When I decided to go on the study abroad program to Rimini, Italy my first thought was two weeks it too short. With that in mind I tried to get my friends to do a Euro trip with me before I had to start my classes in Italy. Having no takers to go on this great adventure with me, I decided to do it alone.
Before going last month I was so excited I couldn’t wait for the day to come for my departure to Edinburgh, Scotland. When it came I got nervous because I didn’t know anyone and only had a minimal idea of where I was going. Once I got there, I found it to be a beautiful city that was easy to get around – although I will admit the time change is a bit rough. Going on this trip alone made me realize that I could do things by myself and it didn’t have to be intimidating. I went into pubs and restaurants by myself and really enjoyed it because I could really take in what was going on around me.
The city of Edinburgh is beautiful and I had an amazing time walking around Edinburgh Castle and even did a Highland Tour, which I highly recommend. I was only in Edinburgh two full days with two days in transit, but I loved it. Next I was off to London via train which is a very beautiful journey. It takes 4 1/2 hours but it is totally worth it because you get to see the whole country.
Getting into London was easy and if you have an iPhone the maps app becomes your best friend because it has transit information! Seeing the sights became so easy and the fear of getting lost was taken away pretty quickly. I spent one full day walking about London and seeing the sights that I missed on my first trip there three years ago. The city is amazing. I wish we had their public transit system it would make life so much easier!
The next day I decided to figure out how to get to Stonehenge and the Roman Baths without having to pay and arm and a leg with the tour companies. Before leaving the states I bought a BritRail pass because the train tickets can get pretty expensive, and so I used that pass to make my way to Salisbury and Bath Spas which are the locations near the two sights. It was very easy to do alone and the countryside is beautiful.
I couldn’t wait to see Stonehenge. It was a really cool site and I spent a couple of hours walking around. Then, after another train ride, I did the same in Bath Spas which is a really cool town even without the Roman Baths. Overall traveling in the United Kingdom alone wasn’t hard or frightening and I had an amazing time.
Next I was on my way to Paris via the Eurostar train. Until next time!
Jordan Ochoa is an international security and conflict resolution major. She is traveling throughout Europe for five weeks this summer, two of which will be on a Rimini, Italy faculty-led program.