By Morgan Halane
Earlier in the day as I was returning library books a folded up sheet of paper fell out of one of them. I unfolded it and quickly discovered that it was one of the travel itineraries that I’d typed up and printed out. Looking back on my time in the UK I’m very fortunate to have visited all of the places that I did. Several places really stick out in my mind, and I will definitely look back fondly on those trips. The first trip I took in the UK was to London, and I think that’s definitely one of the reasons why I have a soft spot for that city. It was a very neat experience to explore the city by myself, and I consider that one of my first “growing” experiences as an exchange student. Two cities in the North, Manchester and Liverpool, also rank highly on my list of favorite places visited. Those two cities are extremely close together, yet, culturally and architecturally, they’re just really different. The Liverpool accent still stands out in my mind, and I really liked the fact that a lot of Manchester was easily traveled on foot. Also in the North are Whitby and York. Whitby is a trip that, had it not been organized by the university, I never would have taken. I’d never even heard of Whitby before I arrived in England, and to take the train there by myself or with friends would’ve been expensive and lengthy. York is arguably my favorite city in England. The ancient wall surrounding the city, combined with the stunning York Minster, are sights that will stick with me for a long time.
I made one trip up to Scotland, and I’m glad that I did. Edinburgh was architecturally a stunning city. I went way back in August and happened to go during the Fringe festival, which I didn’t know would be happening. Because of the festival the city was very crowded, which made walking a little difficult, but it was a great trip anyhow. Wales was perhaps the most beautiful part of the UK that I visited, with its green hills and sunny weather, and Cardiff is still one of my favorite UK cities. In the South of England I visited Bath and Oxford, both of which were very nice looking. I regret not going to Stonehenge when I was in the South, but it seemed a bit complicated to get to. I also regret not visiting Ireland or mainland Europe. I’d planned on visiting some friends on the mainland, but budget and time issues made it difficult. Not going to Ireland or mainland Europe, however, gave me more time to do a more in-depth UK experience, an experience I’ve really enjoyed.