Tales from Abroad: An Encounter with Oxford Aug28

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Tales from Abroad: An Encounter with Oxford

This semester in Oxford has been absolutely amazing! I don’t even know where to begin. I have loved every minute of living in Oxford, from visiting the weekly markets to walking around the parks. I have been blessed with amazing travel opportunities, and during my time here I have gone to eight different countries including  Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Germany, and Austria. This fall has been packed with stories and if I were to talk about them all this would turn into a book instead of a blog. Instead of trying to cover everything, here are some of the highlights of each trip.

Our first travel weekend was spent in Stockholm, Sweden. One of my favorite experiences there was visiting the Skansen open air museum. Part of Skanson is designed like a zoo with exhibits for different animals, and the other part is a replica of what a typical 19th century town would have looked like.

My next travel experience was our class trip to Spain. Throughout our 10 days there we stayed in Girona, Barcelona, and Zaragoza, but we took several day trips as well. My favorite day of that week was when we went to L’Escala and spent the day swimming and relaxing on the beach (even though the water was freezing), and seeing the greco-roman ruins that were there.

For our fall break I traveled with friends to Milan, Italy, Athens, Greece, and Sofia, Bulgaria. My two favorite places on this trip were actually the day trips that we took. In Italy we left Milan to spend a day in Florence where we got to spend the day walking around the city watching the street performers and looking in shops, walking across the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge and watching the sunset over Florence from the top of a hill. During our time in Athens

we took a day trip to the Greek island Aegina and rented four-wheelers. We spent the day riding along the beaches and up into the mountains to see the ruins of an old temple. Aegina was absolutely beautiful!

One of my favorite trips overall was our weekend trip to Northern Ireland. Three friends and I took a relaxing girl’s trip to Belfast, and on our first full day there we took a coach tour. On the tour we got to  see Carrickfergus castle, cross the Carrick-A-Rede  rope bridge, and see the Giant’s Causeway. The next day was the opening of the Belfast Christmas market which was something we had been looking forward to seeing.

For Thanksgiving break, our final travel weekend, I went Germany and Austria. This trip was different because we rented a car which gave us the freedom of escaping the big city and going to some smaller towns. We spent the first night in Berchtesgaden, Germany, then the next day went to Hallstatt, Austria and ended in Salzburg. My two favorite parts of this particular trip were driving through the mountains and the beautiful countryside, and getting to visit more Christmas markets in Salzburg.

This semester has been an amazing experience. I have been fortunate to travel to multiple other countries and experience their different cultures; I have been able to have new kinds of worship experiences not only in England, but in Spain and Ireland as well. I have been able to make some of the best memories of my life here, and most importantly I get to share them with my best friends. My study abroad experience has been very impactful on my life, and I cannot believe my time here is already coming to a close.