This past May I went with my college on a Literary Tour of England. I loved it! The people were amazing and the culture was fantastic. What a great time I had!
Here are the 6 great things about my time in England:
- York: York was fantastic. The great North was also my classes first of 6 locations, but it was by far my favorite. The crisp cool air was refreshing. The people were so helpful. Our second day there, we went on a Literary (walking) Tour of York. The tour-guide was hilarious, joking with all 15 of us about the literary greats, like Lord Byron. The City Walls were also a great attraction for me – – and I am afraid of heights! – – but somehow I ended up walking almost the whole thing. From the train station to the World Wars monument and then I walked behind Yorkminster Abbey. Yorkminster Abbey was a sight to be seen. It was by far my favorite Abbey. Yes, I saw Whitby Abbey, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, but still Yorkminster took my breath away. I truly felt God’s presence there. York was my favorite stop in the entire trip.
- The Theatre: Coming in second without a doubt are my theater experiences. While the class was in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, we saw two phenomenal plays. At the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, we had the pleasure of seeing Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare. I have to be honest reading the play was very boring, except for Falstaff, of course. Seeing it live was another story. It was an energized show. I found that the war strategy scenes more fascinating than Falstaff. At the Swan Theatre, we saw Roaring Girl by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker (written 1607-1610). It was a very edgy performance with modern touches. Altogether, it was a brilliant show. Myself and two other of my classmates went to see Once, the musical, in London’s West End Phoenix Theatre. I had known nothing of Once until the first strings of the violin played. It left me speechless. Now, I must see the movie. During my last day in England our class went to the Globe Theatre and saw the bloodiest production of Titus Andronicus yet to be produced. In fact, one groundling (someone standing around the stage rather than sitting in the seats) fainted during the performance. A classmate of mine, too, felt queazy and had to sit down. The only way to see a show in the Globe is by being a groundling. I recommend it to anyone who is going to London. Even if you didn’t like your high school english classes, it will be worth it.
- Dr. Clark: This trip would not have been possible without the amazing Dr. Rachel Clark. She organized the course, scheduled all of our tours, events, and transportation, and dealt with 14 20-something, English/Writing majors. My hat is off to her. More importantly, she is a wonderful person and dealt with every missed train and bus gracefully. I am so glad I was able to spend my evenings talking with her about everything from grad. school to romance novels to board games. I cannot express how awful (in its original definition: full of awe) I feel to her and her contribution to this trip.
- My Classmates: I cannot mention Dr. Clark without my classmates. We are so lucky, none of us hated each other. We got along amazingly. I couldn’t have had the experience I did without them.
- High Tea at Westminster Abbey: Yes, yes, I said it and I did it. Our class was able to have high tea at Westminster Abbey. The same Abbey where Queen Elizabeth I is buried, William and Kate got married, and England’s monarchy has their coronations. High Tea was a blast and I felt very posh while sipping my tea.
- Trains: Last but not least, I enjoyed traveling by train. I know it’s small and may seem like nothing to you, but I enjoyed it. Pulling out my tablet to read or write, the train lulled my mind away. It was peaceful. There was no stress about rush hour (once I obtained a seat) as there normally would be on my commute home here in the USA. It was quite freeing.
So there you have it, a quick glimpse of my time in England.
I will see you Sunday for “Summary Sunday”