Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Birmingham, Wales, and Football!

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to go to Wales. After we were in Stratford-upon-avon (which I love to death), and after we saw Love Labour's Lost with David Tennant (who is amazing and has a great accent. seriously.) the four of us girls ventured out into the unknown, got a taxi (with driver number 666) and got to the one and only hostel in Stratford. It was a very cute place, and amazingly we got our own room. So, after the initial, short lived, but really appreciated dance party of being on our own, we set in and had a good night's rest. The next morning we had a good old fashioned English breakfast (hard boiled eggs, and baked tomatoes included) and got in a taxi to head for the train station. The train ride was one of 3 that we were to take that day to finally get to Leominster, Wales, and it went smoothly (except for the annoying train ticket guy who boasted that he could have gotten us cheaper tickets.. really mr. train ticket guy? if you couldn't have gotten us cheaper tickets, I would have been worried cause IT'S YOUR JOB! basically, a little aggravating).
After arriving in Birmingham and walking to the Birmingham New Street station (soon to become a very familiar place) we got on the train to Hereford. Alas, along the way there was a freight train that broke down and made us delay an hour and a half.

As we approached our third stop of seven, they said that the train was actually going to terminate. It's moments like these that I am very grateful for a lot of patience and a previous knowledge of traveling in Europe and its ubiquitous hassles. (yes. favorite word use check!). Then we got a bus to get to Hereford from Worcester (pronouned Wooster (like rooster)). We got to Hereford at 1 (When we were supposed to have gotten to Wales at noon). Then we had an hour wait there to catch the 10 minute long train to Wales. Even with the wait, it was faster than taking the bus, so we patiently sat waiting in the Pumpkin Cafe. We finally arrived at the station for Leominster (pronounce LEMster) at around 2:15, and it was completely deserted.

We decided to just walk in the general direction of the town and luckily that didn't take too long (with Leominster being quite small). We found the tourist shop and the number for a taxi to come get us (one of the three in the town).
Finally we arrived at Croft Castle!

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the gardens around the castle:

Then we left and went back to Birmingham to have even MORE adventures! We went to go see a movie, because there is really nothing to do at night in England. Seriously. The last showing at the movie theater in a major city was a hefty 8:30. We saw Eagle Eye (with Shia LeBeouf (sp?) who we saw a portrait of in the castle earlier that same day ha.) and I actually thoroughly enjoyed! I would most definitely recommend it! Then we made it to our hostel, sin map, and it was the most crazy colored place that I have ever been in! The next morning we got up, had breakfast, saw the cops come in to questions fellow backpackers about the drunk man who injured himself the night before, and went off to explore the city of Birmingham. We went to the Bull Ring (huge shopping center) and sat in on a rock concert while eating at Nandos. Then it was FOOTBALL TIME! GO ASTON VILLA:

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