Taking England by Storm

Long time, no see! It has been a little over a week since my last blog post so there are a few things to catch you up on! Since my last post, I have attended an English football game! I must say, the game was so much fun!! Definitely an experience everyone should try to have when visiting England. Plus, my city’s team won!! 3-1, not too shabby. I have never been to any football games, American or English, above college level so being in the stadium with the roaring crowd, cheering and standing up in exasperation with a referee’s call was so much fun!! There is so much hype at these games. I remember thinking afterwards that I did not hear a lot of the people around me talking. Maybe a comment here or there about a player or referee’s call but otherwise everyone is watching the action with intense focus on the ball’s movements. I even found myself more invested than I ever have been with any sporting event. Ever. I think being in the crowd made a huge difference because you could literally feel the electricity and vibrancy of the fans. Also, these older and more experienced football players had way more cool footwork than I have seen, and they were sliding and doing sick head butts. Action I have not seen in person!! So the football game was super cool and I would definitely go again if I have the money!! We’ll have to see about that. So yeah, English football!! I think I would like to go to a rugby match even though I have no idea what the rules are or why I always see images of men in a giant huddle with each other any time I see pictures of rugby, buuuuuuut I think it would still be a fun time!

Other than the football game, I’ve mostly been hanging out with my housemates, my international students, I attended the cinema, which was about the same pricing if not a dollar or so cheaper than the U.S. and the previews take nearly half an hour. Sidetrack: the previews may be longer before the film starts but all of the British commercials I have seen are so much more emotional and have so much more impact behind their messages. I could watch a mini series of just British commercials and be just as satisfied as I am watching Bambi. No joke. Now back on track. I also celebrated a friends birthday and went to this delicious dessert joint called Heavenly Desserts. I must say my dessert was indeed heavenly that I could not finish it. There were over 70 options of desserts! Insanity! Or ingenious? Both. It has to be both. Someone ordered a cup of hot chocolate and let me try it. Two gulps of that hot chocolate would have given me a heart attack. I kid you not, we all tried each other’s desserts and . . . *cue my insides melting*. That’s all I can really say about that. My mouth is melting just thinking about it so I should move on.

Earlier this week I had my own adventure to Nottingham. For one, I definitely enjoyed having a day to explore by myself, to take in the country and appreciate my surroundings in peace. I went there by train, which was my first train ride ever!! It was not anything super spectacular but a small mark off the bucket list! Once in Nottingham (also, isn’t that just such a cool name for a city?), I went to the City of Caves. For those who don’t know (I was in your boat before this mini tour), there are hundreds of underground caves throughout the whole city of Nottingham! Some of them have been left alone or even undiscovered, others have collapsed, some are used for tours, a couple are owned by the establishments or homes above them and are used personally or for business. Regardless, I thought it was really cool there were so many caves under the city! The one I toured through, and similarly the other caves, were used for secret conspiracy meetings, tannery (leather-making, which was a smelly process as they used urine and poop to soften the leather), housing for the poor, bunkers during World War 1, and now for tourists. Many uses for the caves and an interesting history. From the caves, I toured through the Galleries of Justice Museum, which used to be a prison and also a courthouse. I walked through a Victorian courtroom, a much different set up from American courtrooms, how prisoners/convicts lived and were treated, I learned a four year old boy could legally be arrested often due to pick-pocketing, their ‘exercise’ included walking around a stone yard with black masks over their faces to make them feel a loss of identity while walking around in a circle holding on to a rope. Sounds fun, right? I even saw where men were hung. How lovely that image was. Pictures are included below. Please enjoy. 🙂 From the prison I went to the oldest inn in all of England, ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem’. The inn earned this name due to cavalry soldiers ( I believe cavalry, or mercenaries, now I feel bad that I don’t remember) stopping at this inn to rest and refresh their horses and themselves. The inn was cool but they didn’t play any music, but I instead enjoyed the chatter of the people surrounding me and the sound of glasses landing back on the wooden table tops. I enjoyed a Guinness and a plate of fish and chips. Yummy! From the inn, I walked up to the Nottingham Castle! My first castle experience in England. The inn is at the base of the hill that the castle sits upon. There is so much history in that castle. Every single room has been cleared to be used as exhibition rooms. It would have taken me three hours to stop and read about everything I saw in there so I hope that clues you into how much history has been preserved. I also had no idea that Robin Hood was from Nottingham; he lived in Sherwood Forest ( I wish I had the time to visit the forest, I’ve heard good things), which is just on the north edge of the city I believe. So anywhere I walked, not just in the castle but on the streets as well, were plaques or posts with facts or stories about Robin Hood. I’ll admit, I didn’t realise the ‘myth’ of Robin Hood was in fact based on fact. Learn something new everyday am I right? So I spent quite a bit of time in the castle and walking the grounds. Again, pictures included below. I then made my way back home. It was a long but lovely day. It made me excited for the other solo adventures I plan to go on. It was peaceful, relaxing, exciting, and really just helped me clear my head. I highly encourage any and everyone to try taking a small day trip or weekend trip somewhere by themselves. Be safe and do your research of course but take time to yourself. It did me a lot of good. I encourage you to do some good for yourself. I am going on a trip to Liverpool tomorrow hosted by the Exchange program here at Leicester so big group of people! There will be photos and another blog post of the trip later in the week. Enjoy my photos below of the football game, the City of Caves, Galleries of Justice Museum, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, and the Nottingham Castle.

Cheers!

P.S.- the photos have captions, I think you have to click on them to read the caption.

 

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