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Time Flies July 16, 2012

Posted by kmorrisey3 in Travel Log.
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It’s hard to believe I have less than three weeks left at Oxford. I feel like I’ve been here forever, but nonetheless it’s weird to think I’ll be back studying at Georgia Tech in a month! As painfully cliché as this sounds, time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Barcelona, Spain

My friends and I outside of the Basilica de Familia Sagrada

Barcelona was my very first independent international trip. By the end of the weekend, I was wishing I had my group leaders back! I definitely took the immense amount of planning they must have had to undertake to plan our itinerary for granted. At least I can say I learned from my mistakes. Here is just five things I learned from my weekend in Barcelona:

  1. Paella is my new favorite food.
  2. You will be smacked with a 60 pound fee to print your boarding pass if you don’t arrive to the airport with it already printed.
  3. Loading your hotel room is, in fact, illegal in Spain.
  4. Never assume your flight will depart on time and purchase bus tickets accordingly-you will miss your bus.
  5. Sangria can be significantly more expensive than actual food.

England

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been studying at Worcester College, which is a part of the University of Oxford. As a collegiate university, Oxford’s structure can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. The university is actually a federation, and it comprises over forty self-governing colleges and halls (Worcester being one of them), along with a central administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor. Each college is responsible for organizing the teaching of undergraduate students. While I’ve been learning much in the classroom, I’ve been learning just as much out of the classroom. The city of Oxford has much more to offer than just first rate academics. The city is rich with tradition and history (not to mention amazing food). King James Castle is just one of the historical monuments in the city. About two hours from Oxford is the city of Salisbury, which is where you can find Stonehenge. I visited the mysterious artform on a rainy Friday the 13th, which added to the enigmatic atmosphere of the place. At first the rain was light and bearable, but, much to my friends and my dismay, it soon started to pour. One thing I’ve learned from traveling this summer is flexibility. Instead of letting the rain ruin our pictures, we took some silly ones.

Stonehenge

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I was crazy to think things would slow down when I got to Oxford! I’ve found myself studying in the same pub J.K. Rowling wrote part of the famed Harry Potter series, attending a lecture held by a Nobel Prize winner on Alternative Energy, and watching the Olympic Torch being handed off less than 10 feet in front of me.

Olympic Torch hand off

Dublin, Ireland

On July 6, I traveled to my homeland: Ireland! My family has some Celtic heritage, so I, of course, was interested in visiting Ireland. I saw my family crest and learned about the history of my descendants. Here’s my crest and motto:

The Morrissey (O’Muirgheasa) Family Crest (Morrisey is a variation of spelling)
Motto: CERVATI ET VICI (I have fought and conquered)

Much like England, it was rainy and cold the whole weekend. To say I miss the sun is quite an understatement! Nonetheless, we enjoyed every second of our visit to Dublin. After a relatively quick flight, we had some traditional Irish breakfast of Guinness toast, sausage, and porridge. After exploring the city and unpacking in our hotel room, my friends and I settled in at a popular local pub with live music called Foleys. Foleys quickly became my favorite restaurant in all of Europe. The food was exceptional and the atmosphere of the pub was unparalled. The music was an equal balance of Irish folk tunes and American classics that energized the pub, bringing people to their feet dancing, stomping, and clapping to the beat. The man performing the live music stole my heart with his cover of my song, Brown Eyed Girl. I wish I could upload one of the multiple videos I took of his performance!

The next day, I went on a 13 hour tour to the Cliffs of Moher. Follow this link to a webpage I wrote in html in my Computer Science class to learn more about my tour: http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/cs1315/uploads/5761/HW5-KNM.html.

It is definitely going to feel strange to be back in America and be surrounded by modern architecture and culture again. I’ve taken to doing my homework and studying (and typing these blogs) in local cafes and pubs (my favorite is actually the same pub J.K Rowling and C.S Lewis have come for inspiration, which is where I currently am). I don’t know how I’ll be able to study in the CULC in August but it’ll be here before I know it!

Until next time,

Kelliann Morrisey

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