On September 16th and 17th, I went on a trip to Bath and Stonehenge. This trip is one of many planned throughout the semester as part of the DiscoverIES initiative, which allows students to visit different locations in the U.K.
We left on a gloomy Saturday morning. I knew exactly what I was going to do as soon as I found a seat on the bus. Yes, you guessed it: I crashed. So, to say that I was delighted with the landscapes that we saw while driving would be a lie: I slept nonstop. It was a great nap though!
Our first stop was in the city of Bath, located in Somerset county. Here we had our first ride to the past: we explored the Roman-built baths. The city became a spa, named Aquae Sulis, or the Waters of Sulis for my non-Latin speakers. I am a sucker for interactive museums, so walking around with a 2000s landline-style device that narrated the story of the roman spa was a treat. Not only does the experience allow a person to play, replay as much as they like/think necessary, but it also allows a person to take all the time they want to explore every corner of the baths. Unrelated—but completely related to this experience I promise. Something you need to know about me, dear reader, is that I love my country Costa Rica. I am so lucky to live in a country where nature is soundful and abundant. One of my favorite things to do back home is going to the hot springs, and being at Bath reminded me so much of those places that I love. It was also very interesting to compare the hot springs in Bath and back home. For starters, back home, they are not surrounded by Roman-like infrastructure, but nature. Secondly, they are relatively accessible since there are multiple hotsprings and you tend to see more locals.
Our second stop in time was Stonehenge. And if you say they are just a bunch of rocks, I invite you to stop reading right now. They are more than just rocks, they are the remnants of collective physical work—a community that roamed this Earth many years ago. Even though it was pouring and my shoes were squeaking with water, it was an experience like no other. The quiet, the stoic atmosphere, the casual conversations coming from everywhere, it was very special. (I must admit though, that the first impression was very underwhelming, it is a very “tiny” site compared to the ideas that I had in my head).
The cherry on top of this trip were the friends I made. This is a special shoutout to Martha and Clara, the amazing people I got to hangout with and who very kindly were my photography subjects for my film class. We were united by a common denominator, a unique passion: food. Martha, Clara, and I set off to the culinary landmarks in Bath: The Architect and Sally Lunn’s Eating House. 10 out of 10 eating experiences, we had some hits (the BUNS) and some misses (pigeon *cough cough*), but overall a great experience. How lucky am I to share such treasured memories with people like Martha and Clara? Very. Very lucky.
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Paulina Morera Quesada
My name is Paulina, I am a artist from Costa Rica. I attend St. Olaf College, where I study Inclusivity in the Performing Arts. My life mission is to create inclusive spaces for people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals in the performing arts.