Cassandra Lund has traveled on more than fifteen EF tours and has more planned through 2013. Lund is a magazine journalism major at Temple University in Philadelphia, and she hopes to write for a travel magazine after her graduation in 2012. Here, she writes about her experiences on her recent EF tour of Great Britain.
By Cassandra Lund | EF student traveler
This picture was taken on our first full day in Ireland. Our tour led us around the Ring of Kerry to many small Irish towns and got a well-rounded experience of the Irish culture and food. Our bus led us around beautiful landscapes such as the one pictured, and down narrow and windy Irish roads. It was a great way to start our tour of the British Isles!
The Blarney Castle is one of the “must sees” in Ireland. The true experience is climbing up the stairs to the top of the castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. In kissing the stone, visitors hope to get the “Gift of Gab” from their visit to Ireland. This ancient castle is a beautiful reminder of Ireland’s fight to become independent, and its flourishing landscapes with green plants wrapping the castle are breathtaking. During our visit we had the opportunity to walk the path of ancient people and explore the surrounding town.
A sight we got used to seeing very often while traveling from town to town, was groups of sheep and cows in their green fields. To this day, Ireland and Scotland both depend greatly on farming which helped us to understand the amount of animals we saw grazing the countryside.
Our trip took us to Edinburgh and a few other small towns in the land of the Scottish. Many of us heard bagpipes being played for the first time and others on the trip bought their first kilt while in Edinburgh! Everyone enjoyed their time there, and many people in our group claimed Edinburgh as their favorite town of the whole trip.
The Edinburgh Castle was a beautiful sight and added to our day in Edinburgh greatly. The castle had beautiful architecture and reminded me of a Disney movie. Cannons could be found all around the castle, hiding, and down narrow pathways. During our free day in Edinburgh, some of us ate traditional food while others went shopping until our group had to meet for the night train to London.
I view London as a business center, cultural melting pot and a tourist haven. This is a picture of two of the most famous sites in London, the London Eye and The House of Parliament with Big Ben. The Thames River can also be seen in this picture, the center of one of the greatest cities in the world. London took everyone’s hearts with the endless amount of things to do and see.
My favorite thing in all of London would have to be Primark. Primark is a store notorious for its low prices, selection of clothing and amount of shoppers. As soon as you get off the Tube at Marble Arch you will see every other person on the street walking with a brown Primark bag. They have everything ranging from shoes, to bags, to clothing, jewelry, home items and so much more. I would recommend this store to anyone who loves shopping and low prices, and there is a men’s section so you can convince your husband or boyfriend to come as well!
While we were on our trip we had gotten the news that Amy Winehouse passed. I was a big fan of her and had followed her from her rise to fame and her downfall into drugs and addiction. When we arrived at her home, it had been about two days after her death. Upon arrival, we saw the three or so huge news trucks at the end of her street. Security was lined in front of her house as well as paparazzi and a huge display of flowers. This picture is of the piles of flowers, paintings, shirts and more that were left for Amy by her fans and friends.
Our trip was coming to an end and our last destinations were Bath and Stonehenge. Everyone was sad that our trip was ending but it could not end in a better way. In the center of town, there are preserved Roman Baths where Romans used to bathe, talk and even have business meetings!
Stonehenge is an ancient arrangement of rocks that are a mystery in their creation. Whether you believe it was aliens, ancient peoples or magic, it is an amazing sight to see. Seeing this at the end of our trip provided us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and what we learned from our time abroad. We all made new friends, experienced great things together and opened our view of the world!