Connections and Emotions Through Englands Greatest

A Visit to Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral is a building that originates from a time where religion and praying were common components to one’s routine. This place is one that confused me at first. The outside looks describe a cold feeling, one that is unwelcoming and possibly dangerous. The gothic stone style gives a lot of emotion to all who look. The outside of this cathedral felt almost like a royal place, one of which I would not belong in. Once stepping inside my view completely changed. The stained glass felt like a sign that I was safe. The color from each panel created a warm tone within the cathedral. The emotion I felt can only be described as safe; away from all possible outside problems. I felt at peace walking through each stone arch, through each carefully carved pillar. It’s almost as if I could feel all of the emotions of the faithful people who once walked in my very steps. The only theme I could use to describe this wondrous place would be peace.

Traveling Deeper into an Unknown Church; Saint Margarets

The journey to get to Saint Margaret’s Church was unfamiliar, and felt very out of the way from everything I had known. Walking through gravel, grass fields, over bridges, and besides waterways, it was a whole new world located just outside of the city. On the way to the church, there were animals such as cows and horses roaming in the fields. It was a really beautiful thing to see them walking together, and spending their time along the water’s edge. Once we arrived at the church, hidden among large trees down a narrow path, there was an immediate feeling of solitude. It felt sort of lonely in this building. The weathered exterior and smell of settled dust inside. The old graves that surround look as though nobody has taken care of them in many years. As well and the well, which is hidden down a few old stone stairs. All of these factors made this church feel lonely, even though I was with a group of people. This makes me wonder how others interpret these components. I wonder if people see a feeling of connection to this building that I find quite unloved. Even with the theme of solitude that comes from this church, it was a place I would like to go back to. I wonder if going back will change my views, or open up my eyes to a deeper message resting within the walls. 

The Wonders of Life Before Us; Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a place that holds so much value to humans and the advancements we have made. It is a place that nobody truly understands, which emphasizes its beauty. Sometimes the things we don’t understand make for the greatest discussions, stories, and interpretations; all of which make this place wonderful. When approaching the large stones, I felt a wave of strength. Being able to stand next to these structures that have so much history really puts things in perspective. The strength of the creators of these structures, along with the smarts of these people is truly inspiring. This place feels sacred to me. It feels like a place where people come to be spiritual, and connect with higher powers. The stone structure is located on a high hill, which represents accessibility in my eyes. It felt as though a higher power was within reach from this point, which may explain why the stones are placed at this location. It is really brilliant to see how advanced and creative people were a very long time ago, and how far we have come with technology. I wonder what tools these people could have used to create this structure. All of these factors guide me to the conclusion that this is a place that represents a theme of strength. Nothing can break the spirit of this historic site, and I would love to come back someday. 

A Visit to a Beautiful College; Christ Church

A truly beautiful I had visited during my time in Oxford is one that is incredibly close to my heart. Christ Church College, the inspiration of Alice in Wonderland as well as a filming location for Harry Potter. I grew up watching the Harry Potter films, and it was incredible to be able to walk in the very same places that some of my favorite scenes were filmed. It amazed me how big and beautiful the college really is. It really shocks me how students at this college walk through this beautiful campus everyday, almost like they are in a Harry Potter film. The listening device that was given to me gave me some really useful information about the history of each section of the tour. It was really fascinating to understand student life at Christ Church further. The college itself felt homey, there was a warm energy that came from within. The sunlight coming through from the vast amounts of windows and stone arches amplified this sense. I loved seeing this location just because we were actively reading Alice in Wonderland. It was really amazing being able to see some of the places that we had talked about, that inspired the writing of the book. I felt connected in such an immersive experience.

Exploring Magdalen College & Addisons Walk

The Magdalen College is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Oxford. It feels like it is straight out of a Harry Potter movie, with hallways that feel similar to Christ Church College. You can see flowers blooming from the sides of the stone buildings, there is so much nature that surrounds them. The nature walk was my favorite part of this journey. I was able to connect with some friends while walking in the first bit, admiring nature together. I then took the time to go off on my own and walk through the very scenic path taking the time to feel present. I was able to see so many different kinds of animals such as deer, birds, ducks, and frogs. I was even able to see a few white deer which I have never seen before. It was really nice to listen to the sounds of the stream next to me as I walked. I find it really crazy that there are students that get to walk those hallways everyday. They are able to sit outside and enjoy nature as much as they would like. It makes me realize how outsiders may see our beautiful campus at Salve Regina. I also connected to the building where we were able to see C.S. Lewis’ room. I grew up watching the Narnia movies, and was unaware that he had written the books before I came on this trip. I was able to think about some of my memories of watching the movies while I was on my walk, which made me feel even more connected. 

Experiencing the Roman Baths

I have had a connection to the Roman Baths ever since I was in 8th grade and first learned about the Roman Empire. Understanding how complex this empire was, especially for its time period was really eye opening. Everything from their irrigation systems, to the detail in the buildings they created. I felt strongly bonded to the bath and surrounding architecture that we were able to visit. There were many more rooms than I had imagined, with some showing separate pools. One room had a small stream running through which proves how advanced this time was. There were incredible statues with some emperors, including my very favorite, Julius Caesar. I was able to explore this remarkable property, and finally have the chance to stand in a place I had seen in the history textbooks. 

A Love For my Space

Over the month of time I had to spend in Oxford, I was given the opportunity to learn and grow. I was challenged in ways I had no expected. In a whole new environment with new people and new culture, was was unsure what to expect. I grew to love where I was. I made friends that may last a lifetime. I took pictures that I will forever look back on in my camera roll. I talked to people who grew up on the opposite side of the world. I experienced life outside of my own. I now have such a strong love for Oxford, and all the surrounding areas. All the experiences I had made my journey worth it. A simple, yet favorite place of mine was right outside my dorm room. On a small balcony with tall walls which made it hard to see over. Spending many nights looking over to catch a glimpse of the sunset. I love life in Oxford, and these memories will stay with me for a lifetime.

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