Saturday, March 22, 2008

West coast trip!

I have to say that this was one of the most incredible trips I have taken around England. This last week was our trip to the west coast. We had origionally planned to take the trip last week but a hurricane left us making a few changes. Penzance was completely covered in water and so we did the first half of our trip last week, which was our trip to Bath, and we did Penzance this week. In the end it was the best thing that we changed our plans because the weather was fantastic the entire trip.

We started our drive on wednesday morning at 5am! Anna Gordon and I have become bus buddies and we have finally got the perfect system down for these long bus rides. It is funny as look towards the back of the bus most everyone is sleeping sitting up with their mouths wide open and it is so funny that you cant help but take pictures of them. The drive was about 5 hours and we stopped at a small town called Cloverly. As the bus pulled up we couldnt see the town because in order to get there we had to walk down a hill to the beach. It was a cute little cottage town with pebble stone pathways and in order to get into the town you had to pay. There was an artist painting a picture of the ocean and part of the town and it just made the town that much more picturesc.

Tintagel was the next stop on our list and it was a few hours away from Cloverly. Tintagel is on a hill that we had to hike to and there are remnants of a castle on top of this hill that over looks the ocean. They say that this is the castle where King Arthur was concieved. So now I can say that I have been to King Arthurs seat in Scotland and King Arthurs castle! The castle was no longer standing but there were ruins left of it, walls and an alter from the church that was in castle. The wind was so bad because we were so high up and right next to the ocean but it was still a great time. Some of the girls decided to do some Yoga on the cliffs over looking the ocean. That was funny to watch.

As we climbed back off the mountain we had some time left so we walked around in town. There were two things that our proffesors told us to get while we were on the west coast. They were Cornish Pasty's and Cornish clotted cream ice cream. A bunch of us found a cute little ice cream store and bought our first Clotted cream ice cream. They were deliscious!

After a long day of riding on the bus we finally made it to our hostel near Penzance. We were all put into the same groups for rooms that we had before in our last hostel in Bath so that was fun to be with the same girls again. We had made a quick stop at the grocery store before we got to our hostel so that we could buy some dinner. It was a really long day and all of us were pretty tired so we went to bed pretty early that night so that we could be ready for the next day.

That morning we had breakfast at the hostel, nothing fancy just cereal. We then headed out to Landsend. This is where our 6 mile hike started and we really didnt know what to expect. In the beginning our professors told us not to take our rain boots and I thought that they were crazy. I was determined to bring my boots because there was no way that I wanted to have muddy pants and shoes the whole trip. Well in the end I didnt bring my boots on the trip and I was glad because our hike just would not have been the same if I wore my rain boots hiking.

The view was amazing when we started and there isnt a whole lot to say about our hike because it was great the whole time. The beaches looked like tey had never been touched by anyone, there was white sand that looked like pillows next to the water and the ocean water was brigh green and blus and completely clear next to the white sand. I never thought that the beaches in England would have looked like this.
After the hike we were pretty tired I will admit and extremely hungery so we went into the town of Landsend and bought some English candies for the ride to the Eden Project (Our next destination).
In the beginning we were given two groups of travel that we could join. One group would be going to the town of St. Ives and the other to what is called "The Eden Project." I chose the Eden one. It is a project where they are trying to collect every type of plant in the world. Obviously they are just starting off but they have a large number of plants so far. The green houses are in these huge biomes and there are two of them. One biome is for Meditteranian plants an the other is for Rain forest plants. I was so glad that I chose the Eden project because it was really interesting to see the different things that they have collected and put together. The rain forest actually felt like you were there. They had water falls and banana trees and cocoa plants. It was great for about the first 45 min. and then it got so hot and our clothes started to stick to us. After our trip there we headed back to our hostel and got another great nights sleep.
For our last day some of the students decided to go watch the sun rise on the ocean. We then ot ready for our long drive home. We had one more stop before we headed out and it was to Michaels Mount. The guard at the front told us that the wind was to bad so they closed the path way that led up to the castle on the top of the hill on the island but we could walk on the causeway if we wanted. Michaels Mount is a castle on a island and normally water surrounds it but when the tide is out from 10:30am to 12:30 pm people can just walk to the island on the sand so that is what we did. When we got to the island they had a few little shops that we could go through and we found this dog that was huge and he was just so funny blowing in the wind that we had to take a picture with him. His name was murphy. I bought a really pretty print of Penzance in a shop there and it was about lunch time and I hadnt had a Cornish Pasty yet so we went into this little restaurant and had pasty's. (They are like calzone shaped pot pies)

After our trip to the island we headed back to the bus for a long ride home. My teacher Joe Ostraff has a son named Ethen that sat infront of us on the bus and he entertained us the entire way home. One of the girls on the bus, Tori got sick and had to lay on the floor for a while because she was so motion sick. The drive home was long and we were ready to be home in the end. It loved every minute of our trip though!

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