The weekend of March 4 I went on a class trip to Glastonbury and Stonehenge. While the trip was certainly restful, it wasn’t what any of us had in mind when we left!
We left on a bus from the University of Exeter campus in the early afternoon. The bus was a little smaller than expected (think church van sized) but somehow all of our luggage fit into the back. The seating was crowded but we made it work! Riding out to Glastonbury was beautiful—it never ceases to amaze me how much green space there is in England.
Once we arrived in Glastonbury, we took some time to get checked in at our B&Bs. Now usually the group stays in one hotel while on trips, but my professor thought we should all have an “authentic bed and breakfast experience” while abroad and suggested we book our own rooms.
A friend and I booked into Jasmin Cottage but couldn’t check in because the proprietor was giving massages that afternoon. Bewildered at what to do with our luggage, we called around to friends and finally found somewhere to put our stuff. Professor M graciously allowed us to drop our things at her yoga retreat! The B&B ended up being amazing though, we had the nicest bathroom!
Lunching at Hundred Monkeys Café was wonderful—if a bit odd. About half of the study abroad group went and quickly dug into fresh squeezed juices. I ordered a local beef burger but what I got bore little resemblance to either beef or a burger. Luckily, the chips that came with the meat were edible!
I should probably mention that this trip was a little atypical in another way–my friend Samantha’s fiance joined us! Justin and Sam met us in the cafe after catching a train from the Bristol airport.
After checking in and eating lunch, we prepared for a hike up the Tor. From a distance, the hill looks huge and we were all quite scared of what the hike would bring. However, we needn’t have worried: the weather was glorious and the hike less strenuous than imagined. All of the huffing and puffing up the hill was worth it the second we reached the top. Viewing the countryside from that height was amazing!
While at the top, we gossiped about our creative writing projects and took a picture as a group—how did it take us this long to get one?
The rest of the day was spent wandering around looking at the strange shops. Apparently Glastonbury is a center
for occult shops–who knew? I’ve never seen so many healing crystals, brooms and Books of Shadow in the same place.
With no planned activities for the day, my friend and I woke up and headed to Glastonbury Abbey. Building on the site started in the 7th century and was continued until the reign of Henry VIII when most of the site was destroyed. The ruins are beautiful to look at, though I couldn’t help but feel sad at all that had been lost!
We started out on a tour with a man in costume, but my friend and I quickly decided that the tour wasn’t for us. Instead, we wandered off on our own and found the cutest little pond. Back at the gift shop I did a brass rubbing that I can’t wait to hang on my wall back home–it’s so cool!
The weather was FREEZING so after wandering around the same streets a few times we stopped for much
needed Chai Tea Lattes and waited until it was time to leave.
Later, the group met up again in the afternoon to head to our next location—a hotel within a few miles of Stonehenge. Being a huge Beatles fan myself, I was psyched to stay in the hotel they stopped in while filming Help!. My prayers were answered when I got to sleep in the Beatles suite and photo shoot hilarity ensued.
The head of our program, Professor McAdams, swooned at the sight of the Beatles!
Waking up at 5 am is never fun, but going to Stonehenge is a pretty good reason to get out of bed! We left early so that we could watch the sunrise from within the stone circle—a unique experience now that they’ve roped off the stones to tourists. The sunrise itself wasn’t great, but the experience was phenomenal! We even took pictures of the Kenyon-Exeter group doing fake yoga (I’ll post this one as soon as I get a copy).
This weekend I am heading off to Stratford-upon-Avon for a few Shakespeare plays. I’ll fill you in on the details when I return.