Thursday, April 21, 2011
I'll Give You One Paris and One London for Your England Countryside!
Have you ever thought you wanted something so bad until you got it then realized what you had before was so much better? Well, I realized that last week on the second half of our trip abroad.
I wanted to go to England and experience the country that I had read about and learned about in history classes. I wanted to see London, the "tower," the abbey, the castle where the Queen resides but I really desired, yearned and ached to see Paris! After spending a whole week lulling about the England Countryside and after two days exploring London, we finally headed to there via the chunnel. One day, one "fam" tour and a once in a lifetime experience...maybe.
Ticket for four on the Eurostar took us to Paris for a day. First on the agenda, a pastry of course. It had to be in a French cafe along the walk then we were off in one direction heading for the Eiffel Tower. We walked past tons of even more French cafes, cheese and meat shops and we ogled more beautiful French pastries through bakery windows. The latte and pain de chocolate gave us a taste of France but seeing the Louvre, strolling the Seine and standing face to face with the Eiffel Tower left me speechless. We took lots of photos and took in the whole experience. Eventually it was time to move on and walking the streets past lofty abodes and making our way back to the Eurostar, I couldn't help but turn around for one last glance at the tower.
On the ride home, it was easy to fall asleep after walking miles in the city but one thing kept coming to mind as I drifted. I think that I am lucky to have experienced Paris and see everything I have always wanted to see but little did I know, the days I spent anticipating it was the best part of the trip. During that week of anticipation, even though I didn't realize it then, I was falling in love with the countryside of England! Maybe I am more of a country girl at heart or maybe my contentment of just walking in to a 500 year old church and perusing headstones in a historic graveyard went unnoticed until I had experienced the entire trip.
It's amazing how we can even surprise ourselves. It must have been the miles of hedges that line the narrow lanes that crawl through the green hills of England or could it have been the sweet English villages that exude "cottage" and surely helped me define that word. Or, it could have been the cafes that provided our daily dose of coffee in the form of a latte' of course served with a cake or scone. But, maybe it was quite possibly that the slow easy stroll along the beach of the North Sea while breathing in the fresh air knowing you will sleep in that inn made of flint and brick in that countryside you have come to love in just a few days that clinched it. Taking those walks among spring grasses and flowering lanes where kings have ridden and peasants have farmed in the days we only get to read about makes one wish they could go back a few centuries just to see what it must have been like.
Of course it must have been romantic and beautiful. Reality check time and way too many viewings of "Ever After," and it was over so quickly. We're home safe and already planning our next trip abroad. It's Germany next spring and talking about the UK again the year after that! Ray wants to distillery taste in Scotland and I want to ride horseback through the Scottish countryside and go from farm to farm. I guess if I get him drunk enough I can get him on a horse. It could be a fun ride!