Friday, March 23, 2018

England, UK

Snapped a photo with a Palace Guard!

July 5th-28th
 England, United Kingdom

Downtown London
           For a little over three weeks, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, England. I traveled along the metropolitan area of London with several other communication-major students from my university. I was lucky enough to explore the streets of Bath, Chelsea, Covent Garden, Oxford, Victoria, and many more areas.  During the little time I had in England, I spent my free time cramming in all the tourest-y activities I could find. 

The London Eye
           Of course, the first event on my "To-Do: London" list was riding the London Eye! This magnificent ferris wheel stands 443 feet high, making it one of the tallest structures in the city. The entire ride took 30 minutes to complete one revolution, I took this photo from the top of the rotation. I won't lie, it was pretty nerve-wracking to observe the whole scene: 800 people aboard, a giant wheel weighing 600,000+ pounds, and nothing but glass and a railing keeping me from plummeting to my death! The ride was worth the view, I could see 25 miles away. 

       If you've heard anything about London- it's that it is always raining! The weather is extremely dreary in England, but there is some sun. I was fortunate enough to have a partly-cloudy day to ride the Eye. 

Shakespeare's Globe
         As a student who spent many years forced to read all of Shakespeare's tragedies and comedies(thankfully my books had side-notes), it was no wonder I visited this historic landmark. Shakespeare's Globe, though not the original since it burned down, is still used today for Shakespearian theater productions. When I toured, I was able to score tickets to a viewing of Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy about an Italian family and their love interests. The play was beyond entertaining even though I had a little trouble understanding most of the dialogue. Even if you can't obtain tickets to a show, definitely tour the Globe while in London!

Platform 9.3/4 (Harry Potter)
        It's not well known to my peers, but I am a Harry Potter fan. My father used to read J.K. Rowling's novels to my sister and I as bedtime stories. For those of you who have seen the movies and not read the books; all of England is a visual inspiration for Hogwarts. In Oxford, there are actually a few stores dedicated to the franchise (some scenes were filmed at Oxford University!) So for bragging rights, I walked over 4 miles, waited 45 minutes in line, and purchased merchandise just to take this picture at a train station. 

Java Fit Parfait
Chocolate Mousse Dessert
     Every morning, I ate at this little breakfast nook called Café Java Nuvo. The manager, Alex, became familiar with my face each day and memorized my order (one English Breakfast tea with milk, and a Java Fit yogurt parfait). I loved it so much, I never went anywhere else to start my day! Except maybe the occasional Starbucks run that just happened to be next door. 

The Roman Bath's in Bath

       I had a free weekend, so I took a day trip to the city of Bath, to visit the infamous 2000 year old Roman Bath's. These are naturally filled hot springs that were called the Aquae Sulis, or waters of Sulis. Sulis is the Celtic goddess of healing and fertility. Her shrine is located in the Roman structures because that's where it was believed her powers were the strongest. 

     The baths have been preserved and created into a museum, where guest cannot get in the water. And of course, at the end of the guided walk was a gift shop. I had to buy my mother and sister spa-themed bath salts from England!

Roaming the streets of Bathe
Peggy's Porschen Cupcakes

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