Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fountains Abbey

Disclaimer: the pictures are entirely out of order...

View into the nave at Fountains Abbey

Lunch--We'd planned to have a picnic on the grounds, but it was pretty cold and windy. The National Trust staff let us eat in the visitors centre, though. Side note--I love that I'm sitting on the floor eating a banana, just like in all those pics of me at Grandma & Grandpa's house as a baby!

Vaulted ceilings of the "Cellarium" (storage area) at the Abbey

After the tour and lunch, we went walking around the park and had a 3-legged race by the lake. I hadn't done one of those since church camp. I hated it then, because I was a pretty tall kid and always got partnered w/ somebody way shorter than me. This time, it was way more fun--didn't fall over or trip at all!

Outside the visitors centre, waiting for our tour to start

On the bus just before leaving uni

Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian abbey like the smaller one in my neighborhood. The main front area was built in the 1100's but the tower was built in 1510. The abbey was dissolved (along w/ all the others in England) in 1539.

One of the less well-preserved parts...but a nice shot of how the river wraps around and goes underneath the abbey. Much of the building was constructed with little tunnels over the river, used not only to make the most of the available land but also to get running water and drainage.

This morning 20 of us from ICS went up to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire for a tour and picnic. My closer friends in the dept. didn't come, and I thought about skipping, too, but I figured I might as well go along--it's free transportation to somewhere I'd probably never see otherwise.
I'm glad I went--it's absolutely gorgeous. The tour guide was very good, and I learned quite a bit about the monastery life/society and Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. Most of my classmates were restless--didn't listen to the guide's talk, spent the whole time taking pics and chatting, walked off while he was still talking--and I was pretty offended. I understand that it was cold and they didn't care about the site's history, but I just think it's incredibly rude to act like they did. Lunch was fine--we had to bring something from our national cuisine, so I brought stuff to make PB&J and PB&banana, plus chocolate chip cookies. After lunch I popped into the gift shop next door and got a few nice souvenir things. We walked around the grounds along the river, down to the very beautiful man-made lake. The organizers wanted to us to play games, and you know how I feel about that...But we just had time for one thing, really, so we split up into pairs and had 3-legged races. It turned out to be pretty fun...despite my usual attitude towards games, haha. Took a nap on the ride home, but I'm still pretty tired. I woke up at 6 am this morning and I'd walked about 5 or 6 miles, if you add up my walks to/from campus and all the walking we did there. All in all, I'm glad I went. What else would I've been doing on a Saturday morning? Sleeping?

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