Story by: Tess Barnett, Reviews Editor
Photos by: Samuel Jobe, Staff Photographer
To an Indiana girl who is used to small towns, the world can seem like a huge, intimidating place.
Halfway through my freshman year, Mrs. Schiller and Mrs. Zelencik announced that they would be taking a group of students halfway across the world to Great Britain in June of 2015. I immediately set my heart on going to see the place that I had read and dreamt about my entire life.
When June finally came around after months of eager anticipation, I was more than ready. The international flight flew by and before I knew it, we were landing among miles of green cow pasture in Shannon, Ireland.
The first thing our group noticed were the rolling hills dotted with fluffy white sheep. The change of pace was also obvious; there were few cars to be found and no packed freeways in sight.
During our brief stint in Ireland, we toured the Ring of Kerry, took a horse drawn carriage ride through Killarney National Park, and toured Blarney Castle. A few brave souls, myself included, kissed the famed Blarney Stone.
In Dublin, we had the privilege of touring the city, visiting famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Several of us were in literary Heaven during our visit to the Trinity College Library.
Our next stop was Wales, where we were amazed at the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia. Several members of our group spent the evening in our hotel listening to the language and cultural stories of Thomas, a Wales native.
We spent a day in the Lake District of Northern England, where we explored the beautiful gardens of Rydal Mount, the former home of WIlliam Wordsworth.
Scotland held a wealth of unexpected beauty and medieval magic in the Old Town. I find it amusing that we stayed in the New Town- which is 200 years old. We were all immediately astounded by the history of Edinburgh Castle and the blend of old and new.
After an afternoon of meandering the Royal Mile, we decided to climb up Arthur’s Seat, a mountain that overlooks Holyrood Palace. While the rest of us were struggling to make our way up, the group’s mountaineers were scaling the rocky side that towered above us.
After our antics were over, we had the honor of witnessing practice for the queen’s arrival the next day.
The night train that evening took us away from gorgeous Scotland and into the huge, crowded city of London. We were overwhelmed by the enormity of the city, but unfortunately underwhelmed by London’s iconic sites.
The trip seemed to end far too soon, and before we knew it, we were on a plane again headed for the United States.
The trip opened my eyes, and I’m sure those of my fellow student travelers. We are eternally grateful to Mrs. Zelencik, Mrs, Schiller, and Mrs. Stindle for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.