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A traveling hobbit

The magic comes to life

GREECE | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [403] | Scholarship Entry

"His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, nor a pleasant mixture of them all. It's a big house this, and very peculiar. Always a bit more to discover, and no knowing what you'll find round a corner". These are the words J.R.R. Tokien uses to describe the elven house of Rivendel in Lord of the Rings.
These exact words I would use to describe the Asha centre.
It's a community in the small settlement of Flaxley. Never heard of it? Neither had I, untill I was informed I was accepted in a youth exchange program to be held there.
It's located in the distric of the Forrest of Dean, a forrest very prominent in the english literature, as many great authors-J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy- were inspired by it. That forrest was the main reason I considered going to a strange country, all alone, and spent eight days in the middle of nowhere along with twenty four complete strangers from around Europe. It was a scary prospect.
What I didn't expect from that whole venture, was to utterly fall in love with our guest house.
Asha is a place consisted of one main building and several smaller ones, the rooms. The main building,-stone made, dated to the Gregorian era- is a site to look upon. It hosts a well furnished kitchen, dining room, along with a conference room, library and a small living room. Every day it was filled with stupendus smells. The food was never ending. Three main meals per day and several small ones between them, left even the most gluttonus, with a full stomach.
The rooms where each named after an author that had visited the Forrest of Dean. Mine was named after Agatha Christie. It had a lovely wooden closet, two comfy armchairs and three wonderfull beds. A good night's sleep on those beds was the best cure for every tired traveller and for every bad back.
The best part about Asha centre though, was its gardens. Vast tracks of well planted and well cared gardens, with all kinds of trees, plants, vegetables and fruits. It was a joy to walk among them, even in February that we visited. A walk around would calm your mind and soul.
Asha is mostly run by volunteers, which is probably why the atmosphere is always so cheerfull and ligh hearterd. Everyone is eager to please and has a smile on their face, a mood that is infectuous.
In other words, Asha is a place I'll never forget and the closest thing I'll ever get to Rivendell, the magical elven home.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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