“There are no strangers here, only friends you have not met yet.” Yeats
Wow! Thanks to the amazing feedback I got on my last post, welcome to the second half of my London trip! I will be revealing my favorite place we visited, as well as a few funny tales that still make me smile, so I hope you enjoy!
During the second part of the trip I fell in love with one particular city: Oxford. Yes, Oxford, one of the most prestigious universities on the planet and, coincidentally, a location where parts of Harry Potter were filmed. It was an admittedly bone-chilling day, but as a self-proclaimed pluviophile the rain did not bother me (until I was drenched to the bone, that is) and if anything, it made me fall head-over-heels in love with the university and the town surrounding it. I cannot fully explain how much I love this town: it’s a feeling you get when you find “home” in another place. Being a total bookworm and academic at heart, being around so much history and eating at The Eagle and the Child (aka Tolkein and C.S. Lewis’ hangout) made my heart incredibly happy. But sappiness aside, let me tell you about the falafels. THESE. FALAFELS. The rest of Hogwarts and I had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant and oh, man. The falafels, I swear, they were handmade by God Him/Herself and put on my plate while angels sung their praises they were that good. Low-key I still dream of them sometimes.
Another place we got to visit was Bath, which ended up being a really awesome experience that I would not have considered outside of this course. The site of the Roman Baths, renowned for their healing powers and closeness to the goddess Minerva, I not only got to marvel at the lead-poisoned naturally warm green water, but drink the (not poisoned) water itself! Spoiler alert: due to the high percentage of copper and iron it definitely tasted like blood. But now I’m immortal, right?
The Tower of London itself was beautiful in the way that distracted you from the gruesome deaths that occurred within its walls, but that wasn’t my favorite part. Some friends and I opted to go on a tour while there, and not going to lie, it was probably one of the best decisions I made on the trip. The guide was hilariously captivating, and told some of the best American-bashing jokes I have ever heard. To prove my point, he had us all yell “Huzzah” when he yelled “British Empire” to get our attention. After the first round of “Huzzah!” he stopped the crowd, and simply said: “Not you, Americans. You made your choice. Now, when I say America, you say ‘YeeHaw!'” My friends and I were doubled over in laughter for most of the tour, and I would highly recommend it to anyone planning to visit The Tower!
I will leave you with two final tidbits: if you have the chance, please for the love of all things holy get food at Borough Market. Nicole and I lucked out with not only the best coffee I have ever had, but also fresh-made pasta and it was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. You can see some adorable chocolates I snapped a photo of at the market above! Secondly, if you’re ever wandering around Oxford Street at night, you may stumble upon the UK premiere of The Revenant. Totally breathed the same air as Leo DiCaprio…just saying.
That’s the end of my London review! I’ll see you soon for some horse show updates, because I’m off to HITS Thermal this weekend!