Weekend Visits in England

Time to write about the places I visited in England in the last few weeks. I have managed to visit a place every weekend. Let me try and put into words what I felt about the places I saw.

Weekend 1: Knebworth House and Gardens

England has a large number of houses from the age of kings and queens. Most of these houses (palaces given their size) are now opened to tourists, for a price though :-) It should take an enormous amount of money to maintain these places, tourism probably helps pay for this. Anyway, the Knebworth house is set in sprawling grounds. When I say sprawling I mean big, really really big. You can't even see the boundaries of the place even if you strained. An amazing green carpet across the earth. I wish I had seen the place from the skies, it sure would have been a sight to see.

Three-fourths of the house had been taken down by one of the owners. The quarter left was huge enough to be called a palace on its own accord. We took a tour of the house and its history. I amn't into history, heck I was positively bad at it in school. So it didn't make much of an impression. What could have been great would've been a picnic in the grounds. Yep, the grounds are open too and there were number of groups picnicing there. Oh, the Knewbworth grounds apparently play host to huge rock concerts as well. The house also featured in a number of movies including Batman Begins.

Weekend 2: London

London did not attract me much. I am not a fan of sight-seeing and that's the only thing we could do in London. There must be another way of experiencing London.

We visited the major sights of London - Westminister, Buckingham palace, The Tower Bridge, Madame Tussaud's, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. We caught a glimpse of the changing of the guard at Buckingham. It was way too crowded to see anything clearly. The only thing I liked was Madame Tussaud's. It cost us a steep 22 pounds, but I think it just about managed to make up for it. The wax statues were good, but the scare show was the best. You walk into this room were live actors dressed up like psychos jump out at you and scare the hell out of you. Interesting and not for the weak-hearted.

And the tube. Good god, you could get lost in the maze that is down there. The best advice I can give is this - Get the tube map, check it everytime you want to get from point A to B. The tube is divided into a number of "Lines" with names like Picadilly, Circle, District and others. You might have to change lines to get from A to B, if they are not directly connected by a single line. All stations have signs marking the way to the different lines. It could take a bit of walking when changing lines, quite a bit of walking indeed.

Weekend 3: St. Alban's

Typical English town. Very pretty and neat. It has a really beautiful cathedral. The cathedral has a lake within its compounds and neatly maintained lawns. We entered through one entrance and when we got out of the other we were on the other side of the town. We walked through a lot of the town and I loved every moment of the walk. To top it all was the excellent Italian lunch that we gorged upon; I had two servings of dessert.

Weekend 4: Cambridge (http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2120192245&mode=invite)

The best visit for me. What a beautiful city! It exemplifies the words - romantic and idyllic in all possible ways. It is quite a wonder to see how the antiquity and the history remains intact in the midst of modern convenience. The city carries a look of age and beauty. Cambridge is filled with colleges, colleges and more colleges. A must is to take a punt ride - preferably the self-hires if you can handle the effort. We took the chaffuered punt tour. 45 minutes through the River Cam which streams past the college 'backs'. The views were definitely breath-taking and at the risk of repetition - romantic.

We also walked around the city for a while taking in the beauty that was on offer. Beautiful! A definite must visit in England. I am totally in love with Cambridge. It must be so cool to be studying in one of the colleges in Cambridge.

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