Monday, October 18, 2010

Black Sheep and Peter Rabbit

The view of the Ambleside area and Lake Windemere

This last weekend, I went with the school 4 hours north of Grantham to the Lake District. We left Thursday night, hopped on the coach and drove north. It was the first school trip I had gone on since London in September and it was amazing how relaxing it was. I didn't have to worry about anything! There was a decent sized number of us on the trip so it was a lot of fun to travel with people I was friends with, but didn't necessarily hang out with around the manor. We arrived at our hostel, which was directly on Lake Windemere, late Thursday evening. I roomed with 6 other girls, but got the one single bed in the room (whoo!). The hostel was giant yet all of the girls from Harlaxton were in one corner of the hostel, which made the weekend's bonding even more easy!

Our hostel on the lake.
Friday morning I bought a ferry ticket to the nearest town, Bowness (we were staying in Ambleside) with Ashley, Jake, and our friend Lauren, to see the Beatrix Potter attraction! Beatrix Potter had based all of her stories in the Lake District so Peter Rabbit memorabilia could be found everywhere. We went through the attraction, reminiscing over the characters we remembered best, and being the only ones there who were older than 4 and younger than 30. I still found it absolutely fascinating to read about Beatrix Potter and her life, as well as the people she wrote her stories for. It was a well spent morning! We also explored the quaint town of Bowness that was very obviously a tourist attraction. We went to a tea room for tea and scones. It was absolutely delicious and relaxing.

We headed back to the hostel to change into some hiking gear to trek the "mountains". Surrounding all the lakes in the district were beautiful, what I would call, hills that made for great hikes. The four of us were joined by our new friends Sam and Jessica, and half-way up the hill, Karen and Christi. We had an awesome time hiking on the public footpaths through sheep pastures, viewing all the black sheep (I've never seen so many sheep in my life!) and gorgeous sights! We reached the top within an hour and a half and have an incredible view of Lake Windemere and the surrounding area. We felt quite proud of ourselves for finding the trail and making it to the top! It was wonderful.
My hiking group: Karen, Ashley, Jessica, Christi, Sam, Lauren, and Jake.
Jessica, Lauren, Me, Ashely, Christi, and Karen at the top!

That evening, after dinner with my hiking group in the town center of Ambleside, I hung out in the manor (too exhausted to even think about doing anything else!) and chatted with a lot of girls from Harlaxton that I've never gotten the chance to know. We had a great time just getting to know each other! The girls were all mainly from Western Kentucky University (the next biggest school fed into Harlaxton) so it was great to hear about something different to UE and even when it's so near!

Saturday morning came quickly after a very deep sleep and was full of our outdoor activities! I had signed up for "Ghyll Scrambling" provided by a company in Langdale, about a half hour away from Ambleside. The other options were mountain hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing. All sounded very appealing to me, but I knew I could do the other things at home, so I took the opportunity to try something I had never heard of! About 20 of us from the group had signed up for the activity, so they broke us into 3 teams. My team consisted of all girls, and girls that I was friends with, but not great friends with. We put on our gear, harnesses and helmets, and headed out with our guide, Ian.

Ghyll, our guide told us, is a Norse word for "mountain stream" so, in essence, ghyll scrambling meant that we were to be hiking through a mountain stream and rock climbing up waterfalls. We began our adventure straight away by hopping into the stream, completely soaking our shoes through! We were all prepared in wearing boots and various waterproof attire, but it was obvious once we began that there would be no stopping our getting wet. Our guide was awesome and our group worked incredibly together! We were all at the same fitness level and naturally encouraged one another. We had an absolutely blast and constantly were laughing. We all challenged each other in taking the harder routes, even if it was completely unnecessary! Our guide was great because he stopped every so often and took pictures of us. Check out the link below for all the amazing pictures!! Also, be sure to ask me later about more detail from the adventure; it was the most fun I've had since being here, and that's saying something!!!
I was being an ape over the shoulder-deep pool of water!

The afternoon, after finding feeling in my feet again, was spent with the girls from my team as well as couple others. We went to tea together (and more scones) and walked around the area for a bit. We began to realize that we all got along so well together and were amazed we never knew each other before! Everyone I spent my afternoon with all went to UE. We had a range of sophomores, juniors and seniors, but UE is not that big, so it still surprised us. We went to dinner together as well and a wine bar with live jazz. It was an absolutely wonderful evening with "the girls". Without this weekend's adventures, we probably would not have bonded as much as we had, so we were all thankful for the opportunities that arose for it! It is so awesome that we can all become friends this semester and continue to be when we return to UE in January.
At the lake in Keswick with a mixture of UE and WKU girls.

Sunday morning we left the hostel and drove to another nearby town Keswick (pronounced: Kez-ick). We walked around the area, exploring the "most beautiful" lake in the Lake District and had lunch at a cafe called Ginger and Pickles. Again, it was more time spent in the gorgeous area of the district and with people I was quickly getting to know and love! We made it back to the manor in really good time. For the first time in weeks, I wasn't bogged down with homework upon arrival so that was great. This week I have my floor event to look forward to, as well as the Variety Show in which I'm playing piano for people. This weekend I stay here at the manor for RA duty and will be studiously working on papers. Good thing not many people will be here to distract me! Time in this semester is quickly escaping me as we near the end of October!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool, the water walking sounds very interesting and I so happy to hear that you are bonding with other students from a different college in the USA as well. This is an amazing thing in life that you'll never forget.