April 29, 2011

Royal England

In honor of the Royal Wedding - todays post is about "Ole' Mother England" - one of the places I really enjoyed visiting. It's also appropriate because Slim is in Cambridge, England this weekend visiting one of his friends getting a PhD there.  I'm sure lots of pub visiting and cricket watching will be happening.  I'll pay a little homage to my father in law's family and my grandpa - both who are of English and Irish heritage. 

I haven't spent a lot of time in England, but the time I have spent was really great!  While backpacking throughout college I made a stop in London and Windsor (where the Royal castle is located we also swung by Buckingham).  There is a sturdiness in London, England - an established ritual, culture and tradition.  

An efficiency and a beauty - a weathered age to the buildings.  A compact organization to the city and the structures that seem to occupy as much land as possible.
You can almost feel the history as you wander the streets, especially compared to the feel of wild free feel you get when viewing buildings and open lands while visiting America or Australia.

Although the monarchy, properness, and rules are very foreign to me  (being a woman of the rugged lands of America) I can definitely appreciate it.  I can also really appreciate the London pub atmosphere,  beer, and the fish and chips - they are all great English staples!

London is definitely a wonderful city - one where I could see us living, which is a rare occurance.  It's got a lot of charm and beauty as well as a lot of things to do and to see.  
If you are in Europe - London and the surrounding area is a must on the day trip list.  Plus there are tons of budget airlines (Easyjet, RyanAir, Virgin) where you can get flights for 70 euros.  Piccadilly Circus is totally insane but you have to see it.  Windsor is beautiful - and there is a super creepy collection of Queen Mary's dolls.  

Hop on the London eye (total tourist trap but the views are great) and ride on a double decker bus.... but nothing beats finding a small cafe with a patio to have a tea and scone on - one where you can really enjoy a misty English afternoon.  Overall I feel these English cities are best seen when you explore the little side shops, cafes, and pubs

On a random note I realized something today as I started singing along and inserted "Let Freedom Ring" for "God save the Queen" that "My, Country Tis' of Thee (America)" is to the tune of "God Save the Queen" ... why am I not surprised?

I love it - Touché, America, touché.


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