Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Still Dreaming

By C. LaRene Hall
As a young girl, I often dreamed of marrying a prince and living in a large beautiful castle. Little did I know that someday a small portion of those fantasies would come true. I did marry, and I did spend an entire night sleeping in a castle.

The room wasn’t in the center of the castle. In fact, it was as far away from the Great Hall as you could get. My room was located under the Gatehouse. It was small, nothing fancy, with a small bed, and desk. It was quiet and I spent an enjoyable peaceful night.

The gatehouse

Getting to this castle wasn’t easy, although in England as we neared Durham I could see the top steeples. It reminded me of the many others times that I could see the place I wanted to go, but I couldn’t find a road to take me there. We drove up a narrow single lane path, but part way there I was sure we was going to the wrong way. No big castle would be up this tiny road. As soon as we could, we turned around and tried another direction. Finally, we stopped to ask for directions. A customer in the store said we could follow him. Much to my surprise, we were again driving on that same familiar small path. In full view, I saw what looked like a tall magnificent church. I knew it had to be the cathedral. So where was the castle? I knew we were close. There hidden behind a wall of stone stood this ancient building, the Durham Castle.

The following morning my sister and I went to the Great Hall for an authentic English breakfast. Afterwards, they took us on a tour of the castle that included the Norman Chapel built in 1078, and the Tunstall Chapel built in 1540.

The castle looked just like the ones in my childhood dreams. The kitchen was huge, the bedchambers elegant, and the ballroom magnificent. I was truly grateful that I had booked this wonderful room ahead of time so I could have the experience of a lifetime.

The one place I’m still dreaming about staying is at Camelot. I get emails frequently about that magical place, but I doubt I’ll ever get to stay there. England’s a long way from home.

1 comment:

Cindy Beck, author said...

Wow, you got to sleep in a castle? That is soooo cool!

Thanks for the pictures and the narrative. I really enjoyed it.