need of some financial help you could be provided with one of these apartments free of any costs. All you need to do is find your own furniture. Where do I sign up?
The whole reason Bath has become a successful village is because of the three thermal hot springs in the town. This is the new Spa that has tapped into one of these hot springs and is now a world class spa. The building may be ugly and cost over 50 million dollars to build and rebuild but I'm sure everyone who gets a treatment inside thinks that it was all worth it. Sean and I have decided that some day we will come back and spend our whole trip at the Spa. At night we saw through the window that there were couples eating dinner in their white bath robes; we were very jealous.

Another thing that Bath is famous for is being the home of Jane Austin. Here are some pictures from our tour around town. Can't you just picture Jane being inspired to write Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma while walking around this town?

Our last stop of the day was the Roman Baths. The Romans built these long ago and traveled from all over for the healing powers of the spring and to worship the goddess Minerva. When the Romans went away no one else used them and they slowly got built over and forgotten. There were a bunch of apartments built in this spot during the Victorian time. The tenants all complained of the heat and the problem of damp. Eventually they did an excavation to discover what the problem was and look what they discovered! They ripped all the housing out and turned the area into a tourist attraction. You can't go into these Baths but it is still pretty cool to look at the history and innovation of the Romans. There are still areas of the Roman Baths that have not been excavated and probably never will due to the fact that they are under the Abbey.
When night came we had a sudden realization that we really have nothing to do once the sun sets. The attractions are all closed, we can't really go enjoy the parks without the sun and we don't drink so, other then for dinner, there is no reason to spend the nights in the pubs with everyone else. All that's left to do is eat dinner... And then what? I have a feeling that we will be experiencing this feeling a lot when we are traveling in April and May. Well, the good thing about Bath is that we discovered a cheap cinema to see movies. We haven't seen a movie since we arrived in London and, as most of our friends know, for us, that is a very long time. On our first night we saw the new Victoria movie which was very good and fun to see and recognize all the places we have been to. After the movie we felt that it was late enough to be justified in going back to our bunk beds which actually ended up being more comfortable then our apartment bed in London.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is Sprining!

I'm so excited that Spring is coming! Having a nice sunny day and daffodils to greet you just makes the world a better place :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paris Day 7 - Last Day

On our last day in Paris we had a full day dedicated to seeing things that we had planed to see earlier in the week but ran out of time for. Our first stop was Sainte-Chapelle. This church may not look like much from the outside but from the inside, the small chapel lights up with over 1 000 amazing stained glass windows. It was built in 1248 to house the supposed Crown of Thorns which is now rumored to be housed in Notre-Dame but we never saw it. The line for Sainte-Chapelle was usually so long that we didn't want to waist precious sight seeing time standing in line. When we arrived this morning there was no line and, for some reason, the admission was free! It was awesome! We just walked right in, enjoyed the beautiful chapel and then were off to our next sight.

This is the lower chapel.

This is the upper chapel.

The next stop was the Sacre-Coeur. This Roman-Byzantine basilica is on Paris's highest hill and therefor has great views of the surrounding city. It is packed with tourists and street vendors and other creeps that would probably pickpocket you without thinking twice if given the chance.

The two guys in the corner are examples of the sleaze balls I was talking about. All the way up the stairs up to the basilica there are guys like this who have a piece of string and try to loop it around your hand and then make a friendship bracelet on your wrist and make you pay for it. It didn't happen to us but we walked by many a tourist who had fallen into the trap. As I walked by one of these men who tried to stop me I could also feel him conveniently bump into my purse. Good thing it was all zipped up and that I really don't carry anything of value anyways. After that I was definitely on my guard.

Conveniently for the slime balls in the area, the red light district is only a few blocks away from Sacre-Coeur. I think this street was just made for the shock value. I was embarrassed to see parents walking their children down such a street. I don't think I've ever seen the word sex more in my life. The event on our honey moon where a topless Hawaiian was walking towards us and I freaked out and told Sean not to look and covered his eyes, pails to what we saw on this street.

The only reason we went down such a street was just to get a picture of this building. It's the Moulin Rouge! Not quite as glamorous as in the movie but still, I couldn't leave Paris without getting a picture of it!

Once I had my picture we went back to the G rated side of town to retry our crepe experience. This time mine was well wrapped and did not leak all over my pants and Sean stuck with a plain sugar crepe which he also enjoyed a lot more.
Yes, Chelsea, you are right, tables would of prevented our first crepe disaster but it also would have ruined our homeless look that we are going for while sitting on the curb of busy streets. We pull it off so well, don't you think? Sean says that we'll have to come back to Europe some day when we can actually afford to sit at a table.
Our last night event was going to a football (soccer) game! Poor Cecilia was so excited to take us to a Paris soccer game. She was fighting a cold all week and then all of the sudden her illness took a turn for the worst. She spent the day laying on the couch and throwing up in her puke bucket. Poor girl. We felt so bad. Luckily her younger sister Laure was able to come with us so the ticket did not go to waste but we were still sad for Cecilia. The game was way fun. It was exciting to see everyone singing and cheering the WHOLE game and, of course, Paris won. On a side note, if I ever come down with lung cancer we can all trace it back to this one moment in my life. I do not think I have ever been around so much second hand smoke in my life.
video
That concludes our Paris trip. Paris was so much fun. I have to admit that as a city I actually liked Paris more then London. However, I am still so glad that we are living in London. The language barrier was a really tough thing for me. Sean, on the other hand, was amazing. His four years of French in high school and then plus his language skills with Spanish really paid off. He was picking up the language very well and could always order food for us and get directions. I would have been lost with out him. He's wonderful :)