Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Studying Abroad in London: Mormons & a Welsh Adventure

Another week gone by! This past week was packed with events and new travels. It was actually a pretty chill week, though, and it was quite nice to have this week kind of off before heading into the insanity that was reading week. However, I don't want to go into too much detail here so let's just jump in to the weekly wrap-up! 

October 28, 2019

On Monday I just had a lie-in cuddling and doing random stuff on my phone before heading to lunch with Isaac. After lunch I had a tutorial meeting (aka just a meeting with the professor) to discuss the upcoming essay for the class. I was a bit worried heading in but feel a lot better after the meeting and after spending some time figuring things out in relation to the essay. What really made it awesome was that at the end of the meeting I discovered that there wasn't class that day because we all had meetings and I was able to just head back to the flat.

I spent that time cleaning for a bit and reading a little while I waited for Isaac to get out of lecture. After that, we ordered food and did our laundry. We were still hungry after dinner so we made a trip to ASDA with another of our flatmates to get snacks to last a while. After getting back, we just watched Psych, which he's now obsessed with (cue maniacal laughter here).  

October 29, 2019

On Tuesday I didn't do much, which seems to be the theme with Tuesdays. I woke up and made breakfast before heading to the library for a bit to work on being productive. I did some stuff but not as much as I would have liked before heading back to the dorm and watching movies before bed. 

October 30, 2019

Wednesday was one of the busier days of the week and it didn't really start off well. At 4:20 AM the fire alarm went off and pulled me from a dead sleep. I had to get up and get dressed before going outside to stand in the freezing cold. It wasn't a planned fire drill so we had to stay out there while they checked it all out and turned it off. Then, just as they were gesturing us to go back inside, it went off again and we had to keep standing there in the cold. Eventually we were let back in and I fell back asleep pretty quickly. However, at 7:30 AM the alarm went off...AGAIN. And I was pulled from a dead sleep...AGAIN. I was able to fall back asleep but didn't get very much sleep before I had to wake up for the day.

I then went to Isaac's football game (soccer for all my American friends) and watched that for a bit. It was a sunny day with very few clouds so it was really beautiful over by the fields. The people I'd gone to watch with and I ended up taking some pictures with the fall colors. After that, I picked up food from ASDA on the way back to campus and cooked dinner so that we could eat right when Isaac got back.

That night we went to see The Book of Mormon at a theatre in Piccadilly Circus. I'd been wanting to see it for a while now and I was stoked to finally see it. It was absolutely hilarious. As much as I find the soundtrack funny, it was even funnier seeing it live with all the dances and acting. I would definitely recommend seeing it and I'm hoping that I'll get to see it again sometime.

After that, we headed back to campus and I just showered before falling asleep.

October 31, 2019

Neither of us had any classes on Thursday so we slept in pretty late. I didn't end up being productive in any way until about 5 pm when we went to the library. We ended up staying almost 7 hours until just before it closed at midnight. I read the entirety of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde while I was there but didn't do much else since we messed around a bit. After that, we ended up eating dinner at midnight and then finished up the last things on my to-do list before we went to bed at about 2:30 AM. 

November 1, 2019

I woke up at a reasonable time and went to my lecture. It was actually pretty interesting since we were discussing Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. After that, I just went to lunch with Isaac before heading back to clean a bit. Then I just read a little of my book before we made dinner.

After dinner, a few of us gathered for some drinking games before heading out dancing at the campus night. We danced for a bit before coming back to the flat and making pasta to eat while we watched Psych until falling asleep. 

November 2, 2019

On Saturday I woke up relatively early so that I could catch the coach to Wales with one of my flatmates Sarah. I slept most of the way to the first destination which was at the Caerleon Roman Fortress--or rather, what remains of it. Unfortunately, the big amphitheater was closed but we were still able to explore the ruins of the barracks and the museum.

After that, we headed into Cardiff and walked around a bit (getting extremely wet) with the tour group before Sarah and I headed off to find lunch. We ended up going to this cute market and I got an amazing cup of homemade beef stew. After we were back on the coach, our tour guide gave us all the BEST Welsh cakes I've ever had. I mean, they're the only Welsh cakes I've ever had but they were amazing.

Then we headed to Caerphilly Castle to explore a bit. It was rainy but I feel as if that added a bit of magical feeling to the whole adventure. We don't have castles in the US so any chance to explore a castle is great for me.

After that we went to the hotel where Sarah and I ordered take out and watched movies while trying to warm up after a day of being cold and wet. Then we headed to bed but ended up talking for a bit before bed. 

November 3, 2019

On Sunday we woke up early and then I had the best hotel breakfast I've ever had. It was a classic buffet style but they had all of the fixings for a proper British breakfast. Then we headed straight to our first big event of the day at Big Pit National Coal Museum.

We actually got to go down into the mine for a tour--but we weren't allowed to bring anything electronic so I didn't get any pictures. However, it was so cool getting to tour them from a person who actually worked in them and getting to hear the histories behind it all. After that, we were able to explore the rest of the area a bit and got some beautiful views before we headed off.

Sunday was sunny and beautiful so we actually got to see a lot of beautiful scenery on our drive to where we ate lunch. We stopped in a small town and Sarah and I just got a few meats, cheeses, and crackers to eat alongside the river since it was such a nice day. We ate pretty quickly and then just walked along the river and bridge taking pictures with the beautiful fall colors.

After that, we headed to Tintern Abbey, an old abbey for monks that is now in half-ruins. It was actually really fun getting to explore and imagine how the different rooms looked when it was still fully standing. Also, the abbey was located in this valley surrounded by trees and forests that were all turning fall colors so it was absolutely stunning.

Upon leaving Tintern Abbey, we headed back to London and actually ended up getting back to campus on time for once. Then I just watched some movies before bed with Isaac and relaxed. 

Overall, it was a great week with an excellent start to reading week. I'm excited to add another country to my "traveled to" list. Wales was beautiful and I'm so excited to be able to say I'm adding Scotland to that list in a few weeks. I'm wondering which will end up being prettier...

For past weekly diaries, check out my study abroad page here.

Thanks for reading!

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