August 8, 2010

An Ode to Cambridge

I can't believe today is my last day in Cambridge! This has been the most amazing experience, and I'm not quite ready for it to end! I have grown to love this city and its incredible history. I am going to miss walking down the streets and being surrounded by beautiful, ancient buildings. I'm going to miss wandering over to the market square and people watching. I'm going to miss St. Catharine's College and the hundreds of memories I've made here. I'm going to miss all the wonderful people I've met. I think I'm going to miss just about everything in this city, not to mention the rest of the UK that I have experienced!
There is a bright spot though. Yes I have to leave, but I get to go home! I'm one of those weird people who loves Arizona summers, and it just doesn't feel like summer until I've spent some time in the wonderful 115 degree plus weather :) I miss the desert, Fountain Hills and Tempe, my parent's house and my apartment. Most importantly, I miss my family and cannot wait to see them! So instead of focusing on the goodbyes, I'm going to focus on the hello's :)

London Pictures!

Inside Her Majesty's Theatre

So happy to see such a great performance!

Her Majesty's Theatre

The London Eye

London Skyline

Southbank at night

The London Eye at night

I am so going to miss this city!

Most of our group on the Eye

View from the Eye

Wish I could take it as a souvenir :)


Yesterday we took our last trip to London. For me, it was merely my last visit on this trip, because I will be back! We started the afternoon by seeing The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre, where the show first opened. This was by far the best performance I have ever seen of Phantom! The entire cast was amazing, but I was in awe of the man playing the Phantom. He was incredible!
We wandered around the streets of London and wandered into a few shops, then met up with the rest of our group for dinner. We had reminisching about the highlites of the trip. I am so lucky to say that I made some awesome friends on this journey, and we have had some incredible adventures together!
To end the evening we rode the London Eye! It was great to see the entire city, and be able to point out spots we had been too. Overall, it was a simply wonderful day, and great way to bid adieu to my favorite city.

Oxford Pictures

"I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!"

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church

Great Hall of Christ Church
(Used in Harry Potter films)

Streets of Oxford

The Eagle and Child

We found Paddington Bear at Paddington Station!


It's my last weekend in Cambridge, so we thought we should check out the rival college town, Oxford. Due to the theft of a signal cable, the trains were all delayed so we got there a bit later than we expected. But it was well worth the wait! We started Alice's shop, a small shop filled with Alice in Wonderland merchandise. After having lunch in a little tea room (I am so going to miss tea and scones!), we headed over to Christ Church. This is a beautiful school where Lewis Carroll worked as a math tutor, and also the setting for some of the Harry Potter movies.
After wandering around the grounds, we started wandering around the streets, enjoyng the sights and taking lots of pictures! We had some JRR Tolkien fans in our group, so we decided to find his grave. After the group paid their respects, we rode around on a double-decker bus, and then had dinner at The Eagle & Child, a pub where both C.S. Lewis and Tolkien hung out. We were all pretty worn out from the hectic morning of travel, so we decided to head back after dinner. We very much enjoyed Oxford, but we all are in agreement that Cambridge is the better town to be in!

Lincoln, York & Edinburgh Pictures


Lincoln Cathedral

York Minster

York City Wall

High Street in Edinburgh

Ghost Tour!

Edinburgh Castle

View of Edinburgh from the Castle

I love bagpipes :)

Inside Edinburgh Castle


The Park I fell in love with!

Tom Riddle, one of the characters from Harry Potter

Lincoln, York & Edinburgh

Last Thursday our group took our final field trip. In the morning we went to Lincoln, and then we spend the afternoon in York. Both places were beautiful and I wish we could have spent more time there!
We left for Edinburgh from York. It was a beautiful train ride, and I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful scenery (despite the gentleman sitting next to me who smelled of sweat, whiskey and fish!). We got off the train and started walking to our hostel, and I was suprised by how many hills there were! The rest of the UK was relatively flat, but walking the streets of Scotland was a decent workout! Once we hit high street I fell in love. There was a fun, lively atmosphere stretched out across a street of restaurants and shops, with beautiful views of Scotland all around.
That night we went on a ghost tour of the city. We heard some interesting (and yes, cheesy) ghost stories, including one that was supposedly Shakespeare's inspiration for Macbeth. After hearing some stories, we actually got to go under the city and explore the vaults. This part was awesome, and a little creepy!
The next day we started the morning by going to Edinburgh Castle. We wandered around here and went through a very interesting war museum (couldn't help but thinking how much my dad would have enjoyed that), and got to see the most incredible views of Scotland! We then wandered back down high street, met up with some friends, and spent part of the afternoon hanging out in the most beautiful park. I was amazed that I was outside in the afternoon, in the middle of the summer, enjoying a perfect day with fantastic weather. That just doesn't happen during Arizona summers! I could have stayed there forever!
After dragging ourselves away from the park, we found the Elephant House, a cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. It was really interesting to sit in that little room, knowing she had sat down and started scribbling the story on napkins. Once I get home I decided I will be on the lookout for my own Elephant House! Next we wandered over to Greyfriars Cemetery, a beautiful cemetary where Rowling actually found names for some of her characters. We spent the next hour or so shopping on high street, and then headed back to the train station so we could get home and finish all our final projects for classes!
The train ride home turned out to be an experience in itself! My friend Hannah and I made a couple of Scottish friends. It was interesting to hear their thoughts and comments about America and the random topics we covered. They were all appalled that neither of us had been to New York, and couldn't understand why we didn't have trains that could take us there. I recommended visiting California, but one of the guys didn't want to go there because he wouldn't be able to see the ocean. When we told them we lived in Arizona, and they figured out that was in the desert, they were shocked and couldn't understand how people could actually survive there! I found out that some people really enjoy American accents, in Europe country music is called "redneck music," and when you tell someone your name is Michelle, sometimes they just can't help but burst out in their own rendition of "Michelle My Bell!"