It’s time for Project 52, Week 35!
35 weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 35 — June 14, 1999, to June 14, 2000.
The year I was 35 began with one of our greatest European vacations, to England, so it’s taking up more than one post. First, we roamed around Dover Castle, then we went to Bodiam Castle, Battle Abbey, Winnie-the-Pooh country, Framlingham Castle, and Somerleyton Hall.
The next day, July 19, we went to Cambridge. It was fun walking around the stately buildings.
And next to the Cam River:
The cows really surprised me!
But the highlight of the day was definitely visiting Heffers Children’s Bookshop! Book 3 of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had been published in the United Kingdom at that time, but not yet in America. So we bought a copy before our American friends could do so! Then all the rest of our travels in England were accompanied by one of us reading the book aloud. (And of course we read a chapter before bed as well.)
The picture at the top of this post is me in front of our cottage in Wisbech when we got back. You didn’t think Harry Potter was the only book we bought, did you?
The next day, we went to London! We parked at a station and took a train in.
We began our sight-seeing with Castle #78, the Tower of London!
Here’s the Tower Bridge over the Thames:
We rode on the top of a double-decker bus around London.
I didn’t take pictures of the rest, but the kids enjoyed Segaworld, and we visited used book stores at Charing Cross Road.
The next day was a day for visiting castles we found in the countryside. First up was Castle #79, Weeting Castle. We had a picnic there (just like we’d do at castles in Germany).
Our next stop was Castle #80, Castle Acre Priory. I was endlessly fascinated by the shapes made by the ruins.
Our final stop of the day, in the same town, was Castle #81, Castle Acre Castle. (The town was “Castle Acre,” and it had both a Priory and a Castle.) This was a much older motte-and-bailey castle — like those I’d read about in books about castles. Apparently they’re a lot more common in England than in Germany, and was how the first castles were built. Lots of massive earthworks around a central round ditch.
The kids and Steve played “Harry Potter tag” in the center. It was like Freeze tag, but you say “Basilisk” when you touch someone to freeze them.
And here’s Timmy holding Tiny Daddy!
Well, that was three more days of our amazing English vacation. I’ll try to finish the last three days in another post tonight.