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A Trip Across the Pond - 11/14/11

Fri, Nov 11th, 2011
Posted in Columnists

Country Hopping!

It's hard to believe that I have been away from the States for more than two months now, and it feels as if I have had enough unique experiences to last me the rest of my life. This includes visiting Paris and various locations in the beautiful country of Scotland. This, of course, is not part of the studying that's taking place over here. We are encouraged to explore a little bit and plan extra trips for ourselves when we have the weekend off, so one weekend a couple friends and I decided to visit Paris. The city was lovely, but unfortunately we were staying in a bit of a sketchy part of town. In spite of that, we signed up for a bus tour of the city and saw all the sites. The night ended like something out of Hollywood. We decided our final stop would be the Eiffel Tower. We stopped at a bakery, each bought a baguette for ourselves and headed towards the building that makes Paris' skyline. We took a trip to the top and the view was absolutely spectacular. As we made our way back down, all the lights on the tower turned on and it lit up the whole surrounding area. Gorgeous. As if that wasn't enough, when we stepped off the elevator the tower actually started to twinkle. It literally sparkled with hundreds of little light bulbs creating the effect. It was breathtaking to see. We didn't even mind it when it started to rain.

Less than a week later our whole study abroad group packed up and made the trek over to the absolutely stunning country of Scotland. After staying a night in Edinburgh, we took off on a backpacking tour that took us to various locations throughout the country. It was seriously the most beautiful landscape I've seen. We also learned a lot. Our tour guide had so many stories to tell. Some stories included fairy tales, historical battle scenes, and he even made up a story about a little animal called a Haggis. We called him on that one though. He was also able to tell me about some of my Scottish ancestors. He seemed to know more about my history than I did. The whole experience was something I will never forget. Pictures didn't seem to do it justice, but I did my best to have something to send home to the family. If I had to pick one last place to visit in my life, I would go back to Scotland. It was that powerful.

In addition to taking trips around Europe, my fellow students and I were able to do our production of the play, Greater Tuna in the past few weeks. It was very exciting to be performing in London. We ran around handing out flyers for every show even up to the last night of the run. The play itself takes place in a town called Tuna, Texas, a little town full of ultra-conservative, slightly nutty citizens. The whole show was a comic satire filled with ridiculous characters and even involved some of our actors taking on a different gender to play the part. This actor included. The seven cast members played a total of more than 20 characters! There were quick-changes galore and costumes were constantly flying through the air. Lots of fun was had and we had a great audience each night.

These past few weeks have been jam packed with museum trips, nights at the theatre, and it's amazing all the things I've been able to see. I will admit, I miss a few things about Minnesota. I miss my family and friends of course, but there's also Spring Grove Soda, fall colors (the leaves don't change until after they fall here), and I even miss campus life back at Saint Mary's. Still, a lot is left to be done here. Up next on the agenda is the preparation for finals. That will hopefully go quickly, because after that I'll be heading to Dublin to do a two week intensive program at the Gaiety School of Acting. Until then...so long chaps!

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