Stonehenge & Bath

Stonehenge & Bath Day Tour

Our day trip to Bath and Stonehenge started early Saturday morning as our bus drove us straight from Cambridge to Stonehenge.  When we arrived 2.5 hours later, a rain and wind storm greeted us, and for the moment, it seemed it would never leave.  But oddly enough, as soon as we started to walk to the site, the storm passed, and the sky opened up.  You would have never known that there was a storm that had just came through.  Nonetheless, the site was very impressive to finally see in person.  The stone circle was built almost 5000 years ago and is one of the oldest monuments in the world.  It was also cool to put the whole landscape of the site into perspective.  It sits in the rolling hills where sheep and farmers are the only thing that populate the area.  Based on recent discoveries, scientists have determined that these burial grounds go farther than the eye can see, as there are additional stones under the surface where human bones have been found.  It is also incredible to see how they moved these massive rocks upwards of 100km from the coasts on wooden logs.  Of course, there is also the theory the aliens did it.... Here are some pictures of the site that I liked the best:

 Uffington White Horse Shot from Above

Uffington White Horse Shot from Above

And as oddly as the storm left, it returned right as we were heading off to Bath.  But soon enough, the storm cleared up again, enough for the people on this bus to see the beautiful countryside.  This countryside was different than any farming countryside I have ever seen before (with Italy being the only exception) because of all the rolling hills and agriculture that could be seen for miles and miles.  Along the way to Bath, we saw the Uffington White Horse in the distance.  The Uffington White Horse is one of 16 known white horse hill figure carvings in all of the UK, and it is by far the oldest, dating back to 1000 BC.  Hill figures are seen by cutting out trenches in the earth to reveal the white chalk bedrock that lays below.  In the case of the Uffington White Hose, it was carved by the Ancient Celtic people that lived in the area in 1000 BC.  The people believed in pagan gods, one of which was Epona, the goddess of fertility.  To wish for fertile crops, they carved the symbol of Epona (a white horse) into the hillside to overlook the area.  When the Romans took over the area, they decided to keep the white horse hill figures because Epona is also a Roman god (the only god the two religions shared in common). 

Soon enough, we were arriving in Bath, which sits in the bowl of the beautiful Avon River Valley. Bath is considered the most beautiful town in England, and it is famous for its wonderful Roman Baths; the only working Roman baths in existence worldwide. It is an an elegant city with fabulous Palladian architecture and a rich Georgian history.  In town, we saw the Pulteney Bridge, which is one of 4 bridges in the world with shops across both sides. Two of the other three bridges, which I've actually seen, are the Ponte Vecchio and the Ponte di Rialto in Florence and Venice, Italy. The designer of the Pulteney Bridge actually got his idea for the bridge when he had visited the two bridges in Italy.  In addition to the bridge, we saw the Bath Abbey, the homes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and the Royal Crescent homes. The Royal Crescent is a street of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a Grade 1 listed building. Although some changes have been made to the various interiors over the years, the Georgian stone façade remains much as it was when it was first built.  Many notable people have lived or stayed in the Royal Crescent since it was first built over 230 years ago, and some are commemorated on special plaques attached to the relevant buildings.  Oddly enough, actor Nicholas Cage lives in house number 7.  He also owns a castle somewhere else in Bath.  How he can afford it after making such crap movies latey beats me... 

Sadly our day tour was over, and we began our journey home. As the sun set, sending vibrant colors into the sky, we saw the city of Bristol at the base of the hills, and even farther in the distance we saw the borders of Whales.

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I loved this day tour of Stonehenge and Bath, and I recommend everyone to go on it.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time!

Football Update: After beating the AUR Rhinos 52-0, and the Essex Blades 62-0, the following Sunday the Pythons had a very good opponent in the UEA Pirates; this game had playoff hopes riding on it. The pythons held strong and won 22-6.  I had 2 fumble recoveries, a couple of big tackles/ blocks, and the Special Teams MVP. The following game I hurried back from Bordeaux to help the Pythons beat Canterbury 44-6, making the 6-1 Pythons record the best since the team was reformed.  I had a safety and some other big tackles in the game.  Next game is away against the BNU Buccaneers, and the playoffs start the week after that.       

Coming Up: I just took a trip to Bordeaux, France, and that will be the next blog to come. In March, we have two trips planned, one weekend to Amsterdam, and the following weekend to Galway, Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Looking to go to Switzerland (Interlaken and Geneva) the weekend after Ireland.  Stay tuned!

The Swinging City

Camden & London

A few weekends back, 6 of the guys decided to go on a pub crawl of London and see the city the following day.  The Camden Pub Crawl had 5 bars on the itinerary, with specials and surprises all along the way.  The freebies, discounts, line hoppers, and giveaways alone were worth the price of the tour.  The coolest part of the crawl was that we got to meet people from all over, and I was surprised to see that roughly half of the people there were American college kids studying abroad in London.  One large group of kids we met were from the University of Tennessee, and they were a riot.  Highlights of the bar crawl include Proud (a 200-year-old horse hospital turned into a club with stables fitted out as booths), the Blues Kitchen and Barfly (two of London's best-loved live music venues), and the world-famous mega-club KOKO.  KOKO is built inside an old theatre, complete with opera boxes and the biggest disco-ball in Europe.  The KOKO theatre was something I was definitely not expecting, but it was such a great place to see a concert.  It reminded me of being in the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago.  The band Saint Raymond performed, and they sounded very similar to Vampire Weekend.  Afterwards, a female DJ played house music and dance hits for the rest of the night.    

 Proud Camden Stables

Proud Camden Stables

 Proud Camden Stables

Proud Camden Stables

 KOKO Theatre in Action

KOKO Theatre in Action

 "Stand Apart from the Crowd" 

"Stand Apart from the Crowd" 

 KOKO Bar

KOKO Bar

On Saturday, the guys and I ventured throughout the city of London.  We started at the British Museum, which is home to 8 million pieces, ranging from works of art to medieval pieces of history.  What boggled my mind is how much of it wasn't British, meaning, a large amount of the items the British armies simply took over the years.  This has created a controversy over these pieces, and many believe that some of the pieces should be returned to their home countries.  Included at the museum were (some pictured below): Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles of the Pantheon, sarcophaguses,  and the mummy of Ginger.  

Next on our journey we headed off to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  The National Gallery houses 2300 paintings from all different eras, countries, and artists.  We saw works from the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet.  One of my favorite paintings at the Gallery was The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein the Younger. This German painting is so cool because of the meticulously rendered skull on the bottom of the portrait.  Looking at it straight on, there appears to be some skull like object fading away, but if you were to look at it from the far right of the portrait, a morphing starts to occur as the skull becomes more in focus and starts to face the correct perspective.  I couldn't take too many photos within the Gallery because photography was not allowed, which is nonsense if you ask me.  Other gems included Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist."

Proceeding the Gallery we explored Trafalgar Square itself and the streets around it.  We came across the China Town of London, and it became apparent that it was also the first day of the Chinese New Year, and everyone was celebrating and engaging in new years festivities.  Within Trafalgar Square, people were setting up for a concert for the Chinese New Year that was to be held that evening.  Trafalgar Square was especially beautiful that day, and I can remember because of earlier rain showers that there were rainbows all over the place.   In the square you can see Nelson's Column, the National Gallery, multiple fountains and statues, and more recently, a very large blue rooster statue unveiled in 2013 named "Hahn/Cock."

Next stop was the Buckingham Palace and St. James Park.  For some reason, I expected there to be a Buckingham Fountain that the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago modeled after, but instead there is a Victoria Memorial Statue in front of the Palace.  Nonetheless, both the Palace and Memorial were remarkable, and the large golden gates in front of the Palace with the Royal Guards reminded me of being in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.  We walked through St. James Park on the way back, which I mistakenly thought was Hyde Park, and in the park there were beautiful ponds, lots of birds, and gorgeous landscapes.   

The last leg of our trip included seeing Westminster Abbey Church, 10 Downey Street, Palace of Westminster, and of course, Big Ben.  We were freezing on the Westminster Bridge, but equally in awe, looking up to Big Ben and the entire Palace on the River Thame with the London Eye behind us.  On the way to the train station, we saw the Royal Household Calvary, all mounted on horses, do a public demonstration of the changing of the guards.   

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I enjoyed our couple of days in London and Camden with the guys, and I can't wait to go back to London, perhaps to see Hyde Park, Tower Bridge, and go on the London Eye.  

Thanks for reading.  Until next time!

Football Update: After beating the AUR Rhinos 52-0, we beat the Essex Blades 62-0 the following Sunday; both record setting games.  This sunday, I scored my first football TD with a strip-sack fumbled recovery TD for 20 yards. Also got 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, and multiple tackles for loss and good blocks on O-Line that lead to long runs and offensive TDs.  The Pythons have a very good opponent coming up this Sunday, and we look to continue our performances to push into the playoffs.  

Coming Up: Quick day trip to Bath and Stonehenge Saturday.  In March, we have two trips planned, one weekend to Amsterdam, and the following weekend to Galway, Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Looking to go to Switzerland (Interlaken and/or Geneva) the weekend after Ireland.  Stay tuned!

Weekend in Paris

Paris & Versailles 

To begin our tour of France, 5 of us departed Cambridge at 4:00 AM in the morning from to London, then Paris.  We were confused to see a van with a luggage trailer ready to drive us instead of a coach bus, but our real bus was awaiting us in London.  We got as much sleep as we could on the way to London, and when we arrived, we switched to a much larger, and more comfortable coach bus that would become our bus for all the driving tours.  One thing I noticed about London was that despite how early it was, it was still very congested and busy; something I have seen a lot in cities like Chicago and New York.

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The driver of this bus had a strange resemblance to Jean Claude Van Damme, only he was slightly balder.  We left London and headed east to the coast port city of Dover.  All along the way were vast farms and grassy fields, but when we arrived at the coast we were welcomed by a beautiful castle right on the edge of the famous White Cliffs.  The cliffs were cool to see from afar, but unfortunately we did not have time to go explore them.  The bus then drove onto the large ferry that would cross the channel.

Aboard the ferry, we walked around to kill some time as we sailed away from England.  I was surprised to see Vegas-like slot machines scattered throughout the ferry.  Being the degenerate gambler that I am, I had to play at least one spin of the slots.  Luckily for me, on the very first pound that I gambled, I won 9 pounds.  Quitting while I was ahead, I took my winnings and bought myself some lunch and Oreos, something I haven't seen since leaving the states.  The ride to the coast of France took about 40-50 minutes, and when we arrived we were all eager to get to Paris.

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The next leg of the trip to Paris took roughly 3 hours by coach.  Again, similar to England, there wasn’t much to see on the way there except farms and grassy fields.  But before we knew it, the beautiful city of Paris was in our midst, and we met our trilingual tour guide Yan, who strangely looked like Wayne Brady from Whose Line is it Anyways?.  The coach bus drove throughout many of the city sights until it arrived at the tour boats on the River Seine, right in front of the Eiffel Tower.  It was so awe-inspiring to see the Eiffel Tower in person for the first time, but I couldn’t wait to see it at night and eventually climb it.  The boat tour on the River Seine started and looped around to end at the Eiffel Tower. I was slightly frustrated while aboard to see no way to take photos outside of the boat as opposed through a dirty reflective glass panel.  Despite this, I listened to the English commentary as it explained many of the backgrounds of the buildings up and down the river.  By the time we approached the end of the route, we were in front of the Eiffel Tower.  Because it was the first 5 minutes of the new hour, and it was dark enough outside, we all got to witness the tower sparkling for the first time.  We did not go up the tower at this time, but we would later in the weekend.  

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The coach bus drove past the Arc De Triumphe and down the Champs Elysees to Place de la Concorde many times during the weekend during the day and night.  Then the bus drove past the La Madeleine, the Opera Garnier, and the world-famous Louvre Museum.  But after a long day of travel, we were anxious to sleep and refuel our energy for the days to come. 

On Saturday after breakfast, we departed for another full day of sightseeing.  We first arrived atop the beautiful Montmartre that overlooks the entire city.  On it are two churches, the Sacre Coeur and the Place du Tetre.  Then on to the Ille De La Terte, and the famous Moulin Rouge. I had heard of Moulin Rouge before, but didn’t know what it referred to.  Apparently, as someone was explaining it to me, it’s a movie about a writer and a prostitute who fall in love with each other, but then she dies.  It was also said that the area around this theatre is their "red light district."  This would explain the vast number of consecutive sex shops that lined both sides of the street, some of which advertised bizarre sounding acts of pleasure. It was not shocking to see these stores necessarily, but after just being in two beautiful churches very close by, it was definitely a polar opposite city sight. On that day, 200 Scottish people were parading the streets, dressed in their appropriate attire, playing the bagpipes, and marching in unison.  It was a random, but cool thing to see.  

Next on the itinerary was the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral.  I remember seeing the sister Cathedral in Montreal the few times I was there, but it was great to see the original, and much larger, Cathedral in person.  Sadly I could not find Quasimodo, but the Church was so beautiful on both the inside and outside, and it was right next to the river.  After the cathedral, we ate lunch nearby before we left for the Palace of Versailles.  One quick note on French food; cheap French food is sometimes better than expensive French food, and we were stunned on how quick it takes them to cook the food too.  We also made sure to get freshly made crepes too! 

Our half day trip to the Palace of Versailles was my favorite part of the weekend by far.  Even though it is winter time and most of the vegetation was not as green as it is during warmer months, it was still a spectacle to see.  We started by walking around the big golden front gates and courtyard of the Palace.  While inside, we made sure we saw every single room.  The rooms in the palace were by far the most lavish rooms I have ever seen, with the one exception being the rooms in the Vatican.  Each bedroom, hallway, or living room was decked out in the most exquisite ceiling art décor imaginable.  Some of the highlights of the Palace include: the King and Queen’s bedrooms, the Hall of Mirrors, and all the marvelous artwork. 

As grand as it was inside the palace, no description can give a justice to the outside gardens that go on for as far as the eye can see.  Because it was winter time, we were able to explore the gardens for free.  We barely covered a tiny bit of the gardens, and I was amazed at everything I saw.  I plan on visiting France again just to see the gardens in full bloom to see all the fountains, vegetation, and statues uncovered.

Sadly, we had a bus to catch so we departed the gardens and headed back to Paris.  We made our final stop of the day at the Eiffel Tower.  By this time, it was nighttime and the city was illuminated by the golden haze of the Tower.  We decided to be adventurous and climb to the top of the tower as opposed to taking an elevator.  I took many pictures on the way up, but my legs and I were relieved to arrive at the top platform.  Some of the photos I got of both the city and tower were incredible, and the walk up was well worth it.  

Before we know it, Day 3 was upon us; the last day of our trip.  The last sightseeing adventure we would have for this trip was of the massive Louvre Museum.  To spare you from another long detail of a tour, I will sum up the highlights of the museum with some pictures of the famous pieces I saw, along with a few of my favorite pieces.  Included are the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo statue, the Code of Hammurabi Stone, the Wedding at Cana Painting, The Consecration of Napoleon Painting, a real Mummy, a Pharaohs’ tomb, and many other beautiful pieces.  

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Sadly, the tour was over, and we headed back to Calais to take the ferry back to Dover, and then back to London.  We were dropped off at the King's Cross Train Station that has the iconic 9 and 3/4th Platform from Harry Potter, and then we took our train back to Cambridge.  On the ferry back across the channel however, we were in the middle of a storm.  I was convinced that the boat was going to flip upside down like the Poseidon and would we all die.  I have never been sea sick before in my life, and I have been on some big boats, but I honestly could not stomach the choppy and violent waves. Despite this near death experience (which I probably embellished on), I am so happy I took this trip, and I really wish to return to France again in the springtime.  

I hope you have enjoyed these experiences I have shared with you along with my pictures.  Please view the "Paris & Versailles" gallery to see all my pictures that were used in this blog, as well as many more pictures not mentioned.  Also, any picture I have that was has anyone in our group in it can be seen on Facebook, so those who are my friends can see them on my Facebook page very soon!

Thanks for reading.  Until next time!

Coming Up: Quick weekend trip to London! Pub crawl Friday night, and some sightseeing on Saturday before returning. Sunday will be my first Cambridge Pythons football game, pending weather, and it will be SUPER BOWL Sunday! 

Spies Running Amok!

I thought it was fitting to tell you all this story before I departed to France for the weekend.  This story is 100% true. I hope….

One day this past week, a teacher of mine (who will remain unnamed) was in the middle of his lecture talking about when England applied for membership in the EU for the first time back in the 1950s.  He started going on an aside, saying that at this point in time, he was the Director of all Bonds Sales at the English treasury; the most prestigious of all the English state departments.  His boss told him to go France on a covert operation, unbeknownst to the MI6 people, to recover as much information on the French as possible in their decision making process.  

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While in Paris, he stayed in one of the fanciest lofts in the entire city.  But that’s not where the story gets interesting.  This guy is so much of a player, that he starts seeing the daughter of a cop, a hot French woman named Elaine.  But guess what? SHE TOO happens to be a spy, only she is a spy for the French, and she is supposed to be spying on the English.  This guy has the cojones to then “exchange dialogue” with this girl to the point where she lets him in on a few of the French secrets as well.  It doesn’t end there.  His hot French girlfriend apparently comes from a lineage of other hot french women because her mom hits on all of her boyfriends.  In fact, his girlfriend told our teacher directly, and seriously might I add, “I lost all my prior boyfriends to my mom.”  

A few weeks later, his girlfriend invites him to their beach house to spend the weekend with her family.  However, her mother calls him to tell him to NOT bring the girlfriend along, and that she wants some alone time with him.  The man, clearly lacking the desire to partake in this taboo erotica, bails on the weekend, dumps the spy girlfriend, and returns home.   

All the while, the information that he was telling his bosses turned out to be right.  Only, his bosses could not believe how accurate he was and how right he was when news broke out that the English were denied their application.  They became suspicious, and they later canned him because of his involvement with his spy girlfriend.  I promise you this is not some movie script I stole.  

If you can tell me a story that came out of one of your teacher’s mouths that is as crazy as this, I commend you.  

— Can’t wait for Paris & Versailles.  We leave bright and early tomorrow morning, so stay tuned! 

Arrival, Culture Shock, and ... American Football?

Week One In Review - Jan 11-18

 

To begin my adventure, I departed on my first 747 flight from Miami to London-Heathrow.  I got to sit on the top floor of the double-decker plane after a snafu with the lovely folks of Virgin Atlantic over my original seat position. The seat had a lot of leg room, but not so much of the actual seat to sit on, especially when the massive man next to me wants to hog the ENTIRE arm rest.  When we finally settled in, it became extremely hot as we discovered the AC was not going to work for the first hour of the flight, and when it finally came back on, they put it on full blast for the remainder of the 8 hour flight.  

Upon arrival, I was exhausted but still enthusiastic to get to Cambridge to see where I would be living for the next 4 months.  It was cool when I was walking to the baggage claim to see all the massive 747 and 787 Dreamliners outside Heathrow from airlines I had never heard of.  After I got my bag, I was greeted by the car service driver who drove me to my apartment in a Mercedes taxi.  Of course it was very bizarre to sit as a passenger in the seat I would normally be steering in, as well as driving on the (wrong) other side of the road, but I knew that is how they drive in the UK.

Due to my 1 hour delay in Miami, I was one of the last ones to arrive to our apartments from our INSTEP group, but it was refreshing to see some familiar faces when I arrived.  After some preliminary meetings, the next few days were spent to explore the city of Cambridge and become a sponge; absorbing all that I saw, heard, or tasted.  

One of the things they always tell you about when arriving in a new country is the culture shock. Although both the UK and the USA both speak english, the culture shock was just as real.  This city has just as many, if not more, bicyclists than motorists.  And they are AGGRESSIVE!  They will drive on the street, sidewalk, in both directions, without regard.  They will weave in between people and around people silently like ninjas.  It reminded of my time in Italy, where everyone drives Vespas and weave in between motorists on the road and at stop lights.  Therefore, I walk everywhere I go, and sometimes I will have to walk very far to get to where I need to be.  What is cool though is that when I look around, I realize that most buildings I see or go into are older than my actual country, which is hard to fathom sometimes.  In fact, the rules of soccer were created only 2 streets away from my apartment on a 25 acre piece of public land called Parker's Piece:

 

In terms of the food, I have to be honest.  A lot of the food here is crap.  And I am not hurting anyone's feelings when I say that because most of the locals I have talked to know their food is nothing to write home about.  The grocery stores are MUCH smaller than the ones at home, and the selection is pretty slim.  Most products are always near expiration, or they don't look edible to buy anyways. With a good comb-through though, my roommate and I will find foods worth cooking back at our apartment.  Therefore, we have resorted to a lot of home cooking.  I am proud to say we have gotten really good at cooking pasta, toast, and sausages, so we got that going for us.  Frozen pizzas, however, are still a work in process. (Trial and error is the name of the game...)

Despite all of this, the group has found a few diamonds in the rough.  In town, there is a large marketplace with lots of booths and tents set up everyday with all kinds of produce, homemade products, and other goods.  One food truck there serves grilled sausage and bacon sandwiches on baguettes which my classmates and I enjoy in between classes.  Another favorite spot I stumbled upon is an italian restaurant and bakery called Patisserie Valerie.  They make individual cakes and desserts fresh every day that are absolutely to die for.  

My class schedule consists of 2 Monday & 2 Tuesday classes, as well as 1 late Thursday class.  This means I have no classes on Wednesdays or Fridays.  This was designed to give the weekends the flexibility to travel, something I am planning to do as much as possible.  For example, this upcoming weekend 5 of us are taking a coach bus to France and spending the weekend in Paris.  There will also be a day trip to the Palace of Versailles. I will make sure to make another blog post specifically for this weekend, and expect lots of photos to come from this and all subsequential trips too!  To see photos of Cambridge so far, click any one of the pictures below from that gallery, or go under "Portfolio" above to see all my galleries.  I update, edit, and add photos frequently so be sure to check them out! 

The people I have met here have been surprisingly very friendly and not condescending to Americans at all.  All of my teachers are the smartest and most qualified people I have ever met, and you instantly feel smarter being in their presence.  The style of teaching used in every one of my classes supersedes all prior forms of teaching I have ever experienced in the states.  The very personal, discussion based lectures require no fancy Smart-boards or projector screens.  Just simple, insightful, and intelligent conversation.  And ironically enough, I have never been more engaged in the discussions.  The even more beautiful thing is that the teachers are some of the most interesting and respectful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  I have yet to feel rushed or under pressure while in one of the classes, which is a feeling many of us experience all the time back in the states. Remarkably so, some of the teachers were directly involved with the events that we are learning in these classes, so their insight is by far the best you can find.  

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For our INSTEP program, we were given access to be involved with the Cambridge Union Society.  For those who have never heard of it, the "Union" (as it is referred to) is a 200 year old debating society, and it is the largest society at Cambridge.  It is also the oldest debate society in the world, and has developed a worldwide reputation as a noted symbol of free speech and open debate.  This prestigious society has had numerous guest speakers, including Dalai Lama, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Clint Eastwood, and Jesse Jackson. In fact, Russell Brand was speaking the second night we arrived in Cambridge, but I didn't attend because I think he is a bumbling moron.  But you know who isn't a moron? Stephen Hawking.  Fun Fact: Mr. Hawking is a local Cambridge resident and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, so it is not too uncommon to run into him around town apparently. 

There are countless societies other than the C.U.S. at Cambridge that we have full access to throughout the numerous colleges.  One that I didn't expect to find was the American Football Team.  In fact, the head coach came out to introduce himself and recruit players from our individual INSTEP program during one of our first INSTEP meetings.  Having many years of organized football under my belt, I wanted to definitely give it a look with some of my other classmates.  The Cambridge Pythons are actual one of many American Football teams in England, and they hold themselves up pretty well against their competition.  But they are certainly understaffed to say the least.  From what I've been told, they have about 18 players on their roster.  This provides the opportunity for all players to play as much as possible.  And because we are Americans, they already put us on a much higher level experience and talent wise.  I couldn't help but think we were getting treated like the Italian brothers from the movie Kicking and Screaming.  (See the video above if you didn't get the reference...) We are able to play many positions (both sides of the ball), and some positions that we always wanted to play but couldn't because of organized sport politics back in the states.   When I attended my first practice with them, I was surprised to see their skill level was pretty far off from what I was expected 1st or 2nd year players to have.  Even more so, I was flabbergasted to see how polite the teammates and coaches were, even for a football practice.  It is cool to see a community of American Football fans develop in this area.  We practice on Wednesdays at Parker's Piece, and games are on the weekends.  I can't wait to play in a game and light em' up! 

Thanks for reading my first blog.  I promise the future ones won't be this long.  I hope you liked it, and please stay tuned for more!

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Coming up:

This next weekend, Jan. 24-26, 5 of us will be going on a coach tour to Paris, with a day trip to the Palace of Versailles as well.  I am looking forward to this trip a lot! Stay tuned for future blog posts and pictures from this trip.

If you haven't already, please check out my photography   portfolio, which will contain pictures added from Cambridge, trips I take, as well as some of my prior work. I update & add photos frequently so please keep posted & SUBSCRIBE!