Dreams can come true. Well, it may seems a bit.. naive.. but it is true!
Arundel Castle. In Jousting & Medieval Tournament Week (don’t worry if you missed it and you don’t plan your visit next year in july – there are more interesting events!). For me all of this was like a dream come true! I’m in love with castles and everything Medieval since I was little girl.. And the fate brought me right here, right now.. Amazing!
However, the Castle. I went there with train. The train station is little but charming. You have to walk few minutes, but you can see the castle from the station – so there is your goаl! After those few minutes you are reaching the river (which it is beautiful!) and just after the bridge you could see the main entrance to the castle. This day – there were people in Medieval dresses, singing and playing just in front. So you pass by them with smile on your face (making few pics till you are walking), getting to the moment in which you should pay your ticket. Well there is a cue of course, but a woman with smile comes, explaining you where is the difference between tickets, but today is more expansive because of the things that are waiting for you just few steps in front. So just after you finish with bureaucracy the magic begins!
There are knights with horses passing by you! With all the Armour and everything. If you take a look around you will see the settlement which is just below the castle and all around you! There are blacksmith, moulder, knights .. Maybe everything that you could think about! So after spending a few moments watching knights fight ( until I am wondering where to start from) , enjoying the castle in the same time .. Ok, maybe (like definitely) more than few moments.. The decision is made! Gardens will be seen!
Just walking in the park you could see threes forming something like a secret place for lovers to be hide from other’s eyes.. Few more moments there and walking again.. And there is a Chapel.. Like trying also to hide in the threes and bushes but unfortunately for her is to big and beautiful to pass by.. In the yard there is a little fountain with blue (?!) water. When you get in you will see that it is divided by a glass wall in two parts, and you cannot reach the second one. That is maybe unique in England – the Fitzalan Chapel (where is still the burial place for Dukes of Norfolk). So in this part of the glass is the Chapel, in the other side – there is Protestant parish church.
After you finish with the Chapel and go to the Gardens you will discover another unique place – except all kinds of exotic plants, except of part of the garden which is like escaped from Cleopatra’s Palace – there is the Oberon’s Palace with his floating crown. For real. You can watch the water and the crown. Floating. Unfortunately you cannot just stay there staring it (unless not in this particular time of the year) because there are always people wanting to see it too.
Ok, after the Stumpery, the English Herbaceous Borders, the Flower Garden, the Organic Kitchen Garden, the Glass House, the White Garden, the Rose garden.. Oh God, those Gardens are really amazing! Ok, so after the gardens – time for a tour of the Jousting (or if you spend to much time in the Gardens like me – you will have to wait for one of others tour) – it’s turn to the Castle. From Inside.
To explore 1000 years of history is fascinating! First it was Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel. The oldest part of the Castle is the dry moat. After King Henry 1 settled the Castle to his second life, Adeliza of Louvain, her new husband – William d’Albini II built much of the oldest part of the stone Castle, in 1155 confirmed William d’Albini as Earl of Arundel. If you take a look to the ceiling you could find theme there! Unfortunately it is not aloud to make pictures inside the Castle so you should find them by yourself (they are hard to be missed)! This way the Duke decided to honor them. You can also find pictures with all the damages the Civil War brought to the place.
If you decide to get inside you also will find the Vitoria’s bedroom – to the name of Queen Victoria. When she decided to come here with her husband a special furniture was made. From those 3 days she spend here, the bedroom is known like her Bedroom.
No meter how badly you want to, you just cannot see every part of the castle – there is still private part, belongs to the Duke of Norfolk.
Well, after all of this is time to going back to the Jousting – just in time for the Finals! After amazing welcoming, even more amazing representation of the knights (I don’t even have enough words to make you feel the atmosphere) – there is the time for getting the medals. And time for another surprise – a knight, with his Armour, after revives his medal he is starting to talk about love.. Looking to a Lady, on a horse, just beside him.. To his knee, with a ring in his hand.. Tears in hers eye.. Whispering “Yes”…
If that is not the spirit of the past, a fairy tail coming true just in front of eyes of everyone.. I don’t know what it is.. Costumes, but real harts beating in the same rhythm as if they were in Medieval. Atmosphere getting true time.. Real emotion. Real experience. Extraordinary place.