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The Trip Home

I headed back home mid July. It was pure madness trying to get everything ready to go. A bunch of my friends were taking off and there were many heartfelt farewells. At the same time, I had exams I was trying to pass, insurance to cancel, city residence to deregister, bank account to empty, travel tickets to order, hotels to book, residence check-out to do and luggage to pack. My English friend, Sarah, and I planned to take a train from Graz to Paris, stay the night, then take a bus through the Chunnel to London, stay there at her sister's place for the night, then go to her home near Winchester.

In the wee hours of a summer morning, we departed Graz with our massive bags of luggage. Honestly, traveling with heavy luggage was the worst part about the trip home. There were many times I considered chucking the thing out entirely. Sarah and I spent some time sight-seeing in Paris. We went to the Notre Dame, we went to see the Obelisk, we saw some big church on some big hill, some big archway she said was famous (and had me pose by it), and then to some Starbucks. I most of all wanted to see the catacombs, but it wasn't in the cards for us.

Going through the Chunnel was an amazing experience. Well, it didn't seem amazing when going through, but the concept was amazing. They just put the bus in some freight car type compartment and we waited for a half hour to come out the other side.

The English countryside is absolutely gorgeous, and just how I remembered it from "The Secret Garden". (haha) London did indeed have the double-decker buses and people speaking English English and townhouses that were oh-so-cute. We saw the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London (which wasn't what you imagine), and the London Eye, among other London-ey things. We even had time to catch "Henry the Eighth" at Shakespeare's Globe Theater, but ended up leaving early because we had standing tickets and were way too tired to stand for 2 hours. Over the next couple of days, we went to see the supposed "Knights of the Round Table" table in Winchester, walked outside Winchester Cathedral, and also visited Stone Henge, which was out in the middle of a bunch of sheep pasture. The last couple nights I was in England I spent at Sarah's parents' house, which was a fun treat. It felt so nice to be in an actual home as opposed to transient college-style living arrangements.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye to that part of the world and Sarah drove me (on the left side of the road!) to the airport. The plane ride back was MUCH much easier and quicker than the way there. I knew the drill: aspirin, candied ginger, and earplugs. Soon enough, I was giving my sister a hug and having the best sleep of my life back home in America.