Day 21: Love at first site in the city of beautiful people, places, and things...

Friday was our last day in Cambridge which came waaaaay too fast. I felt like I left a little of my heart there because it the perfect city for me and I really didn’t want to leave yet. There was so much more for us to do, I could have easily stayed for another 2 weeks. I really hope that I built bridges during my stay that will lead me back there sometime in the future. It’s a fantastic school and overall just great atmosphere that anyone lucky enough to study there will never want to study anywhere else. I miss it so much already and we only left a few hours ago.

During Friday day, we had our midterm which wasn’t too difficult, and we spent the rest of the day doing whatever we wanted to do. We finished up our papers that we due by midnight and then found Stephen Hawking’s house, who lives right down the street from where we were staying. We went punting again and the second time around was so much more fun and it was a lot easier. I don’t think any of us were worried about looking stupid anymore because we knew everyone was really bad at it when they first start. I wish they had punting in America; it would be a very popular sport and really requires a mastering of technique in order to actually get anywhere. After buying some last minute gifts (including my dad’s new Cambridge hat upon request), we ate our last dinner at The Eagle (remember, that pub where Watson and Crick announced their discovery of the DNA double helix?). As geneticists, it only seemed appropriate. We finally had this delicious dessert called ‘DNA’ that we wanted to try since the very first day. That evening, we went out as a big group but called it an early night since we had to get up and travel to Stockholm the next day.

I keep hearing amazing things about Stockholm. Everyone I’ve talked to that says they’ve been here has said it’s their favorite city in the world, so naturally it already has a lot of expectation to live up to. But as soon as I arrived in the city and looked out over the water, I got the feeling that it already met all of them. Stockholm is absolutely beautiful, and I’ve only seen a small part of it. Where we are staying is on a boat on the river that runs through the city, and I’m so afraid I’m going to get sea sick even though I’ve never gotten sea sick before. It’s like a different kind of rocking, staying in one place but knowing that you’re not on land. It’s going to be hard since we’ll be on land every day for school and will never really get used to the boat except to sleep. But it’ll still be quite the adventure living in such small quarters for the next two weeks. It’s also crazy bug infested…. And we had the largest wild spider that I’ve ever seen in my life in our room. We obviously called one of the guys in our class to come kill it. And so for that being the first night, Carly and I are a bit traumatized and never opening up our window ever again.

Despite the scary first experiences on the boat, we had a delicious dinner with this amazing chocolate/coconut dessert and then walked around the city for bit. I’m totally in love already. After only a few hours, I know this is going to end up being one of my favorite places in the world and I can happily say so far Stockholm is living up to all those expectations. Of course it’s only been a day, but still, first impressions are usually very important. The people are nice and are really, really good looking. Like really. Tall, blonde girls and preppy, clean-shaven guys, walking around the city together, looking all cute and stuff. It’s not fair. I was told Swedish people are beautiful but this is just insane! If you’ve ever been to Sweden, you probably know what I’m talking about. Anyways, it’s been such a great time so far, I’m really excited to start learning and getting to know the city more. Tomorrow we have a tour by the Captain, the program organizer for this trip (who is also our professor’s husband, it’s adorable). He’s from Sweden so he knows this place like a local and is really convenient. He’s also teaching me some Swedish which is turning out to be a lot harder than it first seemed. After the tour we have a free day, but I’m not really sure what the plan is. Whatever it may be, I’m sure we’ll have an amazing time and I’m really excited to see what Stockholm has in store for me!

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