As we arrived in Chicago and waited for our plane ride back to Columbus our group looked exhausted. I know I was! We should really be thankful for our instructors putting together such a well organized trip. At times it was annoying how little free time we had and how much we were touring each day, but looking back I am very glad Aimee and Troy pushed us each day to explore more of the city. We really did so much in the week we were abroad, and I would have to say we definitely got our moneys worth. One thing a lot of students were saying is how they are going to have a tough time appreciating the buildings and planning in their towns and cities back in the United States. I sort of agree. Our country is much newer and in our time as a country we have adopted a culture that knocks down older buildings and rebuilds without thinking of historical value. I think we need to appreciate everything our country does have, but adopt some things from older European countries that have been around much longer. London took centuries to turn into an iconic city, but we should not let it take hundreds of years to adopt some of the practices that make London better than many cities in The United States.
The shard was unbelievable! Well worth the money. John, Jason, and I had a great time at the top of the tallest building in Europe. The view was absolutely incredible from up there. Downtown looked awesome, Tower Bridge looked fantastic, and St. Paul looked so small from up there. We were veiwing the city from the seventy second floor. It was really neat seeing the view from the London Eye earlier and then seeing from the top of The Shard. The two views were both amazing, but it was really neat getting to see the London from a birds eye view all lit up at night!
I am not sure If I am a fan or a critic of the view of downtown London. It truly is an unique collage of buildings. In America I am used to seeing a different view. I am used to skylines filled with all kinds of tall curtain wall and concrete structures. The big difference here in England is how the old buildings and new buildings clash in age and architectural style. The old structures are beautiful and the new skyscrapers are neat, but to me they seem to clash due to having nothing in common. Some of the other students have told me they enjoy the view, but to me it just is an unusual sight.
Today we are heading out of the city. Although many of us our exhausted from the past few days of intense sight seeing, we are still very excited to see Stonehenge, Stourhead, and Salisbury. Stonehenge is such a legendary area, and I am very excited to see the ancient ruins. Stourhead looks beautiful in pictures, so I am sure it will look fantastic in early spring. I am really looking forward to seeing the Salisbury Cathedral. After seeing St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday I am really excited to see another magnificence religious structure
Stourhead was magnificent! The views were incredible. The built landscape truly creates a warm feeling inside. I could have staid there all day staring at the beautiful scenery.
Salisbury was pretty amazing. We had a very old and funny tour guy. He shared many interesting stories and facts with our group. It was a little frightening climbing up the series of old wood and stone steps. A bit of a workout too! The historical town surrounding the cathedral was pleasant on the eyes too.
Our first day waking up in London could not have started off better. The breakfast was excellent. The bacon here is unbelievable.
As you can see from this picture the bacon is not like the thin crunchy stuff we are used to in the United States. This bacon is thick. It is almost like eating ham, but a lot more unhealthy. It is delicious and I am looking forward to eating more, as the trip continues.
Another difference I noticed shortly after we arrived in England is restrooms. They are not restrooms here. They are toilets. Do not ask “Where is the restroom?” The Brits just look at you funny and think you are looking for a place to rest! Instead I have learned you need to ask for the toilets. I also noticed the toilets flush differently here. Instead of the water spiraling down the bottom, the water just pours in from the back. It was a little freaky the first time!
Everyone is really tired and really excited as we wait for our plane ride from the Capitol of Ohio to the Capitol of The United States, where we will get on board the plane that will take us across the Atlantic to the Capitol of England! Everyone is talking about the places they want to see while we are abroad. Some people are talking about how they are nervous about flying for their first time. Others students are excited about the Starbucks coffee! They just started to make announcements over the loud speaker. It will not be long till our anticipations for our trip will become reality! See you Ohio . . . Next stop D.C.