Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Windermere: I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

When we finished our tour of Preston we were once again on the coach and on our way to the infamous Lake District of England. I can't tell you how excited I was to get there! We pulled up to our hostel on the shore of Windermere just in time for dinner. We couldn't resist a little midnight, okay maybe 10 pm, swim in the lake either. It was a little chilly!

The Ambleside hostel right on the shore of Lake Windermere . . . how lucky were we?

View of Windermere around sunset.

View from our window in the hostel, I loved falling asleep to the sound of water on the little dock outside.

The next day our group was headed to Dove Cottage, the home of the poet William Wordsworth. Most of us decided to hike to the little village where the cottage is located, so we woke up a little earlier than the rest of the group and began our journey across the amazing countryside. It was a kind of misty, foggy day but it made the scene all the more surreal.

Another lake we spotted through the mist from the tops of the hills we were crossing.

Wordsworth's home where he wrote his most famous works. Such as "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud:"

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out - did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed - and gazed - but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

After our tour of Dove Cottage we visited Hilltop Farm . . . the home of Beatrix Potter, who wrote the Peter Rabbit books. It was a lot of fun to go through her house because it had so much character. They had books open at different places throughout the house and you could see the illustrations really came from places in the house.

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