Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Goodbye London, Goodbye United Kingdom

     On May 26, 2013, I arrived in London and met up with my friend Barry.  The following day was my last full day and I definitely had a few ideas of what I wanted to do.  A few people had suggested that I should see Camden and so we went.  Camden is where Amy Winehouse is from.  It was a very punk indie atmosphere.  Definitely a cool area to explore with lots of different markets and foods from all around the world.

View of London from Primrose Hill.

     Highlight of the day and of my life in general was going to Abbey Road.  I was able to cross the exact same cross walk that The Beatles crossed!  It was so cool!  I also saw the outside of Abbey Road Studios where they once recorded music.  I was so excited to do this.  I went to Liverpool and now Abbey Road.  All my Beatles dreams complete!

Baker Street where some Sherlock Holmes takes place.

     While in the United Kingdom, I had to go to one more football stadium!  I went to see Emirates Stadium where Arsenal play.  I must admit, beautiful modern stadium.  One of the reasons I came to the UK was definitely for the football and all of my wildest dreams have come true.  I was there when Manchester United beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford to win the Premier League right before Fergie retired.  I have visited the stadiums of Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, Newcastle FC, Millennium Stadium and Arsenal FC.  I even saw Wembley from the sky.  WOW!

     I can't put into words how much I loved the United Kingdom and Ireland.  It is really hard for me to say goodbye to this place.  All the countries are beautiful and have their own unique little charm.  I have seen scenery that took my breath away.  I have been able to see some of the places of history that have fascinated me all of my life.  Most importantly, I have met some of the greatest people and my time with them, the memories will always stay with me.  I'd like to thank all of the new friends I have made for all that you have done for me!  Many of you have been such great tour guides, advisors, have helped me book flights and other transportation and have helped me to figure everything else out in this country.  I thank you with all my heart!

Random thought of the UK:
Public transportation here is amazing.  Hardly anyone drives because the transportation is so sufficient.  Also, all of the cities here have a city center so it is really reasonable to plan a day where you need to do some shopping and just walk there because it is all in one place.

Goodbye for now UK, I will definitely be seeing you again!   

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” 
-Dr. Seuss

Marwell Zoo/Old Sarum/Oxford

     On May 23, 2013, I joined my friend Susanna and her mother Mickey on a school field trip to Marwell Wildlife.  Mickey is a teacher and Susanna is a Chemistry technician.  I was on a bus with 40 eleven year old British kids just thrilled to get a day out of the classroom.  This zoo was a lot different than the ones I am used to back in the United States.  There weren't as many animals, but there was a lot more space for the animals they had to roam.  I prefer this kind of zoo because the animals don't look as miserable, they have space to wander around as if they were in the wild.  Very nice day walking around spending time with my friend and seeing all the creatures.

     On May 25, 2013, it was an absolutely beautiful sunny day in Salisbury, England.  There also happened to be a Viking event going on at Old Sarum which is about a 15 minute walk from Susanna's house.  Old Sarum has evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC and contains remains of a castle built around 1075 AD.  The people putting on the event were staying there in period time tents and tried to make everything as realistic as possible.  It was great to walk around, see some history and enjoy the sunshine!

 English Style (Gate)

     Later that day, I took a train to Oxford because I was advised that it was a beautiful city and the university was worth seeing.  I got in a bit too late to see anything the first evening, but went to a BBQ with Rick, a friend and met a lot of great people from all over the world.  One guy I met named Diego offered to show me around the colleges in the morning for free because he works for them.  It was another sunny day and so we walked around and went through a very beautiful park.  Diego needed to go back to work and I went to the Pitts River Museum.  This is a great museum that had a bunch of artifacts from all over the world.  The most famous display is the shrunken heads. 

 Punting on the river.

 Shrunken heads

Covered market.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”-John Lennon