Craaaazy weekend trip

These day trips we've been taking are required for our classes, so we've already paid for them. But, there is one weekend trip that everyone goes on together. This was Oct 15-17.

This is from Windsor. I had never seen so many birds in my life. It was crazy. Those swans were HUGE! Windsor was really pretty and had some interesting places. We stopped by Windsor castle, but didn't go inside. Everything thought we were going to, so it was kind of weird. But I was okay not going because I found a gift stop during our free time (in which I also had some fish and chips) and bought a few christmas gifts. I'm hoping to be pretty much done by the time I head home, because I'll only have 2 weeks to get things if I wait. FYI everyone, gifts will be unique from awesome places so don't expect DVDs...because I'm most likely giving you a finger puppet from Zimbabwe. I'm not actually going there...just using it as an example.

After Windsor, we went to Stonehenge. It was cool to see it because now I can say I've been there, but overall it was pretty boring. You can see the stones from this highway that runs right next to it. And now it's all roped off so you can't even go inside and look at them. There an audio tour, but our guide said it wasn't very good because they would talk about something and then end it with, "but that remains a mystery" meaning they don't know anything about it. But it was a good place to get a picture for the Study Abroad office back home.

So then, after that day we went back to the hotel and did whatever we wanted. There was a store across the street and that was seriously it. So we had to get food from there. The next day we went to

BATH! This was a top favourite place we went to that weekend. The city of Bath is crazy beautiful and there's so much to do. We spend the whole day there. This is from the Roman Bath's...this is the main one. The thing around my next that looks like an old school cell phone is the audio tour, which was really nice, but sometimes got a little dry. It was still really neat to see it all. Then of course we ate some food and went shopping. I got an owl pillow which is so cute...and Harry Potter glasses because the next day we went to...

Lacock and Oxford! This day was Harry Potter filled. This is outside of Harry's parent's house. We also saw Slughorn's house, McGonagall's class room, the hospital wing, and the scene where Malfoy gets turned into a ferret. So much Harry Potter. I have lots of pictures, but I can show them all later.

This was just a quick update so I'm not too behind. Last weekend I went to Paris, so I will be updating soon with that. Currently I am in the Netherlands. It's weird because I've never been somewhere where I didn't know any part of the language. I don't even know how to say hello or thank you. So it's strange, but luckily everyone speaks it around here. Dutch just sounds fake anyway. I feel like they're not even saying real words. So yeah! Check back tomorrow maybe for my update about Paris. :]


I'm on a roll!

3 blog posts in one day?!?! It must feel like Christmas to all of you. :D

So, after Calais, I had another week of classes...only I was sick! I think I must've just gotten some sort of cold from being out in the rain all day. I had a really bad cough and my nose was stuffed. I got some Halls for my throat so I wouldn't cough as much. They kind of helped, but I still had a really hard time going to sleep at night because I could not stop coughing. It was a dry cough too, so it just hurt. I went out and bought some Vitamin C on Tuesday (they are chewable and taste like orange!) and have been eating them non-stop. I didn't go out at all and just tried to sleep as much as I could even if I was booking ALL of my trips during every weekend. Currently I have one last weekend that is free, but could be filled up very quickly once I hear back from a friend to see if they want to go with me. I'm trying to squeeze in day trips right now because I just don't have room! haha

It's (technically) Sunday right now, and I feel a lot better. I sometimes cough, but it's just once. At first I didn't think I was ever going to get better! This weekend is the longer fieldtrip that was planned for us. We're going to Windsor, Oxford, Bath, and Stonehenge. I'm excited to finally see these things I've been learning about in art history for the past year. It will be weird to take a class at ISU on art and know that I've already see a lot of the things they are talking about.

This past friday, we had our first away day trip. We went to Dover which is about 30 minutes away. This is part of the Dover Castle. It was VERY foggy that morning, so some of my pictures are kind of crappy, but it did get better by the end of the day. This kind of looks like Hogwarts, so I like it even if it is foggy. We had a tour of the Secret Wartime Tunnels there and then we were free to roam around. Pictures were not allowed in the tunnels, so I don't have any, but it was still really cool. I guess everyone knew about them when they were used, but they were called a secret because people didn't know what was going on in them.

This is the main part of Dover castle. There's different buildings all over so it kind of reminded me of a campus where the buildings were buildings for classes. It is also found on a GIANT hill that you had to go up. But annnyway.

We went up to the very top of this (by STAIRS) and looked out to everywhere. It was really pretty to see the town of Dover below us. It was still kind of foggy, but very nice still.

Dover is a nice little town to visit, plus it's close to where I live.

I did take a TON of pictures of rooms on the inside of the castle (kitchens and bedrooms and such), this was the best part! These are the White Cliffs of Dover. They are on the shoreline of the English Channel and are made of chalk which is very strange. I kind of wish I had gotten a piece that fell off on the trail there, but I guess it'll have to be okay! It was a VERY steep trail up, but it was beautiful once we got up there.

Just as a comparison, that's Dover Castle...a.k.a. where we had just walked from. We had to walk down into the town and then walk back UP to the Castle. At one point in time, it got really sunny and hot. I bought and drank 4 bottles of water within 3 hours. blah.

I hope you all caught what I was doing there with the all cap words. By the end of the day, it felt like I had climbed Mount Everest. Seriously...all that uphill and stairs made my calves want to not be part of my body. Even now, they are very sore. Walking around doesn't hurt, but the second I'm going on stairs it's slightly painful. Hopefully it won't last too long. And now I leave you with this last picture from the White Cliffs. It's the Cliff, the port, and the English Channel.

Over the boarder!

So, after the London trip, my birthday came up. I invited everyone in the house out to a bar (Jolly Sailor) and we all hung out there. It was fun to be with new people, but I was also really sad when my friends would e-mail me birthday wishes because I won't be seeing them for so long. I still had a great time though.

I finally got my class schedule all figured out because I had been having problems with it and it was getting very annoying. I have class from 9-1 and 3-5 on Tuesday and Wednesday. I only have one class from 3-5 on Monday, but I don't really count it since it's one class. I normally just say I have class Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It's weird only having classes for part of the week. I'm not complaining though. I'll only have Monday-Thursday classes when I get back to ISU in the Spring, so that's good.

So, on October 1st, me and 4 of my friends went to Calais for the day. The way you get there is to take a bus to Dover, and then a ferry (takes about an hour and a half) into France. This is the English Channel! We actually picked the worst day to go because it was rainy and gross ALL DAY as you can see in the picture. We were thinking of going to Paris for the weekend, but we waited a little too long to plan it and we ended up planning this trip the day before. It still wasn't much though because the bus was 5 roundtrip and the ferry was 12 roundtrip.

This is Calais! There isn't really much to do here except eat and go shopping in a couple places. They do have an awesome lighthouse, but it's only open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays for the rest of the year...and since we went on a friday, we couldn't go up. They say that if it's a clear day, and you go up the 271 steps to the top, you can see Dover 26 miles away. I love nautical things, so this was really nice to go see, even if I didn't go inside.

This is Notre Dame Church...not to be confused with the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. We were hoping to go inside (to look around, and to also get out of the rain), but we couldn't find a way in. There really wasn't that much to see in Calais, but it was still fun to practice my french with the locals and buy pastries. I got a beignet to eat there, and a chocolate eclair for later. I ended up eating the eclair for breakfast the next morning, which was one of the best decisions I've made since coming here! So good. :]

Overall the trip was okay, but I'm still looking forward to going back to France in October where I'll be in Paris this time.

I'm pretty terrible at keeping this thing up-to-date

It's been a couple of weeks since I updated this. >.< Hopefully I'll be better about it from now on because I haven't even started taking my large trips. I figured I wouldn't say where I'm going just yet on here and instead would just say where I was when I got there! Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

So! Let's get started.

This is the outside of Buckingham Palace. We went there on the 25th for a small day trip. It was only 15 quid for a roundtrip, so that was awesome. We spent a lot of time just sitting around because everything to see in London is all pretty close together so we walked around a lot that day, but I wasn't even tired at the end of the day.

This is an epic picture of Big Ben. I took a lot of other ones, but I love how pretty it looks with the sun. :] It is the tallest four-faced chiming clock in the world! Looking at parliament next to it made me think of Harry Potter. In the 5th movie, the Order escorts Harry to the house and they fly right in front of it. I wish you could go in Big Ben...kind of like the statue of Liberty, but I understand why you couldn't. People would probably go deaf in there.

This is found in Hyde park which is over 350 acres! We didn't around all of it, but we did walk around a lot. It was a nice place to sit and relax. There were flowers everywhere and there was this really pretty water fountain that we sat by. We found a tree that looked like it started growing in the right direction, but then all the branches grew towards the ground. It made a dome that you could stand it.

So that was London in a very small nutshell. :]