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My first European trip (September 2010)

(all photos by Jeane. Click all images to enlarge!)

I've always wanted to travel and visit Europe (ie. London, England; Paris, France, and Rome, Italy to name a few European countries), but didn't know when or if it will ever happen anytime soon. Though I knew someday I will eventually go and visit at least one of those beautiful and picturesque European countries I've often wondered about (and had dreamt of visiting and seeing them in person), but only had the pleasure in seeing them in pictures or my favorite movies, lol. I thought it will probably be a long time before I ever get an opportunity and a chance to go there. Interestingly, my sister and her family were thinking of visiting her in-laws for a week or two. So, I asked my sister if they wouldn't mind me going along with them. I told her I would really love to go with them and they said, yes, of course. Our original plan was just to visit Bakewell, Derbyshire and London, England, but as we started booking for our plane tickets four months earlier prior to our trip, Scotland was added (as friends of my brother-in-law lives there and had invited us to visit them in their new house), and just a month prior to our trip, Paris, France was added at the last minute. I got super excited (but kept it quiet, so as not to jinx it and besides any unexpected delayed or cancellation can occur at anytime...I so didn't want that to happen in my first European trip...) as it got closer and closer to our trip (I finally got to tell everyone, big sigh of relief, lol), prior to that I had to renew my soon-to-expire passport and had to request 2-week vacation from work, packing for the trip, and other stuff I was busy doing in preparation for my first overseas trip in a long time. As September came near, and it did fast, my excitement went overload especially when I finally departed the U.S. for England.

Before I share and show you my photos (and itinerary) from my first ever European trip, here's a lil' interesting story I thought I'd share here about my eldest sister, who married her own Mr. Darcy from Derbyshire (yes, he's from Bakewell, Derbyshire) back in 2002 with two wedding dresses and ceremonies, one here in the U.S. and the other in England and was called, a Blessing in Bakewell (for the rest of his family and friends who couldn't make it to the actual wedding ceremony in the U.S.) a year later. So, in 2003, the blessing ceremony took place in Bakewell, Derbyshire where my parents and aunts and uncles were able to attend. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go with my parents as I was busy with school and work at the time. Interesting though that I didn't really felt sad or disappointed that I didn't get to go with them back then. I guess I was too preoccupied with a lot of things, school, work, etc. and at the time, the new P&P movie wasn't even announced to be made yet nor were the inn at Lambton and Pemberley scenes filmed in that location (Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House)...and who knew it would be going in production a year later in 2004 and that Derbyshire would be one of the filming locations. I was not a big P&P fan back then either as I am now or started to back when the P&P movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen was released in 2005 (read my Confessions of a P&P Blogger post for more on that). I was even unaware that they filmed in my brother-in-law's hometown of Derbyshire and that Chatsworth House was used as Pemberley and that Jane Austen actually mentioned Bakewell, Chatsworth House, and Derbyshire in the book until after I've seen the amazing 2005 P&P movie version, re-read P&P novel (and actually finished it, which I couldn't seem to finished it until after I've seen the 2005 movie and it inspired me to re-read and finished it as well as the BBC miniseries...and lead me to find out more about Jane Austen and her 5 other novels...but P&P novel and its various adaptations especially the 2005 movie, remains my all-time personal favorite), and read more info about the P&P movie's production info and filming locations online.

Anyway, when my parents came back home from their wonderful Bakewell, Derbyshire/UK trip (they went to London too) back in 2003, they took lots of photos and brought a tour video about Derbyshire. Also, my dad brought his video camcorder device to record and document their Chatsworth House tour experience as well as a tour guide book and lots of souvenirs from Derbyshire and London. After viewing in awe and admiration of the photos and videos my parents took from their trip, it was then when I started to dream and imagine visiting that stunningly beautiful countryside in Derbyshire and thought if I ever have the chance, money, and opportunity to travel to Europe, England would be my first destination. Besides I've always seen England in my favorite period and British films. Also, I thought I will go one country in Europe at a time.

Fast forward seven years later, who knew I was able to have had the chance and opportunity to travel to Europe myself (which I definitely went and grabbed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel when it came my way)...not just England, but Scotland and France too, all 3 beautiful European countries in one holiday/vacation. I certainly would not miss this amazing opportunity.

You can read all about my trip and view photos below. I wrote all of my unforgettable journey and first European experience in a lil' Journey notebook I carried with me while on holiday and here I thought I'd share with you some excerpts of them with my amateurish photos (but hey, at least, they're mine, hehe!) I took from my own digital camera (my sister, who's a much skilled photographer than I, has tons more breathtaking and beautiful photos she took from her own very expensive and professional camera of all the beautiful sights and the places we've visited that includes me in a lot of shots, but she's been busy and haven't sent me copies of them yet...still waiting, lol. I did see some on her FB page, but I wouldn't want to use them here though without her permission first. So, I decided to just use my own photos taken by my non-pro-photographer-self as they didn't look too bad, and I didn't have to worry about asking someone's permission as these photos were taken by me, myself, and I...lol...and I can do with them whatever and however I want. Not too mention, I'm not in them to distract you or the beautiful sights of those places, lol) to guide you.

***My busy 2-weeks itinerary in Europe (September 2010)***

Sept. 9th - We had a very pleasant trip to England. We arrived Thursday morning at Manchester airport. We rented a car and drove to Bakewell, Derbyshire to stay in my sister's in-laws home for a few days or so. As we drove to Bakewell from Manchester airport, we passed by the beautiful sight of The Peak District. (where Britain's first designated national park, The Peak District National Park lies).

view from The Peak District

For this trip, especially my very first European trip, we had lots of things to do and places to go (or visit), which we had already planned ahead. So, when we arrived in Bakewell, Derbyshire we already knew exactly what we were going to do and which places we were going to see (and of course, with the help of some very nice and wonderful friends and GPS navigator along the way, and off we went and had a very fun road trip in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, London, and Scotland)...

Bakewell sign at a town centre and Derbyshire House

A nice view of Bakewell from up the Hill (from where we were staying!)

Interesting Bakewell mention by Elizabeth Bennet to Mr. Darcy in one of the Pemberley scenes in P&P novel (this was the scene in the movie and various adaptations of P&P when Lizzie was surprised to see Darcy in Pemberley)...
Mr. Darcy took her place by her niece, and they walked on together. After a short silence, the lady spoke first. She wished him to know that she had been assured of his absence before she came to the place, and accordingly began by observing, that his arrival had been very unexpected -- "for your housekeeper," she added, "informed us that you would certainly not be here till tomorrow; and indeed, before we left Bakewell, we understood that you were not expected in the country." - Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice novel; Volume III, Chapter i/Chapter 43, page 245)
Sept. 10th - A lovely day in Pemberley aka the beautiful Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House (exterior)

Chatsworth House (Visit Chatsworth's official Blog here! It won two top tourism award last month, by the way!),  used as Pemberley, Mr. Darcy's home in Derbyshire in P&P movie and Pemberley House as described in Jane Austen's P&P novel...
"...and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; - and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and that moment she felt, that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!" - Pride and Prejudice novel (Volume III, Chapter 1 - Chapter 43, Page 235)

Besides Bakewell and numerous Derbyshire mentions, Jane Austen also mentioned Chatsworth as well as Matlock, Dovedale, or the Peak in P&P novel:
"...According to the present plan, were to go no farther northward than Derbyshire. In that country, there were enough to be seen, to occupy the chief of their three weeks; and to Mrs. Gardiner it had a peculiarly strong attraction. The town where she had formerly passed some years of her life, and where they were now to spend a few days, was probably as great an object of her curiosity, as all the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, or the Peak."  - Pride and Prejudice novel (Volume II Chapter xix; Chapter 42, page 231)
Speaking of Chatsworth, the first place we went to see and had a grand tour was Chatsworth House (aka Pemberley House, Mr. Darcy's home in Derbyshire in Pride & Prejudice movie). There was a Dowager exhibition, a special celebration going on at Chatsworth House in honor of Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire's 90th birthday this year. So, a lot of new displays including a Treasures Display in North Gallery, newly restored courtyard (which opened for the first time), a contemporary art, new and restored galleries, etc. that were on display there this time that were not on display previously.

1) A welcome to Chatsworth sign by the entrance door 2) a model of Chatsworth House

The grand staircase and baroque style painting ceiling as seen in P&P movie

1) A Violin at the door (looks real, but it's actually just a painting!)
2) A Lady in a Veistat Veil (as seen in P&P movie)

1) Cascade Fountain

2) Emperor and Seahorse Fountains (as famously seen in P&P movie) 3) Garden (one side of it)

1) The Duchess books and DVDs
(The Duchess starring Keira Knightley)
2) Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel 
(with a tie in cover from P&P movie,
JA related novels, and P&P movie on DVDs)
3) The Complete Jane Austen Novel (P&P movie cover)
 4) The Complete JA novels, P&P novel
and JA inspired novels (including Laurie Viera Rigler's
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict)

 The Sculpture Gallery
Mr. Darcy's bust (as famously seen in P&P movie)
is on display inside the Orangery shop at Chatsworth House

Mr. Darcy's Bust is now sitting pretty on display at the Orangery shop (next to the Sculpture Gallery), as you can see from my pics above ^ from my recent Chatsworth House visit...all THANKS to Sandra, who started the Bring Back the Bust! Online Petition (to save Mr. Darcy's Bust from being removed from Chatsworth House permanently) last summer (May 2010) and of course the 331 P&P fans (myself included) around the world who signed the petition. So, a big thank you to her and fellow P&P fans (as well as the wonderful staff at Chatsworth House) for keeping the Darcy bust there or I wouldn't have been able to see it and took those pics as I did when I visited there 'cause that was the first thing I thought of and wanted to see the moment I entered Chatsworth House, lol. So, yeah...thanks a lot Sandra and fellow P&P fans!

On our way back home after our fun 4-5 hours tour of the beautiful Chatsworth House, we passed by The Peacock at Rowsley, who became home to many of the P&P stars (including Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen) and crew (including director Joe Wright) whilst they filmed P&P movie on location at Chatsworth and Haddon Hall (Visit Pride & Prejudice Country for more P&P filming locations). But before we went home, we stopped by for an afternoon tea at The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.

Sept. 11th - We went to visit my brother-in-law's eldest sister in Matlock (Derbyshire)...

FYI: Elizabeth Bennet
mentioned to Mr. Darcy in P&P movie, in one of the Pemberley scenes that she and her Aunt and Uncle (The Gardiners) were going to Matlock. She said, "Tomorrow we go to Matlock." Mr. Darcy replied, "Tomorrow?" Well, guess what?! So did we! That was exactly what we did, we went to Matlock, the next day...lol. I didn't even think about that interesting coincidence that occurred there at the time, until now...

 Did you see/read Matlock on the sign?
Unfortunately, that ^ is the only pic I have...lol.

Sept. 12th - We visited another sister (of my brother-in-law) who currently resides in Scarborough, North Yorkshire (England) with her family.

An interesting mention of Scarborough by Mr. Darcy in P&P novel when Elizabeth Bennet asked him about his younger sister Georgiana...
"Is your sister at Pemberley still?"
"Yes, she will remain there till Christmas."
"And quite alone? Have all her friends left her?"
"Mrs. Annesley is with her. The others have been gone on
to Scarborough, these three weeks."
- Pride and Prejudice novel (Volume III Chapter xii; Chapter 54, page 322)
We spent about 4-5 hours in Scarborough...Then, from Scarborough, we drove to Falkirk (which interestingly lying to the north west and north east of the cities Edinburgh and Glasgow), Scotland to see friends and stayed there for 3 nights!

Sept. 13th -  We took a train to spend a day in Edinburgh (Scotland)...and went to see the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. We ate dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and went home where we spent the rest of the night watching Princess Bride and P&P movie (yep, we ended up watching these two movies after we had a fun conversation about our time in Chatsworth House and talked about P&P movie).

Edinburgh Castle
1) view of Edinburgh's downtown  2) Hard Rock Cafe

Sept. 14th - On this day, we were going to see Loch Leven Castle...

We made it to the pier, but it was canceled due to it being so windy (not too mention, it was rainy there as usual). There was no boat ride scheduled for that day, unfortunately...so we went to small Castle Campbell instead...


Sept. 15th - We left Scotland around noon and drove back to England and stopped by the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire for a night stay at a friends' house. This was an unexpected addition to the places we've stopped by or visited just before going to London.

To Be Continued... 

Part 2 will be in the next post, coming up very soon!

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your trip visit & pictures. Loved it & hope that one day soon I get to experience beautiful England (especially the places you mention)as you have!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. @cellynyfl - you're very welcome. Thanks a lot for reading and for leaving a comment here. I appreciate it. Hopefully, you'll get to visit those places someday soon too. They were really beautiful. I felt like I was in a dream the whole time, lol. I had a great time. I'll be posting part 2 very soon. Stay tune and keep checking this blog. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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