Wales and Stonehenge and Cotswolds, Oh My!

Coming to London has been a great decision, and I’ve loved every moment here exploring the seemingly endless city. The bustling city life I’m surrounded by is not, however, the norm for England (or the United Kingdom) as a whole. Thankfully our social program thought ahead and planned weekend trips to some smaller towns and sights. Taking us by bus around England and the UK as a whole. We visited a handful of romantic little villages that were so sickly cute I felt like I had accidently joined the cast of “The Holiday” or “Notting Hill”, and now I have the sudden urge to invest in cats. It’s never too early to become a ‘cat lady’. Our trip to Wales took us to Tintern Abbey, an old castle, and then deep into a mineshaft that tested some people’s fears. They piled 18-20 of us into an elevator with a sliding grate instead of a door. If we weren’t already friends, this elevator ride squished on top of one another would have done the job. We spent the next hour or so crouched over walking through the dark mineshaft and accidently blinding each other with our headlamps before heading back to London, passing rolling green hills overrun by sheep. The next trip bused us to Stonehenge, which was supposedly built by men 4-5,000 years ago. We were told they sent giant rocks over the water and then somehow lifted them 7 feet to place them on top of the supporting stones, but the theory of alien intervention seems equally as likely. Driving to the Cotswolds we once again passed seemingly endless landscapes of pastures, hills, and sheep. When we arrived we were met with the most picturesque town. The combination of gardens, a slow-moving stream in the center, cobblestone pathways, and teashops created a charming vibe straight out of a Hollywood romantic-comedy or Jane Austin novel. As differing as these trips were, I had an amazing time on each of them, and learned two major things during our travels; I can’t ride on a coach bus without immediately falling asleep, and the UK has a lot of sheep.