Today was a day all alone. It was pretty nice, I'm not going to lie. I love my friends out here, but sometimes it's just nice to be away from people, especially when I've been with the same 50 people 24/7 for the past month and a half. I started out my day with a journey to Hever Castle. Hever Castle is the childhood home of the Boleyn's. Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife and the cause of his split from the Catholic Church. I am a huge Tudor era fan. I may have already explained that in a previous post, but literally, I love studying the time period when the Tudors ruled England. It's fascinating. So naturally I was pretty pumped to go to Hever. It started with a train ride, which at this point isn't all that exciting anymore. Once I got to the station, I had no idea where I was going. I knew the castle was about a mile walk from the station but I didn't know what direction and there were no maps at the station because it was such a small station. Luckily I ran into a lady that basically lives next door to the station and she directed me where to go, which actually turned out great because she knew a faster and prettier way to get there rather than just following the road. She told me how to get to the footpath that would cut across and take me right to the castle. It was a great little walk. I love all the footpaths here in London because they are so scenic. There were a bunch of rabbits and this cool tree arch. And there was a field of sheep so I got to see some more of my future pet!
When I got to the castle, the entrance is on the outskirts of the land, and there is a lot of land. So when you walk in there is a hill and once you get over the hill, the castle is right there and it's great. The castle wasn't open yet when I got there but the gardens were so I walked around those. The garden isn't just a little plot of land full of flowers, its like acres of trees and flowers. So beautiful. It's kind of split up into multiple areas. There's an Italian garden, a rose garden, a rhododendron garden, a Tudor garden etc. There is also a giant pond. Actually I don't know if you can even call it a pond, it's more of a lake. Unfortunately, they had the Tudor garden closed off and the lake was so big I didn't have time to walk all the way around it. It was so pretty and peaceful though, I loved it.
When the castle opened, I went over there and walked through. It's 3 or 4 stories high, I can't remember for sure how many flights we ended up going up. It was fabulous and I had a great time there. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the fact that I was expecting it to be pretty similar to when Anne lived there except that quite a few people owned it after Anne, which I knew before I went, I was just silly and not thinking that the building and the furnishings would change with new ownership. So it was really cool but I was crazy and thought it would be a little different than what it ended up being like. There were all these crazy old ladies wandering around at the same time as me though. They were gossiping about other crazy old ladies the whole time and that was pretty entertaining.
So even though it was absolutely fabulous, there was one big thing I didn't like about Hever. Because it is under private ownership instead of the National Trust like a lot of the other historic places around here, it was super touristy. It just felt like a big giant tourist attraction instead of an historic place. Even though other places we've been to are super touristy, they don't necessarily have the touristy feel. Hever had tourist written on its non-exsistant forehead. The castle had a bunch of random items of furniture stuck in random places, just to show it off. The gift shop was not only overpriced but most of the stuff in there didn't even have items relating to Hever. And they had turned part of the garden into this water maze thing for little kids so there were a million little kids running around with their parents. But I guess things can't be perfect all the time.
After I was finished with Hever and back in London, I went to Harrods. Harrods is a ginormous, extremely expensive department store. Not only could I not afford to buy anything, I couldn't afford to look at anything. There was an umbrella for 40 pounds or roughly 70 dollars. And a purse for almost a thousand pounds. So freaking ridiculous. Also, its huge and super confusing to navigate your way around. Even with my map. After about 30 minutes I decided Harrods was one of my least favorite places and I was out of there. Maybe I'm just not a real girl, but wandering around a store where I can buy absolutely nothing just isn't that much fun to me. But hey, now I can say I've been there.
Now I'm just hanging out back in the Centre. No one else is back from their trip to Brighton so we'll see what the night has in store for me...