Saturday, January 28, 2012

a day in cymru

Even though I love being in the city, it was the most exhilarating feeling in the world to escape to the countryside today.  Early in the morning, we left in a bus from London and drove through the scenic Cotswolds region.  Shortly after, we arrived at Gloucester Cathedral.

While it's gothic architecture was stunning, the most intriguing aspect of this visit was learning that the BBC was in the process of filming a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV and Henry V to be played during this year's Olympiad - and it stars Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston!

After completing our tour of this historic cathedral - and shamelessly doing some star-stalking - we continued our route through the Forest of Dean where we stopped to admire a gorgeous view of the hills and valleys.

Channeling my inner yogi, I could not help but strike a pose in order to truly become one with nature.

Next, we finally crossed the border into Wales, and the Welsh heritage became immediately evident on the bilingual signs.  Our first stop here was Tintern Abbey, a glorious structure built by Cistercian monks in the 12th century.  More recently, it has been made famous by British romantics, such as Wordsworth and JMW Turner, who immortalized it in their sublime writing and art.  

In the small village adjacent to the Abbey, we stopped for a classic Welsh lunch at a local restaurant, and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of butternut squash soup.  

From here, we returned to the bus to travel to our final destination, Chepstow, a traditional Welsh town famous for its castle.  As we pulled up to yet another historic and beautiful piece of architecture, I was once again floored by its beauty and intricacy.  Clearly, I live in the wrong century. 

While I immensely enjoyed being able to travel and view this amazing landscape and these marvelous architectural feats, the best part of the day was being able to spend it with a group of the most amazing girls.  Hopefully, today will be the first of many great adventures.