Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum was one of my favorite stops in London!
IMG_1564 It was an absolutely beautiful day, and though this building has a classic and wonderful facade, the inside was quite sobering. IMG_1572 The First World War, which is tragically followed by the Second, is captured with exhibits of uniforms, memorabilia, and an interactive trench experience.
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Although it is frequented by thousands of tourists a year, it does a wonderful job of prohibiting war from slipping into an idealistic realm.
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Instead, we are reminded of the tragedies of war so that in learning of the past, we avoid mistakes and create a better future.

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Amesbury

One of my favorite features of England is the public transportation: it is so easy to hop on a bus and travel to as many towns and cities as I want! (Of course, America has public transport as well, but the differences between European and American transport is a topic for a different day!)
IMG_0676 Yesterday, Ross and I traveled to the town of Amesbury using said public transport. It was recently named the oldest settlement in the UK (it’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records!) and we figured, why not?
IMG_0675 We ate lunch at a 13th century pub called The George Hotel, although if the sign above is to be believed, the site has roots much older than that. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere felt like we really did step back in time a few hundred years!
IMG_0678 Next, we took the hike to Woodhenge, Stonehenge’s under-rated cousin (above). Although now short cement poles, this site features six concentric ovals which were originally made of timber posts. Naturally there is some uncertainty as to what exactly this site was used for, but there is a strong consensus that it was used for religious purposes.
IMG_0683 From Woodhenge, we walked to the Cuckoo Stone!
IMG_0684 A stone similar in size to those that make up Stonehenge, this fallen Sarsen stone originally stood on its end. (Apparently, this is one of the stones dropped by the devil. See here.)
IMG_0692 Finally, we saw where the Durrington Walls used to be; these walls used to house a large Neolithic settlement, but today only a whisper remains.
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And with that, our busy day concluded. We walked to another bus stop, had a pint while we waited, and made it home just before the rain!

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Just two American love-birds enjoying Wiltshire!

Adventures in Scotland

During our few days in Edinburgh, we snapped hundreds of photos: some touristy, some artistic. Of those photos, these four are my favorite, for they capture either moments that I don’t want to forget or moments that took my breath away.

One of the most memorable aspects of Edinburgh is the interweaving of old and new buildings. We stepped outside of the train station, and looked up to see this:IMG_1357
And a little more than a block away, was this moment:IMG_1360
And after a pint at a fantastic pub, one of my favorite Scotsmen:IMG_1374
And, last but definitely not least, is The Nor’ Loch pub, which took us far longer than anticipated to find, but was worth the pint of cider at the end!IMG_1442

Along the UK Motorways

After spending two days recovering from a wee cold, I am very excited to share pictures from our trip to Scotland!

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We drove from London to Edinburgh, which is about a 7.5 half hour trip. On the way there, it was regretfully closer to 10 due to traffic, but the way back was smooth sailing!

My favorite part of the drive (other than eating junk food) was the constantly changing sky and setting. It seemed like we were traveling thousands of miles because the view was perpetually different, and yet we only crossed around 300 miles.

Along the way, there were so many perfect moments that I was unable to capture with the camera, but isn’t that the eternal struggle of a photographer?

Cooper’s Meadow

One of the conservation projects sponsored by the Action for the River Kennet (ark), is the grazing of a local meadow by the sheep and/or cattle of local farmers.
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A little over a week ago, these sheep began work. The group consists of a wide variety of ages, and the relationship really is a win-win-win. The sheep grow fat and happy, the farmer gets their sheep fed, and the grazing of the land prohibits certain plants, such as thistle, from dominating the field, which promotes the diversity that is so common along the River Kennet.
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My favorite part, though, is how enthralled my dog gets around these goats. The first day the sheep were in the meadow, he pulled me to the fence, and did this:
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A few days later, we walked behind the meadow, in an effort to avoid a very busy path, and accidentally stumbled on the sweetly sleeping sheep, where he did the same thing:
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I love how captivated he is by the sheep; he’ll pull me over to them, where we’ll have to watch for a minute or two before he’ll continue the walk. Personally, I think he’s fascinated with them due to the fact that both they’re both four-legged, white, and adorably fluffy!