Traveling is one of the few experiences that no one can take away from you no matter what, and it can change a person’s entire life. I recently embarked on a trip to England with Westfield High School. We traveled to London, Bath, Windsor, Salisbury, and Stratford.
Our first two days were spent in London, sightseeing and roaming around the massive city. I had never realized that London was even bigger in size and population than New York City, but it is, and it is hard to ignore. We traveled to Piccadilly and Trafalgar squares, via the Tube, or the British subway. We shopped, ate, and even saw a very crowded Buckingham Palace. We then traveled to Windsor, about 45 minutes from London, and saw Windsor Castle, the place where the queen spends her weekends, but we did not see the Queen. Windsor was stunning, and the sun did peak out several times during our stay there. The gardening of Windsor was stunning with rows of tulips and the greenest grass you’ve ever seen. Baby ducks waddled around the Queen’s gardens, and everything was incredibly well-kept and incredibly clean. We then traveled back to London and went to the threat district and saw an amazing production of “School of Rock,” which included all British actors who tried their absolute hardest to mask their accents with American ones.
The following day was chilly, and we made our way to a quaint little town two hours from London, called Salisbury. Salisbury was beautiful and very rustic. It felt like everyone knew everyone, and little businesses could easily be run and dreams could be followed. We stopped in a tea shop owned by one woman, and it was evident that she was so happy just to be selling tea to all ages, and very very content with her life. We then visited the massive Salisbury Cathedral, which we found out, took about 30 years to build, even though you would have thought it took 300 years. The ceilings were massive and everything was crafted with such delicate intricacy. There were no photos permitted, but I couldn’t help but sneak a few, quite a few.
The following sunny day, we traveled to the unbelievable city of Bath, a very historic town which has grown into a vast university city. The architecture was stunning, and one would have been easily content just taking in the breathtaking sights of it all. We saw the Roman Baths and drank water from its warm spring, which is supposed to make whoever drinks it immune to all disease and live forever.
We then left Bath and moved to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. This was my least favorite spot of the trip. There just was not too much to do there, and the sights underwhelmed me quite a bit. We did see Shakespeare’s place of birth and the place where his body is supposedly located, but overall, I was underwhelmed by what I saw.
Then, we made our way back to London where we spent the last two days of our trip roaming around the massive city, and these last few days included my favorite part of the trip; visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral. I wanted to make a point to do this at some point during the week just from seeing the outside of the cathedral on the very first day, and it did not disappoint. St. Paul’s was stunning. It nearly brought me to tears, and everything inside was absolutely surreal and beautiful. The high ceilings were covered in intricate paintings lined with gold, and you could have stared at it for hours and still not seen every detail. At the top of the Cathedral, after the 500 stair walk, there is the most breathtaking view of London you’ve ever seen, and I will never forget the way it felt looking out on the entire skyline.
I was not thrilled to come home, but I was ready, though I was not anticipating the jetlag. England was an experience that I will not forget ever, and I’ve been grateful everyday since I returned that I got the chance to go.