Epilogue Part 1: More England (Wells)

It’s taken me quite a bit of time, but after feeling settled back into my routine and stuff, I’m finally getting around to making a post for each of the places I traveled once the program with ASE finished.

My boyfriend, Henry, arrived on the day that we had to move out of our houses and we went to our airbnb in Bristol. I’ve been to Bristol a couple times, but never to the part we were staying in, which didn’t seem to be the best neighborhood. We also never actually met our airbnb hosts, which was a little odd, but our room worked out fine.

The next day, which was the last full day I had in England, we went back to Bath in the morning to go on a tour with an ASE staff member who also is one of the Mayor’s Tour Guides. I learned a lot about Bath that I didn’t already know, and went over a couple of things that I did, but overall, it was fun, and I was glad to get the opportunity to have one last little ASE connection before leaving. After lunch in Bath, we took a bus to Wells, called the smallest town in England. Henry wanted to go to Wells because it was used as the primary filming location for the movie¬†Hot Fuzz. It did seem pretty small, but it was very cute, and we had started watching the movie the night before, and finished it that night, so it was cool to be able to recognize places and say we’d been there. The main attraction in Wells, similar to many English towns, is the cathedral (see photo below). What is currently standing was started around 1180, so it’s all very old, and you could kind of see the places where they haven’t been able to clean and such. They also had a map of when different part of the cathedral were built, which was cool.¬†IMG_7236.jpg

We began our journey to the airport the next day, which turned out to be more difficult than initially thought. I had bought us both train tickets from the station in Bristol to Gatwick Airport, where we were flying out of, and there were a few connections along the way. When we got to the station in Bristol, the train we were supposed to take had been delayed, but there was another that went to the place we were going that left about 3 minutes later, so we got on that one. On that train, we stopped on the tracks and sat there for a good few minutes, all the while Henry and I were watching the time to make our connecting train tick down, and by the time we arrived at the station, we had the pleasure of watching the train we were supposed to take pull away from the station, with no evident trains going where we were going for the next few hours (we got on a train that left 4 hours before our flight, supposed to get to the airport 2 hours before our flight).

At this point, I started getting really stressed and anxious because I didn’t want to have wasted money on our flight and we had no where to stay and now no certain way to get to the airport. This started a frantic search of looking at various other options of trains, buses, and ubers to try and get us to the airport. About half an hour later, we were able to get on a train that stopped where we were supposed to have our next connection and while on that train, I was able to figure out a different series of connections that would get us to the airport before our flight. This was one of the multiple times that I was very thankful to have Henry with me because I have a bit of a tendency to get very stressed when things don’t go according to plan, but he is very present and brings things into perspective for me, which is incredibly helpful. After a series of trains, we finally made it to the airport, and because of how a lot of UK airports run, our gate wasn’t even up (they usually put it up when they want you to start boarding, so 20-40 minutes before the flight) and we were able to get dinner before our flight. This began a series of unlucky incidents when we were traveling, but regardless, we were on our way to Venice.

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The Final Study Trip

I’ve officially finished finals and everything now, so I’m getting around to writing all of the other things I’ve been meaning to write.

A week ago, my UK Media class took a trip to London to do two things: go on a walking tour of the places in London where Harry Potter was filmed, and visit the offices of The Telegraph, a newspaper. After a four-hour bus ride that was delayed because some royals were going somewhere so traffic stopped, we met up with our tour guide, Liam, at the Royal Exchange. As it turned out, the tour was not just of Harry Potter stuff, it was more about writers and stories that were inspired or influenced by places in London, including two ghost stories and part of the origin of Dracula (look up Countess Elizabeth Bathory if you want a pretty gruesome story). I really enjoyed it though, it gave a good idea of what London is like, as well as introducing various spots that have been culturally relevant. Our tour guide was also great, really friendly and engaging, and I think he was impressed by our knowledge of Harry Potter.

The tour of The Telegraph was also really cool. Our tour guide was a 70-year old man named George who had been working there since he was 27 and is technically retired, but still comes to work every day. I didn’t know much about what it takes to run a newspaper, but he explained it all pretty well, plus it was pretty cool to see everyone’s desks all laid out, it was an open floor plan. One of their people in the obituary department used to be an ASE tutor who taught this class, so we got to talk to her for a while, which was interesting.

Overall, it was a cool trip, although it was four hours on a bus each way, which was a little long. Today we have final tea and I have one last performance with Bath Phil, and then tomorrow the program is officially finished and we have to move out, which is crazy. But I’ll get to see my boyfriend and begin our travels, which I’m very excited about.

Spring Break So Far

Well London was the first day, and I already talked about that. This is going to be a pretty short post, as most of my past three days has consisted of watching movies and getting things that I want to done, like looking through grad schools and deciding what to keep and take off my list. We also made cookies last night, which turned out pretty good, but didn’t flatten like cookies normally do, instead they were a bit more biscuit-like, but still yummy. I’m actually pretty grateful to have the time to relax and things, especially since once we get back, there’s not that much time until we start having our second set of papers and I have rehearsals for my drama class and things just get a bit more amped up. We’re currently headed to Glasgow and will be there until Thursday night, so I will have some more adventourous posts then.