The Hoot | 9
That night we set out for England on a night train
which, of course, was a hoot). I made my poor
sister sleep on the top bunk. But, hey, it was my
In London, we continued our adventures and got
a close-up look at must-sees like the London Eye,
Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. We were also
fortunate to be able to tour Windsor Castle and the
Tower of London.
We were actually at Windsor Castle at the same
time the Queen was and, thanks to Professor Julian
Hertzog, we were able to go the Royal Mews
stables) and not only see, but touch, the Queen’s
horses. For us equestrian majors, that was an
The Tower of London also left an impression on us.
We walked in the footsteps of some of the tower’s
most famous “guests” like Sir Thomas More (later
to be known as St. Thomas) and Anne Boleyn. For
me, the most memorable experience at the Tower
was examining the etchings of prisoners’ names,
religious text and symbols and other markings in
the various towers.
While in London, several of us also caught plays
and musicals. Many saw “Phantom of the Opera.”
A few of my friends, sister, fiancé and I saw “The
Lion King”—which, of course, was phenomenal.
The classic actually brought tears to my eyes.
From London, we took an early morning flight to
Dublin and finally got to see Ireland. Even though
I didn’t get to see the rolling hills and stone gates
of rural Ireland I wanted to see or go horseback
riding on the coast, it was quite the cultural
experience to be there—especially since we were
there on St. Patrick’s Day. The bus dropped us off
in the middle of the city and we were surrounded
by a sea of green and orange. And I thought
Americans knew how to party.
Although Ireland was a little crazed, we did get
to enjoy the St. Paddy’s Day experience, as well as
enjoy some other beautiful sights and, of course,
the Book of Kells, which was absolutely stunning.
It was definitely worth the wait to get in.
The Woods Around the World group gathers at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, with Elizabeth, the horse.
Photo courtesy of WWU)
Overall, this Woods Around the World trip
couldn’t have been better. I learned so much
about European history and was fortunate
to be able to see the remnants of it—all while
experiencing a completely different culture. And
better yet, I was able to do all of this beside great
friends and family.
This trip taught me a lot about life—most
importantly that there’s a whole world to see out
there and, thanks to Woods Around the World, it is
now my mission to see it.
The WWU group explores St. Andrews in Scotland. This cathedral took so long to build that the beginning archecture style
differs from the final. (
Photo by Alex Long).