Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Month: May, 2016

Canterbury

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A spontaneous day-trip, back in time – the kind that would make my high school English teachers swoon. The Canterbury of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, our very own “pilgrimage.” 

Canterbury is about an hour and a half drive from us in Cambridge; it’s also possible to take the train direct from London. That being said, I’ve barely ever heard it mentioned. Certainly it wasn’t on any bucket-list of ours. Really, only convenience and a burning desire to explore somewhere brought us there. But I *loved* it. 

The entire town – it’s just so charming. Maybe it’s the soft purple of the wisteria, draping the entire town. The winding river. The thousand year old streets. We had a perfect day, walking around, wandering the cathedral (we did see the original shrine to St. Thomas Becket, a la the Canterbury Tales pilgrims!), touring the Canterbury Tales exhibit (of course, we HAD to), dining on the river. And to top it all off, we had the most delicious hot chocolate, whipped cream and all. 

In Europe, sometimes, there’s pressure to get on airplane. Go to this city, to that city. See it all. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about the adventures right here. Always, it’s wonderful to rediscover them. 

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Granchester Meadows

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Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with this discovery. It was the first really warm day of the year (over 70 on Saturday and up to 80 the following day), and I was feeling really sad about being so far away from the beach (about ~2 hours for an ok, but not great, beach). Regardless, there was no way I was going to spend any of the day indoors. We decided to bike on the outskirts of Cambridge to a tea garden that we found online. The twist in this story: the tea garden ended up not having any seating available, BUT it was right next to these incredible, riverfront meadows.

A little post-trip research informed me that the area is known as the Grantchester Meadows. There were HUNDREDS of people there that day. Everyone brings giant blankets, coolers, grills, boats, bathing suits, kites, tents, games. Substitute sand for grass, and it’s just like being at the beach!

We loved it here so much that we stayed for hours. The next day, we came back – this time with a blanket, books, and Prosecco. If you’re trying to find me any day in the next few weeks: look here first. 

Garden

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Since my final exams take place at the end of May, I’ve been spending a lot of time back in my garden reading and studying. It’s been so nice out; staying inside and sitting at a desk seem horrible. This was not the first time I did this, but this day WAS the first time I wasn’t alone… This cat: I still have no idea who he is or where he came from, but he decided to make himself right at home on my blanket, purring and wanting to be pet. It was great. He’s welcome back any time (though my cat was definitely a little jealous). Studying could be worse. 

White Cliffs

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The White Cliffs of Dover. It’s really quite hard to write anything at all that would do this place justice. It’s just absolutely stunning. Profound. Green and white and blue. Vast and quaint. Full of people, totally isolated.

I love being on the sea. It’s my absolutely favorite place to be. This trip was so revitalizing for me, to be able to see and feel the ocean again. To feel so far away from the city.

And, yes, we could see France across the Channel. We were SO close to France, in fact, that I had to put my phone on airplane mode (I was actually picking up the signal from the French towers and getting charged for roaming).

Other highlights of our day excursion: afternoon tea in the lighthouse, exploring old WWII tunnels, *fresh* mussels (I missed them!), and a sculpture of a dolphin riding a bicycle (yes). 

I loved it here. Loved, loved, loved. 

East London

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East London on a spring day. I had no idea London had such a thriving houseboat community. And that sunset. It was gorgeous. 

 

Cambs Spring

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These pictures are from a few weeks ago, when it was still *just* a little chilly, but the flowers were beginning to bloom… Our friend was visiting from the US, so even though the day seemed grey and dreary at first, we ventured into the center of town. We were so glad we did. It ended up being a beautiful day.

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