Sorry guys my iPad wouldn’t let me upload pictures!

Soane house

Soane house

Mary kings close

Mary kings close

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Extravagant

Traveling is something I’ve always loved to do.  With every trip I’ve been on I learned incredible new things.  This trip however has taught me more about history, life, the human spirit, and different cultures than any other trip.  I find different cultures, and world history fascinating so going to two cities that are rich with culture and history was amazing.  One of my favorite things we saw were the exhibits that depict how people lived, how they survived and how different than us they were.  It also interests me how differently people in London liven than people in Edinburgh.  The streets in Edinburgh were close together and the houses we’re built up instead of out to provide more living spaces for the large quantity of people who occupied the town.  Edinburgh today still has closes that remind you of the living conditions of the 17th and 18th century.  During this trip we went to several places that let me peek into 18th century lifestyle.  A common theme I found in these places were the extravagant social conventions.

One place in London I thought showed an interesting story was Soane house. Mr. Soane was a British architect.  He would have been what you call today a hoarder.  His house however was not messy, all of his things were arranged nicely. Some of his things looked like they were taken straight from Greece.  To show off his fabulous things he would throw lavish parties. When he bought his sarcophagus which costs more than a year salary he threw a party to show it off and had many many people in this house, which was very crowded.  He also had a very beautiful painting room.  All four walls were covered in beautiful paintings. 2 of the walls you could open up to reveal another wall of paintings. If all that wasn’t enough to astound his guests you could open up the 2 nod wall to show his big reveal.  Behind that 2nd wall was a room that contained of course more paintings but also a big sculpture in the middle of the room.  Soane’s parties were extravagant and usually to show off his paintings or his new purchases.

Another place that we went to that showed us 18th century life was Georgian house in Edinburgh, Scotland.  This house was owned by a wealthy man and his family.  He didn’t really work but enjoyed his lavish lifestyle.  His house was very large and was built out instead of up because they finally had room in the new town.  In this time period there were many rules that came with living a wealthy lifestyle.  Children could only be in two designated rooms in the house.  Children also could not eat with their parents till they were 18. Of course the father picked their daughters husbend.  The kitchen was in the basement along with the maids room.  The kitchen was huge and had everything a person could need to cook an extravagant meal for a party.  The people who lived in this house had parties all the time.  Each party would have an enormous amount of food that took days for the cook to make.  Once the guests arrived they sat down for their meal.  After they were done eating the women would leave to go have tea and the men would take out the chamber pot to use now that the women were gone.  Depending on how old the mans daughter was he would have a suitor come to the party to see if he would be a good match for the family.  At the dance they would have later in the party more guests would arrive to dance.

Both cities had interesting lifestyles.  It almost seems like People who lived in London lead better lives.  At least the middle and lower classes.  In Edinburgh the people lived in houses that were really crowded and close together.  Several families lived in a room about as big as my garage.  How is that for a party?  Some families even had to live next to a room full of livestock.  It’s no wonder that the middle class people of Edinburgh were hit badly with the plague.  Edinburgh did build a new town so people would have more room but wealthier people and their maids lived there.  London had to be rebuilt after a large fire.  They rebuilt the city to look more modern that’s probably why they seemed to live healthier lives.

i really enjoyed going to Georgian house, gladstones land, Mary kings close, and Soane house because I got to see how they lived.  Mary kings close was incredible to me because it showed me a side of humanity not seen very often.  Those people lived in filth.  They were infested with fleas and many of them died from the plague.  Out tour guid told us that these people didn’t even complain.  That was the life they lived and even though they did live in a lavish house and threw parties every week they still managed to find a way to be happy and live their lives.  The guide also told us that when a family was hit with the plague that they would hang a white flag in the window and people would leave them food and ale.  Even though they thought they could be infected going near the house people would help their neighbors.

Gladstones land was a wealthy mans house in old town Edinburgh.  In the kitchen was the chamber pot and where the children were kept it’s no wonder that the plague spread as quickly as it did in the conditions they were living in.  The rooms were pretty small and if you wanted to entertain guested in the house there wasn’t much room but the people who worked at the house told me that still threw parties.  Their ceilings also had fruit painted on them.  The lady that worked there said that they painted fruit that was expensive and that people could generally not afford so that the owner of the house could show off how wealthy they were.  Even though the rooms were for wealthier people they did not even compare to the Georgian house.  To even get up to your room you would have to go up a bunch of crowed stairs.  It did not seem ideal compared to the lifestyle in new town however compared to Mary kings close it would have been a nice place to live

Free day!

Double Decker bus!

For this free day Taylor and I were supposed to go to Winsor Castle ,but because of the delay in getting here we had to move our stonehenge tickets to today!  Tay and I were super excited to see stonehenge!  For both of us it was something that had been on our bucket list since middle school.  It was really amazing to be able to fulfill that dream of mine.  The first part of our tour was not actually related to stonehenge.  The tickets we bought included a morning half day trip around London.  This tour was especially cool because it was in an open top double decker bus tour!  I learned so much about the city and its buildings from the tour. One of the things I learned were that London is actually split into two cities with there own government, westminster and London but both make up London.  I also learned that Big Ben is slightly tilted, but not enough to really notice!

Taken by me!

Taken by me!

The tour guid was really cool and knew a lot about the city!  He told us some really cool stories and interesting facts that you would never know unless you took that tour.  One interesting thing he told us about was the story of a young boy in line for the crown.  He went to stay the night with his uncle Richard with another kid in the tower of London.  The boys were never seen again.  It is thought that either the uncle or king Henry killed them so that they could be king, but no one really knows.  After that story we took a ride on the river Thames.  After the boat ride we  were dropped off somewhere in the city and we stopped for lunch at the restaurant Eat.  When we made it back to the coach station we got on a bus to stonehenge!  Stonehenge was everything i ever wanted it to be and more!  It is a great mystery how it was made and why.  There are many theories and I am not sure what I believe!  What I do know is that it is one of the most amazing places I have ever been.  It is unfathomable how people could build Stonehenge then with out the invention of the wheel, let alone now!  It just goes to show what people can really do and how creative and resourceful they can be.

photo taken by me!

photo taken by me at Stonehenge! 

Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe is arguably the most historic and scenic glen.  This Glen has seen many historical events but the most famous would be the feud between the MacDonalds and the Campbells.  The MacDonalds lived in

Glencoe and the Campbells lived next to them but wanted to expand their territory.  The Campbells eventually massacred 40 MacDonalds and the rest retreated to the hills.  While it’s a sad story it’s an incredible view, .and it’s amazing to see in person where an incredible peace of history took place.  Glencoe has so many fun things to do! There is mountain climbing, walks through the hills, beaches, fishing, water sports and more.  Glencoe is right next to Loch Levan which is about 3 hours from where we are staying! There are day trips we can take from Edinburgh to Glancoe that also take us through the highlands and up to Loch Ness.  The price around £45 to £55.

Tower of London

Tower of London Picture from http://flybee.com/london/top-attractions/

Tower of London
Picture from http://flybee.com/london/top-attractions/

The Tower of London has served many purposes through the years.  Some being a prison, a royal mint, an armoury, and a place where the crown jewels were stored.  Today the tower is a museum that houses the crown jewels and has some fascinating exhibits having to do with the prisoners that were held there, armor, and other interesting legends associated with the tower.  The history of this tower is pretty interesting!  The tower once being a prison once isn’t even the coolest part about the tower.  It has been known to have a history with the supernatural!  I cant wait to find out all about it when I visit!  The price is pretty cheep.  At the door the tickets are £22 but if you look around online you can find cheeper tickets!  The London Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. saturday through monday.  The Tower of London is about half an hour away from where we are staying.  The tower looks like a really cool place and I really hope I get a chance to go here.