Finally Here!!!

Oxford Travel Blog

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Today was incredible- we're finally here at Oxford! I cannot tell you how nice it is to finally have arrived.

The day started off earlier than usual, as we had to leave in time for our appointment time to cross in the EuroTunnel. I woke up after a horrible night's rest, which I guess is ok since I've had great sleep this whole trip except for last night. I'm guess it was better than Bryan's, since he had to crash on the floor...

I grabbed breakfast with Bryan at the hotel restuarant. This is something I'll miss at Oxford- the "free" and bountiful buffets of hotel breakfasts.

Soon it was time to board the bus and so I said bye to Bryan and was on my way with my last trip with group 2 (my Oxford program group). Though it was strange to all be together for the last time, I think we all agreed it was time to get to Oxford and do our own thing.

Before we knew it, we had crossed into France and were at the EuroTunnel! (aka Chunnel) This is one of those things you watch on Modern Marvels or something similar and always wonder what it would be like to experience it in first hand. It was pretty awesome! Basically, after going through the British customs and a long line of vehicles, we pulled onto a massive train car and the bus drove through several more train cars to get to its place in on the train. Once we were in the right spot, the entrance to the train closed and each car was sealed off. The bus parked and we were able to get out and walk around from car to car and use the bathroom at the end of the train. Pretty cool! The ride was only about 30 minutes, so it was over before you knew it.

There we were, coming up in the UK! My ninth country ever! We all kind of laughed at the big warning coming off the train: "Drive on the Left Side of the Road" but it made perfect sense as we were immediately thrown on an interstate, but we were on the left side! Our bus driver certainly had no problem with it, but most of us were completely thrown off by it! It's strange how the little things about each place amaze you... it was hard to get over!

We drove through the moors of England and it was pretty cool to be in the UK! After a few hours that included a drive that bypassed around London, we exited the "interstate" and were in Oxford! It is beautiful and so charming here! The town, from first glance, is a glorified and beautiful college town with people (mostly tourists) everywhere. I can't wait to really get out and explore. I'm very happy to be calling this home for the next six weeks, but I laughed as I commented on the irony of how we'll probably get sick of the tourists here before too long.

After some trouble with directions, we pulled up to Worcester College, which is our campus that we are at for the rest of the summer. The Tech staff who are here welcomed us and it was a transistion from our trip leaders who we had gotten so used to to a whole new set of adults. We unloaded the bus, and got our keys and info packets. It was strangley exciting- just like the move in day freshman year or something.

I got to my room which is just fine- a more modern room with everything I need (except it has a community bathroom...). It's not as charming or exciting as some of the rooms people got, but no problem- it's literally next to my classroom.

We were the first group here, so I had to wait a little bit to see my friends from other groups. But soon enough, I was finally reunited with people I know! It was so exciting to see my friends that I have looked forward to seeing for a while. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of the summer with them.

I had the "late" dinner, which gave me enough time for a run through town. The left side driving again threw me off! After almost running out in front of traffic, I looked very carefully from then on. The town is even better on foot! I can't wait to explore it and spend my time here (during the week, at least). Although, I have to admit, the town is very "American" meaning it looks just like America in a lot of ways- lots of chain stores and American elements, but it still has plenty of British charm and it is so nice for everything to be in English and in miles, feet, etc...

Dinner was amazingly good- fresh vegetables and fish! I can't wait to eat in the dining hall- so cool. We had our orientation meeting, which was nice to understand everything going on, and then I was able to spend time with a few friends and catch up!

I look forward to writing more about Oxford! It's nice to be settled even though I'll be packing up in a few days for next weekend's travels!
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photo by: petit_gooroo