London

I did make it it to London! Don’t worry everyone! You really think I would have gone to the UK for 6 months and not make it to London??? I want more time, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, and my phone died so I have no pictures, because of course of I don’t. So this post is fairly short. In London when switching trains I met someone from Reston! How weird! It’s a small world after all is playing in the background. As my birthday present, Edward and I went to see Les Mis, on West End and it was beyond amazing. Words cant explain how amazing it was. It was well worth the wait, to finally see it live. In case anyone doesn’t know, I’ve been obsessed with it since the movie came out in 2012, so it was nice to see it!

Cardiff

I couldn’t exactly be in Wales for 6 months and not go to the capital! Leanna and I went to Cardiff, with two other friends of Mine tagging along; Edward, and Abbie.

The first day there we walked around, went to a cute little tea shop we found, and went to the Castle (yes another castle and it’s not the last.)

Just some queens in front of our castle.

Leanna and I got into a bit of trouble and had to be put in time out. But after there was time out, there was tea.

We went to bed fairly early, because we had to wake up early for a busy next day! We all (except Edward) being the dorks that we are decided to go to the Dr. Who museum. It was amazing.

We had a chance to “fly” the Tardis, and then there was a museum filled with props from the set. Took on the Daleks too.

 

Exterminate.

Unfortunately I was sick, and had no voice, so I wasn’t feeling very good. So that night after dinner, we went out for few drinks, Edward and I went back to the Airbnb, and Leanna and Abbie stayed out and partied for a bit.

Castle Count: 15

Cathedral Count: 15

Manchester

I’ve been holding off on this post, because what I had originally had written I felt guilty about posting so soon after the terrorist attack. But here goes nothing. Manchester is a perfectly nice city. I recommend everyone to go to Manchester at least once. There is a train that takes you right to their airport which was convenient. However Bill Byrson got it right, when he said there’s nothing particularly memorable.

It was the last day of my mom’s visit, and we only had just less than 18 hours in the city on a bank holiday, so we didn’t get to see everything, and I’m sure there are memorable parts. Like I said it’s a lovely city, spent a weekend there by all means, it’s great to visit. I just can’t think of anything other than Cat Cafe that stuck out. However I also saw a Cathedral to add to my count. What I started to notice about Cathedrals in the UK, is they’re all built the same, and they all look the same, the only thing that really varies in the size of them.

Manchester

Manchester

This is Bert. Bert is a cross eyed kitty. Bert was my favorite.

Manchester

Castle Count: 13

Cathedral Count: 15

Munich

A few years ago my dear friend Valentin spent a year in the states where we attended high school together, and took culinary. Every summer dear Valentine comes back for a visit, and sometimes he also comes back for winter or spring break. Every time he comes we tell him we’ll visit him eventually, being in Europe for a semester Germany was number 1 on my list to get to, and luckily we had reading week, and Valentin had a break so I was able to stay with him in Germany, and he was gracious enough to pause and take pictures while I took everything in with out a camera lenses.

Munich has three gates around the city from the original ‘old city’.

It was  Mardi  Gras so one of the gates of the to Munich had  a funny little clown and I loved it.The weather was also incredibly nice, I might be exaggerating but it was the first time I saw real sun in like 2 weeks. It was so nice that at one point when Vale and I were walking through the park he was in short sleeves. However by the time of night fall I was back in my north face, and the next day was cold and rainy, just like Wales.

 

We took advantage of this warm weather! With little to no clouds in the sky, we climbed to the top of this old church tower, where we could see the city in all its glory.

A closer up on the building is below.

You may recognize it from pictures of Munich during the the 3rd Reich, when the Nazi flag was flying from the building. On another note in the center is the Virgin Mother with Christ, in this beautiful gold statue, that reigns above it all.

The thing with Munich is although you can’t see any real damage from the war, what you can see is places that should have old buildings and instead have new ones that are sometimes ugly. These new buildings were built to replace the old historic ones. Sometimes they would use some of the rubble to rebuild what was lost but most of the time they built what was cheap and easy.

At noon these little guys would dance, it was great. The bells rang and everyone stopped and watched.

There was this beautiful park that was larger than central park so we didn’t do near the entire thing.

From there we traveled to their victory gate, because remember WWII wasn’t the only war Germany fought in.

There was this old building that was mostly destroyed during the war but had the remains built into the new one instead of tearing the whole thing down. I just thought it was neat.

On our way to the Olympic tower we witnessed the Victory angel, and the parliament building.

Bavarian’s are kind of like Texans, they’re proud of Germany but they’re also very proud of their state.

(This comes from a really cool square called Kings square if I remember correctly, its not one of the old gates of the city but its a square that everything looks very ancient Greek.)

Finally we ended our very long trip around the city at the Olympic tower, and watched the sunset. Let me just say the sun setting over the Alps is stunning and unbelievable.

 

Chester

I was a very excited American while visiting Chester. There are so many ruins ( ROMAN) and others I was going crazy. The architecture was very Tudor (not that I know what that means) . This was Chester, which is in Cheshire (fun names) which is JUST outside of Wales. It was just over an hour on the train, and I want to go back when its warmer so I can do a canal walk. I mean look how beautiful this was in the dead of winter!

So a little context with the “excited American” picture which pretty much describes me anytime I go anywhere… We were looking at these ruins of a cathedral (I’m not adding that to the cathedral count because it’s not full) and I had a minor freak out about how old and cool everything is. The old Cathedral had a coffin in the walls! It was super high up too so it was interesting. I took a picture of the sign that explains its brief history

 

Also since Chester was a town occupied by Romans there are remains of a mini theater that was in the city. The cathedral was huge! There was no way to get a picture of the full thing. It looks a lot like the one in Bangor just a lot larger.

 

Other tid bits, when we were walking around I saw this alley and I thought I might die (not really I’m dramatic).

They had an “American Candy World.” Which to it’s credit did have American Candy but I wouldn’t count on it being too similar. If you ever wanted to know what the UK thought of American sweets here’s your answer.

The cathedral count takes the lead with 1 (but should it be two because of the ruins?)

Cathedral Count: 4

Castle Count : 3

 

***Also side note if a place has a cathedral it’s considered a city! That’s a weird interesting fun fact.***

Liverpool

We traveled to the home of the Beatles and to where the titanic departed from on it’s maiden (and only voyage). The Liverpool football(soccer) team had  a game against Swansea (Wales) I wish I was able to see it but unfortunately we had to purchase tickets in advanced. I will make it to a football game while I’m here! We started out our day at the Titanic Museam where we learned about the construction of the ill-fated ship, and what ultimately lead to it’s down fall. (Apparently if they hit the iceberg head on the ship would have been damaged but not sunk).

From the museum we saw the only surviving life vest from the titanic.

 

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We took the trek ( lots of walking in the UK) to the cavern club. Which is the first place the Beatles ever performed.

 

Additionally we saw the Liverpool library which looked old from the outside but very new from the inside. They have a “wall of fame” and you can see the Beatles dead center under the plaque.

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Liverpool was interesting it kind of reminded me of Boston and Pittsburgh. There’s a lot of old buildings (the city was discovered in the 1200’s after all), but next to an old building there would be a modern one. The perfect example of this is the cathedrals (I’m adding a cathedral count with my castle count.)

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There was the Catholic Cathedral that is built like a dome, and was started before the second world war but was abandoned and bombed, so when it was rebuilt they built it modern. I could be wrong but I don’t think you’ll find another cathedral in world like the catholic one.

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Then just down the street through the trees is the Anglican cathedral. We saw it much sooner before we reached it.

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All in all Liverpool was very impressive and I intend to go back when it isn’t as cold! The cathedral count takes the lead!

Castle Count: 2

Cathedral Count: 3

Update: My best friend is from Liverpool I ended up spending a week with her!