We made it! Already our time in the UK is starting to feel like a distant dream, but I for one will be holding onto this dream for a long time.
We spent the last few days of our trip in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Fun fact: it's much colder in Edinburgh than it is in London). On our first night in town, we saw our final show as a class. Titled The Lover, it's a completely new work based on the story by Marguerite Duras. The best example of a mixed media work that we saw on this trip, it showed us that one story can be told effectively through a variety of means, including spoken word, music, dance, and dialogue.
The next day, we all visited Edinburgh Castle as a class. The hill that it sits on rises seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of town. Even though the castle has been standing for hundreds of years, its figure still retains an air of grandeur, especially when viewed at night. Inside the gates, visitors can learn more about the people who lived in the castle and the wars that they fought. Some of the most powerful moments for me were seeing the crown jewels, walking through the cells where prisoners of war were kept, and standing inside the memorial to fallen soldiers.
Outside of these activities we had the opportunity to explore the city on our own. Some people chose to walk the Royal Mile or visit the National Portrait Gallery. Others explored the bookstores in the area or walked down to the docks on the edge of town. The Harry Potter fans among us made sure to stop at The Elephant House, the cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote much of her first book. We also found a beautiful pub, converted from an old movie theater, and a speakeasy that is still running today. Those that wanted to get one last show in before we left went to a stand-up performance at a comedy club near our guest house.
The Trip Back
We rose early on our final day abroad to get to the airport on time. We had a short flight to Amsterdam, where we waited for a couple hours for the plan that would bring us back to Minneapolis. All said, the flights were fairly uneventful (in a good way). It was a very long day for all of us, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that J-break will be a much appreciated chance to rest and reflect on the trip. Oh, and also write our final papers:-)
And that's it! It's been a whirlwind of a J-term, and one that we won't forget anytime soon. Through this course, we've had so many wonderful travel experiences, gotten to know our classmates better, and seen many examples of truly incredible theatre. The class may be over, but we'll carry these things with us for many days to come.