England with Paris Extension Tour News Updates
Palace of Westminster at sunset
May 28, 2010
Our group of 8, including 3 graduates, 2 students, and one mother of a graduate left CCC on May 12 and returned on May 25. We enjoyed an eventful tour,
traveling with our BritRail passes from London to Edinburgh, stopping at York (the Evensong service at the York Minster Cathedral was glorious with
extraordinary music and a worshipful message about the atonement), in Edinburgh, walking the Royal Mile from the castle down to the Palace, including
the John Knox house. After two days, we traveled to Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District where we visited the William Wordsworth houses and the
Beatrix Potter house with their beautiful gardens. Then we took the train to Stratford Upon Avon and saw "Antony and Cleopatra" at the Courtyard
Theatre by the Royal Shakespeare Company (We didn't like Cleopatra because she was more like a member of "the mob" than the Cleopatra we were expecting).
In Stratford we stayed at a hotel that was there before Shakespeare was born (That means no elevators.) We then traveled to London and took the EuroStar
Train to Paris through the Chunnel. Paris was as wonderful as we all knew it would be. We spent a whole day in the Louvre, visiting Mona and the rest of
the gang in one great room after another. We could have stayed longer there. Some of us also enjoyed L'Orangerie, a gallery of Impressionist paintings
including several rooms of wall size Monet "Water Lilies", a jaw-dropping spectacle of extraordinary beauty. After that, we had to recuperate in a cafe,
eating pastries and watching the world go by. Paris was crowded elbow to elbow, but we just ploughed on. The Eiffel Tower drew some of the more intrepid to
take the slanting elevator almost to the top. One night in the dusk, the tower lights flicked on and then sparkled with thousands of glittering lights. If
that is a bit over the top, the Eiffel Tower itself is more so.
When we first arrived in London, we spent 3 days traveling to a few of the dozens of sites we could have seen. Some of us took the train south to the
Jane Austen house. There we saw the very table on which she wrote her most loved novels, like "Pride and Prejudice". For Austen fans, the experience
for us was truly awesome. Also, one night we went to the Globe theatre and saw Shakespeare's "Henry VIII". We sat in a box looking down on the stage,
an inspiring experience (Henry was a little too "nice guy" for our tastes, especially remembering what he did to most of his 6 wives.) But, to sit in
the Globe was to be translated back 400 or so years.
Some of the group climbed up to the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, while others visited Westminster Abbey-a resting place of Kings and Queens, a
memorial to the great ones of literature and science, and the home of the Coronation Chair… all of this and so much more. Traveling on the trains
gave us a moving photo of a beautiful, welcoming country, and we will travel back to the UK when we can.
May 14, 2010
Mrs. Anthony called to say that everything is going great.
She is sitting on a bench at the British Museum waiting on
Heather and Jessica to return.
They have gone non-stop.
Everyone is adapting well to the transit system.