THE WOODS MAGAZINE SUMMER | 2013
Seeing Ireland had always been a dream of
my fiancé, Alex Long, and mine. In fact, it’s
where we planned on spending our honey-
moon—that is until we saw a flier for Woods
Around the World on a table in Tucker.
The flier outlined the 2013 trip that would
include Scotland, England and, lucky for us,
Ireland. Knowing full well that going with the
school would be much more affordable (and
educational!), we decided to look into
it and, a few months later, we found
The first stop on our excursion was Scotland
and it was beautiful (even if they were in the
middle of what they considered a snowstorm).
Everywhere we walked, you could see at
least the outline of the Edinburgh Castle.
The castle sits upon a vast hill and is an
ancient stronghold that embodies the struggle
for Scotland’s independence from England.
It is also known for having housed Queen
Margaret (later to be known as St. Margaret)
and Mary Queen of Scots, who gave birth to
James VI in the castle.
As you can imagine, exploring the castle
took your breath away—if not for the years
of history, then for the spectacular views of
the city that could be enjoyed from several
parts of the castle.
While in Scotland, we also enjoyed
viewing spectacular cathedrals and walking
the Royal Mile (a mile-long stretch of road
leading up the castle that is home to several
shops and attractions). I think we all
particularly enjoyed a literary pub tour that
took us to places of inspiration for several
writers who enjoyed the very same Scottish
pubs we did.
I was also fortunate enough to spend my
birthday in Scotland! That day, we enjoyed
St. Andrews (yes, yes they are well known
for their golf course) and, later that night, a
small group of us went on an underground
ghost tour during which we learned some
frightening tales, and toured underground
rooms believed to have been home to
That night we set out for England on a night
train (which, of course, was a hoot).
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.
While in London, several of us also
caught plays and musicals. Many people saw
Phantom of the Opera.” A few of us saw
The Lion King”—which, of course, was
From London, we took an early morning flight
to Dublin. 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 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.
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.
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.
Captions on page 41
there's a whole world to see
out there and, thanks to WATW,
it is now my mission to see it...