On December 14th 2012 I finally landed in Europe. I have been dreaming of coming here for as long as I can remember. It's one of those things where I cant pinpoint the first time I thought it, it just is. Similar to how when I was growing up I always somehow knew I wanted to live in the USA. Not just go on holiday there, and not when I was older, but while I was still at school. I had no idea how this could happen but when I had the opportunity, I jumped. Now here I am in the grasp of another journey like that one.
My English friend Carys picked me up from the airport and took me straight back to her hometown of Coventry. Most of my friends I have made are from my own travel overseas, but with Carys I was the one who was at home. We met at work and hadn't seen each other in at least 18 months, but it's like no time has passed at all. I spent a week recovering from jetlag like I've never had before, and getting to know her home and family.
|The view from Carys's window. Houses all joined together!|
I wasn't sure what I expected out of England, but I will say I wasn't entirely surprised either. It was strange to be back in a place where people just live and there aren't travellers everywhere like in Asia. It was back to cold weather, grey skies, driving in cars on roads full of rules and shopping malls. Not that any of that is bad. Just different.
|Step one: Buy warm clothes.|
Carys, Michelle and I went to visit Warwick Castle and met Angela and her kiwi boy Tim there since they were over from New Zealand for Christmas. As far as my first castle experience goes, it was pretty cool. Not really what I expected at all but it was fun going through all the rooms and seeing all the different areas.
|The streets around the castle had really old houses|
|Michelle, Carys, Angela and I. We couldn't resist a bit of dress up.|
|The view of the English countryside from the top of the castle|
|Me in the castle grounds|
We then made the short drive to Stratford-upon-Avon since it was so close. It is a picturesque town with buildings like I have never seen and it was nice to see it at Christmas time since they go all out with decorations.
|The streets of Stratford were covered in Christmas decorations...and a nice sunset!!|
And of course, Shakespeare's house!
|Outside Shakespeare's house. It is just on a normal street in the middle of town!|
|My first encounter with a red telephone box in England, although this one is now an ATM!|
Carys also took me for a typical night out in Coventry. I had a really good time, although I couldn't decide whether I liked the idea of dressing up again in full makeup and heels to go out! I think it's nice sometimes, but I will definitely miss the casual dress of Asia.
|Hello nice clothes, makeup and shoes. And tights for the cold...|
|Michelle and I having a mulled wine at the markets|
|Warm pims and apple juice...delicious!|