Coming to you LIVE frooooooom *drum roll* …. my bed in London, where I am sitting in a towel and enjoying my first relaxed day in years (jokes, but it really feels like it). The last two weeks have been so busy with fun things I’m not sure where to start.
Sunday, February 8th
8:15am: Taylor and I gave the rising sun a dirty look, packed ourselves sandwiches, and headed off for Kings Cross Station to take the train down to the quaint college town ofCambridge, England. Sounds easy and super organized right? Nope- our tour guide arrived two and a half hours late due to a snoozed alarm clock.
12:00pm: After a quick coffee, about half of the group + our apologetic tour guide, Oliver, board a train and pull off into the countryside. The rough morning was all but forgotten once I saw the rolling green hills of the English countryside.
1:30pm: We arrive in Cambridge and set off on a walking tour of the historical and beautiful campus of Cambridge University. At the second oldest university in the country (rivaled only by Oxford) we saw the birthplace of football (aka soccer), the study spots of many royals and Isaac Newton, and also kind of froze our butts off.
Taylor and I promptly forgot about the PB&J’s in our bags and dipped into Aunties Tea Shop to warm up and grab lunch. We both opted for a full English breakfast, and happily scarfed it down (beans and all!). It is also important to note that this is the only place I have been able to procure syrup for my breakfast (*crowd gasps*). As we left the tea shop, complaining of our incredible fullness, we got a whiff of fudge and essentially floated into a place called the Fudge Kitchen. I am not exaggerating when I say they made us try every flavor. Obviously, we bought some.
Post-food, we walked all over the town and saw everything there was to see.We headed down to the river to see the fuss about punting- essentially sitting in a boat while someone uses a long stick to float you along, ala gandolas in Venice. It was all very cute to see, and the river was very picturesque.
During the week, I spent my personal version of a perfect day shopping downOxford Street and sitting in the sunny Hyde Park with a book, I went to theWallace Collection for class and spent the afternoon admiring Rococo and Dutch art, and some friends and I went to a food design presentation by a chef who has worked in all five of the best restaurants in the world (he taught me how to shave an avocado). I also had a great time in a bar called Waxy O’Connors, where the only question is, which came first, the bar or the tree? Here I discovered the most delightful drink called a snakebite- grenadine, cider, and beer all in one! Finally, I explored the eclectic and adorable bars and streets of Shoreditch with my friend TW as we waited to meet up with some very lost friends from Loyola Rome. This last night went a little later than anticipated, and when I crawled into bed at 1:30am, my sleep was more like a nap...
Saturday, February 14
4:01am: My silent alarm I had set on my FitBit went off all too soon, and by 4:45 am, we were off and moving towards Stonehenge!
8:00am: Turns out, waking up at the crack of dawn was worth it for the perks- We were able to weave our way through the strange, prehistoric monument instead of viewing it from 50 feet away with the rest of the public. Stonehenge was easily one of the strangest things Tourist Meg has seen here. Not only is there no real explanation for why or how these massive rocks are here, but it is also in the middle of nowhere. In fact, as I wandered around the stones, I made friends with a rogue sheep that seemed to have escaped from a mysterious location. The sun behind the clouds made for a really beautiful morning. It was definitely worth the trip.
We then made the hour drive up to Bath, England from Stonehenge and arrived just in time to make like hobbits and eat second breakfast. The town of Bath itself was very central and homogenous. There were stores, musicians, and authentic food everywhere you looked! We took a tour of the Roman Baths, which are exactly what they sound like. The Romans settled the town decades ago, and utilized the natural hot springs to create beautiful, luxurious equivalents of todays spas. It was very cool to see how creatively engineered the entire place was, and I was incredibly tempted to jump in. After our tour, we had just enough time to people watch (some of the pictures being taken near the main baths could entertain you for hours), explore the river and bridges, and grab some ice cream.
Overall, a great experience. Next week- Amsterdam!! I am beyond excited to experience the city again, so stay tuned.