With only a backpack, rolling luggage and small carry one I am ready to move across the world. First stop is London as I make my way East instead of the “faster” way west although at this point I will be traveling through 6 countries for a month so nothing really fast about this. I am already regretting the number of bags as I carry them up and down the tube steps.
My first day is spent exploring Clapham Commons where Tessa lives. After 0 sleep on a red eye I roam around while she works on her thesis willing myself to stay awake. From Clapham we head to the Victoria and Albert Museum for a Frida Kahlo exhibit. Unfortunately its sold out so we check out the Fashion Through Nature exhibit instead. You mostly learn how many animals used to die in the making of all clothes; whale bones for corsets, beetles for dresses (YES 5,000 BEETLES to be exact in the middle picture below), albatross feathers etc. By the time you get to modern times you are thankful to see cotton. We finish the night drinking along the Thames and around in Brixton meeting bartenders who were 3 during the millennium. Gosh I feel old.
For my second day I wanted to head out and explore a castle. I choose Hever Castle because it was less than an hour away by train and was Ann Boleyn’s childhood home and then the home of Ann of Cleaves until she died. Any Tudors fans can certainly get behind this with me. I take the tube to the train station, hop on and am quickly sent into the countryside. When I get off at Hever it is silent. I nod hello to the groundskeeper and pull up google. S/o to T-Mobile for giving my LTE in a ton of countries at no extra charge.
I take a less than safe walk through a winding street (don’t tell my mom) but eventually end up at the castle. I explore the castle and try and understand what life was like back then with basically no entertainment. It was a gorgeous day so next I explored the gardens. One of them had timed sprinklers though a maze so I watched the little British kids laughing and chasing each other in the sunshine. A little bit more fun than the Water Mine in Virginia.
I make my way back to the train and notice a sign that says footpath to National Rail. Thank God I think, I won’t have to play chicken with these cars. I start walking through the fields feeling very “Pride and Prejudice” waiting for Mr. Darcy to find me on a horse. I don’t find him but I do find sheep. Loads of sheep. Apparently these farmers don’t mind if you ramble through their fields on the way to the train. One little lad gets stuck on the other side of the fence and I save him. If you know me this is a big deal. I am not really the animal type but here I am; Farmer Angela. I head back to London happy to leave the animals safe and sound.