Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farewell London

In a few hours I will be leaving London so I decided to write some things down about my month studying abroad. This was a great month of travel to many different places and it is filled with some great memories. When I first arrived I was very apprehensive about what to expect during my time here. This apprehension quickly disappeared and I started to feel more comfortable. The first couple of days were planned with neighborhood walks that familiarized us with the city. I am going to remember the libraries my class visited during the first few days and how different but similar each one was. The thing that I am going to remember the most is wandering around the city alone. These times were very interesting and involved getting a lot. I was lost more times than I can count during these few days but these times were always the most interesting and I have seen some of the city that I would not have seen otherwise.

The London Explore for a group of students was getting the opportunity to go to Paris. Paris was interesting and was a good experience to have had. Besides all of the walking I am going to have one or two main memories from this trip. One memory is on the coach ride from London to Paris. Somebody read an article about how a person stowed away under one of these coaches and kept on pounding on the floor. I found this story amusing and each time our coach hit a bump all I could think of was somebody pounding on the floor. The other thing that I am going to remember is walking around the city with two friends that I made during the weekend. We did a lot of walking and one walk in particular stands out. We just left dinner with the group and it was close to midnight. This walk was not suppose to be long but became so when I got us lost and we kind of circled the area where our hotel was located.

The next week of classes involved us going outside the city on a few occasions. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, and a few libraries within the city boundaries. The week seemed to go by very fast and the next thing I knew we had a free day before leaving for London Away. This free day involved me doing laundry and packing but also included a short walk through the city. The next morning we left for Scotland and in particular Edinburgh.

The coach drive seemed to take a long time but we finally arrived. We stayed at Dalkeith Estate which is a little outside Edinburgh. I went into town that night with some friends and Scotland instantly became one of my favorite places in the world. I love London but Scotland has a different feel about it. We spent a few days in Scotland and visited some of the libraries in the area. One of my favorite things to do in Scotland was just walking around and looking at the beautiful scenery. Everything was so green and I could almost always hear bagpipes in the distance which completed the experience for me.

My mini-break was a lot of fun and involved me meeting up with three of my siblings in London. We did all of the tourist attractions and tried to see everything we could in a limited amount of time. Highlights from this weekend was seeing the Hard Rock Vault, Churchill War Rooms, Wembley Stadium, a football (soccer) match, Buckingham Palace, Dover, Abbey Road, and many others. This too seemed to go by really fast and before I knew it I was checking back in to my dorm room.

The final few days of classes were very relaxing. I made sure I went to some of the museums and galleries that I had not previously gone through and walked around the city a lot. Some of the highlights were going to afternoon tea with three friends and dressing up to go to the research symposium.

This experience was a lot of fun and I am so glad that I decided to come. I was able to see some amazing places, met a lot of nice people, and made some good friends. I am very appreciative of the University of Southern Mississippi and Kings College for allowing me to have this experience. I am going to miss London and Scotland. Hopefully one day I will be able to come back.

Farewell London!

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