I began this blog two years ago, and I realized two things: I was terrible in keeping up with posts and I was terrible with chronicling my study abroad experience in England. How typical. I was feeling nostalgic today and began perusing my extensive photo collection on Facebook when I stumbled across a folder entitled “Random English Travels”. In it are miscellaneous photos from weekend and day trips I made over the course of my ten-week stay in Lancaster.
For those new to the blog, let me preface this post with a little bit of history. In 2010, I studied abroad at the University of Lancaster in northwestern England as a junior in college. I chose the university based on its extensive class offerings, its location, its reputation, and its particular interesting choice of history classes. I recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in history from Carroll University in Wisconsin and included that abroad trip as part of a wonderful experience. That trip was the first focus of this blog before it expanded significantly.
So, for the first trip down memory lane, I’m reliving one of the best moments of my time abroad. For those geographically disinclined (such as myself), here is Lancaster, north of Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester and just south of the Lakes District:
And the location of where I will be discussing, Morecambe and Heysham in Lancashire, is shown below:
Lancaster is the county town of the region of Lancashire. It is especially known for lending its name to a cadet branch of the Plantagenet family of English monarchs and its rivalry with the Yorkist branch. Although no monarch has resided in the town for centuries, if ever really, it has its own unique ties to the crown nonetheless. In fact, the Queen herself still retains the title of Duke of Lancaster. The name itself derives from two sources, “Lan” referring to the River Lune and “caster”, a derivative of the Old English word for fort.
I am a fairly outgoing and adventurous person, and I have a fascination with ruins. Therefore, when I noticed that there existed the ruins of an Anglo-Saxon church near Lancaster, it was one of those “I HAVE to go see this” kind of moments. So, one cold November day, I hopped on a bus with only a vague idea of exactly where I was going. My first stop was Morecambe, a small coastal town along a bay containing the same name. It is well-known for its coastline and summer activities.
It did not seem to look like much then, but I traveled there during the late fall so the water level was significantly lower than in the summer. It looks rather barren, doesn’t it? That is what I thought. I stopped by a little cafe along the coast for breakfast and mused about just how cold it was.
What I loved the most about the town was the view of the other side, particularly Barrow-in-Furness. The bay itself is noted for being extremely dangerous to cross, especially when the tides roll in. No such thing happened while I was there, but I also stayed away from the water’s edge. I did venture onto the sand, however, and noticed many people enjoying the weather with their dogs. Something to note about British dogs: no lie, they seem more well-behaved than American ones. I hardly saw a one on a leash…anywhere.
Not much was going on in Morecambe during the fall. It seems I missed the heyday of summer, but it was still a nice little hour spent walking the coastline. Now, to just visit the town when something is actually happening! I appreciated the views and the time spent alone to muse. Sometimes, that is the best part of traveling, just taking the time to think and relax, nothing more.
In any case, my next post will be more action-packed as I talk about Heysham, an even smaller village with the aforementioned Anglo-Saxon ruins and discussion of…VIKINGS.