Have you ever been to a palace? Like a real, legit palace? Because they’re beautiful.
Last Friday, our professors decided to visit Blenheim Palace with their family, and they invited us to come along! So early in the morning, we all piled on to a double-decker bus (the first ride of the trip! Exciting, I know, but also scary- they don’t stop for anything!) and headed off to the palace. We arrived around lunchtime, so as soon as we were done taking super-tourist-y pictures, we set off in search of a place to eat our picnic lunch. The palace gardens are absolutely stunning and look like they came out of The Princess Diaries or something, so we walked through them, and just beyond them found a path leading to a forest alongside a river. We walked along it a little ways, enjoying the views of green and blue (not dead like Texas), before finally finding a small hill on which to enjoy our picnic.
It was a really fun lunch, getting to catch up with some of the girls who live in the next house over that I don’t get to see as often. We soaked in the sun (yes, sun in England! It happens!) and watched the various birds around us before finishing our meals and moving on down the path. We had scarcely been walking five minutes when we found a waterfall! It was such a beautiful sight, seeing the water cascade down the rocks and hearing it roar. It was so beautiful in fact that, in true white-girl American form, we stopped to take selfies.
Once we were satisfied that our pictures had all turned out well, we continued our way along the path back to the palace. We stopped again when we came to a lovely little rose garden, and literally stopped to smell the roses (haha). They were growing in all different colors, and if there had been a boy with me, I would have even called the scene romantic.
When we finally reached the end of the path and re-entered the palace, we went inside and began mulling through the exhibits on the history of Blenheim. Blenheim is the birthplace of Winston Churchill, so there was a whole exhibit on his influence on Britain. We even got to see the room that he was born in! …Yeah, that one weirded me out a bit too. But we also got to see some of his paintings! Did you know he was a painter in his free time?? Neither did I.
The second tour we went on was lead by the ghost of the first Lady of the house. The history was interesting and enlightening, but quite honestly the acting was a bit cheesy. Not to mention there was something stuck in my eye so it was hurting, and I had lost my contact trying to get it out so I could only see out of one eye. When the tour ended and we were satisfied that we had done everything our legs could possibly handle (and my one eye could see), the four of us that remained from our original picnic group hopped on a bus back home.
It was so fun to spend a day away from Oxford again, especially since it was with such wonderful girls who I barely get to see! All in all, the more I get to see of England, the more I fall in love with it, and the more I get to know the girls on the trip, the happier I am that I decided to come on this trip with them! As much as I miss home, I know I’m making memories I will never forget, and that makes this whole semester the best time of my life.