Published on Feb. 18, 2019
Updated on Sep. 27, 2021
Hi, everyone! Back again with my second blog; if you missed the last one, my name is Toyin Jackson. I am a sophomore Stamps Scholar and Food Science major at Mizzou, and I am currently participating in a semester long study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain.
The pace of this experience has been moving rather fast I’ve been learning. While being in Barcelona and learning about all what this city has to offer, we are encouraged to get out and start exploring whether you stay in the country or venture further elsewhere. I decided to start my travels in the UK. The UK is actually a familiar place to me – I was born in Oxford, England and lived there for a few early years. I also have family in the London area. Naturally, being back in London was the first trip I had thought about taking. I have been there plenty of times growing up, but this was my first trip back as an adult. It was nothing short of amazing. My cousin lives in central London so I stayed with her for the weekend. Since I’ve seen most of the city, my approach to seeing London this time was a lot less touristy. We started our day with a (much needed) gym workout and then made our way through Borough Market where we blew through amazing food stands and tried everything from ham and cheese empanadas to fresh oysters. It was an absolute blast!
The Shard and Tower Bridge were always in sight throughout our day as we explored Harrod’s and Covent Gardens. Needless to say, we had a fabulous weekend.
In between the weekend travels I am in school 4 days a week. One of my favorite classes is called Production and Tasting of Beverages. We are currently learning about wines of the world which has been great considering I didn’t know anything about wine beforehand. Along with that, I have a couple practical classes which are fun because they’re hands on yet challenging at the same time. One of them is a traditional Spanish pastry class- I love a good pastry as much as the next girl but baking is difficult! It’s more of a science; you have to be precise with measurements and mixtures so that certain ingredients are activated at the correct time. All in all, school has been great, and I’m excited to see what more we’ll be learning in the coming months.
The following weekend, I spent a few days in Ireland. Ireland was everything I thought it was going to be- lush and green everywhere, cobblestone roads, and beautiful architecture. It was truly magical. We spent a whole day in Dublin checking out Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green Park, Dublin Castle, and ended the day with a tour of the Guinness factory. I didn’t go for the beer; I went more for the brewery science which was so cool to see! The top of the brewery had a 360 view of the whole city, and that didn’t hurt either.
The next day, we went on a day-long trip to the Irish countryside and made our way to the opposite side of the country to Galway. It was a peaceful day with windy, rainy, and sunny weather. We got almost all four seasons in one day and to top it off we saw a rainbow which is as magical as it gets! One of my favorite parts of the trip was to the Cliffs of Moher. They are huge and stand so strong and majestic on the edge of the coast. The view of the Atlantic Ocean from the cliffs was unreal.
I’ll be staying in town for the next few weeks and hopefully get more of what Barcelona has to offer. Stay tuned, adios!
– Toyin Jackson, Stamps Scholar Class of 2021