Anglophilia is a cruel disorder for US residents

4 08 2010

Mount Etna

In 1978, my parents adopted me and brought me to their home on Mount Etna, north of Catania, Sicily.  In 1980, my grandparents (formerly my great-aunt and my great-uncle) came to Europe and we met with them and began a long tour of Europe.  We toured through much of Italy (I still remember staring at people’s shoes in the Sistine Chapel because I couldn’t figure out why everyone was looking upwards), we toured through Venice (I got to even steer a gondola), we took a ferry to France from Italy (I don’t remember anything from this ride except how badly I had to pee and how my father kept saying I told you to go before we left but you didn’t listen to me), we ventured into Switzerland (I remember my grandmother pointing to the Alps and telling me about Heidi while my parents argued with border officials, I would later learn it was because I didn’t look like the child in my passport photo), I know we visited Luxemborg – but I don’t recall it at all, we went to West Germany (I only remember we stayed at a bed and breakfast and I awoke covered in mosquito like bites from head to toe), and we went to The Netherlands (I do recall this because we went up into the Anne Frank house), and Holland (I probably remember this best because we toured the miniature city and I got to sit in a huge wooden shoe when we visited a working windmill), we traveled to Liechtenstein (I only recall sitting in a restaurant looking down into the valley which held the entire country and then spilling my chocolate milk on my father’s lap), we visited Greece (which I only recall from pictures), we visited Hungary and Austria and Czechoslovakia  (I don’t recall this at all)…but of all the places in all of Europe that we visited, there is one place we never touched upon and yet it has held my fascination since I was in second grade.

Acropolis

Holland

In the second grade I came down with chicken pox and I got a rather bad case.  It struck me first for only a few days, I seemed better and was sent back to school.  Within a few days, it came back with a vengeance and I was hospitalized for a few days due to the fever.  Afterwards, I was kept at home, day in day out, for what seemed an eternity.  My mother would go to the school in the morning to collect my schoolwork and a stack of library books.  In no time at all I had finished the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, the Beverly Cleary books, the Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boys and anything else my mother could find.  So at the suggestion of the librarian, she began getting me non-fiction works.  The moon, the Amazon, Pocahontas, Elizabeth the First, Dollie Madison, and Stonehenge.  Stonehenge struck my attention and she finally wound up visiting the local public library to find more.  I was fascinated and intrigued and I couldn’t get enough.  And that started my passion with Britain.

Venice

We never did get to visit and everytime an opportunity arose, something else would prevent it.

Pisa

Fast-forward to 2005.

My eldest daughter decided she wanted to go into archaeology.  She wanted to go to Cardiff University.  In Britain.  Five years later, it has remained her goal and I am so excited for her.

So, I will finally take that trip to Britain, to ultimately meet with admissions and discuss her future education, but I can finally step my feet upon the hallowed soil and run my fingers along the stones erected hundreds of years ago.  But I must fit all of these plans into one week.  Stonehenge, Skara Brae, Ring of Brogdar, Yorkshire Moors, Roulston Scar, Uffington, Old Sarum, Glastonbury, St. Helen’s, Sherwood, Edinburgh, Bath, Bovey House, the statue of Boudicea, the River Tees, Morton-on-Swane, Tantalon Castle, the Highlands – I could sit here for the next five years typing furiously and still never finish listing all of the places I desire to see and touch and feel and experience.  How then can I fit it all into one damned week?

I can’t.

So I’ve made my plans around what are my must sees.  Of course they are spread out across the map of the island from far south to far north and far east to far west.  Skara Brae to the north on Orkney, Roulston Scar to the east in the Yorkshire Moors, Stonehenge to the south in Salisbury, and Cardiff University in the west in Wales.

Now to play connect the dots along the way to include as many other must sees along the way.

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3 responses

26 08 2010
mode20100

A+ would read again

11 09 2010
pimpleon

duuuuuuude, wassssssup

17 09 2010
protogere

::quirks a brow::

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