Saturday, 28 May 2011

Retrospective: Lavenham

(First things first - I am done with my Arabic orals!! Listening was Thursday and speaking was yesterday. I'm sure both could have gone better, but I was expecting them to be pretty rough. In any case they are now behind me - the focus shifts towards the five, three-hour written exams I have ahead of me beginning a week from Monday. Yay! Until then - literally nothing - no classes, lectures, supervisions or assignments. Just library!)

As a result, I decided to recap one of my adventures from earlier this year, when Dad came to visit me around my birthday in February. A true Poseidon adventure! Dad had originally planned to come for Lent Bumps (which I rambled about here), but I told him the wrong dates (major fail, trust me, I know..) By the time I figured it out, the flights were booked and there was no changing them.

So Dad arrived the weekend before Bumps - with a full getaway planned! On Friday night he treated me to sushi, which seemed like a good idea at the time. We planned to depart earlyish on Saturday morning, but I woke up at ~4am and headed straight to the bathroom to be sick (that is British speak for vomit.. yeah..). So, maybe it was the sushi, who knows, but something wasn't right. After a second trip to the loo, and a small bowl of Jell-o, I felt better so to the train station we went!

Looovely day! (The photo from above was from the next day :) )
The train from Cambridge wasn't running because of 'engineering works,' so after a bus to Bury St Edmunds, and a bit of standing around in confusion waiting for a bus to Lavenham, a friendly bus driver finally explained we were waiting in the wrong station. In any case, we figured it out eventually. By this point I was feeling pretty horrible, and the bus motion and dreary weather weren't helping. I'm sure I was a pretty miserable travel companion.

We arrived at our destination - the tiny town of Lavenham - and made our way to our hotel, The Swan. The Swan is probably the main attraction in the village, and understandably so. The oldest part of it was built in 1400, and the character has certainly been well preserved. Unfortunately, by this point I was in major need of rest and some warmth. I crawled into bed for a short nap - curled between the radiator and a space heater wearing all the layers I had - and accidently slept until dinner time. (Sorry Dad :( )

I crawled out to visit the bar around dinner time, which was excellent. Very 'typical English pub,' with the added bonus of having been the meeting place for British and American service men stationed in Lavenham during WWII. Dad continued to try and feed me, so we got some soup (which was good, even though I didn't eat much). And that was about the extent of our activity for the first day!

On Sunday I felt much much better (for real this time), and we headed to the hotel's fabulous restaurant for breakfast. I have to admit, there isn't much I love more than a really good breakfast. Despite the iffy stomach, I managed to 'force down' quite a lot of delicious toast, tea, and eggs benedict.

After eating as much as possible, we were left with a little time to explore the town. Fortunately, it's tiny, so there wasn't too much to see. Unfortunately, this brief walk was about all I got to see after spending the entire day preceding it inside the hotel. Boo. On the upside, the weather on Sunday was gorgeous, while Saturday was cold (although I think my fever skewed things a little) and rainy - so Sunday was the better day for photos anyway!

Back in Cam I managed to capture the gorgeous view of Great Court that makes up the header of the blog! And Dad and I headed to the Eagle for dinner - probably the most famous Cambridge pub, known for (also) being a hangout for RAF pilots as well as a meeting place of Watson & Crick.

Conclusion: Lavenham is gorgeous, and the Swan is even better. Just try not to be ill while you're there..