Obviously from the title of this post you can tell this last week was just slightly busy. Also the “study” part of my time abroad is starting to actually pick up with approaching deadlines, but that doesn’t mean I can’t balance a couple of trips throughout the week (: (Disclaimer: This one is long again but in my opinion the pictures are pretty neat at least).
Last Friday I spent exploring my village of Cottingham some more and then Saturday I had my first Dive session at the pool. Even though we were doing all types of scenarios where they cut off our air supply I really loved it and can’t wait for my open water dives later this semester! Sunday I went to the BBC orchestra at the town hall in Hull and it was.. interesting. Turns out it was a “modern orchestra” which meant it included a 30 minute pianist solo of a guy just holding down random keys, a movie that put the whole crowd to sleep, and a girl making possible whale noises into the microphone… The 60 year old guy crying from laughing in front of me didn’t help my cause of trying to keep myself together and somewhat classy throughout it either.
Monday I left for Manchester, which is the 3rd largest city in England. My other friends had a day trip here on Saturday, but with dive I couldn’t make it so it was just 3 of us compared to our usual large mass of 10+. My friend Kate and I don’t have class until late Tuesday so we stayed the night at the most lavish 35 pound a night hotel I’ve ever seen. Apparently it is usually 150 pounds or more so tip: use booking.com if you ever want a nice hotel for cheap opposed to using a b&b or homestay. While in Manchester we wandered around (in the rain unfortunately) to the hipster Northern Quarter, Piccadilly Gardens (which is currently more like a mud pit due to construction), China Town, Manchester Art Gallery, a more historic district with the most amazing library, and then to the retail district. The John Rylands library was so beautiful and even though none of Harry Potter was filmed here, I really felt like I was in Hogwarts. What was most impressive though was their historic collection of books, including the oldest piece of New Testament text dating back to 90-175. In the retail district we kept roaming into these gorgeous buildings and then inside it would just be these gigantic food courts. Everything here was so elaborate, even for things as simple as offices or casual shops. This was the first time I stayed in another city for more than just the day so seeing the city light up at night made it even more appealing.
Wednesday after class I went with my university on a short day trip to Beverly, a town that is actually only 15 minutes away (everything is so close!). The town has a beautiful Minster that Kit Harington from Game of Thrones was filming in so we couldn’t see inside, despite our efforts to persuade the security outside for a peek at the actor.. I mean church. In Beverly there were also plenty of cute shops and delicious bakeries, another stunning church, and a wildlife photography collection on display (which is way more up my alley regarding all this city of culture stuff). A “short walk” away was a sight called the Black Mill which I’m still confused what it really was other than a black tower. But we accidentally took the long way there through rolling, green hills that made me feel like I was in the middle of a One Direction music video..(no shame). Despite the wind from Storm Doris rolling in the sunset was more amazing than any picture could capture, making the trek to this strange tower thing definitely worth it.
I won’t bore you with my more routine Thursday and Friday (which yes, once again included getting lost on a run but this time somehow in the middle of muddy farms? Idk). So anyways, Saturday was The Lake District! After a lengthy bus ride along hilly English countryside filled with plenty of sheep, goats, and cows we finally arrived and damn Doris had to put a slight damper on the day with her wind and rain again. Regardless it was still so beautiful! No doubt I have loved seeing all of these beautiful cities/towns and learning about their history but it was very nice to have a sort of escape into nature. We took a cruise from Windermere to the “town” of Lakeside which was literally only an aquarium and hotel, but we made the best of it and headed out to walk along the narrow street in hopes to have a little bit of an adventure. We luckily found a small path off to the side of the road away from town that led us on a very wet, fern covered, rocky hike. The feeling of making it to the top and the view you are rewarded with is so fulfilling to me and I would have loved to keep exploring but we were forced to cut our hike short to make it back for the last boat. When we got back to Windermere we were greeted by masses of swans, which are not nice by the way, and then checked out the shops around. There was an overwhelming amount of chocolate bars, ice cream shops, and bakeries that makes this place very tempting to retire to one day when I just don’t care anymore. Windermere was also the residence of Beatrix Potter (author of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, etc.) and any place that can inspire the writings of some of the most iconic characters in English literature is convincing enough for me.
I’ve been doing a lot of planning recently for some bigger trips for the upcoming months and can’t wait to keep discovering so many beautiful parts of the world & sharing glimpses of them with you all!
(Ps. Why is writing 1000 words for this so easy but my 1500 word essay is such a struggle rn?)