Dolphins Abroad: ‘Ello, London. Cheers.

Kyla Merriman, Staff Writer

 

Remember that one time Katie Yam came to visit me? Well, she returned the favor and was nice enough to welcome me to London for the weekend. And what a weekend it was; I only had three days to get the full London experience.

We saw all the major attractions that London has to offer: the London Tower, Tower Bridge, London Eye and Buckingham Palace, just to name a few. It is safe to say that it was a major crash course of London. However, I also took full advantage of the amazing transportation system and took a train trip out to Oxford. It could not have been any simpler to get there from London; hop on the Tube (London’s famous underground) to Paddington Station and take the hour-long train ride out to Oxford.

Katie and I had a great day in Oxford. It seems as if the entire town is nothing but beautiful, old, historic buildings. However, the town still has all the perks of modern conveniences. We passed a building that looked like it was straight out of a Robin Hood movie, except for the fact that it was actually a Prêt à Manger (essentially England’s version of a Starbucks).

Oxford also had a wonderful little shop called “Alice’s Shop.” As it turns out, Alice Liddell grew up in Oxford and was Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” This store was the perfect definition of a-hole-in-the-wall kind of shop. The merchandise covered every inch of the store and there was barely enough room for Katie and I, let alone multiple other tourists trying to find the perfect keepsake.

I loved the sights of Oxford and London, but I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about the food. However, I was lucky enough to experience some of the best meals I’ve ever had; surprisingly, considering the bad reputation that England has for having bland food. Nando’s has some of the best chicken I’ve ever had, but be warned, it is super spicy. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (affectionately referred to as Yoko Ono Burger) was where I had one of the best burgers I have ever had, not to mention the deliciously unique super skinny fries.

I’m not sure if it is a uniquely European thing, but while in London I discovered the wonderfulness that is mulled wine. It was as if I had graduated from drinking hot apple cider to the adult version, perfect for the holiday season. I enjoyed it so much that I made plans with a friend to attempt to mull our own; it can’t be that hard, right?

My adventures in England were so great and I am so thankful to be having this experience. I cannot believe I have less than a month left; that realization is so bittersweet. I am looking forward to being home with my family for Christmas, as I’m sure you all are, but I don’t want to leave my newly found friends that have been my substitute family for three months.

Finals are coming up; wish me luck! My last adventure is set for Scotland, December 17-19. Let’s see what other adventures I can squeeze in before my trek home…