Hello from Hull! Or Kingston upon Hull, if you want to be really specific… but everybody here just calls it Hull, or ‘Ull (that’s what the locals say… the accent is a distinctive one)
Me, and my dragon, Orwell, love it here so far! This is especially true now that Spring has arrived and the weather has brightened up. I spent a lovely afternoon in a nearby park last week. The English do love their parks.
But, Hull is great, even when the weather is not as lovely, as is sometimes the case in England. Despite having been bombed badly during the air raids in World War Two, the city has a rich history. William Wilberforce, known in England for his campaign to abolish Slavery, was born in Hull; I have visited his birthplace house and museum a couple of times, now. Andrew Marvell, the metaphysical poet, was also from the area near Hull. The city’s main Parish church, Holy Trinity, was attended by both Wilberforce and Marvell and was originally constructed in the 13th Century. The. 13th. Century.
|Kelly at the William Wilberforce statue in Hull|
|Reflection of Hull's Holy Trinity Church|
I have had the opportunity to travel, over weekends, and during our three week Spring Break and have visited some wonderful places!
The Brontë Sisters were from Yorkshire, the English county that Hull is in, and, being a lover of the novel Jane Eyre, I could not resist a weekend trip out to their hometown of Haworth and the Brontë House museum. The countryside there is beautiful! Orwell thought so, too.
|Hawforth, the Bronte hometown|
I have had the opportunity to visit several other cities and towns in England as well: Nottingham, where Robin Hood is a bit hyped up, but the contemporary art gallery is fabulous. Leeds, which is a great city, and Kirkstall Abbey, right outside of the city, is now one of my favourite places in the world. I have also been to York, Manchester, Liverpool, and Scarborough, where the beach is beautiful and there’s a castle… oh, how I love England.
|Kickstall Abbey in Leeds|
I have now ventured out of England, as well. I went on a trip to Paris through the school’s International Student Association. I loved Paris; the museums, the food, the atmosphere, I loved it. It was also nice to be able to put my years of French class to use! I even got myself a Babar book in French. My childhood in its original language!
|Orwell on top of Notre Dame|
Over Spring Break, I travelled to Scotland with a group of friends; Scotland is magical. There is a reason the national animal is the unicorn. From hiking Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh, to seeing rainbows over Loch Ness, and enjoying the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye, Scotland was an unbelievable experience. Oh, and haggis is quite good!
|Rainbow over Loch Ness|
|Portree on the Isle of Skye|
My mom also visited me over break, and we spent a long Easter weekend in London. I am convinced that everyone else in the world had the same idea, and am still trying to block the crowd around the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum from my mind, but other than that, London was great fun! I thoroughly enjoyed the Art Galleries; both the National Gallery and the Tate Modern, along with Easter Sunday service at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. My mom and I also saw Memphis on the West End, which we both loved.
|St. Paul's Cathedral in London|
|At the iconic phone booth!|
And, most of all, I have enjoyed being part of a diverse community of International Students here; it has been so wonderful to make new friends from around the world. From celebrating King’s Day with my Dutch neighbors, to talking about Kim Possible with my Portuguese flatmate, and playing clarinet in the Gilbert and Sullivan society’s production of Ruddigore, I feel so fortunate to have been part of so many new cultural experiences and exchanges!
My time in Hull is slowly coming to an end; I only have about a month and a half left. I will miss the English food, (pies and pasties… yum! And Cadbury chocolate. Not to be forgotten) the public transportation, (what will I do without the double decker buses?) and, most of all, the people I have met here.
University of Hull
Kingston Upon Hull, England