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Week 4 Update, Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury by Joshua Siniscal

I'm currently writing this post while in my hotel room in Edinburgh, Scotland! But, you'll have to wait for photos from here. Backtrack one week ago, we visited Bath, Stonehenge, and Salisbury.

Bath was a really cool experience. I ended up touring the Roman baths for nearly 2 hours!

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

To be honest, I didn't read a lot of the plaques and things there as usual, but went taking pictures. So, here are some of those.

The drain from the hot springs

The drain from the hot springs

Me looking out the cave window at the hot springs

Me looking out the cave window at the hot springs

After exploring the Roman baths, we walked around the city which was really nice. Once again, lots of old buildings and beautiful architecture.

We found a wonderful church too which served tea inside! Yes, they advertised a café inside of a church. I guess Jesus enjoys tea time also.

The next day we headed to Stonehenge and Salisbury! Stonehenge was one of the trips that I was most excited for! Unfortunately it was a cloudy, and slightly rainy day, but I tried to still get some decent pictures.

Yes, it literally is a bunch of huge stones, out in the middle of NOWHERE! We had to park and then take a separate bus just to see them. They look like they are just on someone's farm, surrounded by grass lands and hills filled with sheep. I think Aliens built it man. But how should I know.

Some of us at Stonehenge

Some of us at Stonehenge

We also just explored on the surrounding hills and took some fun photos.

Afterwards, we headed to Salisbury which was a town close by. We found lunch and walked around. We ended up at the Salisbury Cathedral which is by far, the most beautiful church I have ever seen both inside and out. It was massive!

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

They had lots of interesting sculptures on the lawn surrounding the cathedral too which was interesting. Inside they had a huge courtyard and high ceilings, with the signature stain glass windows all around.

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There was a pool of water in the center of the aisle in the church. My friend pointed it out to me and actually showed me the picture. Once I realized what he saw, my heart leaped a little because I realized how cool of a shot it could be. Bingo, this was the final product!

One of my favorite photos so far.

One of my favorite photos so far.

I've been sending my photos to the librarian here who is actually the one who manages FDU Wroxton's social media accounts so don't be surprised if you see some photos posted that were taken by me! :)

Other thoughts, it has been hard to keep up with homework because we've been so busy. I also have two papers due this coming week, but I'm trying not to stress about them because I want to enjoy Edinburgh. Yes, I am currently in Scotland at the moment. Today we explored the castle here which was unbelievable! I have quickly fallen in love with this city! We are going to try and go hike up the mountain here in the morning to catch the sunrise tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get some amazing photos, but we'll see because it's often cloudy here.

Signing out.

-Joshua

 

Week 3, Stratford, Kenilworth Castle, and Futbol Match by Joshua Siniscal

I just got done reading about China for my Cross Cultural Perspectives Core class. Who would have thought that I'd be reading that? Yeah well I guess that's what college does to you. Suddenly I'm interested in politics and what's going on in the world, well a little more interested.

I final got around to taking a panorama of my room so here is one picture of it. Don't worry mom, it's usually clean.

We recently got our copies of our class photo. Here is our class photo of 41 students along with professors.

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This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I went on a few day trips. Friday we went to Stratford Upon Avon, the town where William Shakespeare was born, lived for many years of his life, and is buried. 

Shakespeare's home.

Shakespeare's home.

The town was such a neat little place. Nice streets, with old looking buildings, a nice park along the river, and boats on the water.

Outside of Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried.

Outside of Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried.

Inside of Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried.

Inside of Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried.

We also ate lunch at the oldest pub in the area, dating back to the 1400s.

Saturday we went to Kenilworth Castle. Kenilworth, yes that is a town only 5 minutes from me but no, this is not that Kenilworth. This was a castle that was built in the 1100s. It originally was surrounded by water and was a huge castle. I believe it was attacked and had major sections of the walls blown up, what remains though is really cool.

Some of the castle ruins.

Some of the castle ruins.

There were plaques and stuff to read and learn about the place but I became distracted and just kept taking pictures of the architecture. I'm sure it was valuable information, honest, but I just had to physically explore it.

The back of the castle

The back of the castle

There were so many cool spots to explore! Most of the group finished touring the castle within an hour or so, but that was not the case for me. Me, and two other friends explored it for about 2 hours. I guess I walk slow while taking pictures, or I was just trying to take it all in and not miss a thing.

Typical me moment, "Wait! Guys, go stand in between those pillars! This is going to look sweet!" Boom, epic photo of my friends, or so I like to think.

Typical me moment, "Wait! Guys, go stand in between those pillars! This is going to look sweet!" Boom, epic photo of my friends, or so I like to think.

Down a narrow spiraling stone staircase, something out of Rapunzel or some other movie, and this is where I ended up. Something about stone rooms, with a single window that get to me. Well, this would be the first time but still.

A picture of me actually in front of the camera.

A picture of me actually in front of the camera.

Last but not least, on Sunday we attended a soccer match (futbol) Aston Villa vs Liverpool. We were supposed to cheer on Aston Villa but it was pretty hard to because they were just flat out terrible. Liverpool completely dominated with the final score being 6-0.

This was the Liverpool fan section. The only section that was actually celebrating. Oh, and those people in the orange and bright lime green shirts are security, because things get pretty crazy when a team scores a goal.

This was the Liverpool fan section. The only section that was actually celebrating. Oh, and those people in the orange and bright lime green shirts are security, because things get pretty crazy when a team scores a goal.

I'll be adventuring once again this weekend, I believe I'll be heading to London again and Stonehenge! I swear, I do actually do schoolwork and college related things here, it's not all traveling. :D

-Josh

Week 2, London Trip! by Joshua Siniscal

The Abbey backyard at Sunset

The Abbey backyard at Sunset

Alright, so I'm not really sure where to begin, but I've settled in here and am really enjoying it. So far, the food has been good, I'm getting along with everyone here, and keeping busy with school and hanging out. The sinks here are lower than in America, yet many people here are taller. Also, many places here are narrow, and have less leg room. I think it's because they really try to encourage people to stay fit and healthy.

I got a guitar! Yes, believe it or not, I went to the front desk here and asked by any chance, if they had a guitar somewhere and bingo! They had two right behind the desk! The strings are a little old, but overall, it sounds pretty good! I already was jamming out in the basement with others singing some songs.

My classes have been pretty good so far. I'm just having some trouble understanding questions because they use a lot of big words and I'm not very literature. I know, I should read more books, but I don't. We meet with our professors every other week, and do whatever assignment they give. So far those assignments require a lot of work, reading, and thinking. It's not simple questions that you have to answer, it is more rigorous.

This past weekend my and 9 other friends rented an apartment in Camden town, in London. It had 2 floors, a kitchen, 3 beds with a futon, table, but only 1 bathroom. Camden town is where Amy Winehouse grew up so there were lots of pictures of her and art.

The town was really interesting!

The town was really interesting!

 

We also ran into Nicholas Hoult in the market from Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Killer, and the new X-men movie coming out. I shook his hand and took the picture below of my friends.

Nicholas Hoult. (His eyes really were super blue)

Nicholas Hoult. (His eyes really were super blue)

We stayed in our apartment for 2 nights, and the total cost came out to be about 35 pounds per person. (About $50) Unfortunately I ended up spending a lot more money that weekend. It's hard when you have to buy every meal and pay for the train. On Saturday we went into the center of London to explore the big tourist areas such as The London Eye, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.

Big Ben

Big Ben

The crew. (Minus Connie)

The crew. (Minus Connie)

We ate dinner at a place near the London Eye. While we were there, a lady gave us 4 free tickets to ride the London Eye. (These tickets were like $30-$40 each) So, we took that as a sign and went and road it at night. Yes, London Eye, overlooking London at night, it was quite beautiful.

I literally just snapped this photo of this couple while walking by, and I really like it. I have no idea who they are.

I literally just snapped this photo of this couple while walking by, and I really like it. I have no idea who they are.

This was the coolest and strangest store I have ever been in.

This was the coolest and strangest store I have ever been in.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Of course I have tons of other photos to upload, but I am not able to edit much here because my laptop is not very powerful. I really miss my custom built pc at home. I also don't have a lot of time to edit. Something that I often do while relaxing.

Alright, I have to get back to reading for Core class otherwise my 78 year old professor with a leather fly swatter, and binoculars might get mad at me.

-Josh



I Made it to England! by Joshua Siniscal

Well, in case no one knows by this point, I made it to England safely! I arrived at Wroxton College at noon on Friday (29th). The college is absolutely beautiful! 

Wroxton Abbey

Wroxton Abbey

Today we took a tour of the lands and inside and to put it in simple words, we pretty much live in a museum. The history on our own living grounds is incredible!

I barely slept on the plane, just pretty much took little naps. Getting onto the plane was funny because the flight attendants were all British women dressed in red with their hair up in a bun. It was pretty fancy. The flight was especially fast that night, and took about 6 hours total.

 

Our first full day here we went to the city of Oxford. Every street was full of old historical buildings, churches, and stores. We walked around the grounds of Christ Church.

Christ Church

Christ Church

There actually were some blue skies! I'm just going to show you some more photos.

My new group of friends!

My new group of friends!


Group of us at Eagle and Child

Group of us at Eagle and Child

The photo above was taken at the Eagle and Child in Oxford. Some famous guy name C. S. Lewis ate here. Pretty cool right?!

I haven't taken photos of my room yet but it's pretty small. The pro to this though is that it stays warm. I also have a nice skylight in my bathroom. It's a cozy little room.

Today we had our first classes which was long. Tomorrow begins our kind of normal class schedule. I say "Kind of normal schedule" because every week is a little different. By the way, they pronounce the word "Schedule" like "Shedule".

This weekend we are going to London but need to make our own reservations. So, a group of us are trying to figure out plans tonight.

Signing out,

- Josh.

I'm Leaving Today! by Joshua Siniscal

In the words of the great Frank Sinatra, "Start spreading the news, I am leaving today" Well, actually tonight, as my flight will leave at 9:10pm! I wanted to write a blog before I left, mainly to express my appreciation of my friends and family and how blessed I am to have them all in my life. 

As this day has drawn near, everything I have been doing has become extra special and the times I have been spending with friends and family have been treasured a little more than normal because I know I won't be seeing them again until the middle of May. 

 

My surprise going away party. -Photo by my pastor, Carlos Cedeno. (Thanks homie)

My surprise going away party. -Photo by my pastor, Carlos Cedeno. (Thanks homie)

After Bridge (our youth group) on Friday, I was blindfolded and brought to the Torres house. Upon arrival, they took off my blindfold and "Surprise" a room packed with so many loving people that are all special to me in my heart. As they sat me down on the "hot seat," I was overwhelmed with all the kind, loving words, and great stories that were shared. (I may or may not have cried a little) I had forgotten about some of the stories that were mentioned but was pleasantly reminded of those special times. I looked around and realized how many wonderful people God has placed in my life. I didn't feel deserving to have all these friends show up to a party just for me.  

But those were only some of them. Within the past two weeks, I have been getting together with different friends to hang out one last time before I leave. I got to hang out with my friend Luis from FDU, where we went on a photo hike in the woods. After, we saw a truck stuck in the mud in the parking lot. We helped push the truck out, getting super muddy, but oddly enough, enjoying it. And after, going out to Chili's with him, my sister, and Erick. What a fun day.

I was able to get coffee with Joao, and talk about and pray for my upcoming trip.   I was able to play in one last worship night at church with my fellow worship band members.  I was able to record a cover to "Dirty Paws" with some of my incredibly musically talented friends. I was able to hang out with my friend Phil, from FDU and play rock band at his house. I was able to get Chick-fil-a with Marc, as he treated me to lunch. I was able to go to Applebee's with many friends after a worship night. I was able to attend a small prayer night with Josh, Luciano, and Mariano, and they prayed for me and my upcoming trip. I have been able to spend time with my Asian brother Ian! ;) Thanks for the pen, dude!  I was snowed in with my family for 3 days and was able to spend devotions together, and shovel 27 inches of snow together! And after the storm, a bunch of us went sledding/snowboarding at a nearby golf course hill. That was quite the adventure. And of course building that awesome igloo with a fire inside of it was fun!

Jesse and my brother Jon, keeping warm inside of the igloo we built.

Jesse and my brother Jon, keeping warm inside of the igloo we built.

And just last night, spending some good time with Brian. I was able to talk with both of my Uncles, and Grandparents, all wishing me safe travels. And the list goes on. 

I am also thankful for the people who have given me money toward my trip when I didn't even ask for it! I feel so undeserving but am very grateful.

All that has happened within the past two weeks. I'm sorry if I missed anyone, but all I'm saying is that I am so thankful for ALL of these people. I'm not trying to brag and make my life sound perfect, I am just saying that I am truly blessed.

A card from my Bridge family.

A card from my Bridge family.

A card and gift, from my Guerrilla family.

A card and gift, from my Guerrilla family.

I will be arriving in London England at 9 am UK time, so about 4 am EST.

Feel free to text me, as I will still be able to receive texts just the same as if I were here in the US. Follow my adventures on Sapchat! @joshquash. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog posts through e-mail!

I'll try to post again after I settle in at the mansion.

-Josh