United Kingdom, Ireland · 37 Days · 61 Moments · August 2015

Amanda's trip to United Kingdom

26 September 2015

On Saturday, at 3:30 in the morning, we got in our cab, which took us to the bus, which took us to the airport, that took us to Dublin! Luckily we slept on the bus and the plane ride and arrived in Ireland around 9. We took the airport bus to the city center and found our hostel, which was in less than best condition. Online it said the hostel room was for 4 people and when we got into the room there was a double bed and a set of bunk beds. How awkward if we would have had 4 people! After dropping our bags off, we got into a hop on hop off bus and toured Dublin before deciding what activities we wanted to do. We got a free Irish coffee with our tour. (who knew it had alcohol in it!) We decided to go to St. Patrick's Cathedral and to the modern art museum. We then went out for

25 September 2015

On Friday, FIE hosted a mandatory Sustainability Lecture, that was sort of interesting. It talked about how we need to focus on how living more sustainable is about the environment, the economy and society. Before the lecture we went out to eat at Princess Diana's favorite Italian Restaurant in Kensington. I was really craving some steak, so I ordered what I thought was beef fillets and received what is it the picture. It was cold meat, it tasted like very chewy pepperoni and was not very good. After the lecture, we went straight to bed after picking, because we had to wake up at 3am for our flight to Dublin!
This week I had two field trips to the financial districts of London. We were led around through alleys and taught about the origins of the stock exchange, insurance and all the big banks. They were very interesting tours!

23 September 2015

On Wednesday Lauren and I walked in Hyde Park and found a Peter Pan statue. After, Emilee had a photography project to do so I tagged along. She had to take ten pictures of strangers. While she did that I went to a Japanese noodle place and attempted to study! When she was finished we tried to go to the Hunter boot store, as Emilee needs a pair of rain boots, but somehow our GPS led us to their headquarters! It was very embarrassing but a cool sight! We finally found the right store, and she bought some just in time for us to take the tube home For class. After class we attempted to go out to the bar at Imperial College, but since their class hasn't started, the bar closed at 11.

22 September 2015

On Tuesday Rumi and I had a field trip that was a tour around the financial district of London. It was very informative and we saw some cool buildings. It was nice to have a break from class also.

20 September 2015

After Buckingham Palace we went to Big Ben to take some pictures. Big Ben is my favorite attraction. I think it is so very beautiful! We also went on a swing ride that lifted us up and swung is above the city! It was very cool.
On Sunday we visited Buckingham Palace. The palace is the most beautiful house I've ever seen! It has ornate ceilings that are gold! They also had exhibits showing how they prepare for state dinners like when Obama comes to visit. It was nice that it wasn't just us touring old rooms, there was also facts about day to day life there in the present. After, we ate at the cafe and had some beautiful desserts! We also went to the gift shop and I purchased some ornaments!

19 September 2015

Our last stop of the day was Warwick Castle. It is an old castle that has been opened up and is now sort of a kids attraction. Madame Tussaud bought the castle so it has some wax exhibits of typical life in the castle. We climbed 530 steps to the top of the towers and saw some beautiful views!
After Oxford we went to Shakespeare's birthplace! We saw the house he grew up in and took a short tour of it. In his garden, there was an actor who could recite lines or songs from every Shakespeare play! We sat and listened to her for awhile! It was beautiful. After that we ate lunch and visited a Christmas store!
On Saturday Lauren and I took a day trip to Oxford, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle. It was a great trip! These pictures are from the Oxford stop. We got a short tour of the town from our guide them were able to explore a bit for ourselves. It was so beautiful I want to apply!

18 September 2015

On Friday we had a roommate night! We are at Bills, a cute restaurant chain that had great Sangria! After that we saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It exceeded my expectations! The set was amazing and went with the musical so well! It was a great night!

16 September 2015

On Wednesday we went for a short bike ride in the park and discovered a cafe that is inside plastic! It is very weird and I can't wait to eat there!

14 September 2015

I visited the Imperial War Museum for a school field trip and it was very cool. All exhibits were interactive and they had touch screens and many other cool features. The Holocaust exhibit was very informative, but very disturbing. I can't wait to bring my parents to the museum!

13 September 2015

Switzerland was amazing! Absolutely beautiful! On Saturday we explored the city and took a boat ride, on Saturday we took a cable car up a mountain and hiked around for awhile. It was the most beautiful view I have ever seen!!

12 September 2015

On Friday the 11th we all woke up early to go to class, and then secured our spots on the extracurricular trips! I am going to: Wales, Scotland, a football game, a dinner at Southhall, the London Eye, The Niutcracker, touring Buckingham Palace and touring The Making of Harry Potter! I'm so glad the school offers se great deals on these trips. After paying for our trips, we ate lunch and decided to take our roommate Rumi to Primark. Rumi only brought three shirts in London and wanted to get more! after shopping for a few hours we came back, napped, then did laundry all when we should have been sleeping to get up at 4 for our flight to Switzerland !

10 September 2015

On Thursday we went to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards! It was very exciting, but extremely long and hot. We got there about an hour in advance and were able to get spots right by the fence, but with people crowding we still didn't have the best views. When Mick and I went to see the changing of the guards we got a horrible view so we left once the guards went into the palace gates, so we missed about 45 minutes of ceremony! I was glad I went again and saw more. After the changing of the guards we ate at The Shakespeare! I had chicken pie with mashed potatoes, while Emilee and Lauren had fish and chips. It was very good! I have come down with a cold, so I went home after to rest before my class at 6pm, while Emilee and Lauren went shopping.

9 September 2015

On Wednesday we went back to Kensington Palace and bought tickets to go inside. It was so beautiful! We toured an exhibit about Queen Victoria, looked at the kings and queens rooms, and toured a fashion exhibit about Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana. After we had a quick lunch before Lauren had to get to class. It was a great morning.

8 September 2015

This is what my week mostly consisted of. Hanging out on Starbucks and doing homework or planning our trip to Geneva Switzerland. The week was relaxed and we mostly just hung out.

7 September 2015

On Monday morning we explored Kensington park which is right across the street from our flat! We walked around a bit, then looked at Kensington Palace which is were Prince Harry lives and where William and Kate stay when they are in London! We didn't go in because we didn't have enough time on Monday. I had my first class, Economic Integration of the EU. It is very interesting and my teacher is very laid back. I also have him for my British Life and Business class.

6 September 2015

Saturday when we went out, we went to some pretty fancy clubs! It was fun but we were tired from our long day. On Sunday we mostly relaxed and got ready for our classes

5 September 2015

Our first weekend here was a busy one! On Friday we had a orchestra welcome us to London by playing common American and Briitsh songs along with famous readings like from Harry Potter, and breakfast at tiffanies. After the orchestra we all made our way over to the welcome reception. There we listened to music, got free drinks and got a free meal! After the reception we decided to go out to the pubs! We went to a themed 90s American sports bar. It was really cool and had multiple rooms and bars and even like 10 ping pong tables. We made the last subway home and went to bed so we could wake up early for our bus tour of London. The bus tour was very fun but we ended up getting on the wrong bus at one point. After the bus tour we had a tour of parliament, which is the building Big Ben is attached too. It was really cool and informative. After, we ate dessert and our new friend Emilee had real English tea. Saturday night we went again... To be continued.

3 September 2015

Yesterday was a full day! We all woke up around 7:30 to get ready and then headed off to orientation. Orientation was sort of boring, sort of interesting and just a lot of talk about rules. During our lunch session we ate at a restaurant by foundation house and then Lauren and I purchased cheap pay as you go phones so we could have some data instead of always needing wifi. After our last orientation session, we went in search of more pillows for our beds, bath mats and laundry bags. This town really needs a Walmart! There are no stores that carry cheap home goods. We found this store called Argos, and oh my gosh it's like the future! You go into the store and you go on the iPads and choose which items you want, you pay for them at the desk and then they bring you out your items from a back room! It was crazy! They had everything we needed but there system wasn't working so we left in search of an actual store. After shopping some (and still not finding what we needed) we headed home.

2 September 2015

After moving into my apartment, we went to the Foundation House, or the main building for our school, and picked up our tube pass, some books and our ID cards. My roommate Lauren and i came back and took a two hour nap, we were so exhausted! We then had a flat meeting and an RLS discuss the living rules with us. At the meeting Lauren and I met two girls from our flat from Boston and Memphis who were here alone, so we all got to know each other more. Most people at FIE are from a school named Elon, so they all know each other already. After the meeting Lauren and I went to dinner, then took the tube to a grocery store like Walmart to pick up some essentials, like towels and shaving cream. On our way home from the grocery store, we randomly saw our new friends from our flat and walked home with them. It was a long and tiring day, so we all went to bed when we got back around 11.
After our bike ride on Saturday the 30th, we visited Selfridges, which was a department store founded by a man from Wisconsin! I had a weird Danish thing at their cafe then we left because it was all very expensive! We then went to Hamley's toy store which is a huge store that has about 5 stories all filled with different toys. It was awesome! Then we went to Lush and bought souvenirs for Micks mom, my mom and Carli. Lush is a store that makes homemade hair, body and makeup products. It is all organic and they make it all in store. I plan to bring everyone more souvenirs back, but this was some cool things Mick could bring everyone back.
Today I moved into my apartment! It is very small and not at all like the pictures, but it is still very nice! My roommate is Lauren Gantenbein, who also goes to SNC. We also have a roommate named Rumi who is from Japan. We live in 1 room that is part of a 6 room flat, that has bathrooms attached to each room, a kitchen, and a sitting room. There are 6 flats in our apartment, so it holds a lot of people!

30 August 2015

On Sunday Mick left:( I went back to the hotel and took a very long nap and relaxed the rest of the day. Mick and I were usually busy from morning to night, so some down time was much needed. From Monday and Tuesday I just relaxed some more and explored London a bit. I took the tube by myself and got used to navigating it alone for my internship.

29 August 2015

After getting back from Dublin, we relaxed Friday night, then Saturday morning we walked to my future apartment, then rented bikes in Hyde Park!

28 August 2015

Went to the casino on Thursday night! Was a very small casino with a small selection of slot machines, roulette, and video poker. We both put in €10. I cashed out at €5.76, and mick cashed out at €19 after a good roulette guess.
Took a bus tour of Dublin, showing the main sights
Toured the Guinness Storehouse. Learned about the process of making Guinness, had the opportunity of tasting it, and learning how to pour Guinness correctly. They also had a Gravity Bar, which offers a 360 degree view of Dublin and where you could get your free pint of Guiness.
More Guinness fun!

27 August 2015

Gatwick Airport is more of a shopping mall than an airport. It had all the luxury shops in it and only announced which gate you were at about 20 minutes before boarding so people would shop longer.
Train Ride to Gatwick Airport. About a thirty minute train ride from Victoria Station, which is only a few tube stops away from the Hotel.
Went to the Tate Modern Museum. Had lots of artwork that I just didn't understand. Too modern for me, but all very beautiful.
Took a ride on the London Eye. 30 minute ride with great views of the city
Visited Buckingham Palace and watched the changing of the guards.
Went to Harrods and were amazed at all the floors, departments, and high end brands. Bought a selfie stick and some ornaments.

26 August 2015

Saw 'A Man From UNCLE' at a cineworld movie theater. Very fancy theater with two bars and assigned seating!
Visited Windsor Castle. The queens favorite castle and where she spends her weekends.
Changing of the guards at Windsor Castle

25 August 2015

Face timed mom dad and the kids!
Night bus tour all around city
First Tube ride! Took the tube from Westminster to Gloucester Station.
More bus tour photos. Was very cold and rainy but they gave out free ponchos.
Bought tickets for a bus tour that runs all around the city. Drove past Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and tons of other attractions while learning history of London
Took a boat tour from the Tower of London to the London Eye. It was raining profusely, so sort of an unpleasant ride.
Visited Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. Climbed up the walls and saw a great view of the city.

24 August 2015

Traveled from Bath to London, got settled into our Hotel then traveled around Kensington and looked at my school building and residence halls. A more relaxing day before touring London all day tomorrow!

23 August 2015

Castle Combe England
Lacock Village
Lilly and James Potters house!!
Day trip to Stonehenge

22 August 2015

Visited Laura Place on the bus tour.
Eating at the Giraffe Restaurant
Toured the outlying city of Bath
Hopped off tour bus to visit the Royal Crescent.
Hop on Hop off bus tour. Listened to audio guides talk about city
Visited Roman Baths. Learned more about Roman and Bath History.

21 August 2015

Cherry Cola Wrap at Revolution Restaurant
First legal drink! Strawberry Paloma.
8 hour flight to London with Mick. Slept most of the way. Had very gross dinner halfway through.