European Adventures!

Well I’m still in Europe for almost another week, but I wanted to update everyone on what we’ve done so far! So here goes a very brief summary of the past 10 days with a few pictures of the highlights!

Day One – Arrived in England, went out for a pub lunch in Ascot and visited the Savill Gardens

The family at the gardens

Day Two – Went into London to see St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster, and saw Big Ben, Parliament and the London Eye along the way

Saint Paul's


Big Ben

Day Three – Went back into London in the afternoon to visit the British Museum, which we only ended up seeing for about 20 minutes because of an emergency in the Waterloo Underground station that caused some transportation problems. Then we headed to the Barbican Centre for dinner and a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. (Unfortunately I got some kind of stomach bug after the concert and was very ill all night and the entire next day)

The British Museum

Day Four – As I was on my death bed, I stayed in Ascot for an extra day while the rest of the family drove up to Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon (pictures to come once Beanie gets online).

Day Five – I flew up to Glasgow to rejoin the family once I was feeling better and we spent the afternoon walking around Glasgow where we saw George Square and the Modern Art Museum.

George Square

Day Six – Went to Glasgow Cathedral in the morning, then across town to the University of Glasgow and  the Kelvingrove Museum (where we learned about Haggis). Then we drove up to Loch Ness where we saw the lake, obviously, and also visited a clan heritage museum with a wonderful demonstration about life in pre-18th century Scotland complete with a lesson about how to wear a kilt and a weapons demonstration.

Glasgow Cathedral

Some people believe a haggis is a little furry creature with short legs on one side that help it run around hills...not even kidding

At Loch Ness

Day Seven – We took a steam train (used for the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter) from Fort William up to Malaig and saw some Harry Potter filming locations along the way. We drove to Edinburgh that evening where we had a great dinner at a pub and even had some haggis!

The Hogwarts Express!

The steam train

The bridge used in the second Harry Potter film

Day Eight – Spent the day walking around Edinburgh. We visited the Edinburgh Castle in the morning, then walked the Royal Mile down to the Holyrood Palace, passing several other sites, including the “Birthplace of Harry Potter” – The Elephant Room restaurant – where J.K. Rowling spent her time writing the books. We also visited the National Museum in Edinburgh and probably walked about 8 miles over the course of the day!

Edinburgh Castle

With Braveheart

Dressed in traditional Scottish garb

Day Nine – We left Edinburgh and started the drive back to England, stopping at the border for some tourist pictures. We attempted to see Hadrian’s Wall, but the website lied and apparently you can’t actually see the wall in the town we stopped at. Then we drove to the Durham Cathedral, which was amazing (and also the site of some Harry Potter filming), then continued on to York where we attended Evensong at York Minster Cathedral.

The Scotland/England border

Durham Cathedral

Day Ten – We drove down to Cambridge for the day where we had a great walking tour of Kings College and Queens College of Cambridge University. We also got to walk through a lot of the city, then drove back to Ascot in time for a Fourth of July party with my family and some of their friends, both American and British!

King's College Chapel

Tomorrow we leave for Belgium where we’ll spend about three days, then back to Ascot for a day and home on Saturday!