Finally back where I have internet access and can dish the dirt on my final weeks in Britain. It wasn’t hard to leave, but then again it’s not really hard for me to leave anywhere, a handy psychological byproduct of an extremely mobile lifestyle. Unfortunately for me, this trip represented the last of my traveling for a long time to come, and that was hard to think about, but I have to admit-what a way to go!
My favorite day trip out of London was to Bath, which is a gorgeous little city nestled in forrested hills so prettily it’s a miracle anyone could hate living there, but somehow Austen managed it. There’s no accounting for some people’s behavior (a life lesson re-impressed on this trip: there are in fact people in this world who really do have nothing better to do than be miserable…but I digress).
Bath Abbey is a fascinating building, and it had a motif along the front of Jacob’s Ladder with angels climbing up and down it, a style I’ve never seen before. There were also a million little sights to be seen in the city like the Royal Crescent and even private residences were fun to look at. We finished with a tour of the Roman Baths, and I even decided to “take the waters” a la any fashionable traveler of the last few hundred years. It tasted vile, but remember it’s supposed to be good for you; physicians used to prescribe gallons of the stuff a day. I feel bad for their patients.
The Lakes District was stunning, I could spend many gleeful weeks hiking there, as it was we got one night. Most of our “tasting tour” of England for the last week consisted of us showing up in the new area in the evening, checking into our hostel, wandering around for as long as we could, and then getting up early have given a couple hours to see whatever the major sights in the area were, and then hopping back on the bus to drive to the next destination. Sad if you’re in so many interesting places.
Scotland was incredible, I’d always wanted to go and I wish we could have seen more than just Edinburgh, but I gladly take what I can get! You can tell when you cross the border, everything is purple heather and dark green forests. I loved it, but my favorite part of England is the North, and we headed down there next.
One of my favorite places in all of England is Hadrian’s Wall, and don’t ask me why because I can’t explain it. Last summer my family and I hiked along it and it was probably one of my favorite vacations of all time. I love Northumbria, it’s a windy, hilly place and I couldn’t ever get enough of that place. The woods of England are beautiful, but the moors really do have a rugged appeal! By strange coincidence we past several of the places I remembered going with my family and ended up visiting Houseteads fort as a group, which was right along the most picturesque section of the wall, which unfortunately we didn’t get to hike to.
To wrap up our trip we went to Stratford-Upon-Avon to spend our last night on the road there, and Warwick castle before heading back to London. The girls and I had a last hurrah by going to Nandoos (exceedingly disappointing in spite of all Kells’ talking it up). On the way back into the U.S. I used my government privileges for the last time to go through the line for internationals; I’m officially no longer a dependent of my parents…more on that some other time, the separation is still too fresh.
So, to sum up it was an amazing trip! I made several friends, saw some of the coolest places on earth (if you’re an unrepentant nerd like me), and got to spend my last term of school frolicking about my favorite country in the world. I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up university life and I couldn’t have asked for better people to do it with. It was an adventure, the likes of which I won’t be able to have again in the near future, and I really treasure the opportunity. Now, I’m on to a new kind of adventures, more grounded in reality perhaps, but I’m looking forward to them all the same!