Thursday, February 28, 2008

Abandon hope all ye who enter here...

Yesterday I awoke to the horribly unpleasant sound of my phone's alarm at the crack of dawn 11:30 AM. I pulled myself out of bed, brushed my teeth, put some clothes on, then walked to the secret American field trip meeting location. I boarded the bus, then fell asleep in my seat. When I woke up, we were here...
Well, technically, we were still on the bus when I woke up. But I took this picture about five minutes later when we were waiting for our tour guide. If I had fallen asleep on a bus then woke up outside standing next to a lead mine and a huge field, I'd be a bit worried about my mental health. But I digress...

We met our tour guide, and he took us on a walk through the woods...
He was talking a lot about how this area had been a lead mine for the past few hundred years and about rare European red squirrels and business ethics of the twelfth century, but I was distracted by a magical well...
Yes, that is a magical fairy well that will grant you a wish for every penny you throw in. Why the hell else would there be an ancient wooden well on a hill in the middle of a mystical forest if not to make all of my wildest monetary dreams come true? Unfortunately, I didn't have a penny, so my dreams were squashed...

Next we saw the gates of hell a lead mine..!
Equipped with hard hats and really huge rubber boots, we entered the abyss. Unfortunately, there is no light underground because, apparently, the sun cannot penetrate fifty feet of sandstone and lead ore. There are no pictures that chronicle the next part of the adventure, but, I can assure you, it's all true...

So, upon entering Satan's vestibule, we were greeted by the most horrible of demons, who shuffled us through a crack in the earth to the first level of hell. After fighting off demons, monsters, scary fires, and a giant cyborg version of Ronald Reagan, we reached the innermost 7th circle. Here we met Virgil and Dante who told us that they've been hanging out down here for the past few centuries throwing tomatoes at Satan, Judas, and Brutus. They asked us if their book had been published, and while the rest of the Americans wondered what the hell they were talking about, I assured Dante that his epic was a huge hit in literary circles and with power metal bands. He seemed to be overcome with joy. Then, we returned to the surface...

What? I swear, it really happened...

Anyways, we resurfaced, and while the tour guide went on about daily life as a miner and the lead industry's decline since the advent of plastics, I walked around and took some more pictures...
Ooohhh prettyful...

The tour was then complete, and we returned to Newcastle, having concluded yet another blogworthy adventure..:-)

-Matt

2 comments:

Laura said...

Oh My God those are gorgeous pictures!
I have to visit England now. Wow. I want to go walking in those woods...and read poetry in silence.

HBoO said...

you truly are a master of the infinity setting.

hey, i miss you. where'd you go?

(btw, everyone knows that magical wells in forests are inhabited by WELL TROLLS and not related to fairies in the least. good thing you didn't drop in a penny or he would have emerged and devoured your face. come on matthew.)