The Final Weeks (and Finals Week)

 

Let me start this post by saying I know it is soooo long overdue. In my defense, I seriously spent two hours writing earlier this week only to have completely deleted the post when I attempted to post it (You may have seen a title published with no content). I rely on technology far more than I should, and the lesson was learned. That was quite the bummer, especially because free time to journal is so rare. Needless to say, I am using this semester as a practice round. I promise to blog more frequently next semester now that I have my routine for life in Copenhagen sorted out!

The greatest reason for my absence is that I have been on so many great adventures since my last post. From London, to Edinburgh, to Berlin, to Paris, my last few months of school have been packed with airport study breaks. As we are wrapping up the semester, finals week is already upon us. I have no clue how an entire semester flew by so quickly. Reflecting on how much I have experienced since arriving here in August, I am all at once overwhelmed with gratefulness and a sense of awe of my opportunity. I will do my best to recount what I have not shared with you. In order to do so, I will write several blogs while taking breaks from writing papers and studying for finals!! 🙂

This post will be about my adventure to London and Edinburgh. For our fall travel break, five friends and I travelled to the United Kingdom. We first spent several days in London. Between running around to see all the sights and stopping to take it all in, our trip was packed full of touristy goodness.

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The first day, we went to Buckingham Palace. Sadly, the Queen did not make an appearance. I wonder what it is like to have thousands of people standing outside of your house taking pictures at all hours of the day. To get to the Palace, we walked through Green Park. The park is one of my favorite places of what I have seen of the world. Standing in the midst of Green Park, you would never know you are in one of the largest cities in the world. In late October, the ground was completely covered in the most vividly orange leaves I have ever seen. I walked out of the way several times over the course of our trip just to stroll through the park.

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Next, we went to the Sherlock Holmes museum. It is actually located at 221 B Baker Street! We did not get tickets, but I had to just walk outside to make my father proud. We had tea at Harrods department store. We had a blast sitting around for hours eating scones and feeling fancy. I bought tea at Fortnum & Mason, so we have afternoon tea in the dorm occasionally.

The next day, we just explored the city. We found Shakespeare’s globe and the most adorable used book sale under a bridge. We found a pug that lives in a bike store and listened to people playing music by the river. We passed MI6 and headed over toward the parliament building. A recurring theme of our trips seems to be that major landmarks are under construction. We did not see Big Ben, because he has been completely covered in scaffolding for repairs until 2020 (boo!) We did get to go inside of Westminster Abbey! It was incredible, and I think we all had a sense of “how on earth did we get to be inside such an important place” while visiting. In a slightly creepy way, the cathedral is most intriguing because of the people buried there. We saw the tombs of most British monarchs, and even Charles Darwin. It was incredible. I may be sneaking back next spring because I hear some important people are getting married soon.IMG_2861.jpg

One of the coolest experiences of of trip to London was to Soho’s Secret Tearoom. I heard about it online, and found the address on maps. When we arrived, it was nowhere to be found. I mean we circled the block 10 times and could not find it anywhere. I did some research on the website, and all it said was to find the golden spoon and ask someone about a tea room. After about 20 minutes of searching, we spotted a tiny golden spoon on the wall outside of a bar. I walked in and asked the bartender if she knew anything. She told us to follow her, and we walked behind the bar,  and up a hidden flight of stairs. At the top, we were seated in the most adorable 1950s themed tearoom. It was probably the coolest I’ve ever felt in my life. Later, we went to a live performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was incredible and we laughed all night long.

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On our last night in London, which coincided with Halloween, we went to a giant ball pit inside of a bar!!! We felt silly at first because we were dressed up for the holiday and apparently Halloween is not a huge deal in London. Then, we quickly realized that it is impossible to not look silly while in an adult ball pit, so we actually fit in quite nicely. It was the perfect way to top off our time in the city.
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The next morning, we took a train from King’s Cross Station. To my fellow Harry Potter fans out there, I am sorry to report platform 9 and 3/4 does not exist. You can, however, pay people to take your picture with a plaque on a random brick wall. A four hour train ride later, we arrived in Edinburgh. I had forgotten to book a hostel with the rest of my friends, and after a lot of stress, I finally found a place with an opening. I ended up being about 2 minutes away from my friends, but the moral of the story is will be checking my plans ahead of time now!

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Edinburgh is a quaint but lovely city. We visited the castle, where Addie let me hear her astounding impression of Merida from the movie Brave. We went to 6 pubs around town and sat in on a trivia contest among locals. Most of our time in Edinburgh was spent find Harry Potter sites. For those of you that don’t know, J.K. Rowling started the series and wrote many of the books in Edinburgh. We ate apple pie in the Cafe in which she started writing the series. We shopped on the inspiration for Diagon Alley. We also visited the graves of William McGonagall and Thomas Riddel (Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle respectively). Speaking of graves, we went on a pretty spooky free ghost tour on our last night in Edinburgh. I for one, am not the bravest person in the world and I’ll admit to screaming in terror during a few jumpy moments during the tour. All in all, Edinburgh was a magical experience.

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So, that brings me up to the end of Fall Break in blog posts. I will be writing about Berlin and Paris soon! I am currently in a frazzled but excited state. I go HOME a week from Monday! This time, home means North Carolina, and not just back to Copenhagen. I am so eager to see my family and friends and spend a month just relaxing. I am so thankful for this experience, largely because I will finally have interesting stories to tell at holiday parties! Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, and I cannot wait to spend it with people I love. But for now, I have people that I love in Copenhagen too, and I must say Christmas is a hygge wonderland. Candles are everywhere, and even though its nearly dark when I get home from school, the spirit in Copenhagen keeps my heart warm. Julia and I have a tiny Christmas tree and lights in our room. I cannot wait to be home for the holidays. In the meantime, I will be kept super busy wrapping up schoolwork, so it will be here before I know it!

Stay Warm!!

Love,

Anna 🙂

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