that’s a rap

I am sitting in my hotel room near the airport in Paris waiting for my flight dry early in the morning. I am watching the UK election on television, as i hope you are because it’s so exciting!! Not only is the exit poll very contested and the election outcome still being awaited the coverage is entertaining because as they state the exit polls the presenters and guests on the show make statements such as “if the exit poll is right i will eat my hand on your show” (and while i have been writing this blog another threatened to “eat his kilt” if labour did as poorly as the exit poll suggests) which is exactly what you need on election night. I have included in this post pictures from the past three weeks as i have been traveling around since I was not able to last time.

So i last told you about Bern and was off to Zurich. Zurich was a beautiful city that i encourage anyone to visit when they go to Switzerland. The buildings were very old, the sweets narrow and quaint and the water in the lake and river so clean you are able to drink from it for two weeks. My guide couldn’t tell me what happens after those two weeks if you keep drinking it… I was able to go on a walking tour there, climb 300 steps to the top of a church and spontaneously jump on a boat ride around the lake. It was incredible that even in the midst of this beautiful city you had the gorgeous water and surrounded by snow capped mountains in the distance! Following Zurich I left to Barcelona where I experienced extreme heat, meaning 70 degrees, for the first time in months and it was very difficult for me to feel comfortable in. There I did a lot of walking and sightseeing in visiting the sagrada familia, la pedrera, las ramblas street, montjuic, parc guell, pard de la ciutadella, the castle, barcelona beach, and the marina. There was very many things to see throughout the city but walking around was very enjoyable due to weather and the atmosphere of the city! I had dinner with an old family friend from Barcelona and was able to see the city at night because in traditional spanish style dinner was never until 9:30 or 10pm. After there for numerous days and catching some sun I changed my plans and went to Nice, France. The french riviera was phenomenal! The water was so clear and vibrantly blue that  the ocean certainly grabbed your attention. The city is small enough that you could walk it all, see amazing views if you enjoy walking up a few hundred stairs which i have learned over the past few weeks I really do enjoy.  I met some canadian girls that i hung out with there and in Monaco which we visited for the day. The beach there was really nice because the rocky beach was really fun to play with, but the city was not as impressive as I always thought but still nice. In Nice i went to the beach, walked around the city, explored the market and old town. IN monte Carlo i walked along the F1 Gran Prix race course, saw the hotel de Paris that we were asked to leave. That was uncomfortable but still not as bad as the casino which we were turned away from on the street, apparently I don’t look good enough for those places. ouch.

I leave for the airport in a few hours to go back to California and I will seeing you all very soon i hope. Thanks for reading my blog and go watch the election coverage!

  • xoxo christine
Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

Lake Zurich, Switzerland

Lake Zurich, Switzerland

Barcelona Beach

Barcelona Beach

Parc de la cuitadella

Parc de la cuitadella

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La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

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Nice, France!

Nice, France!

market in Nice

market in Nice

Gran Prix, Monte Carlo

Gran Prix, Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco

I would like a boat.

I would like a boat.

the girls i went to Monte Carlo with and hung out with in Nice. Paige & Paige!

the girls i went to Monte Carlo with and hung out with in Nice. Paige & Paige!

Celebrating end of exams

Celebrating end of exams

Last night in London

Last night in London

Juliette & Clemence in Paris!

Juliette & Clemence in Paris!

Give peace a chance

Give peace a chance

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

english garden, Munich

english garden, Munich

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

hiking to Murren!

hiking to Murren!

tarra, the girl I went hiking with in Switzerland!

tarra, the girl I went hiking with in Switzerland!

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time flies

I have less than a week left in London and unfortunately I have been and will have to continue spend most it inside working on exams instead of doing my final explorations. In this past week i have finished all the tourist things I has wanted to do. I visited Hampstead Heath which is another park in North London. This was in zone 2-3 so it is not in central London like I am and most other tourist places. This park was unlike any of the other parks I have visited, which is a triumph by the city planners that no two parks look for feel the same.

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This park was muddy and had secret trails all over the place that always seemed to bring you back to the same place. There was also a natural lake both people and animals could go swimming in. It was very tempting, but maybe next time. photo 2

With the elections here in a few weeks becoming very controversial I decided to find out what party my perspective is in line with. I used the “i side with” website that asks you about 50 questions on topics of foreign policy, social issues, economic issues, and environmental policy to accurately assign you to a political party. This quiz told me that If I were british and able to vote in the elections I would be a liberal democrat, but if I wanted to vote for one of the two pain parties I should vote labour. I found this interesting after learning about a lot of the social issues have merged from the austerity practices of the current parliament as the lasting impact of Thatcher.

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I went for a really good run in Hyde Park this week. Afterward I sat out on the lawn chairs they have set up in the park and worked on my tan, i do not think it helped very much. I love that the city places chairs out in the park for us and has ice cream and food stands set up throughout the park.

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The last two museums I had to visit were the Imperial War museum and Science museum. photo 5

The imperial war museum covers from the Great war to Afghanistan. It went into great depth of each war with artifacts and interactive exhibitions. It even included many of the machines, vehicles and historical documents of each of these periods. The museum has the Zimmerman telegram that finally brought the U.S. into WW1. There was art about war and even trenches you could go into.

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This is a car from a book market in Baghdad, Iraq where a bomb was set off killing 28 people and destroying this intellectual centre.

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This is a press vehicle that was bombed by the Israeli Air forces on accident, killing the journalists inside.

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This was the side of the trenches where they played recordings from WW1. It was terrifying hearing gunfire and explosions over the men speaking. I can only imagine how intimidating that was for the young men that experienced it in real life.

We visited Portabello Market again because it is that amazing & i went to this family run Italian restaurant hidden inside an Indian clothing shop. They prepared all the food fresh and right in front of us. They also spoke Italian to us so it was a fun experience trying to communicate.

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photo 5I have now finished the three essays I have due tomorrow, but they could use some editing so I am off to go accomplish that. Yay.

xoxo christine

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interesting easter weekend

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This is my attempt at keeping it classy at kensington palace. I think i pulled it off rather well, but i certainly could passed for a well dressed waitress. Regardless i visited the palace for nice afternoon tea in true british fashion and I felt very proper.

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The scones were a lot better than i anticipated them being and I was really grateful of that because i didn’t like much else on the tea platter. I don;t actually understand paying an exuberant price for small cakes or salmon on bread or curry. Yes the british really do like curry enough for it to be at an official afternoon tea.

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I once again visited one of my favourite places in the world; Borough market! This gem never fails to be both a savory and exciting adventure.

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I spent this past weekend in the village of Witham, pronounced Witam, in Essex with a host. My host is pictured above with Margaret Thatcher. She is a nice older woman that is running for town and district in this coming general election. My host was a very interesting woman that has been very involved in her community in Essex, lived in London before that when she was not living in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria or traveling around the world which she has done quite extensively. photo 3

Knowing that i am a politics student, we went campaigning for her on once of my days there. This was not the most interesting to do in a very small village, but it did allow me to walk the entire village and she insists that I put it on my resume… so i might.

This is the village of kelvedon near Witham. We visited a church there that has the ancestors of my host buried there and members of a aristocratic family.

This is the village of kelvedon near Witham. We visited a church there that has the ancestors of my host buried there and members of a aristocratic family.

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We visited this barn in Coggeshall that has been there for over 800 years and has an interesting history. It was used by the abbey, then by farmers until it was nearly destroyed in the 1980s to be saved and handed over to the national trust. today there is a craft fair there where i bought some cards from a local artist with water coloured paintings of the local villages on them.

We attended the local parish on good friday as well on easter day. Each time they has special traditions pertaining to the occasion, one of them included staring at the newcomer whom no one knew (me). We toured local villages and had a pride and prejudice viewing that day.

I am finally home now and i could not be happier, because i missed it so much and access to the internet and therefore the rest of the world.

My host, Angela Kilmartin

My host, Angela Kilmartin, and I on easter day.

Not much else has happened because I was away so long and exams are coming..

xoxo

christine

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that time i went cliff jumping and other stuff

Cheers from London!

I purchased my first Starbucks last week when I stopped there to read for a it!  I have never appreciated hot chocolate as much as I do here where it will actually warm up your body and spirit! It was the greatest treat after the water activities this weekend.

hot chocolate at my bus stop!

hot chocolate at my bus stop!

This was an adventure weekend which meant we were outside as much as possible & being adventurous. The first night after a long train rifde that even involved switching trains to reach our secluded destination followed by a bus ride to the cabin we enjoyed a delicious dinner. After which we decided to go exploring along the one road that was nearby. Our group joked that we were acting out the beginning of a horror film because we were in the middle of nowhere, there was no light out, we have no cell phone reception, no map and were walking in the woods. Luckily the only scary thing to happen was a car driving down the road and the realization that we were walking through cow poop. Our hope when we began the walk was to make it to the beach we could see from our lodge, but then never happened although we did see a lighthouse in the distance and some nice cows. After our hike we went back to the lodge and played card games for a while until bed. My first organized activity was sea kayaking in Fishguard Harbour. We dressed in many layer including a wetsuit, skirt to keep water out of the kayak, helmets, and a safety vest so I was plenty warm which was a delight considering I anticipated uncomfortable cold. We started on the beach where I am pictured then went out into the bay and explored a few caves. The water was not too rough so it was very relaxing especially since I did not capsize unlike other people in my group. We played some games with our kayaks (I was second in the race right behind our instructor who cheated) and learned the local history which included an attempted french invasion. While kayaking we were able to see a lighthouse and what remains of the old fort that stopped the french.

fishguard habour!!!

Fishguard habour!!!

Given the cold temperature they had us change into warm clothes before returning.

sea kayaking in mathry, pembrookshire, wales.

sea kayaking in mathry, Pembrookshire, wales.

Our lodge was literally in the middle of nowhere. It was a 30 minute drive to the nearest town and even the neighbors were about a mile away so we were really able to enjoy being isolated, the limited access to wifi also helped with that feeling. I never found out the name of the horse below, but he was the most social horse I have ever met. All I had to do was say Hi and he would run across his field to say hello.

The friendly horse at our lodge!

The friendly horse at our lodge!

After kayaking we went on a 7 mile hike through Mathry in Pembrookshire national park. They drove us 30 minutes, pulled to the side of the road and had us get out with only a map of the area and knowing when dinner was. From there we walked along the coast that was utterly stunning. It changed from high cliffs, to rocky beaches and back again. For the four hour hike there was a 360 degree view of the water, cliffs, and open fields either growing food or with grazing animals. photo 1

I love sheep, they remind me of Roxy.

I love sheep, they remind me of Roxy.

I really like all the sheep I have seen all over the UK and I realize that it was because it was they remind me of Roxy with their white fluff, fat stomachs, and funny way of running.

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In this picture you can see the cliffs from which coasteering occurred. You can see another group doing it while we walked by on our hike!

not my group, but this is coasteering!

not my group, but this is coasteering!

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our hike along the cliffs

our hike along the cliffs

Our hike took us along the coast for most of the time only to go through the woods at the end where we walked into a cow pasture and even found a hidden swing the trees. We had to climb up a very muddy hill that most people fell down on, not including me, to reach this swing consisting of a small log with rope tied around it. Once you got on the tree swing you immediately flew off the mountain  about 15 feet in the air! It was so much fun and added to the adventure of the hike and the weekend!

one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Wales; one of the most beautiful places in the world!

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On the last day my activity was the best, coasteering. We dressed from head to toe to in gear that would keep us warm and afloat. The day we went there was a storm so they took us to the blue lagoon where the waves wouldn’t hit us so much. We were very openly judged when we walked past a group of students studying the rocks because swimming in March may not be the most normal act when the water is 30 degrees, but at they provided us an audience as we jumped.

This is the picture of the lagoon and the ruins to the right are where we jumped from after we climbed up some rocks. I loved swimming in the water and would just hang out in it for fun, it wasn’t much work with the life vest on! This lagoon is actually green despite this misleading picture and the improper name, this comes from minerals found in the water. The area was actually an old quarry which is what the remains we jumped from came from then when the quarry was abandoned the sea rushed in creating a 25m deep pool. This is one of the locations where Red Bull has their diving competitions every year because the height of the ledges are olypmic diving board height and the scenery makes it a desired destination.

After the coasteering, and a very nice shower, we made our way back down to London via train where I finished the book I began last week!

Hello from the palace!

Buckingham palace

Buckingham palace, changing of the guards

Today I (finally) saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace and while it’s concerning that I waited three months to see this I did get to see the guards in their famous red coats as opposed to the gray ones they have been wearing for the winter. The area was packed full of tourists which made me think about what it would be like to come here as a tourist, since I have never considered myself one. I imagine it would be overwhelming and stressful trying to pack everything in, I know it was been those trying to fit everything in three months so I cannot imagine a few weeks. After I went to a local park in Westminster to eat my panini then to the overcrowded British library to work on an essay.

what better place to study

what better place to study?

panini in the park

xoxo Christine

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heaven on earth.

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I think I found heaven, well my heaven at least, and it is London. This past week has been a week of perfect days that i will treasure for many years to come. Not many of these days would be perceived to be all that exciting from an outsiders perspective, but to me were amazing. Most of these have consisted of visiting a  museum for a bit and reading in whatever historical place i can find (until it gets too cold and i have to relocate). These little trips to the library, bookstore, or market have been so fun and relaxing experiences.

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I visited the BBC, and I was more excited there than i think i have been at any tourist attraction. what can i say I really enjoy their reporting! My friend patty and I went to the world headquarters not far from us and saw THE news room where they report the news live from, complete research, and are connected to all the other BBC locations around the world. We even went into the studios where they have daily reports, the one show where I posed as a television show host. The BBC still has radio shows where actors act out scripts and make their one sound effects, and because I was one of the two Americans I was picked to play a role! it was really fun to act out the script into the microphone and make the sound effects and after they played it back for us! i felt very professional, i guess that one play i was in back in 5th grade really paid off!

I have attended my third and final play in London and it was by far the best! I was Shakespeare in Love at a theater that is 110 years old down in Leicester Square! the acting was phenomenal and really gave me a desire to read more shakespeare. I don’t know what it is about shakespeare, but it has become more understandable than it used to be. I am not sure if that’s because I have read many of his works  or if i can just pick up on the meanings now more easily. I also really enjoyed that in the play not only did they make many many references to romeo and Juliet, but also to Christopher Marlow and his works, you could say i was praising my british literature professor as they were making references to multiple stories that i know.

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I finally made it to one of the museums i still needed to see, the tate britain, which is different than the tate modern, very confusing i know.  this museum was a combination of paintings, sculpture, and pictures from the 1500s to the 2000s. Some f it i really enjoyed and understood what the artist was trying to convey others, not so much. I suppose i am just not cultured enough to understand why sculptures that look exactly like rocks are in a prestigious museum, but I’m glad now i know that should i ever see a rock without a home i know exactly to send it. other museums that i have visited have been repeats for me. I spontaneously went to the national gallery yesterday after being evacuated from trafalgar square and also to the british museum on my way home from class last week. In my attempt to not be bored in london i have been trying to find interesting places to read. one of my favorites has been the british museum! oddly enough its more quiet than the british library and has more seating so I have been adventuring down there to read a book. another favorite place of mine that i have been to many times especially in this past week is a waterstones bookstore with a view of trafalgar square. the view from its reading area probably could not be beat. not only is that place well located, but it is also well heated unlike one f my other spots; st. paul’s cathedral! its not quite warm enough to sit outside for long periods of time so i alternate between the gardens at the cathedral and the cafe under the 1,400 year old church.  it is very special to be able to enough a book in these wonderful places and I cherish them very much. I have been reading London based novels so you could imagine my excitement tonight, when i was reading at the british library after i finished an essay in the cafe there, when the protagonist mentioned getting off at MY tube stop and walking past the market i walk past to reach the grocery store!!!!!!!!!!!! i would have physically jumped up and down, but i was in public so i played it cool.

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I found my new place of residence last week, its called windsor castle. It;s quite humble really with only a few hundred rooms and a former moat, I am sure it will be quite cozy once i move in! haha well until that happens this is the residence of the queen for half the year not far from London. While the castle dominates the town, it is such a cute place. We did not have very much time to explore, but it had great shopping, a beautiful view of the thames, is the home of Eton, the prestigious college where most successful british men attended, including David Cameron, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Eddie Redmayne. After touring the rooms where some of the worlds most important leaders regularly visit we ate at the Duchess of Cambridge pub seeing as anything less would be unfitting for a day at the castle.

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Being in a major world center and the capital, London also is the location of the “the guardian” newspaper. today i met with the feature editor for the newspaper at their office near kings cross and they even gave me a free paper! There was no reason at all for me to go to this event with a handful of students from a class i am not enrolled in, but I saw a signup sheet and figured visiting another news source was something I can’t do at home.

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I trekked over to Portabello road market again and this time it was everything its cracked up to be and more! i took over an hour just to walk the length of the market with our even looking at anything and they truly had it all. from antiques to fresh food to art and used clothes from dodgy vendors. I have to say this surprisingly has become one of my new favorite places to visit! I had not seen the film “notting hill” before i came to London, but after visiting the market i watched the movie. It was only appropriate because i already had a picture outside the famous book store, only that is not what the bookstore looked like in the film in fact not even the right location so I’m not sure why i and 50 other tourists were taking pictures there. Also the movie was not that great so that makes the whole situation worse.

xoxo christine

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THAT TIME I SAW THE ROYAL FAMILY…..then went to scotland

SO i saw the royal family on march 13, 2015 at 10:55am outside St. Paul’s cathedral in central London. They were attending the commemoration ceremony of the UK pulling out of Afghanistan. I saw many notable MPs and the duke and duchess of cambridge, prince harry, prince Phillip, prince Charles, the duchess of cornwall, and the Queen. it was wonderful, thought i was going to pass out, but i did not thankfully. Basically this experience was too amazing to even talk about so i’ll get on with the rest of it.

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Hello from Scotland!

This past weekend i trekked up the island up to Edinburgh with many friends from my house! This was an exciting opportunity that I hadn’t margined before I came to London. We took a train up there which took about 4.5 hours. It was such a beautiful ride through the countryside and along the coast. Seeing the beach made me want to go swimming very much. The first night we went to a pub where I ate haggis! While I did not like it very much, i am very glad to have experienced it! The second day we took a tour of the city where we went to the hill where the national monument is located. This is the view from the hill, you can see most of the city and the river that leads to the ocean.

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As you can see from the pictures about Edinburgh is such a beautiful city in architecture and landscape. This is an example of how quaint each of the buildings throughout Edinburgh looked, like a real life story book city or a medieval city. Due to this characteristic Edinburgh had many things that were hidden. Including small and very narrow streets called closes  or in the case of the picture below a staircase that had over 100 steps, each step being made of a different stone from somewhere in Scotland.

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The tour ended at Edinburgh castle! Which was similar to the tower of London in my opinion but that may also have been because they are the home of the crown jewels… different crown jewels than the ones down in London which made it all very confusing. There was also the memorial for Scottishmen who died in WW1 in the former basilica. Other than that there was not much to the grounds to see or do other than enjoy the view, although they did set off the cannon at one point and a wedding was occurring. I wonder how much that would cost to be married in a castle. Later that night before our haunted Edinburgh tour we met this (very very drunk) old man who turned out to be the former head guard of Edinburgh castle for over 15 years. He even showed us a picture of him meeting the Queen and being given an award.

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Don’t worry these are not gang signs they are our sorority signs. Coley & I were showing our alpha gam pride and Sarah was being a theta in the middle. photo 2

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The view from the castle, like so many other views in the city, was amazing. A notable part of our weekend was the song “I’m gonna be (500 miles)” by a Scottish band maned the proclaimers because they are Scottish and we were in Scotland. One of my friends heard this song in her British music class and introduced the rest of us to it, its really fun and the singers have a fairly thick accent that is entertaining to imitate. Even though the song isn;t very recent its still popular enough there that we heard it outside a pub one night and were so excited we had to run to catch up to our tour group.

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Given this city is where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series there was plenty of places to visit that inspired Rowling in her writings. The harry potter tour became our second tour of the day. Our tour guide (pictured above) was clearly in character and a complete harry potter nerd himself. We was well informed on all the sites we visited, debunking some false tales and even reading us a bit of harry potter along the way. We were each given a wand for the tour which we used to change the lights from red to green (casual) and to just mess around. As a proud slithering, I obtained a green wand and my friends and i actually were the four houses! it was practically magic or something? I did volunteer to wear the sorting hat that our tour guide provided and regretfully learned that according to it I am actually a raven claw? lies i say, lies.

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Here I used my magical powers to draw the sign of the deathly hallows near the grave of Thomas Riddell, the inspiration for Tom Riddle in the series.

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This is the cafe where Rowling wrote part of the second, third and fourth books. My friends and I even ate breakfast there on our last day in town. Most of the cafe is normal with no Potter paraphernalia, but when you enter the bathroom there are harry potter quotes written everywhere along with note to Rowling and signs of the Deathly Halllows in case Rowling ever returns to the cafe and uses the restroom. Personally my favorite was the sign over the toilet that said “this way to the ministry” o there may or may not be a picture of me stepping into the toilet to go off to the ministry.

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We visited this street many times throughout the weekend. This is Victoria Street, the street that inspired Diagon Alley and its diagonal characteristic! On the tour we learned many interesting things that connect Edinburgh and the Potter series. These include the man who died and according to urban myth his stake (he burned to death at the stake) turned into a snake, this man also lived in Riddle close. There is a street near the University that Rowling attended that was named Potter, although there are claims that this had nothing to do with the name of the main character.

Our last day in Edinburgh we went to breakfast at the elephant cafe i told you about and then we went on a hike up Arthur’s seat! it is the hill in the area created by a volcano that is the reason behind all of Edinburgh’s hilly streets. The hike was fairly difficult but the view from the top was more than worth it. Unfortunately my computer isn’t allowing me to upload those pictures so if anyone ever wants to see those they’ll have to wait until they see me! We departed Edinburgh for home again which of course is one of my favorite experiences.

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and not that it matters to anyone except me, but i ate some really good grapes that I was able to buy at a local market were very delicious!

xoxo Christine

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My wink comes from Ireland

Another week is gone and I have seen another country! That’s not something I could usually say, but its just another perk of living in London! SO I have finally seen Ireland. Not that this was ever a country I explicitly desired to see mostly because I never thought I would have the chance so why bother hoping? But I guess unrealized dreams come true.

Let me just talk about the transportation we used on this trip. Well after waking up at 3am we took a bus to the train station, a train to the airport then a bus from the airport, and similar on the way back. The train and bus systems were incredible give or take a curb or two that the bus driver in dublin may have hit, ryan air however was the real winner here in unbelievable transportation. Not only does this company have some absurd policies to begin with but my personal favorite is the terrible piloting. We never hit turbulence in our hour flight but the plane did shake quote often. It was on the landing I was saying my padre nuestros as we came in really fast and hit the strip a little hard, it was our mistake thinking this was an accident. After it happened on the way back a frequent traveler informed us that the airline didn’t want to pay for the other landing strip so they use the ones where they come in really hard and brake for their lives (and ours).

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We did however get to board the plane like this so I felt very important.

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This is the Dublin Spire, a pole they ordered to celebrate the great wealth Ireland was experiencing in the 1990’s that was supposed to be there for the year of 2000. Unfortunately the 4.5 million euro pole did not arrive until 2001 so they decided to keep it there. Honestly it wasn’t very pretty, interesting, or necessary but it was near our hostel so it was a good landmark.   On the first day we explored Dublin on our own seeing Temple Bar, the Liffy, O’Connell street, christchurch cathedral, st. patrick’s cathedral, and Dame street.

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We started off the trip by having breakfast at a pub where I experienced a traditional Irish breakfast. surprise! it was the same exact thing as an english breakfast. The only new experience was that people at the pub were drinking alcohol at 9am in the morning.

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That night for dinner we went to our friend Brittany’s apartment where they served us homemade irish food. All I have to say is that those college students knew how to cook and I will forever be in awe of their potato making abilities.

Day 2: Rural Ireland

We drove through the most beautiful landscape, passing old houses and crumbling buildings from another time. We stopped at this abbey that has not been used for hundred years but was still gorgeous. The buildings were great but they were easily beat in beauty by the rolling hills and animals in the area.

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these beautiful cliffs are the cliffs of Moher on the west side of the Republic of Ireland. photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1

The group picture above has a bit of a story behind it! The other students in the shot with Coley and I are friends of ours in London that we ran into at the Cliffs! What a small Ireland!

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This was as close to the edge as I would get because it was an extremely windy day and I had times holding my group standing at some points so I was not going to chance the 800 foot drop for a photo.

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On the tour one of our other stops was at a castle where they had this traditional Irish telephone booth, look similar to anywhere else???

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In traditional Irish spirit we made friends with random people throughout the day. photo 3

Here I was picking a fight with someone on the street, so much for peace studies…

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My favorite night in Ireland we went to a local pub with my Big, Brittany! They had traditional Irish music being played by a band and we mingled with locals! They were really nice, telling us about the music, talking about the golf on tv, and overall giving us a very positive impression of the Irish! This is where I was told some surprisingly nice things, one was that my wink is from Ireland from a 70 year old man that had a really interesting past, including working in Hollywood for some time. The other was from a different individual so made a comment as we watched golf live from South Africa that, “The world isn’t equal, you need to change that”. This was surprisingly deep considering he was well on his way to being drunk, but telling people i’m a poli sci major usually elicits some unusual response.

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This road was laid down in the 15th century.     photo 1

The Liffy.

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Christchurch Cathedral. This cathedral has quite the history, from being catholic to owned by the Church of England, to being abandoned but the church and being made into a business that included a pub then back into a catholic church it really has been there for it all.

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I also visited trinity college in Dublin. This school was really gorgeous, and possessed a great deal of history, both of the campus itself and the books it had in its library were of great value. Most notably the Book of Kells, a bible being created by Scottish individuals, that was taken to Ireland during a war for safety.

Dublin has this great fundraiser going on right now which has caused them to have decorated pigs throughout the city. This one, at Trinity College, was one of my favorites but the pigs were all impressive with great variety.
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We spent much of the weekend just hanging out with Brittany and i was perfect. Whether we were at a burrito place with heavenly burritos or hanging out at her trendy tea restaurant it was fun to just see a friend from home!photo 1 HOME SWEET HOME

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SO just when i though Ireland was amazing and I wanted to live there I came back to a London even more beautiful than I remembered. I adventured around St. James’s park and was disturbed by the amount of tourists that are now everywhere in the city. There were hundred s of people outside Buckingham Palace and sitting in the park enjoying the spring weather. photo 4 photo 5

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