Before I came here, I didn’t even think about the fact that this would be over at one point. I was so busy with adapting to this new life and meeting the people that would share this life with me. So many people told me before that time would fly, that I would be extremely sad to leave, no matter how scared I were in the beginning. I didn’t completely believe them, I thought that one semester was still a lot of time, but they were right. I didn’t feel like 4 month. I did so many things here, I have so many memories, but at the same time I cannot believe that time went by so quickly.
I will miss many things, even very small or annoying ones. The talks while walking to uni 20 minutes almost every day. Complaining how dirty and messy the kitchen is but still making pizza there at 4 in the morning and inviting people to it for pre drinks. Taking forever to get to a party in the city centre on a freaking cold November evening. Hiding in someone’s room before that party until flatmates convince us to go, although we’ve gone out three times already that week and are super tired. Stressing that you really need to study this time but ending up chatting for hours in the library. Waking up at night because you hear people talking on the floor and gossiping about who it was the next day.
Most of all, I will miss this unique situation. Because even if you come back to Sheffield or see each other again in whatever country, it will never be the same. I am so happy about all the amazing people I met here. I am happy because so many European countries that I never had a lot of associations with before have faces and stories and memories now.
We created this cosy, small bubble together, where all you have to worry about is the next essay hand in date and whether the party next Friday is sold out already. Where you can forget about everything difficult at home and live a new and exciting life for a few months. Thank you for that life people, I loved living it with you!
The second part of my travels (with a bit more photos I think):
Edinburgh is wonderful! I was there for a few days last summer and it was as wonderful as I remembered it. We were there for a whole weekend with an organized trip. What we did was called ‘International Student’s Festival’; it was more a simple club night with some cool glow-in-the-dark face paint than an actual festival, but it was still worth it, just to see the city. It is the whole atmosphere of the city that I like so much. The houses, the streets, the colours.
It was freaking cold, but sunny. We went to Edinburgh castle, on top of a hill that gives an amazing view over the city,
and I was forced to go into one of those scary spinning things (I don’t even know how to call it in German). I screamed of course, but it was worth it.
We had enough Harry Potter fanatics among us, so we also went to the ‘Elephant House’ which is a small Café in which most parts of the Philosopher’s stone were written.
It is really not that spectacular looking; there is this one big poster sign at the window, but otherwise it looks like it stayed the cosy coffee place that JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter sentences in. My friend walked around in it for a bit to ‘feel the spirit and get inspired’, I hope it worked!
This was another university trip as well. It was called ‘Cambridge at Christmas’, but really the Christmas market was pretty disappointing. It was not very Christmassy and (the German word I want to use is ramschig, I couldn’t find a good translation, maybe cheap, low quality something like this...). Cambridge on the other hand is a very beautiful city.
We did the obligatory tourist stuff: Visit the King’s College and a Punting tour on the river. Punting is like a not-so-fancy version of the gondola rides in Venice. The boats don’t have gold ornaments on them and the chauffeurs don’t sing dramatic Italian songs...
I really enjoyed it, you pass by a lot of the colleges and you get told funny stories about them.
And we walked around the city as always. I have been to Oxford, which is beautiful as well, but I think for looks and atmosphere I like Cambridge better.
One annoying thing happened though: An ATM took my debit card and didn’t give it back, and some of my time was stolen by phone calls and arguments with bank employees. Well, I have a new card now and nothing bad happened to my bank account so I will forget about that!
Some of us that were done with exams or essays, and bored because everyone else was still studying, decided to go to Nottingham, mostly because it’s not far away and trains were a lot cheaper than the ones to Birmingham. On the map, the city looked pretty small, but I was surprised by the big city centre. It is full of shops and restaurants and doesn’t feel small or cosy at all.
We made some pictures in front of the famous Robin Hood statue of course,
and we paid the 5£ to go to the castle and the surrounding park. It was worth it, the castle lies a bit uphill which provides a very nice view, the park is nice to walk around in, and you can also go to a museum&art gallery.
I have the feeling that most museums here are more kids-friendly than in Germany. I couldn’t really figure out a coherent topic, and they had some confusing things, but we stayed there pretty long and enjoyed the kid’s stuff.
We all tried to lift examples of backpacks carried by soldiers, and discussed about how shockingly heavy they are...
I want to mention the place we had lunch, because it was so cute: It was called ‘The Ugly Bread Bakery’; they had beautiful old furniture and colourful flowers and animals painted on the wall. And the sandwiches were pretty good as well!