January, 2013

  1. Oxford Blues

    January 29, 2013 by Emma

    This past Saturday, I went on a day-trip to Oxford and the Cotswolds. A two hour bus ride later and my friends and I arrived in Bourton-on-the-Water, a charmingly small town in the Cotswolds. After wobbling our way through what remained of the ice and snow on the ground, we came upon the heart of the village, which seemed to consist mostly of tea houses– not that I was complaining! The bucolic image was further enhanced by the first sun that England has seen for days.

    After an hour wandering through the town– and grabbing a spot of tea!– we headed off towards Oxford.

    Once we got to Oxford, we had a bit of free time to grab lunch, so naturally we went to the market. It’s getting to be a habit now! After some delicious soup, we joined back up with our group for a tour of Christchurch. We got to see the Dining Hall that the Great Hall in Harry Potter was based on and had a look around the college. The gardens and grounds of the university were my favorite– they were just so quintessentially English!

    Honestly, I fell quite in love with Oxford. I’ll definitely be heading back there at some point– hopefully for grad school in a few years!

  2. Portabello & Plaid

    January 19, 2013 by Emma

    This is what happens when I go to London– I start dressing about as stereotypically British as possible. I guess I’m trying to blend in? It doesn’t help that my worldview of England is informed almost entirely from BBC period dramas. I’m such a hat person– I got this one when I was in Sweden in December. It’s a vintage “Kitty’s of Stockholm” brand!

    I started classes this past week– so far, so good! I’m taking a Shakespeare class (I figured I had too!), a literature class called ‘literature and place,’ a class on British youth culture from the 60s to today, an art class, and a theatre class that requires us to go see a play each week. For our first play we saw “In the Republic of Happiness” at the Royal Court Theatre. It was definitely an… experience. I enjoyed it immensely, but I feel like it could use a bit more explanation. I just love how accessible the theatre is in London– I’ve managed to narrow down my must-see plays and musicals to four ;)

    I feel like I’m an old hat at this whole study abroad thing, so hopefully I’m not getting ahead of myself when I think that I can balance classes with seeing plays, music, exploring London, and traveling!

    I haven’t done much shopping yet in London, but I can’t wait to check out all the charity shops and markets. My friend and I headed down to Portabello Market yesterday to watch a cooking demonstration and peruse the market, but most of the stalls were snowed out! We still had a great time exploring the area and I can’t wait to go back when it gets a bit less chilly. I thought London was supposed to be warmer than Amsterdam!


  3. London Calling

    January 14, 2013 by Emma

    Long time no see! Sorry about that– it’s been rather hectic in this neck of the woods. I’m back in Europe for my second semester of studying abroad, this time I’ll be spending the next three months in London! It was absolutely lovely being home for the holidays, but it felt far too short. So far, the city has been absolutely amazing. I haven’t gotten much time to explore on my own yet, but my study abroad program took us on a bus tour the other day which was a great way of seeing the sights and getting oriented. London is so much bigger than Amsterdam, so navigating the city is proving to be a bit more challenging. I miss being able to bike anywhere I needed to go within a half an hour!

    Hopefully I’ll be finding “my” spots in London soon. I’ve been scoping out cute cafes in the hopes that I’ll find somewhere that I’ll become a regular (they knew my name and drink order back in Amsterdam– probably means I drink too much coffee!). And with any luck, I’ll be volunteering at the V&A! Now I just need to work on my British accent and I’ll be all set ;)

    ps- Of course I listened to this song on repeat during my flight over