Saturday, March 22, 2008

As promised, a documented journey into a surreal world...

This past Wednesday, I went to Wallington Hall, an 18th century mansion located on the center of hundreds of acres of beautifully landscaped property. Much like a previous field trip experience, I was not allowed to take photographs. Unlike that past experience however, my amateur stealth skills were up against touch sensor security alarms, security cameras, and two dozen armed-to-the-teeth security guards instead of a mostly deaf grandmother. I attempted pulling out my camera only once to photograph a display of 3,000+ metal Napoleonic soldier figurines, but an adept security guard heard me unzipper my camera case from three rooms over and was immediately on the scene. Luckily, I was able to shove my camera into my coat pocket and innocently turn to an unrelated display in the time it took him to cover the distance (under five seconds). So, instead of going on and on about all the paintings I saw and hand woven rugs and first edition autographed Alice in Wonderlands, I'll move on to the outside portion of the experience which can be aided by photographic evidence...

So, here's the entrance to the estate...
When you walk through that cool tunnel, you come to the "not very impressive" back of the mansion...
We then toured the house, resulting in the above experiences. Then we left and went around to the "more impressive" front side...
After that, we backtracked to the "somewhere between not very and most impressive" side..um..side...
From here, the field trip went from a fully guided, heavily guarded, information-filled tour of a neat 300 year old mansion to a full-fledged acid trip. Journey with me into the forest of mental solitude as we partake in the visual delights of 19th century landscaping...

Nothing on the Wallington Hall grounds is natural. It was all carefully planned by expert 18th century landscapers and sculpted by their laborers. That means that this lake was the product of some poor working class guy and his trusty shovel...
No, not another lead mine. This was built about a quarter mile from the house to store a big block of ice. That way, a servant could come here with a chisel to fetch ice cubes whenever his master so desired...

All of a sudden, we came upon the garden maze and the greenhouse which reminded me very much of my psilocybin mushroom experiences was filled with beautiful plants and flowers...

After spending a couple of hours gallivanting through the garden maze, I started coming down it was time to leave. The bus pulled up and brought us back to Newcastle, and, once again, I was filled with awe at how amazing this place is..:-)

-Matt

1 comment:

meloogal said...

"but an adept security guard heard me unzipper my camera case from three rooms over and was immediately on the scene."

how do they DO that?