Just got back from my long study tour to London and Devon (southern England). Spent Sunday through Wednesday exploring the tourist attractions of London and maneuvering my way through the streets during the tube strike. I saw Westminster Abby, Big Ben, The Globe theatre, Buckingham Palace, Harrod’s, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, The Tate museum, The Mousetrap (play by Agatha Christie), Drury Lane, and Camden Market.
One of my favorite memories is having high tea at The Orangerie Kensington Palace. We were served Rooibos tea in individual teapots along with finger sandwiches, a scone, an eclair and a cream custard. It was absolutely divine and I felt like saying “Cheers” every five seconds.
Then on to the english countryside to a small town called Totnes (pronounced like hot mess-which is how I left on the train ride there) in Devon. We stayed in the Sharpham Estate (http://www.sharpham.com/), complete with rolling hills, sheep, winding rivers and men with British accents. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The remainder of the trip consisted of visiting different estates, organic farms and small sustainable businesses. Riverford (http://www.riverford.co.uk/) is a farm that sells organic vegboxes as well as running an upscale DELICIOUS restaurant right next to the organic artichoke patch. It was a life-changing experience. Each person we talked to was so completely dedicated to his or her cause. I was reminded of the reason I chose to become an environmental studies major. Each of us should have the right to pure food, fresh air and clean water. We deserve beautiful landscapes, romantic sunsets and unbridled river currents. We have lost sight of these things in a need to increase economic productivity and decrease vacation time with family and friends. I’m not saying we should give up all of our modern-day luxuries and replace texting with smoke signals. I simply believe we should demand a healthier relationship with the environmental around us.
I feel full after visiting the UK. This is partly due to the massive amount of fish and chips I consumed but it’s also due to the renewed sense of faith I have in the future.