Throughout the program we had many day trips scheduled to different places across England. They were long and so exhausting but so worth it. We visited places I thought I would only see on the internet and some places I never heard of. The sites were rich of history and culture. Some of the places were small little towns and I felt like I could understand the British people as a little better. London is full of diverse cultures that it’s hard to determine exactly what is English society. The towns are so small and not influenced as much so it’s easier to see English life. We visited: Dover, Canterbury, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, (Jane Austen’s house), Stonehenge, Bath, and the places in our North trip.
I will say this about all these trips and I will say this about every place I visited but I loved it. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Canterbury. We had been studied early Christian pilgrimages, Thomas Becket, and The Canterbury Tales so I knew a little bit it. The town was centered around the cathedral which was neat. I didn’t expect to enjoy the town as much as I thought I did.I also loved Oxford. The first thing I noticed is how cute the town is. It full of little shops along one side of the street and the other is magnificent old buildings that house different colleges. We did a student guided tour who helped around. We learned about the rivalries, the secrets, the history and a lot more. My favorite story is about the turtle who was a mascot of one of the colleges. It intensified the rivalry between the two oldest colleges and vanished one year. We also learned stories about the important buildings and people who attended, but to be honest, they weren’t as rememberable as the turtle. We finally got to tour the school and man it’s intense. When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a British teacher for AP LIT and I wanted to apply to Oxford. Just listening to our guide made me glad I didn’t apply because I would have been crushed when I got a rejection letter from here. My half-day tour was not enough time in the town or campus. I loved walking around the grounds, except it was seriously freezing this day. I think my toes were cold for the next four days. It was also fun because they filmed scenes from Harry Potter here which made me happy to walk on the sites. Some other cool places included the Oxford Library, a chalkboard with work by Einstein, and Blackwell bookstore.
Stonehenge. Okay, I know this was done in the prehistoric ages using post and lentil techniques, but I fully believe the aliens were involved. This was one of the coolest things I saw. You can’t go right next to the stones but you can get pretty close to them. It is so worth seeing because they are so cool. Honestly, seeing it was unreal. Stonehenge to me was something I was heard about but never imagine I would be able to see it in person. For my art history course, we had to draw a bird’s eye view of the circle and my drawing looks nothing like it. It’s so hard to caption the idea of Stonehenge in a 2-D drawing. Then I tried to hold up the stones with my hands and my camera was a little out of focus but I think it kinda worked. Really the only thing you can do at Stonehenge is walk around on the path and take pictures. But it is cooler than you would ever think. Also funny story, it was super muddy and wet this day and I tried to do a roundoff tuck and slipped. My practices were fine but the actual one was a complete failure which makes for a funny memory now lol. Anyway, Stonehenge is amazing and so worth it.London was fun and I enjoyed all the time we spent in the city itself. But these day trips were a lot of fun too. We got to visit the sites with usually all 40 of us walking around together. We couldn’t really do that in the London museums because we were a big group. If we didn’t do these day trips, I can’t say I would have left the city very much. Now that I’ve been to them, I want to make sure that if I ever make it back to England, I visit them again. They are all very different from each other and any place in the US, I want to take every opportunity to go to them.