I went on holiday and changed college!

July 21, 2016

Greetings and salutations, readers. I'd like to begin by apologising for saying that I would be posting every Thursday following my previous post whilst failing to mention that I was going on holiday for two weeks which meant that I was unable to post. What's my excuse? I'm sure you can tell by the post title, but read on to find out more!

During my absence I was on holiday and I had a great time. We returned aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas for the second time, but this time it was different. Unlike the previous five cruises we have done, this one was not in the Caribbean, but in the Mediterranean and I have to say it was definitely a lot different to what I expected, both onboard and on shore. My previous cruises have all departed from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale in Florida, however this one departed from Southampton which meant that the majority of the guests onboard were English and Scottish and until last week I never realised how much of a difference the nationality of the people onboard makes to the experience. This isn't a bad thing of course but I was just amazed by how different everything seemed because of this factor, for example I usually make a lot of friends without effort on Caribbean cruises because all of the American kids want to be friend with that British kid, and obviously that was turned on its head this time because everyone was that British kid. I did still make a few friends but I didn't really spend much time with them as I usually would and instead I spent more time either with my parents or on my own which I thoroughly enjoyed.
We travelled to nine different places including places in Spain, France, Portugal and we also had a surprise stop at Gibraltar which we didn't find out about until we actually were on the ship!
Of the places we travelled to, I would have to say that Barcelona was my least favourite and this was probably down to the time of year we were visiting - it was just too hot! Normally I'm fascinated by cities and seeing everything working chaotically in motion, but something about Barcelona just caused me to adopt a mild disliking of the place.
On the flip side however, my favourite place that we travelled to was either Cannes (France), Valencia (Spain) or Lisbon (Portugal). I enjoyed all of these places simply because of how different they were to what I was expecting and how nice they were. I'd definitely like to return to Cannes among other places in France as it seems like a place I would really enjoy visiting. The tour we did of Cannes was very much based around movies and popular culture due to Cannes' long history of affiliation with the film industry, being home to one of the most famous (if not, the most famous) film festivals in the world: the Cannes Film Festival.
I enjoyed Valencia once again because of how different it was to my expectations. We toured Valencia by horse and carriage which was certainly different and a very enjoyable way to see the city. I would definitely recommend doing this from the city's main square if you ever travel there!
Finally, I enjoyed Lisbon because of how nice everything was there. From the scenery to the people, it was all wonderful. The city was beautiful and the Portuguese people were very friendly. Although there didn't seem like much to do there, there was plenty to see and it was just spectacular, from the modern high-rise buildings to the small, winding streets which became jammed with traffic as the decades old trams passed through. This city is simply amazing and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to travel to Europe. It's a must-see, without a doubt. We toured the city on the Caravel on Wheels, which seems to be quite a new thing judging by its very little online presence and lacking familiarity with both tourists and locals. The tour lasted around two and a half hours and went around and out of the city to show us the best of what the area has to offer in terms of historical sites and each seat was equipped with a touchscreen showing an interactive map with videos telling you about the different places you were seeing. This tour was probably one of the best things we did on holiday and again it is a must-do!
Overall I had a great holiday however I'm glad to be back home and back in my normal routine of not doing as much as I feel I should be.
Another major thing that's happened in the past few weeks, this week to be precise, is that I have changed what college I will be attending in September. A few days before I went on holiday I attended the taster day for the college I was pretty set on going to, only to be left disappointed at the end of the day. This led me to contacting East Norfolk Sixth Form in Gorleston the following day and submitting an application there which in turn led me to attending their taster day the day after and I was much more impressed by this college. Yesterday I attended my interview there and not only have I been offered a place but I've also been put on their ExtENd programme which, in a nut shell, is a very well structured gifted and talented programme for students achieving the highest grades at GCSE which prepares them for applying Russell Group universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
I'm very excited to start college and when I do start I will probably begin posting bi-weekly updates on life in general and what's going on in college, both to keep you all in the know and to keep almost what might seem like a diary which would be nice to look back on in a few years when I finish college and later in life.
That's it for this week's post and I'll be back next Thursday with another one, so check back then.
EDIT: If you would like to see some of my holiday photos, you can by following me on Instagram (click here)

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  1. The cruise trip sounds like a dream, I would have loved to visit all those places. Someday I will be hopping on a cruise ship! What you are saying about the american kids wanting a British friend is so cute and utterly right!

    Blogging through college is something I will be doing too since it's just nice to be able to look back! It was good to here from you.