For my SEAM I am staying in Royal Tunbridge Wells in England. Royal Tunbridge Wells (RTW) is located about an hour south of London. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived but when I did I noticed many differences between England and America. One of the major differences that I noticed was architecture. The buildings in London and Royal Tunbridge Wells have a historical sense about them, almost as if each building is trapped in its own time-period. Although the buildings seemed old, the cars that lined the street were not. From what I see, I am amongst the upper middle and upper class citizens of England.
RTW seems like a town where there are an equal number of successful citizens and successful tourists who want to be a part of bustling yet relaxed community. The heart of RTW is small but offers a variety of high quality independent shops and restaurants along with a hidden mall with three floors that resembles a palace at times.
The hotel I am staying at fits the same mold of the rest of the town’s buildings it’s an old building completely revamped and repurposed to fit its current inhabitants. The room is small but it and the rest of the hotel provide a sort of historic yet luxurious feel. You can tell that the goal of the hotel is to provide a lavish or royal experience and the historical feel and built in bar/restaurant helps. When you walk through the building you can feel its age, and it’s not a bad thing. It actually makes it more comfortable in my opinion.
So far the food I have tried in my time at RTW has been…. interesting. It has its ups and downs in terms of taste but one thing is has remained a constant while I’ve been here. Plate presentation. Every restaurant tries to present its food in the most appealing way. The food choice is diverse; it ranges from Thai to more traditional English cuisine and they all care about presentation.
Traveling is easy, the best mode of transportation here outside of driving is the train. There are different train stations that only take you so far. It took me three different trains to get from the airport to my hotel. From my hotel to London it only takes two trains. RTW also has a good bus system, a bus shows up at every stop every 12 minutes as they like to say and the fare is pretty cheap. You only need to ask questions to get where you’re going, I didn’t have any trouble getting around. If you want to go shorter distances then I suggest you walk or take a taxi, the rates are fair and they usually show up in a timely manner. Most people here just walk or take the bus and the people are generally friendly.
So far my experience in England has been a positive one. It’s been filled with new foods, new architecture and new culture. I am quickly settling in to the community and often find myself walking to town during the day. I’ll be posting more of my experiences soon!
OH! and Of course I went to see BIG BEN!