I can’t believe that this is our final night in London. It seems like just yesterday we were just exploring Oban. I enjoyed everything that we’ve seen, but I have a few highlights. The first was the Bodnant Gardens. The gardens had probably the least historical significance to the course, but it was a very refreshing experience. I really enjoyed walking around and experiencing such a beautiful space. My next favorite place was Lacock Abbey. I really liked this place because it is the first place of the negative photograph. As a photographer, it was really amazing to see the place where Henry Fox Talbot researched and developed photography. Along with this I was amazed by the British Library. I was able to see Fox Talbot’s notebook and actually read his notes on photography. Iona will always hold a special place in my heart. The island was so peaceful and relaxing, I cannot wait to go back. I also got to travel the world with one of my best friend before we graduate on Sunday, and it was truly a trip of a lifetime. Along with these, I throughly enjoyed how the course was set up, I was able to see a plethora of castles and cathedrals without seeing anything that was exactly the same. This kept everyday new and exciting. I am going to miss the obvious things like seeing new structures everyday and the wonderful pub food. The thing I am going to miss most though is the people. I felt so welcomed wherever I went. Even though I was a tourist, no one ever made me feel like an outsider. Everyone was enthusiastic about their country and wanted to have us be apart of it. Because of these people I was able to ask for directions when learning how to navigate the public transportation system and just ask them questions in general. I think the biggest take away for me is remembering to take everything in and reminding myself that it’s alright to feel small, I felt small a lot—basically everything we saw made me feel small because of the history and sheer beauty I was being exposed to. Feeling small challenges you to learn and grow more, and that’s what I feel like happened on this trip, I challenged myself to learn, which made me grow. This was the bests way to end my four years at Wartburg, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I cannot believe that our trip has come to an end. I have to say that Scotland and England were my two absolutely favorite places we went to. The first stop in Scotland was Oban and I was truly surprise by how super nice the people were, especially on the day that we all were tired and had no luggage. Oban was such a cute town like city, I definitely picture myself moving there after I graduate. I loved talking to the community members of Oban. They are so kind and love telling stories about their Scottish history. Also, the seafood in Oban is amazing! When we had our seafood dinner, the fish was fresh and very flavorful.
The second place within Scotland I loved was Edinburgh. We went to the Stirling castle and that was a dream come true. I got a chance to see where Mary Queen of Scots bed chamber was and all of her precious possessions that she used thought out her reign. I am going to miss seeing a lot of the Scottish history in person because it’s better than reading the information from a book.
England will always be my favorite no matter what. I absolutely loved Bath. There turned out to be so much todo and to explore. I loved all the Jane Austen and Harry Potter stuff we saw because it made the books and movies we cherish so much better. I liked the people of England as well. They were all super nice and the food was amazing! Like in Scotland, the food was much richer and heavy compared to at home, which I loved!
Overall, I loved all the Abbeys and castles we went to. They were all uniquely different and that made the experience much better. The Fountains Abbey was obviously my favorite. The medieval structure and how big it is stood out to me the most. I could spend days at the Abbey because there is so much history about each one & how they operated when they were active. I loved every part of this trip and it was a great way to end my college career.
As the trip is winding down, I am forced to reflect back on the past few weeks and think about everything the group has done and accomplished as well as my personal triumphs and downfalls. It is very crazy to me to think time has flown by so quickly, as it seems like just yesterday we were traveling around Scotland.
I depicted many of my favorite memories in one of the last couple of blogs I posted, and now I can add the Tower of London to the list of my adventures and memories that I will always have from this island. We had a choice where we spent our afternoon today between Westminster Abbey and the Tower, and I chose the tower because I have always wanted to visit there since I first heard about how Anne Boleyn came to lose her head and became the first queen to do so. Though, I will say that I hope to be able to return some day soon to see Westminister Abbey. That too is on my bucket list of places to see.
When thinking about what I am taking away from this course, the list feels as if it is becoming more and more extensive as I think about it. Academically, I know more about how the Romans utilized technology, how an old clock inside a church tower works, how to tell where possible building additons were made on medieval buildings, and more. Socially, I learned a little more about how to open up and talk to people I do not know that well quicker than I am used to. I learned I am not much of a fan of England’s chicken nuggets while also learning I have a soft spot for their ice cream and Rosé wine. Personally, I may have found the limit to how much I can tolerate from other people and large crowds before I need a short break from the world.
However, I think the biggest thing I believe I am taking away from this trip is appreciation, especially for things I have a habit of taking for granted back home. Things like the ability to get in the car and drive somewhere as opposed to walking or taking public transportation sound pretty good to me right now in all honesty. But, if I were being completely truthful, I feel I am walking away from this trip with a better understanding of the need and importance of patience, flexibility, and understanding. There were quite a bit of things in the beginning that did not go according to plan (the whole needing to find a new flight and lost luggage fiascos, not being able to see a site due to it being temporairly closed, or switching days around). All these events required the three values listed, especially patience. Even though I do not consider myself a patient person, I feel like this trip has helped me grow significantly in that area as we figured things out day by day, hour by hour when something about our trip needed to be tweaked, altered, or changed.
I am definitely goinf to miss the United Kingdom, traveling around and seeing and experiencing new things every day, but it is time to fly home, graduate, and enter the post-college adult world.
Great Britain has been amazing! I don’t regret coming here at all, in fact I only regret that I can’t stay here any long. After taking our night class I had a pretty good understanding of medieval architecture, but it wasn’t until I experienced these amazing structures in person that I really got a feeling for just how grand they are. I mean the castles alone were enough to make your jaw drop, but with the beauty that the cathedrals added it was a worthwhile experience. My favorite part of this trip was honestly going around the cities and meeting as many people as I could. I felt this was the best way to get a real life look into the English, Welsh, and Scottish culture. It was also really easy to meet these people because generally I felt that they were abundantly inviting. There were plenty of times that we went to a pub and right as we walked in people would stop and talk about where they were from and asked us the same. Today is our last day here and I would say that we left on the best note possible. Today we went to the London Natural History Museum and it is literally the best museum I have ever seen in my life. They had everything and just when you thought it was over you’d move on to the next fascinating exhibit. They had my two favorite science thing in there, outer space and the amazing beast from 200 million years ago the dinosaurs. Well as I think back on my trip there is a few things I would change, but I will never forget the amazing memories I made. Thanks to everyone who helped make them either here in England or back home supporting me.
Today is the final day of our trip and it is a little saddening. It has been a very enjoyable trip and I have made some new friends along the way. It’s not every day that you get to see the vast majority of the day seeing most of the U.K. in less than a month. If I had to pick which of the three countries was my favorite, I would without a doubt choose Scotland. The scenery up there was incredible and absolutely gorgeous. I would go back to both Wales and Scotland, but I’m not so sure about England. I enjoyed my time in England, but I think I may have had too high of expectations for it. If I had to redo this trip, I think I would have spent more time in Wales and Scotland. I felt like we just weren’t there long enough. Out of the three big cities we visited (Edinburgh, Cardiff, and London), I think Edinburgh was my favorite. It was such a cool city. It was old, but it didn’t feel old at all. Edinburgh also had a really cool city life that I really enjoyed. I may be a little sad about this trip being over, but my journey is only beginning. I leave for Paris first thing tomorrow and from there I will be heading to Italy. I cannot wait to see what the mainland has to offer. I would like to thank Wartburg for this incredible opportunity to see the U.K.
As our trip is coming to an end and I look back on my various experiences It brings up mixed emotions about going home. For the most part I have throughly enjoyed my time in the United Kingdom, and wouldn’t mind just staying in Europe form the summer, but I am also pretty excited to go back and graduate. My favorite of the castles and cathedrals we visited would probably be the Fountains Abbey and Caernarfon Castle. The Fountians Abbey grounds were huge and had beautiful scenery and wildlife to go with great cathedral ruins. Caernarfon Castle was mostly intact and had some great views from the towers. Beyond castles and cathedras I really liked going to St.Andrews and seeing the Old Course. We were able to see two of the four remainign Magna Carta pieces along with a bunch of other great artifacts at the British library, British museum and Science museum. London also has some impressive art museums that I was able to visit such as the National gallery and Tate modern art museum. I was also able to stop be the Courtald Instititue of art where my sister will be starting grad school later this summer. To me it was interesting to observe the many cultural differences as well as some shared characteristics between what you might expect to be similar countries of the United Kingdom. There are even quite distinct differences within the same countries such as Edinburgh\Glasgow compared to the Scottish highlands of the mid sized cities of northern and central England compared to London to go along with the natural differences you would expect from rural areas and urban centers. Overall I would say it is a great experience and would recommend to any college student to try and do some sort of study abroad course while they are in college.
This month has been wonderful. I have learned so much about the history of the world, and it has challenged me to think about my own culture and the history of my country. Everything in America is very new compared to the history we encountered in Britain this month. We think of American history as starting with colonization and going forwards until today. Civilizations in Britain have been leaving traces of their cultures since the BC era. I found it so cool to see the things that shaped human history. On my free day in London, I went to the Natural History museum where they had an exhibit on the evolution of human beings, all the way from prehistory until the modern humans we are today. The British Museum was another good example of this. I had only heard of the Rosetta Stone before going there, and then I got to see the real thing. So much history has happened in this part of the world that has influenced not only the United States but the rest of the world as well. It was almost surreal to be in the places where history I had only heard about was being made.
I am going to miss having something to look forward to next year. I have been waiting for this trip to happen for three years now, and it is coming to an end. My last year at college will be a little lackluster, I think. This trip has definitely been one of the highlights of my college experience, and I doubt any of my remaining accounting classes will be this much fun. I love castles, and I love cathedrals. To be able to see them in such great detail has been a truly wonderful thing. I’ve seen enough cathedrals to be able to compare one to another and finally tell the different styles of architecture apart (mostly).
I’ve learned more about myself on this trip as well. I dislike cities quite a bit, and they always make me uncomfortable. Over the course of this trip, I have had to navigate my way through strange cities-sometimes on my own. Every time, I have been able to find my way to where I was going without any trouble. I am still apprehensive in cities, but my fear of them has decreased after a month of being in large cities. I’ve learned that I have more resources at my disposal than I use on a daily basis, like common sense and the ability to keep mostly calm in stressful situations. I’d like to think this trip made me a better person as well as educate me about castles and cathedrals.
Yesterday, the group went to the British Library and the British Museum after we dropped our luggage off at the hostel and ate lunch.
While at the British Library, we had one main goal: to see an exhibit called “The Treasures.” This houses many wonderful artifacts from the Beatles to an original copy of the Magna Carta. The exhibit also had many other documents including letters about Mary Queen of Scots, to Cardinal Wolsey from Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Armenian bibles, the papal bull declaring the Magna Carta illegal, and so much more. This was an absolutely marvelous exhibit, and I wonder what the rest of the Library had to offer in terms of such imposing and impressive history.
Afterwards, we went to the British Museum via the Tube from the Kings Cross station. While there, we were on a scavenger hunt, and some of things we had to find were: a mummy, a statue of Ramses II, The Lion Hunt from the Assyrians, the Rosetta Stone, and the Elgin Marbles. We also had to find three things that we thought were “super cool.” For me, one of them was the practice of a wheel burial (I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what it was called or which culture it was from). In essence, the one being buried was laid into the ground with some wagon wheels, and the rest of the wagon was placed over them before the body was submerged in soil. That is an unique send off.
While at the museum, Sir Victor also got to have a little fun and hang out with the artifacts in the Egyptian, Roman, Greek, and other exhibits.
Below, Sir Victor is laying down and hanging out in front of part of a wall artifact from either the Egyptian or Greek exhibit. This artifact also has carvings on both sides of the writing that depict many different people.
Above, Sir Victor is standing in front of a Basalt Stella. According to the information plaque laying to the right of the stella in the picture, the information on the artifact, which is written in Greek, implies this has somethong to do with King Antiochus of Commagene’s cult rituals. It also states this stella was part of an oil press operation (hence the hole in the middle of the stone) and that the stella depicts Herakles and the “Sun God”.
Sir Victor also wanted his picture taken with the wall artifact shown below as we were walking between exhibits.
The pots seen above with Sir Victor are made of “limestone breccia and andesite porphyry.” According to the plaque explaining these items, while use of these kinds pots were exclusive to the royals and religious buildings back when they were first created (the skills to make such items came during the Late Predynastic era), this technology and the ability to make items with similar materials helped Egypt advance in architecture, extraction, art, and transport.
Finally, before we left, Sir Victor posed with the bust of an Egptian queen. According to the informational plaque, her status in society is given away by the snake on top of her forehead in the headdress. It also states her name was Queen Ahmose-Merytamyn.
Well my time in England is coming to an end. I have had a wonderful time. One of the best parts of my time here in Britain was my hike through Scotland on Iona. It was such a peaceful place and the hike was really nice. The rolling hills of stone offered me a challenge of trying to climb them and the wildlife was cool as it was different due to the shielding of the big hill on the island. The sights were amazing from the tops of the small rock hills. Another place that I found to be awe inspiring was Stirling Castle. The castle was massive and showed me what castles of great importance look like. The castle showed me how a castle can still survive and be relevant well into the gunpowder age. I will miss being able to see castles and the weather which we had in Scotland because it was absolutely beautiful. I miss Scotland even now. I really want to go back. I miss Scotland because the landscape is beautiful with its simplicity. I just find the simple low lying grasses and the natural element to Scotland with its rock hills and mountains. I also love the Scottish accent which as it happens is very prevalent in Scotland. This course has changed my perspective on how I look at the United States and has led me to appreciate what we have because even the United Kingdom does not have it. I have a great time in Britain and have grown to appreciate the culture and landscape of Britain.