In late December, I returned from Christmas break spent with a French classmate’s family road tripping back and forth to Spain and then sitting for Christmas dinner within the walls of the most amazing castle I saw during my entire European adventure. When I returned to the UK, there was an extensive amount of revising and studying that I had procrastinating doing all semester while I concentrated on exploring and having an enjoyable experience while abroad. Thankfully, the education system at University of Hertfordshire meant that I still had until the middle of January before finals started. After muddling through some really tough exams, I headed from my last one right to the bus stop after saying some quick farewell to the seriously amazing friends I met in England. I waved goodbye to those that walked me to the station and helped me carry my luggage. I could have stayed an extra day to have more time to say goodbye, but I trust I will one day see my friends again and I couldn’t leave Europe without visiting at least one more country!
One thing that I wish I had known before leaving for studying abroad was that Icelandair will schedule you a stopover in Iceland for no additional charge. The trip back to the States with a long layover in Keflavik, Iceland actually turned out to be cheaper than a direct flight home on the airline I took for my initial flight from New York to London. It was cheaper and I got to spend a night and day seeing a bit of Iceland. The shared six person hostel room I booked was upgraded to a really nice apartment with free dinner and taxi service due to some computer error. That was a nice bit of luck for my last night abroad. Just after a filling breakfast of I don’t know what, I took a bus to the Blue Lagoon, a hot spring heated by Iceland’s volcanos. I’d heard that Iceland used hot springs to power its geothermal plants and as a source of chemically unique bacteria and white silica sand sold as skin rejuvenating products. Though, I was mostly there just to swim in the neon blue water. I can’t tell you how interesting and amazing swimming in the Blue Lagoon was; you’ll have to go for yourself one day.