Fortunately we arrived in London already knowing a few people. Entering a city like London with no one to “take you by the hand” can be quite a daunting ordeal. Luckily not only were we taken by the hand, but we were invited to places to see and do things we probably would never have experienced. One of those such things, was spending a weekend in the English Countryside, in the Cotswolds just easy of Wales.
Life is lived differently in this little corner of the world, there is no doubt about that, and it would pain me to try and find very many similarities between suburban Orlando and the English countryside. In fact, the only one that jumps to mind is the fact that both there and at home we have to drive to get anywhere because there is no public transportation and everything is far away!
We spent the weekend wandering the streets of small cities, traveling through the hilly countryside, visiting castles, and frequenting pubs throughout the towns. It was incredibly surreal and honestly quite perfect to be somewhat removed from the reality of London for a short break of the fast pace. We could still easily keep in touch with home though withÂ PC to phone calls.
One of the highlights of our stay was spending Sunday afternoon watching a polo match in a small town near my friends home. This was my first polo match, and we were lucky enough to come on the championship weekend, for the most anticipated match of the year. As an outsider, I can say, that polo is easily one of the most civilized, yet uncivilized, sports I’ve ever seen. On one hand, you have the crowd. They are picnicking, enjoying their champagne and wine, and politely clapping (no loud cheering here) after an exciting break of action or a great play. On the other hand, you have the actual game, that consists of eight men streaking across a field on horses going as fast as they can chasing a small ball to the point of collision. In addition to this they are swinging a long mallet at the ball and they are constantly knocking the hell out of each other and the horses over and over again for a total of 40+ minutes of play. I can honestly say, that if I can ever find live polo near home, I will GLADLY spend part of my weekend enjoying this truly entertaining sport.
I am far from a professional sports photographer, but I was able to catch a few shots of the action that I’ll leave you with, enjoy!
At the half the audience is invited out onto the “pitch” to help fill in the holes the horses hooves have made. This helps ensure that the ball doesn’t get stuck, and it is a time honored tradition that is part of almost every polo match.