Makenna takes advantage of the CAPA excursion to Stonehenge and Bath that's included in our London Program and shares with you how the experience gave her the opportunity to compare two very different types of historic landmarks!
There’s something new to do in London every weekend, but studying abroad means there are chances to see places outside of the city too. CAPA offers a range of excursions and My Global City events that take place inside and out of London. I’ve found that taking advantage of these are a great way to explore and stay within the constraints of a budget.
Stonehenge and Bath was a big excursion, taking us to the mystical stones and then down the beautiful streets of a city bathed in history. The guided trip covered transportation and entry into both Stonehenge and the Roman Baths, making it an excursion everyone wanted to be part of.
Our first stop was Stonehenge. There’s something about driving through green fields full of sheep and watching little houses skate past the bus windows that feels so European, yet so different from the European that London is. As we drove toward Stonehenge, we learned about the way the stones may have been placed there and the reasons why, but all of the theory is uncertain.
I think there’s something really beautiful about the uncertainty of Stonehenge and where it’s located. We’re living in a human constructed city, London is special because of the regality that it’s been given by humans. Stonehenge is said to be mystical because it’s impossible to know exactly how it came to be. To stand in front of history and step where people have been stepping for so many years provoked feelings of gratitude and excitement.
After Stonehenge we made the trip to Bath. Bath has been my favorite city so far. It was compact and bustling. The city’s stone buildings reflected the light just enough to give everything a golden hue. It was the scene of a fairytale. As we walked along the river, we saw people taking boat tours and others enjoying ice cream in the park. It was a city of happiness.
It seems that every place in this part of the world has good food. So, it was no surprise that when a group stopped for Greek food, it was good for both the Instagram feed and the stomach. Choosing a place to get coffee, ice cream and food was difficult, so if you’re ever in the area, I’d suggest walking through the streets until you find something that makes your mouth water.
Muscles are my favorite, and as a Colorado girl they can be hard to come by. I love getting them when I’m somewhere closer to the water.
Bath came to be a very, very, very long time ago. The city was constructed beautifully throughout history, and part of it has to do with the Roman bathhouse we were able to enter. The city sits on a hot spring. The hot spring is why the bathhouse was constructed. The hot, mineral filled water was said, and still is, to have healing properties. Now, the actual Roman bath is open to tour. You can see the main bath and some pieces of piping and the temple. While we didn’t visit the spa, it still seemed like a space of healing and relaxation next to the large bath and down by the moist walls. We even drank the metallic tasting water.
Visiting the two locations in a day offered a sense of history on two different spectrums. There was the mystical, conspiracy packed experience that Stonehenge offered and the weekend away in paradise that is Bath. Exploring the places outside of London helped me remember why I love London and that I crave to see more outside of it while I’m here. Living in such close proximity to breathtaking destinations is just another reason I feel so lucky to call this city a three-month home.
Makenna Sturgeon is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Journalism major at University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
Makenna's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.