Time to recount the past week.
Last Wednesday night the whole center went out to see Shakespeare's Twelfth Night play. It was the first time I had seen a Shakespeare play live, and I must admit that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Tomorrow night we're seeing King Lear as a group. We'll see how I enjoy the tragedies.
Early on Thursday morning, meaning 6 AM, we all headed off on the coach for an overnight trip in Wales. After a couple of hours on the coach, we had our first stop at Tintern Abbey. William Wordsworth wrote a poem about this place and we had a class assignment here to go off and meditate or just observe our surroundings for a while and relate what we saw/felt to a past experience. With the morning fog, white doves, grainy dirt, and the sound of an occasional car driving by, I couldn't help but thing of the Oregon Coast (fog/haze, doves/seagulls, dirt/sand, car/waves). Now I just have to write a paper on it. Besides the whole meditation thing, wandering around the Abbey was really amazing. I have a picture here where I used Michelle to show the scale of how big this place is. Very beautiful. Oh, AND! A bunch of us got matching mood rings at the gift shop. I don't remember the last time I had a mood ring, but it has been far too long, because I love checking every five minutes to see if the colors have changed. Call me crazy.
Exploring the Abbey
As soon as I turned a corner and saw this part of the Abbey, my jaw dropped, literally.
Our next stop was THE BIG PIT (say it with a deep, announcer-man voice).
This is an old coal mine that has been turned into a tourist site. We split up into small groups to go down into the mine, and I am happy to say that my group's guide, Wayne, was excellent. He was cracking jokes the whole time, but knew what he was talking about. After touring more places than I can count, I discovered that I am becoming picky with my tour guides...wow, that's sad.
Yes, but we got to wear hard hats with the flashlights and that whole get-up. Walking around down in the mine wasn't as nerve shredding as I thought it would be...in fact, it reminded me a lot of the wartime tunnels and the underground tube, believe it or not.
Our last stop of the evening was a history of Wales Museum...sort of hard to describe, but basically there was an indoor museum that was pretty lame, and then a little village outside and some pretty gardens and all sorts of things to explore.
Good things about the indoor museum:
- the random video about Italians who came to Wales had really awesome music and I danced in my seat the entire time.
- no one was in the museum, and so Michelle and I basically ran rampant throughout the exhibits. The fashion room had some swinging music playing, too.
hats on display
they also had some quilts on display. A little reminder of Momma Donna.
After a quick breeze through the museum, we headed outside, and NO ONE was in sight. For a minute I was a bit worried that we had missed some sort of memo that we were all going somewhere together, but then got distracted somehow. Anyway, Michelle and I wandered over to the gardens making Welsh Troll voices as we crossed under a dark bridge. I felt just like I was seven years old again.
Michelle got some pretty pictures of the gardens, but we've had some difficulty transferring her pictures to my laptop. Oh well. That's a little piece of how pretty it was.
More wandering around the gardens, a quick browse through the manor house, and some exploration of the village and I was tuckered out. We headed off to the hotel in Cardiff (yes, hotel, notice the lack of an 'S' in that word) and got there just in time to be starving for dinner. My fabulous roommate was my Dublin buddy, Sarah...and the rooms were big and fabulous.
We wandered over to the main shopping area to find a place to eat, and the Olympics were being played on a giant screen in the middle of this square of sorts.
Yes, it was curling, and those were the only seconds I watched of the Olympics (alright, minus the end of the USA - Canada hockey game).
Brittany, Kira, Michelle and I went to a cute little Italian restaurant for dinner. It was perfect. Really.
Sarah and I finished off the day with some BBC television.
I think day two of Wales deserves another post...but I'm getting tired, so it will just have to wait.