|The Tudor portion of Hampton Court Palace|
The LIS class had a free day today so Lindsay, Jessica, Ashley, Kayla, and I decided to take the 30-minute train ride to Hampton Court Palace. Words cannot describe how awesome the experience was. There were so many beautiful rooms, items, and gardens that my camera battery couldn't withstand the sheer amount of pictures I felt it necessary to take. Seven hours and over 350 pictures later, I had finished one of the best experiences I've had in the UK so far.
|Henry VIII's Great Hall|
|Chapel Royal ceiling|
After such an amazing start to the day, I didn't think anything else in the palace could compete with the morning. Our lunch break in the Privy Cafe quickly proved me wrong. This cafe was modified from the privy kitchens of Queen Elizabeth I, so I found myself eating a sandwich in the same place that QE1 would sit and take her private meals. This was a completely surreal experience because I have looked up to Elizabeth for many years. It could be because we share the same name or because she was the first female monarch who proved that maybe, just maybe, a woman could do a man's job.
|Cutting a quill pen|
|Superior maze navigators|
One of the fun outdoors attractions at Hampton Court is the hedge maze. It was one of the first mazes in the UK that didn't have just one path, so now people would encounter dead ends and potentially become lost which adds suspense and tons of fun! Naturally, this was a big hit and people came from all over England to try their luck when the maze opened to the public. The signage mentioned an average journey of 20 minutes to reach the center, but being the infinitely clever and resourceful library students that we are, we made it to the center in about 5 minutes. The signs in the center urged us to take a "Georgian selfie" with the decorative frame in the center (and of course you have to obey the signs).
The maze is right next to the gardens at the rear of the house, and those are spectacular. There are several gardens around the palace, and each has its own personality. Some are entirely green, some have an occasional pop of color, and some are a riot of hues and flowers. In this case I believe pictures would speak more eloquently than any words I could come up with to describe them, as I have a brown thumb and know nothing about horticulture.