Our trip is over, but I suspect I’ll be replaying it in my memory for the rest of my life. First of all, I want to give a shoutout to our wonderful group, and our two awesome leaders. Happily, we had a drama-free, friendly group. I wish all of my trip-mates all the best in their careers, and no doubt that many, if not all, will go far.
Today, we had two scheduled visits. First, we got the chance to briefly talk to a UK film distributor. My favorite part of his speech was when he mentioned that today, more chances are being given to creative, dramatic films about young people, by studios like A24. I agree. Drama films in the past were rarely appealing to me, but recently, films like Lady Bird, Moonlight, and Call Me By Your Name have breathed new life into the genre, showing the real, dramatic stories of young people. I just saw the trailer for a new film by Amazon Studios, “Beautiful Boy,” chronicling the story of a young man who has fallen victim to the heroin epidemic, starring Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell. It looks really good, and falls right into this genre.
We also visited the Tower of London. As I expressed to some of my tripmates, I was trying to avoid “castle fatigue”. Initially, I felt that, but by the end of the trip, I realized just how vast and extensive the history of the Tower of London really is. It’s just a tourist attraction today, but at various times, it has been a battlefield, a zoo, a prison, and a torture chamber. The Tower of London tells the history of the city, both good and bad. Plus, going there reminded me of one of our very first visits on this entire trip, giving a sense of deja vu to end our time in the British Isles.
It was hard to say goodbye to everyone after such a wonderful trip. With all that said, I want to give out some awards for my favorite experiences on the trip.
Best meal: Viva Brazil Steakhouse, Cardiff, Wales
Best dessert: White chocolate Sicilian cannoli, South Bank Market, London, England
Best junk food: Chocolate digestives
Best soda: Fanta orange, European edition
Best college campus: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
Best outdoor scenery: Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Best statue: Oscar Wilde statue, Dublin, Ireland
Best apartments: StayCity, Dublin, Ireland
Comfiest bed: Premier Inn, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Rockiest beach: Brighton Beach, Brighton, England
Most scenic hostel: Sheep Island Inn, Ballintoy, Northern Ireland
Most packed train: Train from Gatwick Airport to London after the train from Brighton-London got stopped at Gatwick
Best British artist to listen to in Britain: Radiohead
Best non-British artist to listen to in Britain: St. Vincent
Best childhood nostalgia experience: The Harry Potter Experience
Best breakfast named after a country: English (over Irish and Scottish)
Best chain coffee shop: Costa Coffee
Best grocery store: Waitrose
Best modern art museum: Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Best classical art museum: The National Gallery, London, England
Best non-art museum: Museum of Design, London, England
Place I wish we’d spent more time in: Scotland
Coolest church: King’s College Cathedral, Cambridge, England