It seems like just a few days ago we were doing our first pre-trip posts on here. It feels like this whole trip has been a whirlwind that only took us two days. It is hard for me to reflect on what we have done because I really haven't had time to collect my thoughts.
Overall, I think I can say now that England isn't just an extension of the United States, simply because we speak the same language. It seems to me that English is literally the ONLY thing we have in common. Everything else seems to be almost reversed. Ordering food is different, the food you get is different from what you expect, and sometimes the people are hard to understand. However, I am very glad to have this experience. I've seen many bits of world history from a different perspective, which in invaluable, as well as dozens of historic sites firsthand.
Of these, my favorite castle was Beaumaris Castle on the isle of Anglesey. This castle was in the best shape, but this is only because it was never finished. Many of the walls and towers were only half the height they were originally designed to be. However, what was finished were great examples of castle architecture and style. I enjoyed how the gates were offset, to make it more difficult for intruders to find their way through the castle. The castle was also very symmetrical, with a very nice moat and even a port to the ocean. This is what made it my favorite. Of the cathedrals, my favorite was the final one, Salisbury Cathedral. It was not the most decorated, or the most beautiful. It was the fact that the massive tower and spire have been standing for over 700 years. The cathedral was built on an open field that is only 4 feet above the water table, with little foundation. Through the years, many small modifications have been added to strengthen the central tower and support. The spire, which stands at 404 feet tall, is the tallest of it's kind in Europe. The fact that medieval architects were able to complete this massive work, and keep it standing, is what amazes me about this.
Of course, as time passes and I am able to look back through the hundreds of pictures that I have taken, I will be able to reflect more on what I have done and learned. I have seen hundreds of things that I would never had seen elsewhere. I can't wait to go through what I have done with my family and friends, who I'm sure will point out things that I didn't even notice myself. This is when I will really know all of what I have learned from this trip.
That's all for now! See you soon back in Iowa!