After what everyone around me affectionately calls the week from hell, last week was absolutely the complete opposite.
The first week in a new country is tough, especially with jet lag, total confusion about classes, and complete communication failures without internet or phones.
But this past week we all have begun to settle into life here. My cupboard in the kitchen is finally properly stocked to my liking, classes are not overwhelming, but rather exciting and engrossing, and I have clearer ideas about places I hope to visit around London, and even afar. Over the past week I have had incredible meals with friends; whether that be the best lunch I will ever have at an extremely posh Japanese restaurant or more humble eggs and toast at the uni cafe. It is certainly the coolest thing to be studying abroad, and I already have a pretty sick plan for reading week lined up. More on that when the time comes.
But even with a never-ending attitude to explore London, it is kind of nice to take a day trip away from it all. A group of us at the uni signed up for a day trip tour of both Stonehenge and Bath–places that always seemed unreal of sorts.
Oh, but they are real of course. Stonehenge was better that I expected–while there was no reason to spend hours at the site, it was incredibly peaceful there. The drive to Stonehenge was eerily beautiful as a soft mist settled in. On either side of the road there were farms and animals, but then all of the sudden the Stonehenge emerged. The structure is obviously old so we were not allowed to walk nearby, but we were able to get pretty darn close. The grass was so green, the tourists snapping countless pictures (like me, I suppose) were only mildly distracting.
Next we went via bus to Bath, a fairly large city with rich history, modern culture, and incredible architecture. This where those of yesteryear traveled to, to bathe in the natural hot springs–for spiritual, healing, and social reasons. But to say I loved Bath would not be true. It was incredibly touristy, and being so felt more like an exhibit that an actual place. There is something so disjointed about the history and then the commercial bits, like the Banana Republic or Apple store a block away. I would describe it as if any European city of your choosing was combined with the kitsch of Cape Cod. Maybe it was just the idea of people buying tiny bottles of “Bath Water” that made me slightly turned off by the place. Otherwise, Bath is really gorgeous and we were lucky it was such a perfect day.
Nothing quite interesting to say about today actually. Just a lecture and a seminar, I made myself a mean scrambled egg and chorizo filled english muffin, and went grocery shopping in the rain. You know, normal everyday living sort of things. Not everyday abroad can be filled with tales and pictures, but we sure get close over here.