Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
I absolutely adore Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and its words are rather fitting for this trip as I ventured to new places.

While London is an absolutely wonderful place, it does not have punting, inflatable spices, a Roman bath, or a henge of stones.

So in other words, recently I left London behind to visit Oxford, Kew Gardens, Bath, and Stonehenge. Going to most of these places involved traveling through the English countryside for just a few hours, often passing absolutely ADORABLE cottage-like houses.

Oxford varied dramatically from Purdue in terms of architecture. Its castle-like appearance really drove home exactly how old the school is. (A castle from the 1000s?! American universities don’t exactly have THAT.) We explored the campus and then tried punting (a rather impractical way to steer a boat in my opinion). Basically, punting involves using a giant steel pole to push the boat…except the boat doesn’t exactly go in a straight line. Even though we didn’t get too far down the Thames River, it was still a hilariously enjoyable experience.

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Kew was stunning. Originally a summer home for King George III, Kew is now a garden filled with different activities and places for people to learn about the king’s life. My Com class took a field trip to Kew in order to analyze the royal family’s impact on British culture. Kew had a lot of fascinating buildings like an alpine greenhouse, which grew plants that would normally be found only in lower temperature climates. It also had giant inflatable spices that blew the smell of the spice out of little zipper pouches. The jalapeno wasn’t too potent, but the ginger one practically blasted your face with spice.
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The only downside to Kew was that it was far too big to see and do everything inside of the small time window we had. Everyone wanted to stay longer, but we ended up booking tickets to a Shakespeare show at the Globe that night (side note: the performance was epic). They had a treetop walkway that sounds incredible! I’ll definitely have to return to Kew sometime in the future!
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Bath was the highlight of my trip. It was so vastly different from fast-paced London city life. Prior to the trip, all I knew about Bath came from a science fiction book by a London author. One particular scene took place at a place called the Abbey, so I really wanted to see it. Our bus just happened to park 2 feet away from the beautiful entrance. We got tea at an Alice in Wonderland style cafe and saw the Roman Baths. That same day, we saw the gloriousness of Stonehenge. WHAT’S THE MEANING OF STONEHENGE?!

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