Saturday, July 10, 2010

England - Days 2-4 (Durham)

Most of my time in England was spent north of London in Durham, which is about a 30 minute train ride from the border of Scotland (so pretty far north).  The oddest thing to get used to (besides the time difference) was that they had a ton of light.  Duham/London is much further north than we are here in New York State.  Due to that, in the summer, they have a lot more daylight.  The sun came up in Durham around 4am and didn't set until close to 10:30pm!  While it was light for along time in the summer, I don't think I could handle the short amount of daylight (if they have about 5.5 hours of night during the summer, that means only 5.5 hours of sunlight in the winter!).

There wasn't a huge amount of stuff to see in Durham, but it was interesting.  They had an old cathedral and a castle.  The interesting thing was that some of the student housing for the University was actually in a castle!  The way the British schools work is that you have a overall University (Durham University had 35,000 students).  Then within the university, you have colleges which are essentially large co-ed fraternities.  The colleges usually have about 700 students.  Each college has its own headmaster.  In the Castle college, they were required to have formal dinners (ladies wear dresses and heels and the men wore tuxedos - both also wore gowns similar to those in the Harry Potter books/movies).  These formal dinners were held twice a week and the rule was that everyone stood at their place until the headmaster arrived.  Once the headmaster sat down, no one could leave the tables before the headmaster left...that includes no bathroom breaks!  NO way would I have survived! ;-)

So's some pictures from Durham:

Map of Durham - I didn't trust my co-workers to remember how to get from the train station to our hotel, so I took a picture of the map at the train station so we could look at it if we had to. ;-)

Durham Cathedral on the right...castle on the left

River around central Durham

Durham Cathedral


A very nice looking garage... ;-)

Durham 7am



Here's the train coming into Durham..."Woo! Woo!" as my niece would say

More of Durham Cathedral.  Notice the black....that actually soot from when England/Europe used to use coal for EVERYTHING.  All the old monuments/buildings were all heavily soiled and black.  The government has been working to power wash all of the buildings to remove the black.

Here's the inside of Durham Castle (at least the courtyard).  The dining "hall" looks just like the Great Hall from the Harry Potter movies.  It would be pretty cool to say that you lived in a Castle while going to university.




More of Durham Cathedral -- the stained glass windows inside were BEAUTIFUL!  Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take any pictures.


Just had to take a picture of this one.... ;-)




Just one more day's worth of photos and those are pretty slim.  Friday afternoon we took the 6:30pm train back to London.  We got in around 9:30 at night and then had to check into the hotel and get something to eat.  It was definitely a long day....more on that later.

1 comment:

YarnKettle said...

I'm not sure if I would want to eat at "Fighting Cocks". Do you think they serve chicken?
Lovely photography!