A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

Oxford and Stratford

Day Trip

all seasons in one day

Last Friday we all got on a bus and headed towards Oxford. The City gives off a completely different vibe then most college towns, which partly could be from school being out for break right now. However this city is gorgeous, the school is completely incorporated with in the city. Oxford is broken up into a bunch of different colleges and these colleges are responsible for all classes for their individual students. Probably one of the best known colleges is Christ Church. It is here where the stares from the first Harry Potter movie, right before Harry gets sorted is filmed. It is also the Inspiration for the Great Hall for the movies as well.
Christ Church College Courtyard
The Bodleian Library
The Great Hall
After Lunch at one of the local markets in Oxford we got back on the bus and made our way to Stratford Upon Avon, the home of Shakespeare. Our first stop was Anne Hathaway's cottage (Shakespeare's wife). THe cottage was tiny but the gardens were amazing.
We headed into the middle of town and saw Shakespeare's birth place and all of the statues that commemorated his life in Stratford.

Posted by KelsC 08:55 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

The week of July 5th

sunny 28 °C

So our teachers decided to take it easy on us after our weekend in Paris, so we had somewhat of a reduced week. Monday we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was very cool. It had all sorts of exhibits, jewelry, costumes, music, theatre. costume.jpg
After exploring the V and A we had class and then a free night. We had another crazy Tuesday this week. We left for class at 8:40am and didn't get back to the apartment until 11pm. We had class, a field trip, and a play. Our field trip was to Banqueting House, which was built in 1600s. It was the only part of Whitehall to survive a fire.
The hall is still used today for important functions. We then headed over to the National Portrait Gallery, which is home to some great paintings and some not so hot ones. It was fun to see some of the more modern ones, but they also had an interesting section on the Tudors. The play for the night was War Horse, about a young farm boy and his horse, who gets sent off to war. It was a fabulous production and it made most of the audience members cry their eyes out by the end. It has been one of my favorite plays we have seen so far. Wednesday we went to Enron, which was a musical version of the scandal, a very interesting play. Thursday our teachers were amazing people and canceled class in the morning. That night we had a play, Nevermore, which was about the depressing life of Edgar Allen Poe. It was also a musical and we are now constantly singing the tune.
Friday we took the train out to Windsor and walked through the castle. It looks exactlly like a castle should look like. Unfortunately the queen was not in so no sightings of her.
The city of Windsor itself, is very cute. Lots of little shops and restaurants. THere was an amazing fudge shop which we could not resist. Right next to Windsor is Eaton College, which is one of the most prestigious high schools in England. It is where Princes Harry and William went. The campus itself, like the rest of the country, is gorgeous. Large churches and gardens take up most of the campus.
We got back to the city and headed over to Somerset House, to run through the fountains, because it has be ridiculously hot here. Unfortunately the fountains are closed until the 20th for the concert series they have there. So we will be making a trip back.
Saturday we went to Primark, which is a scary place. Its a mix between WalMart and Target but with ten thousand more people. It was an interesting experience to say the least. After we went to Portobello Road and shopped through the thousands of vendors. Today we went on a picnic in Kensington Gardens. We hit up the little bakery right down the street for sandwiches and the fruit vendor as well. We enjoyed the sun and read As You Like It out loud to each other. Overall a great weekend. This week is a full one, we have tree plays and two tests so Lots to do! I cannot believe we are more then half way done with the program. We are going to jam pack everything we have yet to do in these last couple weeks!

Posted by KelsC 09:48 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Mon weekend dans la ville de lumières

or something like that

all seasons in one day

Friday morning my alarm went off at 5am, the sun was already up and shinning, even though I might not have been. After packing my last minute items, we were out the door and too the tube station. We arrived at Kings Cross Station, no I did not get a chance to see platform 9 3/4, but that is on the todo list. We checked into the Eurostar and got settled in for our ride to Paris.
This is the view from my window seat of the country side. It was a very pretty trip over, the Chunnel was very anticlimactic, but I don't really know what I was expecting. When we arrived in Paris we took the Metro (a lamer version of the Tube, though effective) to our Hotel, which was a magnificent sight, I have never been more excited to stay at a Holiday Inn Express in my Life. The beds where amazingly comfortable and featured two pillows! After a brief break to get settled in we headed back to the Metro and to the Notre Dame.
The Church was amazing, between the flying buttresses and the five bells (who all have names) it is a complete work of art. We walked through the inside of the church while a service was going on and admired the paintings and statues. To cool down from the extremely hot weather we grabed some ice cream from a candy shop down the street and then did some browsing through the little stores around the area. One of the places we wondered into was Shakespeare and Company. It is and old bookstore that authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and James Joyce use to hang around. After the shopping we headed for dinner in the Latin Quarter, which is a small area of a bunch of streets jam packed with restaurants. One of the strangest parts of eating in Paris is that the waiter of the restaurants come out onto the streets and almost solicit you to come and eat at their establishment.
After picking a place to eat, we ordered fondue and a three corse meal! One of the features was the escargot, which tastes pretty much like clams. Very tasty! After dinner we headed back to the hotel and slept in the glorious beds in preparation for our extremely busy Saturday!
We woke up and enjoyed our continental breakfast of croissants and yogurt and then headed to the Louvre. We spent four hours there and barely scratched the surface. We saw all the main highlights, like the Mona Lisa and Aphrodite but you could have easily spent days in the museum.
Our next stop was the Arch De triumph. We had lunch and shopped around the area, which featured stores like Loius Vuitton and Cartier. Both of these stores had lines of people wrapped around the building waiting to get in.
We then made it over to the Eiffel Tower, but just passed by it in order to get to our boat tour. The boat took us up and down the River Seine, pointing out the highlighted areas of Paris. It was a great way to see all of the buildings in a quick amount of time. And since we had such limited time in Paris, it worked perfectly.
After the boat tour, we made our way back to the Eiffel Tower. Our tour guide, somehow finagled a way for us to cut the line to the elevator up to the top of the tower. The view from the top is amazing. You can see every single part of Paris.


It was starting to slightly rain at the top of the tower, but we walked around for a while and got the view from all angles. We made our way to dinner and then for dessert we stopped at a Crepe cart. I had a delicious Banana, Nutella, Strawberry crepe and watched the light show on the Eiffel Tower, which i have to say is so much more impressive at night.

On Sunday we had a slightly more relaxed day. We went to the Musee d'Orsay, which is home to a number of Monet and Van Gogh paintings. While much smaller than the Louvre, I really enjoyed this museum. We then went to Montmartre, which is the home of the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. It is also where artists and musicians share their work.
We wandered around the booths and admired some good art and some really bad art. We walked through the church and saw the view from its steps, which looks out on all of Paris. It was a great way to end the weekend and we headed back to London on the Eurostar later that night. Though Paris was a gorgeous city, I have to say I am glad to be back in London!

Posted by KelsC 08:16 Archived in France Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

This Weekend

Paris and such

sunny 26 °C

So, In about five hours I am expected to be standing outside the tube station down the road getting ready to depart for Paris! I am not bringing my computer, so it is going to be a few days before I return here. I am there until late on Sunday, which shortly after I will let you all know just how wonderful the City of Lights is!

Posted by KelsC 16:45 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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