Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Travel Tuesday: My Study Abroad Home, Harlaxton

After a few days in London seeing the sights and some West End shows (possibly falling asleep in Hecuba with Vanessa Redgrave, oops), it was time to travel on to our final destination, Harlaxton College, formerly Harlaxton Manor.

I don't know that anything could have prepared me for experiencing the manor house for the first time.  We arrived in Grantham (home of Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher!) by train.  We crammed into a bus and headed towards what would be our new home for the next month.  I remember the bus driver telling us to look for the manor as we drove towards it and all of a sudden seeing it rising out of the trees like a dream.  I had never seen anything like it.

Harlaxton Manor, barely visible as it appears from the trees.
We lost sight of it as we turned off the main road and drove through fields of poppies.  And then there it was again, in front of us. It was amazing, this new castle home of ours.

Harlaxton Manor, bathed in evening sun.  I believe I took this picture just after we arrived!
The bus pulled in the circle drive in front of Harlaxton and we all piled out.  Once we'd moved in, we would use a back door by the kitchens to enter and exit, but for our arrival, we were welcomed through the front door.  It felt like we were guests to a 19th Century party!  We hauled our luggage into the manor i.e. I dragged the sixty-pounder.  For most of our comings and goings, there were staircases to access our rooms, but since we all had luggage, we "got" to ride up in our old school cage elevator.  Never again.

We arrived at our rooms and started to settle in.  While much of the old manor house is in it's original, very ornate condition, our rooms were located in a wing that had been mostly renovated with cheerful yellow walls and lots of light.  While almost everyone stayed in rooms with only two people, I was in a room with four people.  My roommates were my best friend and two other awesome girls, so we considered ourselves to be super lucky.

I think as we settled in, we had no idea what to expect, what we would experience over this next month. It changed me and I think it changed all of us.

The door to our room!
I'll be back next week for Travel Tuesday with more on Harlaxton and our adventures there! Studying abroad was the absolute best learning experience that I have ever had and I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity.


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